The Draft is over, rookie ball has begun, sample sizes are getting bigger, and the state of the Reds farm system is coming into sharper focus. The bad news: Many "top" prospects are faltering. The good news: There have been plenty of good surprises, and there should be plenty of talent to deal for a difference maker on the big club. Whether or not that happens, it's nice that it's a possibility for once! Here's a rundown of the system on the team level:
LOUISVILLE BATS (AAA) - The Bats are 44-48, still dead last in their division, 11.5 games back of Columbus. Offensively, the Bats are not much to sneeze at, with Drew Sutton's .376 OBP being the lone bright spot, good 6th in the IL. Zack Cozart has 20 SB, which puts him in a tie for 6th. Luckily, their pitching is better. Chad Reineke and Travis Wood are currently 6th and 8th in the league respectively, with 3.04 and 3.12 ERAs. Wood is also 5th in strikeouts with 97, and Aroldis Chapman is right behind him with 90.
CAROLINA MUDCATS (AA) - The Mudcats have had a much more successful start to their second half, and currently sit at 11-8 so far, good for first place in their division. They've had some good offensive performances, led by Dave Sappelt who leads the league with a .338 batting average, and Sean Henry, who is 10th at .301. Sappelt's OPS of .884 is also good for 4th in the league, and Kris Negron is 5th with 23 SB. Matt Klinker, since promoted, still leads the league with a 1.75 ERA and is 2nd with a .97 WHIP.
LYNCHBURG HILLCATS (A+) - The Hillcats are 7-11 so far in the 2nd half, 4.5 back from Wilmington. Cody Puckett is 8th in the league in OPS at .850, and Neftali Soto and Devin Mesoraco are 4th and 5th in the league in HR with 11 and 10 respectively. Devin's came in only 158 ABs. Mark Serrano is the only pitcher on the leaderboard, 8th in strikeouts with 72.
DAYTON DRAGONS (A) - The Dragons have picked up the second half where they left off the first, starting 7-11 and sitting in 7th place in their 8 team division. Cameron Satterwhite has played well, but not enough to qualify for any league leaderboards. No Dragons pitchers make the top 10 in any category, except our friend JC Sulbaran, who has issued the 5th most walks in the league.
BILLINGS MUSTANGS (Rookie) - The Mustangs are 11-11 to start their year, only 2 games back in the Pioneer League North race behind Great Falls. Jonathan Kaskow is 8th in the league with a .988 OPS, and his 3 HR are tied for 5th. The Mustangs have speed, as shown by Jefry Sierra, who's tied for 2nd in SB with 7, as well as Billy Hamilton, who's tied for 6th with 5. Daniel Tuttle is the leader of the pitching staff, with a 3.12 ERA which is good for 8th in the league. He's also the first starter in the league to get to 3 wins, in just 5 starts, and has 21 K, which is 5th in the league. Porfirio Martinez has 3 saves out of the bullpen, and has been nails so far with a 1.80 ERA in 10 innings.
AZL Reds (Rookie) - The AZL Reds have started 7-12 and are last in the AZL Central division. Tough to make too much out of 3 weeks of games, but there have been some very good performances. This year's #31 pick Dominic D'Anna is 3rd in the league with a .426 average and 3rd with an 1.136 OPS. He's the league OBP leader (.545) on the strength of 12 walks against just 10 Ks in 17 games. SS Junior Arias is 4th with 4 homers and a .620 SLG. The pitching has been less stellar, but Ismael Guillon is 9th with a 2.45 ERA.
Check after the jump for a rundown of the top prospects!
#1 Aroldis Chapman - LHSP - 5-6, 4.32 ERA, 90 K, 47 BB (Louisville) Chapman's been a bullpen pitcher for the last month of so, with an outlook to maybe join the Cincinnati bullpen later on in the year. His 5.79 ERA as a reliever may prevent that from happening.
#2 Todd Frazier - 3B/LF - .239/.301/.434, 12 HR, 38 RBI (Louisville) He's been much better lately after a prolonged, deep slump to start the year. He's OPSing 1.019 in his last 10 games, so hopefully these very pedestrian yearly numbers continue to climb.
