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 Minor League News & Autograph Blog Home

Top Prospect Alert - David Espinosa

By Robert Sherry

David Espinosa: Even though Espinosa has yet to play a regular season game in the Reds system, this first round pick from last year's draft is my choice as the best infield prospect in this system now with Drew Henson recently being traded.

As an 18-year-old, Espinosa was probabaly the second best high school middle infield prospect in the state of Florida, only ranking behind Luis Montanez. In his last season playing at Gulliver Prep, he batted .476 with 9 home runs, 35 runs batted in, and 38 steals in 103 at-bats as a lead-off hitter. Even with all of his talents, Espinosa was stll available for Cincinnati as the 23rd overall selection, probably because of him being a Scott Boras client. He signed too late to play in the minors during 2000, but eventually agreed to a creative deal that guarantees he will make at least $2.75 million with the max being as much as $5 million with incentives.

At 6-foot-2 and 175 pounds, this switch-hitting second baseman as been compared to a bigger, better hitting Rey Ordonez with some power. The hitting assessment is correct but the defensive view may be a stretch as there aren't many you can make the spectatular plays look as routine as Ordonez does. Espinosa is a very good defensive player, but that label is probably unfair. He as the speed to bat leadoff and projects as the Reds future leadoff hitter. His power is above average for that spot
plus he is a very good contact hitter.

Look for this now 19-year-old to spend 2001 at SIngle-A Dayton. If everything goes to plan he should be ready to play in the majors in about three years. The Reds do already have a very good midle infield with Larkin and Reese, pls they have Travis "Gookie" Dawkins almost ready to compete for playing time so there is no need to rush Espinosa. I think Espinosa will pass Dawkins as the system's best middle infield prospect.


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