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View Full Version : BA rates Votto #1 at 1B, Homer #2 RHP and Bruce #3 corner OF



M2
10-24-2006, 01:39 PM
BA's Chris Kline just put together positional rankings. Joey Votto came out on top of what he called "a rather uninspring list of first basemen." Still, it's major feather in Joey's cap seeing that he'd all but lost his prospect status a year ago.

Homer Bailey finished behind Phillip Hughes (Yankees). Delmon Young (D-Rays) and Billy Butler (Royals) beat out Jay Bruce. Seeing that Butler's a DH with a glove on his hand for show, I'm guessing Bruce will eclipse him once he proves he can hit in the upper minors, though that might not happen until 2008.

Here's the link, though you need a BA subscription to see it:

http://www.baseballamerica.com/online/prospects/features/262606.html

Other guys on the lists who interest me include Alberto Callaspo (#2 at 2B, but the D-Backs have the O-Dog at 2B), Erick Aybar (#4 at SS, sandwiched between two other Angels shortstops on the list and stuck behind Orlando Cabrera on the team depth chart) and Chris Young (#4 in CF, supposedly he'd be Reds property but for Carl Lindner shooting down the deal to get him).

mth123
10-24-2006, 10:56 PM
I've been saying this for a while now, but the best chance for the Reds to be respectable in 2007 is for Votto to win the 1B job. IMO every decent line-up needs 4 guys who can slug .450. Votto would get us there (with Dunn, EE and Griffey. If Ross repeats it could be 5 but I want 4 not counting on Ross). I don't really see it coming from anywhere else. Getting that 4th guy makes it easier to carry a glove at SS and Deno in CF.

M2
10-24-2006, 11:03 PM
I agree the Reds need a power upgrade at 1B, but I'm not particularly high on Votto's chances of making the leap next year. He likely needs a year in AAA even if he is the real thing.

mth123
10-24-2006, 11:14 PM
Unfortunately, I don't think we'll even get the chance to find out. 1B is Hat's, possibly split with a journeyman RH hitter.

TOBTTReds
10-24-2006, 11:32 PM
Unfortunately, I don't think we'll even get the chance to find out. 1B is Hat's, possibly split with a journeyman RH hitter.

I'm usually very against this situation, but I don't have a big problem with JV (Votto that is) being down at AAA. He really struggled with his first big jump to high A from low. Make sure he can ease into AAA, then ease him in to our lineup in July with a Hatte trade, or leave him down til september if we are out of it. If we are in the race, I would like him up in July.

Have him ready for 08. That is a year we gain $14 mil in payroll by losing Milton and Larue. That is good.

mth123
10-24-2006, 11:51 PM
I'm usually very against this situation, but I don't have a big problem with JV (Votto that is) being down at AAA. He really struggled with his first big jump to high A from low. Make sure he can ease into AAA, then ease him in to our lineup in July with a Hatte trade, or leave him down til september if we are out of it. If we are in the race, I would like him up in July.

Have him ready for 08. That is a year we gain $14 mil in payroll by losing Milton and Larue. That is good.

You are probably right, but I don't fear challenging a good fundamental hitter like Votto. He's not a pitcher.

I too think 2008 is the time to really contend. I'm just observing that 2007 looks bleak w/o an upgrade to the offense. Not much help at the open spots (SS) and no need to commit long term to a FA at spots where help is on the way. Votto is the best chance to upgrade IMO.

Superdude
10-25-2006, 12:12 AM
Votto definitely needs PT somehow. Hatteberg deserves the job starting out, but if he falters at all, or if Votto is raking at AAA, ditch Hatteberg for a prospect and bring on the future. Look at what EdE did last season and what he did this season. I'd hate for us to find ourselves 7 games back in May 2007 because Votto is still adjusting to ML pitchers.

lollipopcurve
10-25-2006, 10:33 AM
I'd like to see Votto up by mid-07 so that he can be one of the lineup anchors in 08. I agree with mth123 -- he's fundamentally very sound, so I see little risk in getting him in there against major league pitchers this coming year.

RedsManRick
10-25-2006, 11:07 AM
What's the scouting report on Votto. Why did he struggle in high A and then destroy AA this year. Is he making adjustments to his approach? Handling offspeed stuff better? Learning to hit lefties? Also, is his speed for real or is it just him taking advantage of good spots and pitchers with slow deliveries?

lollipopcurve
10-25-2006, 11:20 AM
Why did he struggle in high A and then destroy AA this year.

The reports have been that the mandated take-a-strike approach instituted under O'Brien really screwed him up. If you look at his 2004, when he went from low A to a nice few weeks at high A, you shouldn't be all that surprised to see him excel 2 years later at AA. The base stealing is a new development -- haven't heard where that comes from, but I doubt the Reds will want him to pursue 20+ bags a year much longer, if at all.

dougdirt
10-25-2006, 07:27 PM
Joey Votto gained some speed this year. Last offseason he hired a personal trainer to help him build muscle and gain speed for this season. It obviously helped him out.