#3 Yonder Alonso - 1B - .266/.333/.404, 9 HR, 46 RBI (Louisville) Similar to Frazier, he's been heating up of late. The most promising sign is his recent power surge-He's slugging .725 in his last 10 games, including 7 XBH. The LF experiment is over, so you figure he's still just trade bait, but hopefully he becomes more and more valuable as the season progresses.
#4 Mike Leake - RHSP - 6-1, 3.53 ERA, 70 K, 39 BB (Cincinnati) You already know. Moving on.
#5 Chris Heisey- OF - .286/.378/.557, 5 HR, 7 RBI (Cincinnati) Has stated a pretty compelling case for more playing time, as he's been getting it done offensively and defensively. Also, it's a tiny sample size, but he's hit righties better than lefties. Personally, I'd like to see him start 3-4 times a week: 2 for Gomes, 1 for Stubbs, and 1 for Bruce if there's a tough lefty.
#6 Juan Francisco - 3B - .276/.310/.502, 8 HR, 30 RBI (Louisville) Recently returned from injury and continued doing what he do: hitting the ball hard, whiffing a bunch, and almost never walking. His BB/K ratio is not improved one bit from his career averages.
#7 Travis Wood - LHSP - 5-6, 2.96 ERA, 114 K, 28 BB (Louisville, Cincinnati) Perfect game bids aside, Wood has still been very good this year. Will Dusty be able to take him out of the rotation when others return? He's shown that he's not a AAA pitcher.
#8 Yorman Rodriguez - CF - .375/.366/.525, 1 HR, 14 RBI (Billings) Currently recovering from a rib cage injury, but was hitting the ball well before he went down. The zero walks are a bit concerning, but it's important to remember the kid is still only 17. He's only 2 months older than Bryce Harper and already has over 300 PAs under his belt.
#9 Zack Cozart - SS - .255/.323/.431, 12 HR, 43 RBI (Louisville) The great Shortstop hope. Something must be in the water in Louisville, because he's yet another Bat to have improved lately, OPSing .867 in his last 10 games.
#10 Matt Maloney - LHSP - 6-7, 3.45 ERA, 72 K, 22 BB (Louisville, Cincinnati) The third part of the 3 headed rookie starter monster in Cincinnati has looked solid so far in the rotation. He may have a bullpen move in his future, but he's been fine so far when asked to step in as he's needed.
#11 Chris Valaika - 2B - .290/.322/.379, 2 HR, 34 RBI (Louisville) His average has come back to earth because of a regression in his average on balls in play. He finally hit a couple of homers, but the power needs to increase more if he wants to crack the big league roster.
#12 Brad Boxberger - RHSP - 4-6, 4.08 ERA, 77 K, 28 BB (Lynchburg) Boxy's in the bullpen now, for the rest of the year probably. He's on the Zach Stewart track from last year, which means we're probably going to trade him for Jermaine Dye, but he hasn't been good at all as a reliever. His ERA coming out of the 'pen is 12.79, with more walks than strikeouts.
#13 Neftali Soto - C/3B/1B - .260/.306/.434, 11 HR, 48 RBI (Lynchburg) Seems to have stalled out in Lynchburg a bit, as his numbers are almost identical to those from last season in Sarasota. He's also not catching anymore, so it's possible that experiment has ended as well.
#14 Devin Mesoraco - C - .316/.385/.616, 18 HR, 51 RBI (Carolina) The undisputed minor league hitter of the year so far for the organization. Those stats are for the whole year, but he's been raking in AA, OPSing .949. His defense has come along too, as he's throwing out about 50% of attempted base stealers. He's on about a 30-35 homer pace assuming about 130 games played.
#15 Billy Hamilton - SS/2B - .272/.348/.383, 0 HR, 4 RBI (Billings) Has been splitting time between 2B and SS due to the number of SS prospects on the Billings roster, but his defense at both has been spectacular. Making strides as a hitter, he's still adjusting to switch hitting and is still much better as a lefty.
