It was a slow weekend of rumors after a week full of them, so I will post some more snippets from Baseball America's Top 10 lists. Yesterday, I posted snippets for some of the top prospects in the NL East. Today, I bring the NL Central including several Cincinnatti Reds and a future 40 HR power hitter. For thos of you who want to see some of your favorite prospects, you can head over to Youtube which has video of alot of prospects.
Todd Frazier, OF/3B, CIN
The Reds were planning to send Frazier to Puerto Rico for winter ball to continue his development as a second baseman, although a minor knee injury will likely derail those plans. If he shows he can be even adequate defensively, his bat would make him a valuable regular there. He may be a better fit at third base, where he projects as a solid hitter and defender. With Scott Rolen's contract expiring after 2010 and Brandon Phillips locked up through 2011, Frazier's initial big league opportunity would seem to more likely come at third base or left field. He'll head to Triple-A Louisville in 2010 for some final polish.
More after the jump:
Mike Leake, SP, CIN
Leake's feel for pitching and command are outstanding. He keeps hitters off balance by throwing five pitches (fastball, cutter, slider, curveball and changeup) for strikes. He can run his fastball up to 94 mph, but it's more effective when he pitches at 88-92 with better run and sink. His changeup is deceptive, and his curve and slider are two distinct breaking pitches that play well off each other. He fields his position like an extra infielder on the mound.
Chris Heisey, OF, CIN
Heisey could be termed a "cheap five-tool player." None of his tools is overwhelming, but all of them are at least fringe-average. At the plate, he uses the entire field and makes his living driving the ball back up the middle. He shows solid bat speed and surprising power, nearly equaling his previous career total with 22 homers in 2009. He's an above-average runner with instincts that enhance his speed, and he is 53-for-58 stealing bases in the past two years. He has a slightly above-average arm and makes accurate throws. He's a plus defender on the outfield corners.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B, PITT
Alvarez was playing so well by the end of the season that some scouts believe he's ready to step into Pittsburgh's Opening Day lineup for 2010. However, he'll begin the season at Triple-A Indianapolis and stay there until at least June to keep his arbitration and free agency clocks from starting. He should make an immediate impact and appears destined to become a big-time slugger for a franchise that hasn't had a 40-homer hitter since Willie Stargell in 1973. The only long-term question is what position Alvarez will play. If he keeps his weight in check, he'll be able to stay at third base. If not, he'll need to move across the diamond to first.
Jose Tabata, OF, PITT
Tabata has a compact stroke and hits line drives to all fields. He has sound strike-zone judgment for a young hitter. He has enough range to play a passable center field but is better suited for right, where he can show off his above-average arm. He has slightly above-average speed. Tabata will begin 2010 back in Triple-A but figures to be in the majors at some point during the season. He has the potential to be an all-star right fielder if his power develops.
Brett Lawrie, 2B, MILW
Lawrie will get to the big leagues quicker now than he would have as a catcher, but some scouts think he's destined for an outfield corner. He has a potent bat that should profile at just about any position. Though he jumped to Double-A Huntsville last summer to prepare for the World Cup, he could open 2010 in high Class A.