You saw nyc's recap of the first five Burning Questions this morning, and I'm here to present Part 2. In this section, we'll deal with questions relating to the organization as a whole, instead of looking at individual players. Let's recap what we were talking about last year real quick, continuing the discussion from earlier:
6. Will a catcher of the future emerge this season?
7. Will the large pool of international players start yielding some legitimate top prospects?
8. Will prospects be promoted aggressively or will the organization maintain a conservative approach?
9. Will the Reds be aggressive with the draft, or continue being major players in the international market? What can they afford to do? Can they do both?
10. What positions will the Reds target in the draft and international market this year? Will they draft/sign based on need or get the best players they can?
Question 1 was mainly aimed at Devin Mesoraco, and he delivered in a big way. I still think question 2 is up in the air, and that 3 and 5 are kind of left unanswered. Question 4 was answered with kind of a "none of the above" response, with a cautious draft strategy and no big international signings.
What about this year?
With Devin Mesoraco on the fast track, what happens to all of these backstops?
I don't think anyone could have predicted the monster year that Mesoraco had last year and that a polished prospect like Grandal would be on the board by draft time, but now the Reds have two catchers that they have a lot of money invested in who are both close to contributing on the big league level. Throw in Ryan Hanigan into that mix and there's potentially three quality catchers under team control in a few years, not to mention who steps up in that time. This year will be another year of seeing how things shake out.
Guess the Bat!
Where are all of these pitchers going to go?
With the logjam of guys at the top, it's inevitable that a few of these guys are going to fall to AAA. That leaves all kinds of pitchers like Justin Lehr, Sam LeCure, Matt Maloney, Chad Reineke, and Matt Klinker battling for spots in the Bats rotation, along with whoever falls down from the big league camp, but there's still not going to be room for everybody right away. Will we see names go to the bullpen at some point, like Jordan Smith did last year?
Will any of the international middle infielders have success in the higher levels?
All of a sudden, there are tons of middle infielders in the low minors. Didi Gregorius, Miguel Rojas, Henry Rodriguez, Junior Arias, Ronald Torreyes... and the list goes on. How many of these guys are ready to make the leap?
With young talent seemingly at every stop in the system, will the organization try a riskier approach in the draft?
Even with a relatively deep system, the Reds still haven't taken a high schooler in the first round in the Walt Jocketty era. The team made up for that caution in the later rounds by going with riskier picks, but now that the Reds can afford to take risks earlier in the draft, will they continue to play it safe?
After a quiet year in 2010, will the Reds make a splash in the international market?
After landing players like Yorman Rodriguez and Juan Duran, the Reds didn't do much at all last year in the realm of big-money internationals. Will that change this year?
What do you guys think?