By Illya Harrell on June 28, 2014
The Cincinnati Reds cannot count on their starters to go deep into games every night, nor can they run relievers Aroldis Chapman or Jonathan Broxton to the mound every night. With southpaw Manny Parra and right-handers J.J. Hoover and Logan Ondrusek getting blasted night-after-night, the Reds need to find solid replacement arms. Non-contending teams with an established relief pitcher might be interested in some Reds prospects.
Starting pitcher Daniel Corcino was compared to Johnny Cueto a couple years ago. The shuttle landed and baseball folks realized that was a pipe dream. Corcino has a dancing fastball that he can cut effectively, and Corcino's secondary stuff needs work. At 24 years old, he's on his way to "fringe prospect" status. He could serve as a throw-in for a sturdy pen arm.
Venezuelan Yorman Rodriguez was signed in 2008 at age 16. He's been a highly-touted Reds prospect since 2009. Primarily a center and right-field, he has no shot at joining the big club, as Billy Hamilton and Jay Bruce hold stake to those positions. Rodriquez is a stellar athlete with plus-speed and a plus-plus arm. The 21 year old has shown little patience at the dish. If can improve at the plate, he's a potential starting outfielder.
At 25, Donald Lutz is a first baseman/left-fielder with above-average power. Some project him to hit for average if he can speed up his bat. He grew up in Germany as a duel citizen and didn't start playing ball until he was a teenager. Keeping that in mind, he's a late bloomer. Lutz showed promise during a brief stint with the Reds last season.
Tucker Barnhart is a 23-year-old switch-hitting catcher. He's got it all behind the plate: strong armed with a quick release, first-rate game caller, and the agility to block balls in the dirt. His defense alone will ensure a big league career. Barnhart's compact stroke doesn't generate any power, and he has fits against right-handed pitching. He'll likely be one of those excellent defensive catchers who bats in the eight-hole.
Tony Cingrani's fastball is deceptive and flat-out filthy; he effortlessly adds and subtracts velocity by eight miles per hour. He served as Rice University's closer, potentially the role for which he is best suited at the big league level. Cingrani gets tons of strikeouts but issues a bunch of walks. When his fastball is up, big league batters mash it. He would only be traded for a couple of relief arms to replace Parra, Hoover and/or Ondrusek .
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