While we're all still scratching our melons, trying to figure out what the heck Walt is thinking these days, let's look at how the youngsters did in the Arizona Fall League, which wrapped up last Saturday. The Reds changed affiliates for some reason, no longer with the Peoria Javelinas - which featured the likes of Didi Gregorious, Billy Hamilton and Donald Lutz in 2012. The 2013 season saw the Reds' farmhands don the uniforms of the Glendale Desert Dogs, who finished 13-16, good enough for 2nd place in the Western Division.
Yorman Rodriguez - .271/.323/.435 - 85 AB, 4 HR, 2 2B, 13 RBI
2013 could be considered a breakout year for Our Man, as he slashed .259/.324/.427 across two levels. It remains to be seen whether the toolsy outfielder has actually turned a corner, but his status in the organization had been waning in the last couple of years, so it was nice to see him take a step forward. He continued his successful season in the AFL, OPSing .758, and leading the Desert Dogs in RsBI, while showing above average defense in center and right. Plate discipline is still Rodriguez's biggest issue (27 K, 7 BB), but he can absolutely destroy a baseball when he gets ahold of one, as evidenced by his 438 foot bomb, which was good for second longest in the AFL this season.
Tucker Barnhart - .245/.356/.306 - 49 AB, 0 HR, 2 2B, 2 RBI
Tucker Barnhart did his best Ryan Hanigan impression in the AFL. Much like Hanigan, Tucker doesn't hit for much power, but can give you a quality at-bat (9 BB, 7 K) while providing plus defense behind the plate. After a full season in AA Pensacola last year, look for Barnhart to get the call to Louisville in 2014.
Travis Mattair - .236/.325/.361 - 72 AB, 2 HR, 3 2B, 7 RBI
Moose Mattair, a finalist for the Dernell Stenson Sportsmanship Award, struggled a bit at the plate, but flashed solid defense at both corner infield positions. As it stands now, Mattair profiles as a glove first corner infielder at best.
Ryan LaMarre - .400/.500/.400 - 5 AB
Hedy was only able to play in two games before an abdominal injury brought his season to a close.
MIchael Lorenzen - 11.42 ERA, 17.1 IP, 2.37 WHIP, 5 K, 12 BB
Hands down the Reds weirdest prospect, Lorenzen was drafted as the 38th overall pick in the 2013 draft, supposedly as a two-way player. He then got work at four different levels, only on the mound, in the span of just 2 months. Lorenzen's only "start" came in his one and only game in the AZL, where he threw one inning, before working exclusively out of the pen the rest of the year. The AFL numbers are obviously not pretty, but the Reds wanted to use his time in the AFL to get him acclimated to starting, so they were less concerned about the results. It will be interesting to see what happens with him next season.
Chad Rogers - 0.66 ERA, 13.2 IP, 1.02 WHIP, 12 K, 4 BB
Sharkbait looked great in the extreme offensive environment of the AFL, although he worked exclusively in relief. Rogers put up a solid year in 2013, moving from Pensacola to Louisville. He will likely start the year in the Bats' bullpen, and depending on how things shake out this winter, could be one of the first to get the call should a spot start be needed.
Drew Hayes - 0.82 ERA, 11 IP, 1.27 WHIP, 11 K, 7 BB
After a disappointing season with the Wahoos, Drew Hayes fared much better in the dry Arizona air. His lack of command is still his biggest issue.
Jamie Walczak - 4.11 ERA, 15.1 IP, 1.24 WHIP, 16 K, 10 BB