Missing the Cut - Reds

We just finished the baseball magazine Friday, and of course a big part of that magazine is our comprehensive A-Z player outlook section, where we write the previews for approximately 1,300-1,400 players.

But baseball is a huge universe, - we can't possibly write outlooks for every interesting player, especially for the magazine, where space is finite. But there are some players we agonized about cutting, that we'll likely cover significantly during the season. Over the next few weeks, I'm going to write about some of those players in this space, team-by-team.

We're crowd-sourcing this, though, too - tell me about the less obvious players you'd like to see covered, or weigh in on our omissions. All of our current outlooks are loaded on to the site, so you can check the player page for verification whether we covered a particular player.

Without further ado, here's our list:

Bill Bray - At the time we vetted the Reds, Bray was still on their 40-man roster, but it was pretty clear he had run his course with the team. Subsequently they non-tendered him, and he ultimately signed a minor league with his former club, the Nationals. Though he's on a minor league deal, he could still find a role with the Nats, as they lost Sean Burnett to free agency and only have Zach Duke among lefties in their bullpen.

Carlos Contreras - Contreras was among the guys we added to our database as the Reds added him to their 40-man roster. Our update on that essentially serves as an outlook: "Contreras is a six-foot, 165-pound right-handed reliever out of the Dominican Republic that spent most of 2012 at Low-A Dayton before pitching nine games at High-A Bakersfield. He was a closer at both levels, and posted a combined 3.12 ERA over 60.2 innings, with a 63:24 K:BB ratio. Look for him to start off at Bakersfield again and get assigned to Double-A quickly if he starts well."

Ismael Guillon - Like Contreras, Guillon was a 40-man roster addition that fell short. "Guillon improved big-time over last year, chopping his walk-rate in a big way. The 20-year-old Venezuelan lefty had a 2.29 ERA and 63:24 K:BB over 51 innings at Billings before pitching four games for Low-A Dayton. He's a slow-cook prospect, so don't be surprised if he spends half the 2013 season at Dayton."

Ryan LaMarre - LaMarre has good speed and plays good outfield defense, but he hasn't hit for power as a professional. To wit, in 2011, he had just 26 extra-base hits in 445 at-bats in the high-octane California League. He might end up as a utility outfielder someday, but his upside is as a poor man's Jarrod Dyson.

Dan Langfield - Langfield was the Reds' third-round pick last year. He struck out 54 batters in 37 innings in Rookie Ball, but also walked 17, and walks were an issue for him at college at the University of Memphis. Let's see him do it at a higher level (a common theme with this series).

Kyle Lotzkar - Lotzkar once was thought to have the livest arm this side of Aroldis Chapman in the organization, but he has had surgeries for a broken elbow bone (similar to Joel Zumaya) and a torn UCL. He made through a full season in 2012, however, and has some promise - he struck out 96 batters in 86.1 innings at Double-A Pensacola. But he also walked a whopping 53 while posting a 5.21 ERA.

Donald Lutz - Lutz already has spent a year on the Reds' 40-man roster, and ended up last year at Double-A Pensacola. He's a first baseman, which already limits his value in this organization. He hit 17 homers in 63 games for High-A Bakersfield, but just five in 40 games once he moved up. He was hitting well in the Arizona Fall League this offseason before breaking a finger.

Chris Manno - Most relief prospects aren't prospects at all. Those that are generally rocket through the system to get to the majors in short order. Exceptions do apply, of course, but Manno was just mediocre at Double-A last year, with a 3.78 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. He at least struck out 51 batters in 50 innings. The Reds got him in the Jonny Gomes deal.

Nick Masset - Masset's injury contributed to the Reds' decision to move Aroldis Chapman into the bullpen last year. After a number of fits-and-starts, Masset finally had shoulder surgery in September and is expected to begin a throwing regimen soon. I wouldn't count on him coming back at least for a few months into the season.

Juan Perez - Perez has some pop (44 extra base hits at Low-A Dayton) and speed (24 SBs), but is raw in both respects. Still, this will be his age 21 season, and Dayton is a hard park to hit.

Josh Ravin - Another 40-man roster addition. "Ravin was converted to relief work this season after spending most of his professional career as a starter following his selection in the fifth round of the 2006 draft. The decision to protect Ravin from the Rule 5 draft is a bit of a surprise - he's had two rough campaigns at the Double-A wall (5.25 ERA and a 22:20 K:BB in 24 innings in 2012)."

Todd Redmond - Redmond is the answer to a pretty obscure, not important trivia question - "who was the only pitcher outside the Reds' five-man rotation to get a start in 2012?" That start came only on the basis of a rainout makeup doubleheader. Acquired from the Braves for Paul Janish, Redmond is no prospect at age 27, but at least he missed bats at Triple-A last year.

Yorman Rodriguez - Rodriguez was a 16-year old bonus baby from Venezuela, but he hasn't quite developed as the Reds had hoped. He flopped at High-A this year and had to be sent back down to Dayton. Rodriguez has a lot of raw tools that he hasn't yet converted into skills.

Juan Silva - Silva had a .793 OPS and 24 SBs at Low-A Dayton last year - decent for that tough ballpark - but as a 21-year old, he needs to test himself against tougher competition.

Nick Travieso - The Reds' first-round draft pick out of high school last year. Travieso only pitched 21 innings in the Rookie Arizona League - the Reds are taking their sweet time with him, like they did with Robert Stephenson the year before.

Jesse Winkler - Definitely a "let's see if he can do it at a higher level" guy - Winkler was a supplemental first-round pick out of high school in Florida last year. He tore it up at Rookie-level Billings, with a .943 OPS in 64 games.

Ryan Wright - Wright is a second baseman with decent contact skills and had a .767 OPS at Dayton. He doesn't have one particularly strong offensive skill, but he's useful across the board.


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