IslandRed
10-26-2006, 12:17 PM
I've been saying this for a while now, but the best chance for the Reds to be respectable in 2007 is for Votto to win the 1B job.


Unfortunately, I don't think we'll even get the chance to find out. 1B is Hat's, possibly split with a journeyman RH hitter.

It would be a good thing for the Reds if Votto can win the job and slug .450 out of the gate, but it would be a bad idea to make offseason plans around the assumption that he will. At the same time, the team doesn't want to commit much in money or time to a player who's subject to being moved out of the way at some point. Ergo, Scott Hatteberg on a one-year deal.

RedsManRick
10-26-2006, 12:34 PM
Does anybody have lefty/right splits for Votto? Assuming he can hit major league pitching, generically speaking, does a platoon still make sense or would he be playing everyday?

dougdirt
10-26-2006, 02:03 PM
Does anybody have lefty/right splits for Votto? Assuming he can hit major league pitching, generically speaking, does a platoon still make sense or would he be playing everyday?

0.262/0.357/0.399/0.756 vs Lefties....not so good
0.351/0.438/0.631/1.068 vs righties....VERY Good

mth123
10-26-2006, 09:25 PM
It would be a good thing for the Reds if Votto can win the job and slug .450 out of the gate, but it would be a bad idea to make offseason plans around the assumption that he will. At the same time, the team doesn't want to commit much in money or time to a player who's subject to being moved out of the way at some point. Ergo, Scott Hatteberg on a one-year deal.

Generally agree, but I think counting on Hat is a worse plan. He has a strong pattern of poor years in odd numbered years. He slumped in the second half and though his OBP could stay .350+, I expect the slugging to fall to below .400. Hat is cheap enough to have a bench role where I believe he would be an asset and could always take over if Votto needs more time in AAA. If Votto does well, he makes the line-up work as the 4th power threat. Hat doesn't provide that possibility.

The reds no longer have 3 power guys in the OF or power at SS. Carrying a non-power guy at 1B is more problematic with Deno/Freel in an OF spot and glove man of the day at SS.

IslandRed
10-26-2006, 10:55 PM
Generally agree, but I think counting on Hat is a worse plan. He has a strong pattern of poor years in odd numbered years. He slumped in the second half and though his OBP could stay .350+, I expect the slugging to fall to below .400. Hat is cheap enough to have a bench role where I believe he would be an asset and could always take over if Votto needs more time in AAA. If Votto does well, he makes the line-up work as the 4th power threat. Hat doesn't provide that possibility.

The reason I put it the way I did is that Votto hasn't had ANY time at Triple-A. Not a single plate appearance above the Southern League. At his age and experience level, having him win the first-base job in spring training is more of a wish than a plan. You simply can't expect him to be the power threat you're wanting right out of the gate. Hope, yes. Expect, no. Which is why the sensible thing is to start Votto in Louisville and let his performance, and Hatteberg's, make the call.

For what it's worth, the same general situation applies to Homer Bailey. It's nice to dream about him taking spring by storm and winning a rotation spot, but you wouldn't want to hand it to him right now or plan on him doing so.

mth123
10-26-2006, 11:12 PM
The reason I put it the way I did is that Votto hasn't had ANY time at Triple-A. Not a single plate appearance above the Southern League. At his age and experience level, having him win the first-base job in spring training is more of a wish than a plan. You simply can't expect him to be the power threat you're wanting right out of the gate. Hope, yes. Expect, no. Which is why the sensible thing is to start Votto in Louisville and let his performance, and Hatteberg's, make the call.

For what it's worth, the same general situation applies to Homer Bailey. It's nice to dream about him taking spring by storm and winning a rotation spot, but you wouldn't want to hand it to him right now or plan on him doing so.

Your right, but I'd be willing to jump a level with a hitter. If it works the Reds would have an ok line-up. If it doesn't, Hat is not an asset as an everyday 1B IMO so nothing is lost. And yes its a hope (as opposed to no hope with Hat). As you point out, they really can't go out and get anyone with Votto on the way so the Hat option is logical. Its just, if that is the road they take it will be a long year IMO. I think Hat should be the fall back plan with Votto getting first shot. If Votto comes through, the Reds line-up doesn't look so bad. If Hat has a decent year, he still doesn't give the line-up what it needs IMO. If those are the only two choices (and they really are) then I go with Votto until he proves otherwise. They still need to get a RH hitter to play against lefties for a year or two even if Votto takes the 1B against righty role.

As for Bailey, I wouldn't make the jump with him. Pitchers are different than hitters.

Ravenlord
10-27-2006, 02:26 AM
As for Bailey, I wouldn't make the jump with him. Pitchers are different than hitters.

as a very wise poster said: challenge thy hitters, caudle thy pitchers.

cincyinco
10-27-2006, 05:21 AM
a statement, that IMO Ravenlord, is misguided....

You need to treat each prospect as an individual, not group them in some positional category.

Homer Bailey certainly rose to the challenge this year.

