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Devin Mesoraco Is Still a Fantastic Prospect

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Late last season, there was lots of talk about Reds catching prospect Devin Mesoraco becoming the team’s starting catcher ahead of incumbents Ramon Hernandez and Ryan Hanigan.

Apparently, the Cincinnati braintrust didn’t see fit to anoint the soon-to-be-23-year-old in April, though, and it’s worked out well, as the RH duo have combined for a .347 wOBA that ranks fourth in the majors for catching, behind the Tigers, Braves, and Diamondbacks backstops.

All of which may have led many fans to forget about the sleeping giant of Mesoraco in the minor leagues. After a fast start in April, Mesoraco slugged just .452 in May, just average enough to slide him slightly under the radar again.

But no, Devin Mesoraco is still a great prospect.

Nobody’s been hotter in the month of June than the Louisville catcher. He’s shown why I had him as a top 20 prospect after last season, and why he was in virtually every top 50.

Sure, it’s just ten games, but how’s 16-for-37 with six doubles, a triple, three homers, and five walks? A cool .432/.512/.892 line. Not bad, not bad at all.

Obviously, that’s a small sample, but it raises Mesoraco’s season line to .330/.412/.569, which actually tops the .294/.363/.594 line he posted in Double-A last season. And this is coming from a catcher who’s still fairly young for his level–if he were in Low-A right now with a line like this, he’s still be a hyped prospect.

It is of some concern that Mesoraco’s caught-stealing percentage has plummeted to 20%–about half of his 2010 rate–but he’s only allowed three passed balls behind the dish, and looks more than ready to hit the ground running in the major leagues. On most teams, he’d be the everyday MLB catcher by now, but it just so happens that he’s stuck behind Hernandez and Hanigan. In any case, if Mesoraco keeps crushing the ball, chances are that something will give–the Reds probably won’t keep three excellent catchers around in the second half when one or even two could be dealt for other pieces that would be more valuable to the contending Cincinnati ballclub.

While many other top prospects–Eric Hosmer, Jordan Lyles, Mike Moustakas, and Anthony Rizzo, just to name a few–have been promoted, don’t let Mesoraco’s continued stay in Louisville lower your opinion of his prospect status. If anything, his continued success in 2011 (after poor pre-2010 performance) has only raised his stock.