#16 J.C. Sulbaran - RHSP - 4-5, 4.38 ERA, 77 K, 45 BB (Dayton) Disappointing. Still very wild and raw at a level he's repeating isn't a good sign so far. He's still young but he needs to turn his season around quickly to be on this list next year.
#17 Enerio Del Rosario - RHRP - 2-3, 3.27 ERA, 27 K, 15 BB (Louisville/Cincinnati) Been shuffled back and forth for most of this year, but should get another chance to get back up to the bigs to help contribute. He's looked good there in short flashes so far this year.
#18 Matt Klinker - RHSP - 8-5, 2.22 ERA, 89 K, 27 BB (Carolina/Louisville) Klinker is finally back where he belongs in AAA, and is starting to find a rhythm there. He pitched 6 shutout innings for the first time in his last outing, so hopefully he'll be able to keep it up for the rest of this year.
#19 Daniel Tuttle - RHSP - 3-1, 3.12 ERA, 21 K, 12 BB (Billings) He's started off at Billings' ace, and has been pretty solid. He's progressing nicely, and there's no reason to think that he won't be at a full-season level next year.
#20 Juan Duran - OF - .192/.289/.329, 2 HR, 10 RBI (Billings) In the midst of another disappointing season (so far). He's walking some and showing some power, so there's still hope, but after his dismal year in 2009 he could really use some success.
#21 Donnie Joseph - LHRP - 2-3, 1.04 ERA, 76 K, 13 BB (Dayton/Lynchburg) DoJo has been the best pitching prospect in the organization this year, and shows no signs of slowing down.
#22 Logan Ondrusek - RHRP - 0-1, 4.33 ERA, 31 K, 11 BB (Cincinnati/Louisville) Has been a very effective reliever since coming back up from Louisville. Let's hope he keeps it up.
#23 Daniel Dorn - OF/1B - .319/.395/.514, 6 HR, 20 RBI (Louisville) Back from injury and has to be wondering what he's gotta do to earn a call up. He should have Laynce Nix's roster spot, as he can play both corner OF spots and 1B, and hits righties the way Dusty thinks Nix does.
#24 Josh Fellhauer - OF - .260/.317/.368, 5 HR, 30 RBI (Lynchburg) A classic tweener: Doesn't really have the power for a corner OF spot, but his CF defense is shaky. Definitely not the follow up to his debut season that he was looking for. All is not lost, though, as there is definitely more power here than he has shown so far.
#25 Sam LeCure - RHSP - 6-6, 3.17 ERA, 73 K, 35 BB (Louisville/Cincinnati) LeCure saw his first cup of coffee in the big leagues, and wasn't as bad as the statistics indicate. He kept the team in games, and that's all you can ask for. He's hurt right now, but could be a face we see later on in the year in a bullpen role.
Top 5 Hitters (minimum 180 PAs)
Devin Mesoraco (C, Carolina)-.316/.385/.616, 1.001 OPS
Cameron Satterwhite (OF, Dayton)-.318/.353/.529, .882 OPS
Cody Puckett (2B, Lynchburg)-.273/.359/.492, .850 OPS
Dave Sappelt (CF, Carolina)-.325/.372/.467, .838 OPS
Juan Francisco (3B, Louisville)-.276/.310/.502, .813 OPS
Hitter to watch: Yonder Alonso: It seems a bit obvious, but now that he's fully a year removed from his wrist injury, expect to see the power return, and with it, the average as well.
Top 5 Pitchers, minumum 30 IP
Donnie Joseph (Lynchburg) - 2-3, 1.04 ERA, 76 K, 13 BB
Chase Ware (Lynchburg) 3-1, 1.49 ERA, 58 K, 13 BB
Matt Klinker (Louisville) - 8-5, 2.22 ERA, 89 K, 27 BB
Blair Carson (Dayton) - 3-3, 2.22 ERA, 30 K, 11 BB
Tom Cochran (Carolina) - 7-3, 2.33 ERA, 69 K, 34 BB
Pitcher to watch: Philippe Valiquette (LHRP) - 2-1, 4.12 ERA, 31 K, 22 BB If there's one guy that seems poised for a September call up, it's Philippe. The Futures Game participant is a hard throwing lefty and is already on the 40-man roster.