And this is the point I want to make. I think challenging a player is heavily weighed against their make-up factor - which I think is one completely underrated "tools" when looking at prospects.. I am in a camp that believes a players make-up is very important when judging them as a prospect. Thats why I also ding guys like Elijah Dukes and Delmon Young when thinking in terms of top prospects.

In any case, you should challenge any player, regardless of position, when they are ready to be challenged. Its up to you as an organization to determine when that time comes. I certainly would be more 'cautious' about overpromoting a pitcher - but if a player is ready, he's ready, regardless of position..

at least thats my stance..

cincyinco
10-27-2006, 05:30 AM
Looks like Votto is doing well in the Dominican league

http://www.attheplate.com/rookies.htm

Joey Votto CIN 2-3, 2 walks, SB, .391

dougdirt
10-27-2006, 12:55 PM
Votto leads the Dominican Winter League in average and has 4 stolen bases, his OBP is over .500, he has 8 walks in 7 games. His slugging is also over .500 and has him OPSing over 1.000.

IslandRed
10-27-2006, 04:58 PM
Your right, but I'd be willing to jump a level with a hitter. If it works the Reds would have an ok line-up. If it doesn't, Hat is not an asset as an everyday 1B IMO so nothing is lost. And yes its a hope (as opposed to no hope with Hat). As you point out, they really can't go out and get anyone with Votto on the way so the Hat option is logical. Its just, if that is the road they take it will be a long year IMO. I think Hat should be the fall back plan with Votto getting first shot. If Votto comes through, the Reds line-up doesn't look so bad. If Hat has a decent year, he still doesn't give the line-up what it needs IMO. If those are the only two choices (and they really are) then I go with Votto until he proves otherwise. They still need to get a RH hitter to play against lefties for a year or two even if Votto takes the 1B against righty role.

I guess we're arguing in circles here, because we've got the same two players regardless. I just don't see the value in awarding Votto the first base job right ths minute. You seem to be arguing that if it doesn't happen then we have to spend the entire year playing Scott Hatteberg, and there's no reason the situation has to be that inflexible. Let competition do its thing. If Votto wins the job, fine, but he has to go out and do it. My thinking is also colored by these factors:

1. I really hate it when a guy who's never been in the show is handed a starting job and then ends up having to be sent back to the minors.

2. Votto is a very good prospect. He is not a great one, IMHO. Despite what I wrote above, there are players that I wouldn't think twice about jumping up from Double-A and sticking right in the lineup, but they are rare.

mth123
10-28-2006, 04:46 AM
I guess we're arguing in circles here, because we've got the same two players regardless. I just don't see the value in awarding Votto the first base job right ths minute. You seem to be arguing that if it doesn't happen then we have to spend the entire year playing Scott Hatteberg, and there's no reason the situation has to be that inflexible. Let competition do its thing. If Votto wins the job, fine, but he has to go out and do it. My thinking is also colored by these factors:

1. I really hate it when a guy who's never been in the show is handed a starting job and then ends up having to be sent back to the minors.

2. Votto is a very good prospect. He is not a great one, IMHO. Despite what I wrote above, there are players that I wouldn't think twice about jumping up from Double-A and sticking right in the lineup, but they are rare.

I think we mostly agree and just aren't communicating well. My original post said something like, The Reds best chance is for Votto to win the 1B job. I am not so much advocating handing him the job as I am advocating opening it up and not assuming Hat should have it and Votto start in AAA. I will say in the two scenarios, Votto winning the job gives the reds offense a chance to put a line-up with enough pop (i.e slugging) to compete. If Hat is at 1B, I don't see the Reds having players elsewhere to make-up for the lack of power at 1B.

I may be a little higher on Votto than you are, but I'm not looking for him to be Pujols or Berkman, just some one to hit in the 6 hole that provides a threat and leaves the questionable hitters (like Ross, Phillips and Hat) down in the line up or, in Hat's case, on the bench. The Reds would be stronger all around IMO with more power at 1B and Hat on the bench. As I said in a previous post, Hat would be a real asset coming off the bench.

Mario-Rijo
11-08-2006, 10:44 PM
Just a sidenote here, but a big one. Last year when I was watching the futures (I am pretty sure that's where I heard it) game I believe someone made the statement that they felt he would struggle at the big league level (with the bat) because of something in his swing/stance. I don't quite remember the exact statement (I may have posted something at the time) but I do know that someone has concerns.

My gut says that the issue was similar to Carlos Pena's problems, that's why he was awesome in the minors but had some issues in the Show! I'll see if I can find my post from around that time and clarify. In the mean time just let me leave you with the fact that they said he would struggle and let me try to figure out why.

Mario-Rijo
11-08-2006, 10:52 PM
Ah yes here it is from our futures game thread via an ESPN article I read the next day.


Joey Votto (Reds) probably put on the biggest show during BP, which is not the same as being the most impressive. Votto launched several balls into the right-field bleachers, hitting the fence at the back of the stands at least once. He does have a wide stance and a long swing, which will limit his ability to make contact going forward. At least he didn't swing and miss during BP. That's embarrassing.

Not something that he cannot fix but will he, has he already started to fix this?