The Cincinnati Reds have eight prospects committed to participate in the Arizona Fall League. Current rosters are still preliminary, so it’s possible things could get shaken up a bit before play opens Oct. 8. The Reds team up with prospects from the Los Angeles Dodgers, Miami Marlins, Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox to form the Glendale Desert Dogs. Here’s a snapshot of the players slated to head to the desert this fall.
Michael Lorenzen – The No. 38 overall pick of this year’s draft, the Reds weren’t shy about moving Lorenzen up the line. His participation in the AFL is yet another indication the team may move him through the minors at a rapid pace. The 21-year-old reliever made it all the way up to Double-A, finishing the season with a 3.00 ERA and 8.1 K/9 over 21 innings pitched between four levels. The right-hander is still very much a work in progress, as he pitched just 45 innings over two seasons at Cal State Fullerton.
Ryan LaMarre – He seems to have stalled out somewhat at Double-A, so LaMarre could benefit greatly from a big AFL. The 24-year-old hit .246/.326/.373 for Pensacola before earning a late-season call-up to Triple-A. He was once regarded as a well-rounded talent, but his stolen bases have dropped from 55 to 30 to 23 while only seeing his home runs go from six to five to 10. The power spike is nice, but with just a 62.9 percent success rate in 2013 he’s probably not going to steal many bases going forward.
Yorman Rodriguez – A great athlete with five-tool potential, Rodriguez still has some work do to when it comes to his plate discipline. The right fielder split the season between High-A and Double-A, striking out 153 times in 129 games. On the plus side, he did show signs of some of his power potential, hitting 13 home runs to go with 35 doubles while slugging .427. He just turned 21 last month.
Chad Rogers – He’s nothing to get excited about as a prospect, but Rogers has been a solid performer since being drafted in the 28th round back in 2010. He dominated Double-A between the end of 2012 and the start of this season, posting a 2.13 ERA and 1.05 WHIP over 19 starts. The 24-year-old had a 4.22 ERA over 12 starts in Triple-A. There will certainly be better prospects in the AFL, but few may be closer to reaching the big leagues than Rogers, though he’ll probably be a long reliever/mop-up man once he gets there.
Tucker Barnhart – Taken in the 10th round of the 2009 Draft, Barnhart has posted some impressive defensive numbers behind the plate. He caught 37 percent of baserunners trying to steal last season, and has an impressive 42 percent mark over parts of five minor league seasons. What stands out most about Barnhart is his plate discipline. This year, the 22-year-old struck out 57 times and drew 45 walks in 98 games for Double-A Pensacola. He hit .260/.348/.348.
Jamie Walczak – Drafted out of Mercyhurst College in the 15th round of the 2009 Draft, Walczak reached Double-A this season. The slow progression has a lot to do with the fact he didn’t pitch until his senior season in college. The 26-year-old right-hander had a 3.82 ERA and averaged 11.7 K/9 over 33 innings for Pensacola. He served a 50-game suspension earlier this season for testing positive for an amphetamine.
Drew Hayes – Drafted out of Vanderbilt in 2010, Hayes dominated the lower levels of the minors. Things turned sour for him this year. He had a 5.43 ERA and gave up an average of 10.4 H/9 as a 25-year-old in Double-A. A right-handed reliever, Hayes had 8.7 K/9 and 4.7 BB/9 over 63 innings.
Travis Mattair – Acquired in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft in 2011, Mattair left baseball in 2010 to give college basketball a shot. The 6-foot-5 corner infielder hit .242/.315/.364 with 13 home runs over 132 games for Double-A Pensacola. The 24-year-old was originally drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the second round of the 2007 Draft.