Justin has a post up about the Reds future monetary commitments for now and the future. It got me to thinking about what the Reds need to produce from the farm system in order to fill in the holes. I want to look at these in four groups: Infield, Outfield, Starting Pitching and Relief Pitching. Today we will look at the position players and tomorrow I will look at the pitching.
I think that we can all assume that the starting 5 will be David Ross, Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, Alex Gonzalez and Edwin Encarnacion in 2008. Ross is on contract through 2008 and has an option for 2009. Alex Gonzalez is on contract through the 2009 season. Phillips is under control through 2010 and Edwin is ours through 2012.
Our infield looks pretty good with everyone able to be retained for the next two seasons if they pick up the option on Ross. When 2010 rolls around the Reds will be looking for a catcher and a shortstop. Right now the best bet for a catcher in 2010 would likely be Craig Tatum from the current system. At shortstop, there is always the possibility of Jeff Keppinger stepping in as a stop gap type until a true shortstop is ready to go. The Reds have a lot of guys who play shortstop currently, but there aren’t many true shortstops in the system. One guy that I would like to keep an on though is Jose Castro, who the Reds received in the Jeff Conine trade. As a 20 year old in the FSL last year he did hit .318, although he doesn’t walk much and doesn’t have any power to speak of.
Currently lets assume Jay Bruce starts in the minor leagues, but spend more than half a season in Cincinnati. The Reds only have Griffey and Dunn through 2008, although they do hold an option on Griffey for 2009 although its unlikely that they use it. They also have Freel through 2009 and Hopper through 2012, but I hope they don’t have it in the plans to have them as every day starters. The outfield situation for 2009 looks like Bruce and a whole lot of question marks. The Reds could use nice years out of Chris Dickerson and Danny Dorn in 2008 if Dunn and Griffey aren’t going to be here in 2009. Dorn however has not shown any ability to hit left handed pitching, so he would likely need a platoon partner. Another option that has gone through my head would be to move Votto to left field and play Adam Rosales at first base if the Reds are short on outfielders that can hit. There is also the 26 million dollars from Griffey and Dunn that could go toward an outfielder (some of it goes to the raises for Harang and Arroyo).