minor league notebook has a preview of the AA Southern League, and here's what they say about the Carlolina Mudcats:
Todd Frazier (3B/SS/LF), Yonder Alonso (1B), Juan Francisco (3B). The Mudcat batting line-up could potentially be one of the best in all of minor league baseball anchored by these three mashers in the middle of the line-up. Frazier is the most well-rounded and experienced hitter of the bunch. In two levels of A ball Frazier’s numbers were .291/.368/.485/.853 while hitting 30 doubles, 3 triples and 19 homers. Alonso is rated the highest prospect in the Red’s organization even after limited pro plate appearances. However, he showed the same skills he did as a first round pick out of Miami during the, now defunct, Hawaiian Winter League hitting .308/.419/.510/.929 in just over 100 at bats. Power and patience will be his trademark. Lastly, Francisco showed massive power potential and rocked High A Sarasota and the Dominican Winter League with a total of 35 homers and 43 doubles in 2008 (not including the Dominican Winter League playoffs).
Other prospects to watch for in 2009
Chris Heisey (OF), Logan Parker (1B), Zach Stewart (RHRP), Jordan Smith (RHSP), Pedro Viola (LHSP), Sean Henry (OF), Ramon Geronimo (RHRP), Travis Wood (LHSP) and Alexander Smit (LHSP).
That really is a ton of talent. My money is on Zach Stewart to make it to the Show first.
The Indians have finally given up on fallen prospect Andy Marte, as he was DFA'd to make room for a quad-A middle reliever. The Reds don't really have room for him with EdE entrenched at 3B and the glut of talent we have there in the high minors, but Dave Cameron thinks he could be another Brandon Phillips-type. I agree. He could be a really smart pick-up for a team with a roster spot and 500 ABs to spare. The Giants and Twins need a 3B.
Jinaz has caught a touch of the spring fever, as he is feeling optimistic about the Reds chances at a .500 season. It's been going around lately.
Add another name to the list of Reds playing in the WBC. Jerry Hairston Jr didn't even know he was eligible until the Mexican team asked him (his mother was born and raised south of the border). He and his brother Scott will be playing for Mexico. And in case you were wondering, Billy Bray started throwing. He had sat out a few days due to shoulder troubles.
In "now you know the rest of the story" news, Mike Stanton is a non-roster invitee to Cubs camp this spring. He talks about his break up with the Reds last spring, when he was released by the team just days after his brother died of cirrhosis. He said:
''There was a lot of bitterness, especially shortly after that,'' he said. ''There was a lot of emotion I was having to try to pull through. The sadness of losing my brother. The whole way the situation with the Reds turned out. There was a lot of bitterness for a couple of months. And then the competitive juices started taking over again.''
He plans on winning a job in an already crowded Cubs bullpen. Stanton was a favorite punching bag here at RR because of his lackluster performance and hefty contract, but I hadn't heard about the loss of his brother. That doesn't change his miserable '07 season, but dumping him just a few days after that is kind of rough. I wish him all the best with the Cubbies.
Mark Sheldon has a few quotes from Jonny Gomes, regarding his spit-and-vinegar reputation: "That stuff isn't going to win you a ballgame. It's not going to lose you a ballgame either."