In the past we’ve had a Full-Season All-Star team and a Rookie-Level All-Star team, but with the rookie-level only having two teams now instead of four, it kind of defeats the purpose of having a rookie-level only team as everyone would come from one of two of the teams. This year it’s just one team that will be from players from all levels. Performance has been weighted (just in my mind) with the higher the level the performance happened, the more it “matters”.
Catcher: Daniel Vellojin
21-year-old Daniel Vellojin made the jump from the Dominican Summer League in 2019 to Low-A Daytona in 2021. He played in 88 games – 74 of them behind the plate – and hit .247/.401/.403 in the pitcher friendly league. Vellojin had 21 doubles, a triple, 7 home runs, walked 72 times, and he struck out 73 times. While the catcher was an on-base machine that walked nearly as often as he struck out, it was his defense that stood out to observers. He threw out 41% of opposing baserunners during the year and worked magic at times with the glove for his pitching staff.
First Base: Wilson Garcia
It was a tough start in a new organization for Wilson Garcia. Through the first five weeks of the season he hit just .192/.224/.242 with one home run in 27 games played for Double-A Chattanooga. But from mid-June through the end of the season he flipped that early season script and hit .322/.352/.542 over the final 76 games of the year while collecting 15 doubles and 17 home runs along the way. His 18 home runs on the year were second in the organization among the players on the farm.
Second Base: Alejo Lopez
The season got out to a hot start for Alejo Lopez. In the first month of the year he hit .362 for Double-A Chattanooga and got moved up to Triple-A. He would slow down a bit there, hitting *just* .303, but walked 33 times while striking out just 21 times, and adding 18 doubles and 6 home runs with Louisville to go with his 9 doubles he had in the first month with the Lookouts. IN total he hit .320/.401/.447 while walking 13 more times than he struck out during the season in 92 games between Double-A and Triple-A.
Third Base: Elly De La Cruz
There probably isn’t another player in minor league baseball who made such a big leap in terms of prospect value in 2021 than Elly De La Cruz. He went from relatively unknown to Top 100 prospect after hitting .296/.336/.538 between his time with the Arizona Complex League Reds (11 games) and the Low-A Daytona Tortugas (50 games). In 61 games he had 18 doubles, 9 triples, and 8 home runs. He saw action at both third base and shortstop during the season, playing 28 and 20 games at each spot.
Shortstop: Jose Barrero
Beginning the year in Double-A Chattanooga, Jose Barrero went out and hit .300 with 9 doubles, a triple, and 6 home runs for the Lookouts in the first two months of the season. That was just a taste of what was to come after his promotion to Triple-A Louisville. In the 45 games Barrero spent with the Bats he hit .306/.392/.594 with 10 doubles and 13 home runs. He also added a home run during the summer’s Futures Game. While playing in just 85 games he led the farm system with 19 home runs, added in 16 steals, and had an even 100 hits on the season while hitting .303/.380/.539 between his two stops in the minors.
Outfielder: Allan Cerda
Like many of the others on this All-Star team, Allan Cerda split his season at multiple levels. He began the year in Low-A Daytona and hit .242/.362/.524 in the pitcher friendly league with 14 doubles, 4 triples, and 14 home runs in 66 games. For the final month of the year he was promoted to High-A Dayton where he played in 21 more games and hit .273/.356/.519 with 8 more doubles, another triple, and 3 more homers. Between the two stops he hit .250/.361/.523 with 17 home runs, 22 doubles, and 5 triples.
Outfielder: Lorenzo Cedrola
It was the best season of Lorenzo Cedrola’s career in 2021. He began the year in Double-A Chattanooga and spent the whole season with the Lookouts where he led the league in hits (130) while posting a .320/.356/.461 line. With the Triple-A season continuing for two weeks beyond there, the Reds promoted him up to Louisville where he played in 9 more games and added 4 extra-base hits. Between his two stops he played in 115 games and hit .315/.354/.458 with 19 doubles, 7 triples, 10 home runs, and he stole 10 bases.
Outfielder: Yerlin Confidan
Making his professional debut, Yerlin Confidan made his power known early and often in the Arizona Complex League. He slugged .529 in July, .661 in August, and .694 in September. The 18-year-old led the league with 11 home runs while adding in 9 doubles and 2 triples as he hit .315/.359/.573 in 50 games. Confidan also stole 7 bases
Designated Hitter: Carlos Jorge
Another player making his professional debut, Carlos Jorge beat up on pitching in the Dominican Summer League. Playing shortstop and second base, the 17-year-old hit .346/.436/.579 with 8 doubles, 10 triples, and 3 home runs in 47 games. He also stole 27 bases, walked 24 times, and struck out 27 times.
