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Taking a look at the preliminary 2016 Louisville Bats roster

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Look at all the prospects

Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

With the start of the major league season comes the less trumpeted but just as exciting and fun start of the minor league season. Aaron previewed yesterday the Pensacola Blue Wahoo roster and it's potentially electrifying rotation.

Today, let's take a look at the preliminary roster down in Louisville, which has just as many names to watch as any.

Pitchers
Tim Adleman RHP
Tim Melville RHP
Cody Reed LHP
Josh Smith RHP
Dayan Diaz RHP
A.J. Morris RHP
JC Ramirez RHP
Pedro Villarreal RHP
Ryan Mattheus RHP
Chad Rogers RHP
Drew Hayes RHP
Layne Somsen RHP
Steve Delabar RHP

Stephen Johnson RHP

There are some very familiar and very exciting names here. And you also have to keep in mind that Reds number 1A (or 1B) prospect Robert Stephenson will also be on this list, just as soon as he's finished filling in on Thursday for the Reds rotation.

Cody Reed is the other big name here. He's the only lefty on the staff and, depending on how you evaluate prospects, is at least the co-ace on this staff. He'll likely be starting Thursday when the Bats open in Toledo, just around the time Stephenson's game will be wrapping up in Cincinnati.

Tim Adleman and Tim Melville are familiar names in that they were rumored to be inline to make the big league club. There was one less hole to fill after Alfredo Simon was signed, and the Reds obviously erred on the side of... I don't know, prospectiness?

Filling out a likely rotation is Josh Smith, who split time between almost all of the Reds organizational teams last year, including the Reds. Josh Smith is exactly as boring as his name suggests, but he fills exactly the role that the Reds need him to fill and does it admirably.

There are many familiar relievers, including Pedro Villarreal and Ryan Mattheus who spent a large amount of time in Cincinnati in 2015. Steve Delabar was just picked up on Saturday and was once an All Star in Toronto. Stephen Johnson was the return for Marlon Byrd in last year's post-deadline waiver trade with the Giants. Johnson is fresh off a 0.486 WHIP in 12 innings at the AFL.

Catchers Infielders Outfielders
Chris Berset Brandon Allen Steve Selsky
Ramon Cabrera Jermaine Curtis Bryson Smith
Hernan Iribarren Kyle Waldrop
Seth Mejias-Brean Jesse Winker
Jose Peraza
Juan Perez
Carlos Triunfel

The names to watch here are the obvious ones. Jose Peraza was just a razor's edge from making the Reds out of spring training, but the Reds decided they couldn't find the everyday at bats they felt he deserved. So Peraza will apply his trade in Louisville until an injury or trade opens a spot in Cincinnati.

Jesse Winker is making his AAA debut and there are a lot of feelings that he could play left field for the Reds right now. A little surprisingly, the Reds are able to field a halfway competent left field platoon. Which is good for Winker, because coupled with the fact that the team isn't going to compete, they don't have to rush their top rated position prospect to The Show.

Kyle Waldrop is here again and still only and still only 24 years old, but he was underwhelming last year and is going to need make some strides. Seth Mejias-Brean is here, just steadily rising up the ranks as he always has. Steve Selsky is still here, too, fresh off a surprisingly strong 200 PAs in 2015.

As mentioned, Louisville opens up their schedule tomorrow against the Mud Hens. Red Reporter will be chronicling all of the happenings in the Reds minor leagues, as always. If you fancy yourself a prospector, stay tuned.