Kyle Waldrop had a breakout season in 2014, though whether it was the real deal or a BABIP fueled mirage remains to be seen. The 22 year-old former 12th round draft pick hit the cover off the ball in Bakersfield before a mid-June call up to Pensacola where he actually managed to increase his slugging percentage despite his BABIP falling from .432 to a much more sustainable .357. Waldrop will likely spend a good deal of time in Louisville, and could shoot up lists next winter if he can build on the success he found this year. It's late and I'm tired, so no new names added today.
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Daniel Corcino, 24, SP
Highest 2014 Level: MLB (Cincinnati)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: 4.13 ERA in AA.
Most Worrisome Fact: 1.61 K/BB in AA.
Alias(es): 'Lil Cueto, Cuetinho
Daniel Corcino had one of those seasons that make you scratch your head. His 2013 was abysmal, so the Reds had him go back down to AA for 2014. He pitched decently well with a 4.13 ERA in 143.2 innings pitched. His K/BB ratio was below two. His walks were too high, and his strikes too low. To be honest, he was probably surviving from a low BABIP. He pitched a few innings at AAA, but then was a September call up to the Reds. He would pitch 18.2 innings with a 4.34 ERA in 3 starts and 2 relief appearances. His rate stats were basically the same in Cincinnati compared to Pensacola, albeit with a short sample size. Corcino has all the tools to be a very good pitcher with a mid 90's fastball and a very promising slider, but it is all about putting it together.
Jon Moscot, 23, SP
Highest 2014 Level: AAA (Louisville)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: 3.13 ERA at Pensacola in 2014
Most Worrisome Fact: 6.5 K/9 in 2014
Alias(es): Gopper, Moscot-o d'Asti
With a wealth of right-handed starting pitching prospects in the organization, it's easy to forget about Jon Moscot. The former 4th-round pick has climbed the organizational ladder all the way from rookie ball to AAA in just two and a half seasons. This season saw his strikeouts drop to an all-time low of 6.5 K/9 in 2014 from 8.6 K/9 in 2013, which is worrisome, but he was also able to lower his walk rate to 2.7 BB/9 on the year. Moscot doesn't have a huge arm, but his control is above average, and he commands 4 pitches. He'll likely start the season in Louisville, with a chance of getting a call-up should the Reds need a starting pitcher at some point this season.
Seth Mejias-Brean, 23, 3B/INF
Highest 2014 Level: AA (Pensacola)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: 14.1% BB% in A+ and 12.1% BB% in AA
Most Worrisome Fact: .088 ISO in 265 AA plate appearances.
Alias(es): Three Brean Casserole, Seth Matthews Band, Brean Burrito
Seth Mejias-Brean actually came in at #11 on our list last year, and did nothing to disappoint this year making it to AA after destroying the California League. Mejias-Brean doesn't have the highest ceiling, but does have a high floor making him a safe bet to have some kind of career in Cincinnati. Seth brings outstanding defense, a polished approach at the plate, good contact skills and a little bit of pop to the field every day. If you are worried about his AA numbers chalk it up to a low BABIP and ISO. His walk and strikeout rates were still pretty dang good. He will be 24 to start the season, so hopefully he can move fast. He's exactly the kind of bench bat the Reds are sorely missing.
Tucker Barnhart, 24, C
Highest 2014 Level: AAA (Louisville)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: .341 career MiLB OBP
Most Worrisome Fact: SLG (.316) lower than his OBP (.319) in AAA
Alias(es): Friar Tucker, Tucker? I hardly knew her!, Marshall, Drive By Tucker
Tucker Barnhart got his first taste of Major League ball this season, filling in twice for an injured Devin Mesoraco and getting a couple starts in September after rosters expanded. Two things seemed clear in the limited sample size Tucker spent with the Reds: his defense is major league ready, but the bat is not. Barnhart had his worst season at the plate in 2014, slashing .246/.319/.316 (all career lows) in Louisville. Prospects struggling in their first taste of AAA is nothing new, and nothing to worry about yet. Barnhart doesn't have a ton of distance between his floor and his ceiling, which is why he'll never be a sexy prospect, but a slick fielding catcher that can get on base is a valuable thing. Let's hope he can figure out how to get back on base his second go-'round in AAA.
Sal Romano, 21, SP
Highest 2014 Level: A (Dayton)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: 3.05 K/BB ratio
Most Worrisome Fact: 1.422 WHIP
Alias(es): Sweaty Sal, The Real Salvatore, Big Italy
Sal Romano was the taken in the 23rd round of the 2011 draft out of high school. He repeated Single A Dayton in 2014 and put up some pretty good numbers. He struck batters out at a decent clip (7.8 K/9) and kept batters off the bases via the walk (2.5 BB/9). He was susceptible to giving up hits, if you would reference his WHIP, but I want to chalk it up to that bad Dayton defense. Romano is a big kid, listed at 6'4 and 250 pounds. His fastball sits in the low to mid 90's and he has a good curveball. There is a lot to like about Sal, and good reason the Reds paid him over slot to skip out on attending the University of Tennessee.