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2005 Red Reporter Top 40 Prospects: A Look Back, Part II

30) Tyler Pelland, 22, SP, 102.1 IP, 4.05 ERA, 103/63 K/BB, Sarasota

Very nice K rate, but just like Phil Dumatrait, he's got to learn better control.  Only allowed 5 HR at Sarasota, after only allowing 9 in 2004 (which was split between Billings and Dayton).  Love to see that in a pitcher that's hopefully going to be working at GABP eventually.

29.) Brian Shackelford, 29, RP, 32.2 IP, 5.23 ERA, 21/10 K/BB, Louisville; 29.2 IP, 2.43 ERA, 17/9 K/BB Cincinnati

A very pleasant surprise, and just in the nick of time too for Shackelford.  Brian converted to pitching pretty late in his career, so his clock was ticking pretty loudly going into 2005, and he made the best of it.  You don't want to read too much into 29.2 IP, but kudos to him for succeeding.  He probably won't be nearly as good in the future, but if he continues to progress than he could possibly be a candidate for a sub 4.00 ERA out of the pen

28) Steve Smitherman, 27, OF, 313 AB, .278/.379/.486, Chattanooga; 141 AB, .248/.272/.333, Louisville

He really hits a brick wall when he's promoted past AA, for whatever reason.  It seems as if he might simply be pressing (look at his uncharacteristic lack of patience in AAA), so hopefully he'll settle down and relax this coming season.  Still needs a trade in the worst kind of way if he wants to ever collect a major league pension.

27) Daylan Childress, 27, RP

Was left off the Reds 40 man and was claimed by the Minnesota Twins.  I don't think the Reds felt terribly bad about the situation after Childress put up a 5.19 ERA at the Twins AA level and a 8.10 ERA for their AAA club.

26.) D.J. Mattox, 25, SP, 72.2 IP, 5.94 ERA, 62/37 K/BB, Sarasota

You can usually just toss out a pitcher's first season back from Tommy John surgery, but you'd still like to see better results than this, especially from a 25 year old pitching at the high-A level.  The Reds have alot invested in Mattox so I'm sure he'll stick around for another year or two, but he'll need to improve quite a bit in '06 to be taken seriously as a future major leaguer.

25). Matt Belisle, 25, P, 85.2 IP, 4.41 ERA, 59/26 K/BB, Cincinnati

Belisle was one of the great success stories of 2005, and is a potential bright spot going forward.  His ERA was actually down around 4.00 for much of the year, but an extremely rough September brought it down a bit.  I'm a believer that Belisle ought to be given a shot in the rotation next year, but regardless of how he's used he can be counted on to put up an ERA under 4.50.  I'm sure we all realize that's not a small thing for a Cincinnati Reds pitcher.  I should have had Belisle a lot higher on my list last spring, but I'm not sure I could have possibly predicted the year that he had.

24.) Dane Sardinha, 26, C, 299 AB, .224/.284/.358, Louisville; 3 AB, .000/.000/.000, Cincinnati

He's never even going to be backup material with an on base percentage that far below .300.  There's just no way a team can afford that kind of offensive hit; it doesn't matter how good his defense might be.

The Reds system is so bereft of catching that it's ridiculous.  They need to trade for one or two advanced (AA and above) catching prospects, and they need to do it soon. That probably ought to be the organization's number two priority, right behind the eternal number one, the need to acquire pitching. Keeping LaRue and Valentin around would be smart as well.  There's just nothing to replace either one.

23.) Ty Howington, 25, SP, 5.0 IP, 3.80 ERA, 1/0 K/BB, GCL Reds

In ten years, Reds fans will be able elicit laughter from other Reds fans by simply uttering the name "Ty Howington".

22.) Jesse Gutierrez, 27, 1B, 100 AB, .310/.360/.530, Chattanooga

Guy was raking until the injury hit.  Gutierrez is one of those guys who might play a handful of games in the big leagues some day, or he might not, but it's a certainty that he'll never be a regular anywhere.  At the same time, he's one of those players where you can see how things could have probably been better for him with just a tad more luck.

21.) Brian Peterson, 27, C, 348 AB, .270/.323/.411, Chattanooga

I don't have any numbers to back this up, but Peterson had an atrocious start to his season.  So take those numbers above with a grain of salt, because he really came on for the last few months.

I believe Brian is a six year free agent now, and I think it'd be silly to let him leave with the Reds' lack of catching depth.  He'd be a much better backup option than Dane Sardinha or Miguel Perez since both of them can't hit to save their lives.  

Tomorrow: A look back at prospects 20-11.