Starter: Graham Ashcraft
After missing the 2020 season, Graham Ashcraft was one of the minor leaguers that got brought out to “early spring training” in 2021 to play alongside the big leaguers in February and March. Ashcraft carried that forward into the 2021 season, first with Dayton where he posted a 2.33 ERA in 8 starts before being promoted to Double-A Chattanooga. With the Lookouts he made 14 more starts with a 3.36 ERA, and at one point had thrown 44 consecutive innings without an earned run between the two stops. In Ashcraft’s 22 starts in 2021 he posted a 3.00 ERA in 111.0 innings, allowed 86 hits – just 4 home runs – walked 37 batters, and had 129 strikeouts.
Starter: Hunter Greene
It only took 7 starts for Hunter Greene to be promoted from Double-A. While in Chattanooga with the Lookouts he posted a 1.98 ERA in 41.0 innings with 60 strikeouts. His time in Triple-A Louisville was a bit inconsistent as he made 14 starts for the Bats and posted a 4.13 ERA in 65.1 innings where he had 79 strikeouts. The largest difference between the two stops was the home runs allowed, giving up just 2 in Double-A but 11 in Triple-A. Between Chattanooga and Louisville he posted a 3.30 ERA in 106.1 innings, allowed 86 hits – 13 homers – walked 39 batters, and he struck out 139.
Starter: Reiver Sanmartin
Like Hunter Greene, Reiver Sanmartin began his year in Double-A Chattanooga. He made 3 starts and a relief appearance with the Lookouts, allowing just 1 earned run in 18.0 innings before being promoted to Triple-A. Once he joined Louisville he made 14 starts and 7 relief appearances with a 3.94 ERA. Between the two stops the lefty posted a 3.32 ERA in 100.1 innings, allowed 88 hits – 6 home runs – walked 28 batters, and he struck out 112.
Reliever: Dauri Moreta
No one in the Reds farm system dominated the way that Dauri Moreta did during the 2021 season. He began the season in Double-A Chattanooga and posted a 1.35 ERA in 18 games before being promoted to Triple-A Louisville. He didn’t allow an earned run through his first 22 games with the Bats before giving up a run in each of his final two outings of the minor league season. Between his two stops in the minors he posted a 1.02 ERA in 53.0 innings, allowed 31 hits – 5 homers – walked 9 batters, and he struck out 58.
Reliever: Phillip Diehl
Lefty Phillip Diehl spent his entire season in Triple-A with Louisville. He pitched in 58 games and posted a 2.47 ERA in 54.2 innings. Diehl allowed just 39 hits – 9 homers – walked 12 hitters, and he struck out 71.
Some really good seasons all around from a lot of places on the farm.
Diehl specifically is one that I want to know how he didn’t get Cincinnati time this season.
I think it was two fold. First, he’s a lefty in an era where lefty-specialist don’t work anymore because you have to face 3 batters. That said, he did pitch well against righties in Triple-A this season – they didn’t make much contact, and hit just .202 – but they made their hits count, too. Righties hit 8 HR and had 5 2B out of their 26 hits against him. I think the other side is he tops out around 92 and sits around 90. Fair or unfair, that’s going to work against you in 2021.
Looking at a list like this, there is legit reason to be excited as a Reds fan. Clearly there has been someone(s) in the organization making some pretty good calls play selection and development. These players along with the young core already in the majors leads me to dream that there may be -hope? That said, with Dick Williams stepping down and the resignations of Body and Gillman, I am worried. Couple this with the head scratching roster construction at the major league level with a return of reclamation projects, players well past their prime, and not bringing up clear up grades from the minors to help the bullpen really has me worried about the direction of this franchise. Who is calling the shots? What is their direction? Should we be hopeful or worried? This will be a really telling offseason.
Until shown otherwise, I’m a bit worried.
Care to share Doug? Too much to go over or is another article in the works?
Doug, from what I heard from Kyle Boddy’s interview with Fangraphs, Kyle himself said he wanted/still wants a higher up the chain title. He wants Asst. GM or Sr VP.
He basis his request off his Stuff+ ranking of 3rd in baseball and overall success with the Reds as Director of Pitching.
That leap didn’t fly within the organization. He wasn’t going to supplant the people above him, the Reds wanted him to stay, but Kyle wants more. That is the story from Kyle himself.
This isn’t a Reds failure, unless you think Kyle deserves Asst. GM or Senior VP after 2 years. We’ll see if he ends up in that role somewhere else or just as a special assistant / adviser role.
When your Senior Director of the Farm leaves mid-season, and your director of pitching and your hitting coordinator both leave on the same day during the season – even if it was late in the year – that screams problematic somewhere along the lines.
I’m not worried just because of Kyle Boddy leaving. Three very high ranking people in the farm system up and left during the season. Think about that.
