Catcher – Tucker Barnhart
Barnhart will likely return to Pensacola for a second go of things after struggling in his initial time with the Blue Wahoos. The 22-year-old hit just .200/.262/.292 in 41 games last year at the Double-A level. He really struggled offensively, but he was very strong on the defensive side of things where he is among the best in all of the minors.
First Base – Travis Mattair
Mattair is a third baseman normally, and he will likely see some time at the position throughout the season, but could man first base to get both he and David Vidal into the lineup on a daily basis. “Moose” as he is often called hit .274/.344/.465 in Bakersfield last year with 53 extra-base hits in 126 games and after a slow start in April really hit well (.296/.363/.492 from May through the end of the season).
Second Base – Brodie Greene
Brodie Greene will likely return as the starting second baseman after hitting .244/.319/.329 with the Blue Wahoos in 2012. His power really fell off from 2011, so he will look to rebound in that department, which is what held him back with just 3 home runs despite the home park being very home run friendly.
Third Base – David Vidal
Vidal spent most of his 2012 with Pensacola and is slated to return after hitting .230/.294/.397 in 97 games there. He picked things up towards the end of the season and hopes to build upon that in his return. A flashy defender at third, he will likely see time at DH to give Travis Mattair some time at third as well.
Shortstop – Devin Lohman
Lohman split time at shortstop and second base last year in Bakersfield, but with Billy Hamilton no longer in the way, he will see most of his time at short for the Blue Wahoos. In 2011 he hit .257/.353/.401 showing good plate discipline and solid power.
Left Field – Donald Lutz
The big outfielder will return to Pensacola in the hopes of improving on his .242/.315/.389 line he posted in 165 plate appearances there in 2012. Reports from spring have him slimmed down some, which could help his defense and speed, though he was an average runner before. If he can get into a groove his power could do some real damage with how well the ball flies in that stadium.
Center Field – Bryson Smith
Smith hit .307/.333/.425 for Pensacola over 50 games to end the 2012 season and should return to the outfield in 2013. While he didn’t see much time in center last season, Ryan LaMarre is no longer standing in his way and Smith could be the main guy in center for the Blue Wahoos.
Right Field – Steve Selsky
The Reds organizational hitter of the year in 2012 after hitting a combined .317/.377/.515 with 56 extra-base hits. His plate discipline was much better in Bakersfield than in Dayton, but is still something he will likely want to improve upon moving forward.
Josh Smith – After a slow start in April Smith was able to really get into a groove and wound up posting a 3.80 ERA in 147 innings with 140 strikeouts and 46 walks for Bakersfield in 27 starts. While the Reds pitching depth may eventually push him to the bullpen, he has what it takes to remain a starting pitcher in the minor leagues.
Chad Rogers – Rogers was one of the best starters in the California League before getting an August promotion to Pensacola where he posted a 1.99 ERA in 6 starts with 23 strikeouts and just 6 walks. His career ERA in 2.92 and the groundball pitcher could be the anchor for the Blue Wahoos rotation.
Tim Crabbe – Crabbe split his time between Bakersfield and Pensacola in 2012. He showed a lot more success in Bakersfield than Pensacola and will return in the hopes of improving on his 4.90 ERA in 86.1 innings where he had 66 walks and 93 strikeouts. His control was much stronger in Bakersfield with just 15 walks in 57.2 innings, so hopefully he can build upon that.
Mark Serrano – The Reds have used Serrano in both a starter and reliever role in his career, mostly as a reliever in 2012, but there may be a need to have him start in 2013 to fill out the rotation. He made 9 starts that covered 45.1 innings with 9 walks and 44 strikeouts to go with a 2.58 ERA in 2012 for the Blue Wahoos.
Fifth Starter – The final starter will likely be a free agent.
Relievers – They are just too difficult to project. Guys can jump over levels with ease at times, so I am going to just skip over them.