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Reds 2011 Prospects Among Best in Baseball America: A Fan Perspective
St. Louis is heading to the World Series, and Milwaukee came to within two games of winning the pennant. What does the rest of the N.L. Central have to cherish from the 2011 season?
Cincinnati may have finished third in the division, but it finished first in a category that is vitally important for the future. The Reds organization had three players make Baseball America's top twenty in their respective Triple-A leagues, more than any other team in the N.L. Central.
Here are the Reds prospects who were recognized among their league's top prospects.
Catcher Devan Mesoraco
Mesoraco was the number one position player from the International League, behind only two pitchers as BA's overall selection. Mesoraco's numbers at Louisville were impressive enough to earn him a September call-up with Major League team.
"Mesoraco has a consistent stroke with some loft, giving him power from left field to the right-center gap," BA's report stated. "He demonstrates good knowledge of the strike zone and presents no holes for opposing pitchers to exploit."
Shortstop Zach Cozart
Mesoraco's Louisville teammate was selected as the 11th best player in the International league, and he was the only shortstop to crack the top twenty. Infielder Todd Frazier(notes), who like Mesoraco and Cozart joined the big league club at some point, was selected as International League prospect number twenty.
The second reds catcher to make BA's top ten list was listed as the number nine prospect in the Double-A Southern League. The 12th overall pick in 2010 hit .301 for Carolina after being promoted from Single-A Bakersfield.
"Grandal is a balanced hitter with good bat speed and an advanced approach at the plate," BA's report stated. "He understands the strike zone and uses the whole field, so he should be able to hit for a high average."
Shortstop Billy Hamilton
The exciting Hamilton was named as the number two prospect in the low Class A Midwest League, where he accumulated 103 stolen bases with the Dayton Dragons. He was the only shortstop to make the top ten in BA's list.
"Hamilton recognizes that he has little power and focuses on working counts, hitting the ball on the ground and getting on base," BA's report stated. "He made adjustments after batting .195 through late May and hit .316 the rest of the way."
LHP Tony Cingrani
The overall number eight prospect in the Rookie-advanced Pioneer League, Cinrani had an impressive 1.75 ERA with Billings.
The Billings second baseman was named as the number ten Pioneer League prospect, after hitting .298 with good power.
Doug Poe once delivered newspapers to Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan and Tony Perez, three customers who have made him a lifelong Reds fan.
Baseball America ,Issue no.1122,October 17-30,2011
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