Friday, August 2, 2013

Five under-the-radar Reds prospects who are turning heads this year

While Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, and Jay Bruce star on the field for the Reds today, the stars of tomorrow are currently fine tuning their skills in the farm system. Some of the more well-known prospects making their way through Cincinnati's system include speedster Billy Hamilton, outfielder Jesse Winker, and pitchers Robert Stephenson and Nick Travieso. Each of these players are considered among the top prospects in the organization and deservedly so. Each of these players were selected very high in the respective years of their draft and show great potential and promise for the future.

But what about all of those players who weren't drafted so highly? What about those players who aren't considered top prospects? Well, they are working hard in the minor leagues as well, and some of them might just be flying under-the-radar on their way to the big leagues.

Here is a handful of Reds minor league players who you probably haven't heard much about, but who are currently performing extremely well this season for their respective clubs.

OF Felix Perez (Triple-A Louisville)

+ The 28-year-old leads the team in both average (.273) and RBI (58) and ranks third in home runs (8) and doubles (21). Perez is hitting .333 with runners in scoring position in 96 at-bats this year. The Cuban native batted .301 with a .348 on-base percentage for Louisville in 2012. He began his professional career with the Reds in the Dominican Summer League in 2010.

RHP Trevor Bell (Double-A Pensacola)

+ The California native is pitching well in Pensacola as evidenced by his 1.80 ERA and .188 BAA in 16 appearances. He has converted 10 saves for the Blue Wahoos while striking out 25 batters in 20 innings pitched. The 26-year-old was originally drafted by the Angels in the first round (37th overall) of the 2005 Draft. He spent various stints with the Halos from 2009-11, so he isn't technically a prospect anymore, but he did record a 4-8 record and 5.21 ERA in 52 big league outings.

3B Juan Silverio (Single-A Bakersfield)

+ Silverio leads the Blaze in hits (115), and RBI (64), and ranks second in home runs (13), doubles (25), and third in runs scored (47). He sports a .283 average, but his on-base percentage needs some improvement (.300). Nonetheless, the 22-year-old is having a fine season. Silverio was originally signed by the White Sox as an amateur free agent in Aug. 2007.

1B Seth Mejias-Brean (Single-A Dayton)

+ The University of Arizona product (pictured above) is blossoming in his first full season in the minors. Mejias-Brean leads the team in average (.294), games played (102), hits (113), RBI (69), and doubles (25). The 22-year-old ranks second on the team in on-base percentage (.371), and third in both runs (53) and home runs (9). Mejias-Brean was drafted in the eighth round of last season's draft by the Reds.

OF Junior Arias (Single-A Dayton)

+ Arias received a promotion to the Dragons from Single-A Bakersfield early on in the year and has taken advantage of the opportunity. The Dominican native leads the club with 40 stolen bases in 72 games after previously swiping 9 with the Blaze in 25 games. Arias, 21, possesses more than just speed, though. He ranks second on the team in home runs (10) and third in average (.284), despite playing in far fewer games than some of his teammates. Arias was originally signed by the Reds as an amateur free agent in July 2008.

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