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Columnist: Koby Schellenger

Systems Audit: Cincinnati Reds
February 08, 2007

Systems Audit:

Cincinnati Reds

1. Homer Bailey, RHP, AA. Bailey is a top pitching prospect in all of baseball and a jewel of the Reds system. He has good stuff. Plus fastball with great movement. Plus curveball with deceptive motion. Good change. The only flaw, and this isn't a huge deal, he needs to continue developing the change.
2. Jay Bruce, OF, A. Great bat speed combined with patience at the plate make Bruce an excellent prospect. He strikes out a bit too much at this point but will make up for that with good speed and good power.
3. Joey Votto, 1B, AA. Votto has quick hands that move through the zone with ease. He has good power to all fields and can spread. He has good speed and can steal plenty of bases. Good patience at the plate and a refined approach make Votto a good candidate for a 2007 call-up.
4. Drew Stubbs, OF, Rk. Stubbs has excellent tools. Definitely a sleeper prospect with talent to spare. Plus power, plus speed, plus range. Stubbs is a guy to keep a close eye on. His two knocks are a weak arm and a below average pitch recognition.
5. Johnny Cueto, RHP, A+. Though he's undersized, Cueto has good velocity. He throws a good fastball, excellent change and a slider with excellent potential. Cueto has long arms that make him seem taller than he actually is. Durability will be an issue for him.
6. Travis Wood, LHP, A. Great changeup. Average fastball. Doesn't throw a good breaking ball though. He'll need some time to develop his secondary pitches before he's ready to climb up the ranks but he's got some very good potential.
7. Milton Loo, SS, Rk. Loo has incredible athleticism but also has some injury history. Most notably, Loo suffered some pain in his elbow this season that hindered his professional debut. A move away from short may be in his future but the most important factor for Loo is his tools. He can be brilliant at times and is certainly a long way away.
8. Sean Watson, RHP, A. Watson only has two viable pitches, his fastball and a knuckle-curve. His stuff plus his durability lend him to be a future reliever.
9. Chris Valaika, SS, Rk. There are a lot of good things about Valaika but he doesn't have the highest ceiling. He has good power and a good approach at the plate. The negative is he doesn't run incredibly well and defensively doesn't have the range the Reds would like out of a shortstop.
10. Paul Janish, SS, AA. Injuries have hurt his stock. He's undergone Tommy John surgery lost significant playing time due to that. His skills are fairly good. Solid defensively and offensively has shown good results thus far. He needs to improve his discipline at the plate in order to maintain his level of production against advanced pitching.
Flier. Josh Ravin, RHP, Rk. Ravin is one of my personal favorite fliers. He has decent velocity on his fastball and can dial it up to the mid-90s at times. He is big with a great body. His 3/4 delivery bodes well for his long arms and deceptive nature. He throws good change and a good curve but both need some work yet.

Future Lineup: (arrival date)
C: Miguel Perez (2008)
1B: Joey Votto (2008)
2B: Brandon Phillips
3B: Edwin Encarnacion
SS: Milton Loo (2010)
LF: Adam Dunn
CF: Jay Bruce (2008)
RF: Drew Stubbs (2009)

Pitching Rotation:
1: Homer Bailey (2007)
2: Aaron Harang
3: Johnny Cueto (2009)
4: Travis Wood (2009)
5: Bronson Arroyo

Closer: Bill Bray
Setup: Todd Coffey
Middle Relief: Kyle Lohse

The top of the system is great. Three excellent prospects at the top followed by two good prospects followed by a group of risky, average at best, guys. Despite the lack of depth, any GM would be glad to have guys like Bailey, Bruce and Votto in their system.

System Grade: B+

Posted by Koby Schellenger: Feb 8 at 8:21 PM

 Comment on Systems Audit: Cincinnati Redsforum

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[1] by Hrod382 on 02/08/2007 07:46 pmreply
Bravo, I love it.

It's nice to have a decent minor league system. I'm curious to see what Votto develops into, same for Stubbs.

Hopefully Cueto/Wood progress into the majors, that'd be a big plus for our organization.
[2] by ED HARRIS on 02/09/2007 04:49 amreply
For the most part, I approve of your assessment. I have seen many of these players in person, and will save time by not sharing my insight on each player.

I should point out one thing-Miguel Perez is a weak hitter, with very little power who strikes out a lot. In 400 at bats last year in AA, he hit just three homers and had a K/BB ratio of 88-19. In fact, he was just recently taken off the Reds 40 man roster, a smart move.

Based on my personal observation over the years of him...defensively, he's sound. In fact, he's very good. Right now..he can't hit. Maybe that will change.

But there are a lot of Reds front office people that are privately saying this guy will never be an every day starter. And I would be very surprised if he is in the Opening Day lineup next year.

Peace to all as we'll continue to cover the area for you...

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