It is that time of year again when I will look through what I believe are the Reds Top 40 prospects. I will go through ten players per day until we get all fourty done. Friday will be a chat where I will take all kinds of questions (although I will try to answer questions in the comments as well throughout the week) on the list.
31. Mark Fleury – Catcher
Background: Drafted by the Reds in the 4th round of the 2009 Draft out of North Carolina.
The Good: Fleury showed good plate discipline in Billings where he had a 10.1% walk rate and an 18.1% strikeout rate. Fleury also showed good power as his isolated slugging was .184. MinorLeagueSplits.com luck tool also suggests he would have hit .308/.378/.551 with normal luck on his balls in play.
Needs to work on: Defensively he allowed 14 passed balls in 37 games for Billings. Luck was not with Fleury as he posted a .220 BABIP in Billings that weighed down his slashline that was left looking quite ugly at the end of the year.
32. Matt Fairel – Left Handed Pitcher
Background: Drafted in the 35th round by the Reds in the 2008 draft out of Florida State. Signed for well over slot money.
The Good: Fairel is a big lefty who has an outstanding breakingball. While in Dayton he displayed a strong K/BB rate and racked up plenty of strikeouts.
Needs to work on: Fairel works in the upper 80’s with his fastball which likely limits him to being a #4 starter in the major leagues. If Fairel can regain a little of the velocity he had as a senior in high school or early in college and sit in the low 90’s again he could rocket up the charts.
33. Juan Duran – Outfield
Background: Signed with the Reds for $2M in February of 2008 as a 17 year old. Also is pictured above.
The Good: Duran was regarded as one of the best international prospects as of last season from the 2008 class. He was said to have raw plus power and above average speed.
Needs to work on: Plate discipline was a big problem for Duran in 2009. Duran had 6 walks and 8 strikeouts through 7 games then had 2 walks and 44 strikeouts over his final 35 games. The 18 year old could also benefit from making more contact as he struck out 30% of the time he stepped to the plate.
34. Jacob Johnson – Right Handed Pitcher
Background: Reds 11th round draft pick in 2009 out of Trinity Christian High School in Florida.
The Good: Johnson had very good numbers in the GCL as an 18 year old with a 2.83 ERA and a 56% groundball rate. His fastball has been in the 88-91 range in the past and also throws a slider and curveball.
Needs to work on: Just about everything. Young pitchers need time and experience to get better. Without much knowledge on how Johnson put up his numbers I can’t specifically say what he needs to improve on because the numbers looked good. One knock coming into the draft was his velocity dipped in longer stints.
35. Tucker Barnhart – Catcher
Background: Signed by the Reds in the 10th round in the 2009 Draft out of Brownsburg High School in Indiana.
The Good: Is considered a very smart player who is athletic behind the plate. A switch hitter who has power behind the plate can never be bad. Scouts rate his arm as slightly above average
Needs to work on: Much like the player ahead of him, Barnhart needs to continue working on everything. He signed late and hardly got time during the season because of it. Experience behind the plate is the biggest thing Barnhart can get right now.
36. Brian Pearl – Right Handed Reliever
Background: Drafted by the Reds in the 9th round of the 2009 Draft from the University of Washington.
The Good: The former infielder has a fastball in the low to mid 90’s and has hit 96 MPH. He also throws an above average slider that has flashed itself as a plus pitch at times. Posted dominant peripherals for Billings in 2009.
Needs to work on: Pearl likely just needs some experience and repititions at this point. His stuff projects well and his numbers looked great in his pro debut.
37. Alexander Smit – Left Handed Pitcher
Background: Picked up off waivers from the Twins in July 2007. Originally from the Netherlands.
The Good: Smit split time in the rotation and the bullpen this season and had success in both roles. Smit is a tall lefty who like a lot of others don’t blow guys away, but do have enough going on that they could have success at the big league level.
Needs to work on: Smit walked 13.9% of the batters he saw this season and that is just too many to give a free pass to. Smit could also try to get a few more groundballs as his 31% GB rate is extremely low.
38. Pedro Viola – Left Handed Reliever
Background: Was signed by the Reds in 2005 out of the Dominican Republic.
The Good: Viola has an electric arm that lets his fastball sit 92-93 MPH and touch 95-96 MPH. He strikes out plenty of hitters and always has throughout his time in the Reds system.
Needs to work on: Throwing more strikes. Viola walked 14.3% of the batters he saw in Louisville this year, up about 30% from where he was at with that rate in 2008.
39. Josh Ravin – Right Handed Pitcher
Background: Drafted by the Reds in the 5th round of the 2006 Draft out of Chatsworth High School.
The Good: Ravin has a fastball that is in the low 90’s and has hit 98 MPH in the past. In Dayton Ravin saw his walk rate go way down and his groundball rate go up from what he showed in 2008. He also throws a curveball and a change up.
Needs to work on: Consistency is a big thing for Ravin. He has above average stuff but is not the most consistent pitcher from start to start. Ravin could also continue to improve his control as he is still walking over 10% of the batters he faces. The big righty dealt with an injury that led to him missing about half of a season, but it was not considered serious and should be back at full force in 2010.
40. Enerio Del Rosario – Right Handed Reliever
Background: Signed with the Reds as an international free agent in May of 2005.
The Good: Posted dominant numbers this season with an ERA under 2 between A+, AA and AAA this season. Del Rosario also induces groundballs at a Brandon Webb like 68% clip.
Needs to work on: Del Rosario could likely do better if he struck out a few more batters, as he had a 16.8% strikeout rate in 2009.
More to come tomorrow. Until then…. discuss.