Reds Final Report
Devin Mesoraco showed that his breakout year in 2010—when he hit .302/.377/.587 with 26 home runs—was no fluke. Mesoraco, 23, hit .289/.371/.484 with 15 home runs for Triple-A Louisville this year, then earned his first callup to the big leagues in September and hit the first pitch he saw for a double.
Reds manager Dusty Baker was impressed with Mesoraco's catching skills.
"He calls a good game," Baker said. "Naturally, he has a few things to learn. But he's come a long ways in a short period of time from when I first saw him a couple of years ago. He pays attention. He's conscientious. He's getting better throwing. When I first saw him, he had a sore arm. He's throwing the ball well, receiving well.
"That's a pretty important position. Each pitch can mean something. I'd probably give him a 95, 96 on a scale of 100."
Daniel Corcino bears a striking resemblance to Johnny Cueto. Both are small righthanders from the Dominican Republic who throw harder than you'd expect from their stature. Corcino, who is 5-foot-11, tops out at 96 mph.
Corcino's fourth year in the system was by far his best, as he went 11-7, 3.42 at low Class A Dayton. He struck out 156 and walked 34 in 139 innings. The 21-year-old dropped off a bit in the second half, but that may be because his previous high in innings was 70—he wasn't made a starter until 2010.
Keep An Eye On:
Denis Phipps, 26, went into the season with a .246 career average in 2,394 minor league at-bats and proceeded to hit .346/.397/.527 while splitting season between Double-A Carolina and Triple-A.
Phipps, a native of the Dominican Republic, didn't start playing baseball until he was 17. The athletic outfielder, who bats righthanded, didn't sign with the Reds until he was 18. It took him until his sixth year in the system to make it out of Class A ball.
• Dayton shortstop Billy Hamilton finished the season with 103 steals, becoming the first Reds minor leaguer to break the century mark. Hamilton ended up hitting .278 after finishing May at .215, including .318 after the all-star break.
• First baseman Neftali Soto hit 30 home runs for Carolina and one for Louisville. He's the first Reds minor leaguer to hit 30 homers since Adam Dunn hit 32 in 2001 between Double-A and Triple-A.