Kevin Goldstein, the prospects guru at Baseball Prospectus, has been doing a series on the couple of prospects in each organization who improved the most this season. Here is what he said about the Reds:
Cincinnati Reds: A second-round pick in 2005 who had all but fallen off the radar after a pair of mediocre seasons (at best), Travis Wood is a short, stocky lefty whose best pitch is a changeup, but he was one of the best pitchers in the minors this year, compiling a 1.77 ERA in 27 starts between Double- and Triple-A.
Runner-up: As a 17th-round pick, outfielder Chris Heisey has gotten little attention despite performing at every level, but everyone is starting to pay attention after another big year at the plate, as he delivered a .314/.379/.521 line split between Cincy's two upper-level affiliates.
Herrera has proven that a small, soft-tossing lefty can get people out in the bigs (at least as a reliever). And the Reds could certainly use a lefty next year in the rotation. Maybe Wood can push Maloney for that fifth-starter spot.
We saw Heisey in Louisville. He didn't look like much, but I'm no scout (or analyst for that matter). He did hit well this year, but it's tough to see a spot for him next year in front of Bruce, Stubbs, Gomesy, Balentien, and Nix. (I left out T-Virus. I hope the Reds do, too.)
Speaking of Gomesy, those of you on Facebook know that he tried to pet Scout the other night at Bark in the Park. And Barker (appropriately named) called Scout, "awesome." (Rachel got on t.v., too.) Scout's now been to four games and something special has happened at everyone, whether it was Kiss Cam, the Enquirer photo, catching a foul ball, or meeting Gomesy and Barker. Good stuff. And it was a good thing the dogs were there, as the human tally was not very high.