We’re introducing you to the reason that either Ramon Hernandez or Ryan Hanigan will likely be playing their last season in Cincinnati in 2011. We’re introducing you to the reason that the Reds shouldn’t have probably taken Yasmani Grandal out of Miami U last season in the first round. We’re opening up the tag on Devin Mesoraco.
Our friends over at The Golden Sombrero recently ranked Mesoraco their #27 prospect in baseball. These guys know prospects. Here’s a snippet of what they had to say about the Reds young backstop:
As a former 1st-rounder, Mesoraco is very toolsy and has insane thump at the plate. He enters 2011 as the likely Triple-A catcher and probably will at least receive a cup or two by the end of the season. However, management of a Big League rotation is a challenge and typically begins well before the spring. As a result, I find it very unlikely that Mesoraco won’t still be a rookie in 2012.
He has a 60 arm from behind the dish, and, despite not having Big League feet, probably can catch for at least most of the decade. He receives rave reviews for his leadership abilities and other intangibles, although we at the Sombrero generally prefer to evaluate the concrete. Because he did not put it all together until last year, a great deal of scouts wrote Mesoraco off, but we are believers and consider Mesoraco the best position prospect in the Reds’ organization.
The thing is–we like Mesoraco better than Grandal from the things we hear. The odds of having two catchers from your farm system effectively breaking into the big leagues within a year or two of each other doesn’t happen very often. More often than not; one of these two guys end up being a guy who just doesn’t make it. They’ll both get their shot–and Mesoraco will emerge as the guy who can mash when the lights shine the brightest at the big league level.
He had 26 bombs last season across three levels in the minor leagues, and he didn’t strike out in abundance for a guy with such pop.
After this season it’s going to be the more effective of the Ryan Hanigan/Ramon Hernandez tandem and Mesoraco with the older getting the majority of the duties behind the dish. The Reds will be eager to see how much this kid can be fed as a rookie I’m sure. But by 2014, Mesoraco will be one of the best catchers to come out of the Reds farm system since–dare we say it–Johnny Bench.