Today I am doing a quick little article on Didi Gregerios of the Arizona D-Backs & Tony Cingrani of the Cincinnati Reds. Both started the season in AAA as top prospects for these organizations and both were mentioned in my March 9th Prospect article.
Didi Gregorius got hurt mid to late Spring which meant he would start the year in the minors for sure. Because of that injury Gregorius missed the beginning of the season and only has played 7 games in AAA but Didi has come out flying hitting .387 with a .424 OBP. Last season between AA & AAA Gregorius had a stat line of 7HR-54RBI-70R-3SB-.265 Avg as part of the Cincinnati Reds farm system. Gregorius was part of the 3 way trade between the Reds, D-Backs and Indians in the off-season. With all the injuries the D-Backs have and after they lost Aaron Hill for the next 4-6 weeks Arizona pulled the trigger and called up Gregorius. Didi will play but for starters at least Kirk Gibson will use different lineups between moving Prado around the diamond, Pennington, Chavez etc. Gregorius is the D-Backs shortstop of the future no doubt. There is no doubt that Gregorius will be a difference maker at shortstop in terms of his glove according to all the scouts. The question the scouts have is will Gregorius be a very good hitter, an okay hitter or an 8th place hitter with a great glove. The scouts have many different opinions on Didi but when GM Kevin Towers landed him in the trade he compared him to a young Derek Jeter. Now in terms of fantasy for this year, if you can pick him up via your waiver wire or league free agency depending upon your league rules without going crazy (for instance many leagues have a free agent budget) then it cannot hurt as Gregorius could be a nice depth / complementary hitter for you. I would not expect Gregorius to come out and be a big roto player but hey if John Buck can why not Didi. So Didi can help for this year but keep in mind Aaron Hill is only out 4-6 weeks and eventually Arizona will start to get some of their hitters back.
In terms of Tony Cingrani he is part of the plans for the Reds future rotation with Bronson Arroyo being up there in age and a free agent after this season. With Johnny Cueto going to miss probably between 4-6 starts Cingrani is going to get a shot in the rotation to show if he is ready. If Cingrani pitches well when Cueto returns that could more likely mean Mike Leake becomes a long reliever and Cingrani stays in the rotation. Cingrani had a strong year last season in AA going 5-3 with a 2.12 ERA & 1.10 Ratio. He has only made 3 starts this year in AAA and one was cut short (2 innings after Cueto got hurt over the weekend) but Cingrani has been dominant in his limited time this year in AAA going 1-0 without giving up a earned run in 14 1/3 IP with a 0.35 Ratio and 26K's. The majors leagues is much different than AAA so don't expect Cingrani to be an ace this year and the Great American Ballpark is a great hitters park. But the Reds are a strong team in terms of their lineup and bullpen so I can see Cingrani giving good value to NL only roto owners. Very few top pitching prospects arrive on the scene and dominant but no reason Cingrani cannot be at least good. His 1st start in the show should be the end of the week.
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NL King - C.Lizza