The Reds Sunday Select – Mesoraco vs. Grandal: Did the Reds Make the Right Choice? Plus the Billy Hamilton Report

Sunday July 8, 2012

Ryan Ritchey (Reds Expert): Welcome back to the 2nd edition of Reds Sunday Select. As the All-Star Break approaches, the weekend will be filled with All-Star Weekend previews. This week I have a little sympathy for the catchers out there with this one. The big debate around Reds country is: did Walt Jocketty keep the right catcher for the future? It is my job to debate this and I am going to do just that. The two catchers I am talking about are Devin Mesoraco and Yasmani Grandal. Yasmani was given up to the Padres in the Mat Latos trade over the winter. Yes the Reds picked up a pitcher that become an ace in the present and future. But did they send the wrong catcher in the deal?

Lets start out with the positives of keeping Mesoraco, as I am in a positive mood at the moment. Mesoraco is a solid young catcher with some pop in his bat. He can become one of the top catchers in the National League, hit 15 homers and be solid behind the dish. The only problem is that he is splitting time with Ryan Hanigan, who in my mind is the right guy for the job at the moment. Mesoraco on the bright side has a lot more power than Hanigan does. The downfall to that statement is that he also strikes out a lot, and does not currently have the ability to hit for average. Mesoraco, who strikes out almost double the amount of times he walks, isn’t the kind of hitter you want hitting in front of the pitcher. You want a contact guy who can get on base in front of the pitcher, so he has a chance to bunt him into scoring position. Hanigan is that strong OBP kind of guy.

Now to Grandal, who hit a home run from each side of the plate for his first two career hits. He is the only player in the history of Major League Baseball to do that. That is an accomplishment he will never forget no matter how many awards he receives. Grandal is just now getting to the major leagues after spending 2 years in the minor leagues. Grandal, who is a pure baseball player, has everything he needs to become an All-Star.  If he can keep his average at a respectable number and keep his strikeouts down, he will be an amazing player.

Now do I think the Reds made the right decision in keeping Mesoraco? I am not quite sure at this point in time, but I am leaning towards no. Grandal could just be on a high from making it to the show. But if he keeps hitting bombs like he did in his first two at-bats, then the Reds are  really missing out on a tremendous talent. Do I believe that Grandal and Mesoraco will both have successful careers? Yes I do. It is just that you could become a mediocre player or an absolute star. I believe YasmaniGrandal will be the star when it is all set and done. I can see Grandal becoming a 6 time all-star at some point in his career once he gets used to the league and adjusts to the MLB way of life. He is on a roller coaster ride of a lifetime and all he can do is go up.

The Billy Hamilton Report 

Billy Hamilton is off to another great week, with 8 stolen bases making his total 104 on the season. Hamilton also had 7 hits in his last 26 at bats. That puts his season average at .323. This is a lot better than last season’s average at this point. There is also breaking news surrounding Hamilton. Hamilton has been promoted to Double-A Pensacola! This puts Hamilton one step closer to making the big league club in September. If Hamilton is called up for the end of the season and postseason, he could really help in late inning situations. I also can’t wait to see Hamilton show off his speed in the Futures Game which is tonight at 5p.m. EST. Make sure to tune in!

Ryan Ritchey is a Baseball Writer & Reds Expert for MLB reports. I am a freshman at Spalding University, I am an Assistant Baseball Coach and plan on studying sports journalism. I am a huge fan of Barry Larkin and Brandon Phillips. Have been a baseball fan my whole life and have been writing about baseball since my freshman year of High School. You can reach me on Twitter (@baseballaddicts)


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Posted on July 8, 2012, in On the Verge: MLB Prospects and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. It’s too early to tell about Mesoraco vs Grandal. Devin hasn’t been playing that much, and has looked nervous at times. I saw him in LA recently, and I thought he was more relaxed which was evident when he got a clutch double. He appears to have the capability to hit much more than 15 HR’s. I think he could hit 25-30 in the near future if he plays regularly.

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