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Mesoraco, Sappelt in Southern League Top 20


   Since we can use a dose of good news, Baseball America has supplied it in the form of two Reds farmhands being ranked in the Southern League Top 20.

   Catcher Devin Mesoraco and center fielder David Sappelt checked in at Nos. 7 and 15, respectively. Mesoraco also ranked fifth in the Carolina League and we discussed him a bit already, so this post will focus more on Sappelt.

   The 5-foot-9, 193-pound Sappelt (23) won the Southern League batting title with a .361 average and was named the circuit's most valuable player. How can the league MVP rank only as its 15th-best prospect? Ask BA, which looks much more at projection, potential and tools than stats.

   Sappelt finished with a line of 9-62-.361/.416/.548. He smacked 19 doubles and eight triples. Despite his excellent speed, the former Coastal Carolina star was successful on just 15 of 28 stolen base attempts. BA writer Ian Gordon was impressed with Sappelt's ability to make adjustments at the plate and indicated the speedy outfielder should hit for average with "surprising pop for his size,' while lamenting the fact that Sappelt needs to be more patient and stop trying to pull the ball so much. Sappelt's range and above average arm also drew praise.

   Gordon also likes middle infielder Kris Negron, lauding him much more for his speed and defense than his bat.

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