Top 30 Reds Prospects: No. 20

Top 30 Reds Prospects: No. 20

2012 was a memorable year for Seth Mejias-Brean when he helped Arizona win the College World Series and began his professional career with Cincinnati. At the age of 21 he went to Billings with the reputation of a slick fielder and ended up impressing more with the bat. He's a gifted athlete with a physique that projects as an everyday MLB third baseman.

One year ago Seth Mejias-Brean was not on this list. Instead he was preparing to help the University of Arizona for an upcoming season that would eventually end with a College World Series championship. After that success his baseball career took a different path when Cincinnati selected him in the eighth round of the draft. He arrived in their organization ready to hit and batted close to .400 with five home runs the first month at Billings. His final stat line in the Pioneer League was .313 AVG/.389 OB/ .536 SLG/8 HR/40 RBI in around 200 plate appearances.

The first thing that draws attention when looking at Mejias-Brean is that he is a freakish athlete. As a high school student he was a three-sport star capable of passing a football sixty yards and throwing down a 360 slam dunk. Baseball is his best sport and he'll be looking to showcase those skills in single-A in 2013. He's got the body and arm to project as a classic third baseman with a stroke that should provide good gap power and double digit home runs.

Oddly enough the weak part in his game during his professional debut was defensively when he committed thirteen errors in 46 games. That was surprising because he came out of Arizona with a reputation for a good glove. He showed nice range and put together a streak of 24 games without a miscue during his final college season, so there's reason to believe that the leather will come around. Any speculation about a moving him from the hot corner at this point is caused by an idea that his athleticism could be better utilized elsewhere.

Mejias-Brean completed a junior year collegiately and arrived with good plate discipline. In his first season he had almost as many walks (21) as he did strikeouts (29) and worked a free pass in more than 10% of his trips to the batter's box. Of course 21 year-olds are supposed to do well in the hitter-friendly Pioneer League so it will be interesting to see how well he can maintain his output after advancing. He'll run into some competition because the hot corner is getting crowded in the Reds food chain. Above him in the pipeline are Henry Rodriguez, David Vidal, and Travis Mattair while the last two second-round draft picks, Gabriel Rosa and Tanner Rahier, are readying for their first full professional seasons.

However, Mejias-Brean should be up to the task. Right now it seems a bit puzzling that he waited until the 262nd pick in the draft. He was named honorable mention Pac-12 after his final season when his average jumped .040' above previous levels. His stock was affected by only two home runs in 663 collegiate AB's, but now it appears he brings more power than expected. His bat did cool down to end the season, but then he was probably playing above his head for the first month so his overall numbers should be an accurate representation. He spent three years in a strong college program so the Reds should be able to fast-track him. Seth Mejias-Brean could turn out to be a real sleeper in last year's draft and is a candidate to move up this list over 2013.

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