Here is an article about midway through Eric Lee’s tenure with the Reds. The kind of evaluation and critique he is providing (and sharing with the public at that) is the kind of critique that must be backed by the highest levels of leadership. Eric’s presentation to the students of Miami University sounds like it should have been spoken internally not externally as well.
Either way, it all the confirms narrative that there is an entrenched way of doing things at the Reds organization, which is very large, that newcomers and outsiders are not or were not able to enact comprehensive change upon.
To add on to what Doug and others said about coaches leaving in-season, the other elephant in the room regarding the direction of this organization is the extension of David Bell.
Doug, what is your opinion on whether Cedrola could play CF and (with a tad more seasoning at AAA) be paired with Friedl in a platoon?
I mean, he can play center defensively. I just don’t know that he’ll ever hit enough to be a starting caliber type of guy. It’s possible, but he’ll need to basically max out his skillset and that’s just a rarity for anyone to do. He has a 5th outfielder type of feel to me more than a potential starter.
I think the Reds should give him another chance at the AAA level to see if his breakout continues or if it was all just a fluke.
I’m bullish on Cedrola, but not to a point where I think he’s the future CF. I do think he may get a shot sometime in 22, but it’s because of lack of better/healthy options. Below is the scouting report on him from MLB.com in 2016.
Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 30 | Run: 65 | Arm: 55 | Field: 60 | Overall: 45
“A month before the Red Sox spent $63 million in bonuses and penalties to sign Yoan Moncada, they found a bargain on the international market in Cedrola. They signed him out of Venezuela for $35,000 in February 2015, and moved him to center field after he had worked out for clubs as a shortstop. He has transitioned to his new position well and led the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League in hits (62) and doubles (14) during his 2016 U.S. debut.
Cedrola’s signature tool is his well above average speed. He’s still learning to make the most of his quickness on the bases but it already plays well in center field, where he shows advanced instincts. The solid arm strength that he displayed at shortstop is an asset in center.
At the plate, Cedrola displays impressive bat-to-ball skills. He won’t ever have a lot of power, though he can sting some balls into the gaps and might hit 10-12 homers annually in his prime. He makes a lot of contact but could use some more patience at the plate to enhance his on-base ability and give him a chance to use his speed.“
2017 Scouting report:
Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 30 | Run: 60 | Arm: 55 | Field: 60 | Overall: 45
Cedrola has a chance to have four solid or better tools, with his well above-average speed (which projects as plus once he’s physically mature) standing out the most. While he’s still refining his skills as a basestealer, his quickness already plays well in center field, where he shows advanced instincts. The solid arm strength he showed at shortstop is an asset in center and also will allow him to play either corner.
Cedrola has uncanny bat-to-ball skills for a teenager and could develop into a high-average hitter. While he makes easy contact, he could use more patience to improve his on-base ability and maximize the use of his speed. That will be important because he’s not very physical and won’t ever be a power hitter, though he can sting some balls into the gaps.“
By 23 or 24 I think one of McLain or De La Cruz will probably be the future CF.
Isn’t Lopez the kind of player that certain teams would be able to use as a starting 2b? I think about the 2015 Royals, how they just got hits and hits and hits. When you *just* need a single, this is a great player to have in your lineup. Maybe his defense isn’t above average?
Are lack of innings for Lodolo and only a half season for McLain why they aren’t on All Star list?
Lodolo yes – he simply didn’t have the innings to crack the list for me. Innings matter and while Lodolo was dominant when he was out there, everyone that made the list as a starter more than doubled his innings. McClain wasn’t a better option for shortstop than Barrero, limited playing time or not – the numbers weren’t close. And if we’re going to try to slide him in as DH…. Carlos Jorge was also significantly better from a numbers standpoint (though at a lower level, but also was significantly younger, too).
Give Boddy a shiny title. He was actually getting results. The farm is loaded up with possibilities. Doubt this happened by chance while Boddy & others now gone were overseeing development.
Check out the Reds page with all the people they employ. It’s quite an undertaking. To give Boddy so much credit is something not even he can do. He has to give credit to the scouts, the coaches, the player, etc. His hat is hung on the development of pitchers, especially those whose skills markedly improved with his techniques. It’s hard to give him credit for premium talent like Greene or Lodolo, but maybe an Ashcraft (who was once thought of as a 1st round talent years ago) or Spiers or Branche? We will know more as the next year goes by. BTW, again check out the Reds website for all the people involved with talent and development.
Maybe the younger guys have yet to receive a projected FV, but do any of the all stars besides Green have a projected FV above 50?
Jose Barrero. Nick Lodolo. Elly De La Cruz. You might get a few people to throw a 55 on Ashcraft.