Yesterday we mentioned that Baseball America had begun releasing the 2015 edition of their Best Tools series, and after they dropped the MLB version first, today brought the AAA awards. The Cincinnati Reds haven't stashed a bevy of talent in Louisville lately, so it's not terribly surprising that the franchise is significantly less represented in the AAA announcement as the MLB one, but it's promising to see that the AAA managers did select Robert Stephenson as the International League's 'Best Pitching Prospect.' Considering that highly touted (and recently called-up) New York Yankees hurler Luis Severino took home a pair of best pitches nods, the competition that Bob Steve was picked from certainly had plenty of talent. There's no doubt he's a prized asset, and the Reds are surely hoping that at some point soon he can make an impact debut akin to previous AAA Best Pitching Prospects like Marcus Stroman and Gerrit Cole.
While we're on the topic of the Louisville Bats rotation, it's worth mentioning that it just got a bit thinner. Matt Buschmann (Go Dores!) was traded to the Baltimore Orioles for cash considerations, according to Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun. He's originally from St. Louis, by the way. A Busch man from St. Louis...imagine that.
Over at Cincinnati Magazine, friend of the blog Chad Dotson took a look at the statistical divergence of the Reds' two biggest stars, Joey Votto and Todd Frazier. With a game as streaky as baseball, the biggest wonder I got from this piece was this: what if 1st half Frazier had managed to happen at the same time as 2nd half Votto? That, for a stretch at least, would've produced some video game-y Ortiz/Ramirez, Ruth/Gehrig type numbers for a month, and hot dang it would've been amazing to watch. Maybe, just maybe, we'll see those kind of streaks coincide at some point while both are still in Cincinnati and in-prime.
Speaking of how hot Votto has been of late, Alec Dopp of Gammons Daily sure has noticed. If you're still one of those fans who never seems to think Votto is doing enough, there's likely nothing in this world that will be able to change your mind at his point. However, if there's one sliver of hope that you may still be able to realize how important getting on base is in a game with a finite number of outs, this piece might just be the one that does it for you.
Finally, C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer caught up with Eugenio Suarez, who seems to be taking his fine 2015 season in stride. Suarez hit 2nd in the lineup in Monday's game against the San Diego Padres, the highest in the batting order he's found his name so far this year, and it's indicative of Bryan Price's belief that he can be a solid major league contributor already. What's most interesting to note in this, though, is Price's admission that Suarez will get time at each of LF, 3B, 2B, and SS next spring, which appears to be a way of saying that they want his bat in the lineup but that Zack Cozart is expected to be back in enough capacity to still start at SS a heckuva lot. I've long thought positional versatility was a market inefficiency that the Reds have completely failed to tap into, but Suarez appears poised to be the team's first real attempt at seeing that play out (in the non aging, gritty, veteranny, actually awful defender category next to Skip Schumaker, that is). All that for one year of Alfredo Simon, eh? Not bad, Walt Jocketty. Not bad at all.