ProjectProspect.com has up their Top 25 list now. Two Reds made the list, but probably not the two you may have thought. Yonder Alonso came in at #17 on the list, while Mike Leake (pictured) ranked in at #20. Here is what they had to say on each guy. On Yonder Alonso:

Very polished LD hitter; patient + makes lots of contact; how much power is here?

And on Mike Leake:

Combines plus plus command and outstanding movement; likely No. 3 – maybe 2.

For those wondering where Chapman is, from talking with Adam Foster (main guy over at PP) around the signing date I imagine he is around #30. Here are some Reds questions from the Chat:

[Comment From Jeff: ]
I think you may be single-handedly changing my opinion on Mike Leake. I still don’t like Mike Minor though, any reason to change my opinion there? As a White Sox fan I just get Broadway/McCulloch flashbacks when looking at Minor and other pitchability types who struggle hitting the 90’s.

That’s why I woke up today Jeff.

Leake is going to get knocked down by a ton of traditional scouting biases. If you look past those, you’ll realize that he’s one of the safest bets in the minors to surface as an average or better MLB starter. I’ll say it again, but I think there’s more than a 25% chance that Leake will have a better career than Stephen Strasburg — could last a lot longer.

[Comment From willy: ]
So does this insinuate that, looking back on last year’s draft, you’d go with Mike Leake at 3rd overall? What do you think of other Leake compared with top players like Tyler Matzek, Jacob Turner, Shelby Miller, Aaron Crow, and Jiovanni Mier?

Yep, I would have strongly considered Leake with the 3rd overall pick. He’s a good ground-ball pitcher who can locate five pitches for strikes. Leake picked apart Dom Brown when they matched up at the AFL. I felt bad for Brown…it wasn’t fair.

It would be one thing if Leake wasn’t just as good as Strasburg in college. And if he didn’t have some promising starts at the AFL. But he was and he did. SOOO underrated.

I like him a lot more than Crow. Matzek and Turner may have higher ceilings.

Project Prospect really likes Mike Leake.

Keith Law had this to say in an  INSIDER article at ESPN.com:

Reds are full of unpolished, big-tools Latin American prospects, led by Yorman Rodriguez, who struggled in his pro debut in 2009, but was just 16 years old playing in the advanced short-season Pioneer League; he’s a plus runner with a plus arm with a live bat, but this was his first exposure to decent breaking balls and he might be more of a sleeper for the 2012 or 2013 lists. And remember the name Ismael Guillon, a 17-year-old lefty from Venezuela who had Tommy John surgery right after signing and hasn’t pitched in the U.S. yet; he’s 90-93 with feel for a changeup and impressed scouts in instructional league last fall.

I am curious as to whether last fall refers to fall 2009 or fall 2008 when Guillon was originally signed. If it was fall 2009, then I am a lot more excited about it than if it were fall 2008.

Dusty Baker made mention that the Reds have thought about using Yonder Alonso at catcher. While I know things can be taken out of context, and I figure this one was because there just is no way they are thinking about it now (you don’t take a close to ready MLB bat and try to teach them to catch at the AAA level, you take the hitter with no defensive spot in rookie ball and try to teach them to catch as they move up). If Alonso ever catches regularly in the major leagues I will post a live video of me eating a Reds hat.

Baseball America had an all day chat in honor of the 2010 Prospect Handbook arriving and being shipped (still haven’t gotten mine, lots of others have…. I know my mailman hates me). There were several Reds questions in the chat.

John (Ohio): Who would you rather have in left field for the Reds. Heisey, Francisco, or Balentien? I personally like Balentien.. Thanks

Jim Callis: I bet Heisey would be the most productive in the long run. The other two guys have more exciting power but swing and miss way too much.

Kyle (Chicago): Mike Leake or Kyle Gibson?

Jim Callis: Kyle Gibson. But most of you know I’m president of the Kyle Gibson Fan Club, so my answer is no surprise.

Brett (NJ): JJ — Reds’ senior director of scouting, Chris Buckley, was recently quoted in an interview as saying the Reds would have seen Chapman as having better value than Leake if both had been available in the 09 Draft. Not a surprise based on physical talent. Buckley mentioned the physical ability and how hard it is to find lefties with huge stuff. My question is how does this jive with the Reds’ decision to draft Leake over Matzek in 2009, as it seems that Matzek’s stuff matches that criteria and is far superior to Leake’s. Is this a change in philosophy since the last draft and will we see the Reds willing to go over slot to sign top talent in future drafts? Does this philosophy only apply to free agent international signings? Is Chapman’s stuff that much better than Matzek? Or am I missing something? It’s not that I don’t think Leake will be a major league starter; I just think Matzek has a lot more potential and wonder if the Chapman signing is a philosophy change or a one-time deal.

J.J. Cooper: I think it comes down to the Reds’ not wanting to buck the slotting system. Cincinnati’s front office doesn’t have the leeway to spend the money to sign a Matzek for well-above slot in the draft, but MLB doesn’t have any problems with teams spending that kind of money outside of the draft for Aroldis Chapman, Yorman Rodriguez or others. If you want to sign Chapman, you just cut the check. If you want to sign Matzek you have to wait as MLB tells you repeatedly that you shouldn’t spend that much money above slot.

Tho (Ohio): How soon do you think we will see the Reds pitcher Chapman in a Reds unifrom and do you see him starting or coming out of the bullpen?

J.J. Cooper: I’d expect to see him start in the minors but make it up at some point this year. The Reds see him as a starter as do I, you don’t pay that money to make him a power arm out of the bullpen, that’s the fallback position if he fails as a starter.

Brandon (Charleston, WV): Is Daniel Tuttle of the Reds someone worth keeping an eye on?

John Manuel: He’s not too far off from a Kimbrel type. He’s a lower-slot guy and can run it up there but most scouts weren’t too high on his mechanics and delivery and had him pegged as a reliever coming out of high school. He’s tucked into the back of the Reds’ Top 30 with some other raw power arms.

Dale (Atlanta): Please rank these pitchers; Mike Montomery, Daniel Hudson, Mike Leake, and Matt Maloney. Thanks!

Conor Glassey: I’d say: Montgomery, Leake, Hudson & Maloney.

Jamie Ramsey has up a TON of pictures from the Reds Caravan. Go check them out now.

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