It wasn't too long ago when catcher Devin Mesoraco was heralded as the undisputed top prospect in Cincinnati's system. In fact, it was less than one year ago. Now, speedster Billy Hamilton holds that title after swiping more bases in 2012 than you can shake a stick at (155 to be exact).
Expectations were high for Mesoraco entering his rookie season. Many even dubbed him as a serious contender to win the National League Rookie of the Year Award in the preseason. But the former first round pick never could quite get going in '12. He wound up playing in just 54 games and posting a .212/.288/.352 line after a suspension and struggles on the field led to a late-season demotion.
But the good news for Mesoraco is that 2013 brings the opportunity for a clean slate. And at least one baseball writer believes the 24-year-old could be primed for a big individual year. Jay Jaffe of Sports Illustrated's Hit and Run recently included Mez among his candidates to go "boom" in 2013.
Here is what he wrote about the Reds young backstop:
Devin Mesoraco, Reds: A popular preseason pick for NL Rookie of the Year honors last spring, Mesoraco couldn’t play his way past incumbent Ryan Hannigan and wound up hitting just .212/.288/.352 in 184 PA, a sample size reduced by a late-season concussion that opened the door for the best 73-plate appearance stretch of Dioner Navarro’s career since 2008. Navarro is gone, and while the Reds have brought in Miguel Olivo via a minor league deal as a backup option, I expect the 25-year-old Mesoraco to recover some of his lost luster. After all, this is a player who has hit .282/.360/.505 in 788 PA at Double-A and Triple-A, and who ranked 16th on BA’s prospect list coming into last year. He may get an early-season refresher course at Triple-A to give him extra at-bats early while Olivo stinks up Cincinnati, but I suspect that in time, Mesoraco will help make the Reds’ catching tandem one of the majors’ best.
Wouldn't it be nice if Jaffe turned out to be right?
Via Sports Illustrated