The Little Red Machine

The Cincinnati Reds do not get enough credit for having a solid 2007 draft. Almost one year later, the Reds continue to reap the rewards of that draft, after the club skillfully combined prep and college picks together to creating an intriguing mix for the future.

Catcher Devin Mesoraco, drafted out of a Pennsylvania high school, was the club’s highest pick at 15th overall. He was a late riser as the draft approached and was not considered a first round pick when the high school season began in 2007. He has a nice combination of skills but he adjusted to pro ball slowly, not surprisingly for a 19 year old, and hit .219/.310/.270 in the Rookie League in 2007. He began 2008 in Extended Spring Training but has just been promoted to full season ball in the Midwest League, so it will be interesting to see how he adjusts.

Todd Frazier was the 34th overall out of Rutgers University and has been on the prospect radar since he was a kid. He also has two brothers who have played pro ball. Frazier is currently at shortstop but many feel he will have to move to third base as he climbs the ladder towards a major league career. He had a nice debut in 2007 and hit .319/.405/.538 over two levels. The Reds were cautious with him in 2008 and started him out at Dayton, where he ended last season, and he hit .321/.402/.598. The right-handed batter beat up on southpaws to the tune of .414/.485/.724. He was just promoted to High-A ball.

Right-handed pitcher Scott Carroll, who was drafted 104th overall out of Missouri State University, has been solid but not flashy. After a nice performance in the Pioneer League last season, Carroll has again been good, but not overwhelming, in the Midwest League. He has a 2.97 ERA in six starts, but he has struck out only 14 batters in 30.1 innings of work. He has done a respectable job of keeping the ball in the yard and has allowed only one homer. If he can miss a few more bats, he could be an interesting middle-of-the-rotation option.

Right-hander Kyle Lotzkar (British Columbia high school, 53rd overall), infielder Neftali Soto (Puerto Rico, 109th overall) and catcher Jordan Wideman (Ontario high school, 349th overall) are some other interesting prospects to keep an eye out for when the short season leagues begin play shortly after the June Amateur Draft.

We hoped you liked reading The Little Red Machine by Marc Hulet!

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Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.

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Too bad they just jettisoned the guy largely responsible for drafts like this…the former scout, who helped rebuild the system from the ground up, as he did before in Minnesota and Texas….replacing him with a guy with a track record of drafting and developing very few players.