First things first, I have less than 20 books left. To celebrate opening day, they are on sale for $12.95. If you wanted one and haven’t had a chance to get one yet, today would be the day to get one. The combo with the online scouting database is also $10 off today.The season starts soon, so the online database will get you more reports and video and sooner than you would get otherwise. Plus, it helps keep the site running and me going to games. You can buy it by clicking the link above.

Tom Nichols has up the next part in his position previews for the Dayton Dragons. This time he looks at the starting pitchers. His main focuses are Kyle Lotzkar, Daniel Corcino, Tanner Robles, Daniel Tuttle, Josh Smith and Daniel Renken.

Josh Smith was drafted by the Reds in the 21st round last June out of Lipscomb University, a Division I program that competes in the Atlantic Sun Conference. Smith was a first team all-conference choice last spring, going went 8-4 with a 4.66 ERA in 14 starts at Lipscomb. He pitched four complete games including three straight nine-inning complete games in March, an occurrence that would never, ever happen in today’s world of minor league baseball. After the Reds signed him, they placed him in the bullpen for the remainder of the summer to limit the pitches on his right arm over the entire year. Smith was very effective for both Billings and Dayton in that role. He appeared in a combined 19 games between the two clubs and posted a 2.14 ERA, striking out 43 batters in 33.2 innings. Smith will be a pitcher to watch in 2011.

Smith intrigues me. In relief last year I liked his fastball and breaking ball, though his mechanics did look like they were a bit strenuous to me. Still, I think he has a good arm on him and a move to the rotation gives a different look for me.

Ben Badler at Baseball America looks at international prospects and he decided to look at each teams Top 30 from this years Prospect Handbook and count the international prospects. The Reds were tied with the Mariners for the most at 13 each.

Reds: Cincinnati spent big money to land Aroldis Chapman, Yorman Rodriguez and Juan Duran, but Reds Latin American scouting director Tony Arias and his staff have found plenty of promising young international players for mid-range prices. Shortstop Junior Arias, lefty Ismael Guillon and righthander Jonathan Correa were all Top 20 prospects in the Arizona League last year.

Not much else going on, but I figure we will all spend the day celebrating baseball’s arrival this season and that should be plenty good enough for us.

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Doug Gray is the owner and operator of this website and has been running it since 2006 in one variation or another. You can follow him on twitter @dougdirt24, or follow the site on Facebook. and Youtube.

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