I got my preview of the ProjectProspect/First Inning Digital Prospect Guide this afternoon. There is a great angle of video from behind the plate of Mike Leake and the movement he gets on his fastball is just sick. I have seen pro’s throw breaking balls with less movement.
Juan Francisco swept up some awards in the Dominican Winter League. The league announced Francisco as the leagues Most Valuable Player, clearly as an All-Star and also brought home a Gold-Glove Award for the league. If you have the MLB Network, Francisco will be playing today at 2:30pm EST. Check it out.
I got my Baseball America Handbook yesterday. There were two surprises in the rankings and one interesting note from a report in the book. The surprises were Matt Klinker not being ranked and that Juan Silva was rated behind six other unranked center fielders.
JJ Cooper noted in the Neftali Soto write up that the Reds tried him out at catcher during instructional league and that he picked up things quickly. Given the depth at third base (Francisco/Frazier), I think this could potentially be a great move for the Reds to make. Soto has a strong arm that would work behind the plate and his bat would really play up at the position. He likely would repeat High-A, at least at the start of the season. How he could work in catchers time with Kevin Coddington also there I am not sure, but I would absolutely LOVE to see the Reds try and figure out how to make it work.
I don’t think I posted this when the Reds signed Aroldis Chapman, but Alex Eisenberg over at Baseball-Intellect.com has an amazing breakdown of Chapman, both mechanically and pitch wise. I am a subscriber at his site, you may want to check into it as well. He does great stuff over there breaking down prospects.
A few weeks ago I showed how the Reds ranked overall via John Sickels prospect grades. One thing that I didn’t do though was break down how the hitters and pitchers as groups compared to everyone else’s hitters and pitchers.
The Reds rank 7th in the hitters department, but they rank 21st in the pitchers department.