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Cant Touch This
11-02-2006, 12:52 PM
It seems there is a solid contingent of RedsZoners who support Chris Denorfia as a valuable asset to the Reds. Having very limited access to watching him play this season, I am looking for responses, both positive and negative, that describe his talents both in the field and at the plate. Would you feel comfortable with him in a starting role?

Maybe you can offer a comparison to a more established player in the league.

Thanks for your help.

dfs
11-02-2006, 01:02 PM
Brady Clark is the instant comparable.

Over the last two years Deno has put up a 900 ops in AAA. That's about what Clark did during his age 27 season.

Clark didn't snif the major league roster till he was 27. Denorfia will be 27 next year.

Clark doesn't have any single outstanding part of his game, but he does several things well. Likewise Denorfia doesn't have any one skill that makes the scouts go wowzers.

Clark's minor league numbers are slightly better. Deno was younger at each step of the way. Deno shows a bit more power.

At the major league level Denorfia looked absolutely lost at the plate last year. I simply cannot imagine how he generated those AAA power numbers with the swing he was using at GAB, but I'm a numbers guy, so I don't know what to make of that or if it's correctable.

Clark got to the majors far too late to be a star, but he has hammered out a decent career for himself and been a decent use of a major league roster spot over the last four years. Denorfia isn't going to be a star of any kind, but he could have a Ryan Freel type run that could keep him in the majors for a good long while.

RedsManRick
11-02-2006, 01:24 PM
Basically:
- Average to above average contact
- Above average plate discipline
- Above average speed
- Below average power
- Top flight defense

Some names that are similar are Brady Clark, Freel, Melky Cabrera.

TOBTTReds
11-02-2006, 01:27 PM
At the major league level Denorfia looked absolutely lost at the plate last year.

Don't know if you meant 06 or 05. But in 06, he finished great with a final month of .352 avg/ .407 obp/ .463 slg.

He finished the year at .284/.360/.363 despite being lost after the first callup. I'm thinking it was just a brief adjustment period.

He has a good swing that stays through the zone for days. Hits a lot of linedrives because of that. Generates a lot power through his lower body and hips. Fast, great fielder (ranked best in AAA by Baseball America). He did have a couple mental lapses in Cincy, hopefully that was a sign of nerves or just not being comfortable yet with his other fielders (communication mix-up between he and Phillips)

I wouldn't mind him starting or as the 4th OF. A good asset off the bench if necessary.

Cant Touch This
11-02-2006, 01:39 PM
This past season has proven to me that solid defense is an overlooked and undervalued asset. With Deno's defensive accolades, I would welcome his addition to the starting lineup. Do his speed and great fielding abilities also come with a strong arm?

Heath
11-02-2006, 01:57 PM
I keep thinking of Mark Kotsay. Nothing spectacular, but solid.

There could be worse people to run out 140+ games in CF than Deno.

Aronchis
11-02-2006, 03:21 PM
Deno is half god, concepted from one of Odin's "encounters" years ago. He doesn't like to show it off, but every once inawhile you see those godly powers.........

Oh, Deno the baseball player? Nice skill set and looked to get comfortable at the plate the last 15-20 games.

flyer85
11-02-2006, 03:31 PM
Deno is similar to Clark. I think he would do fine if given the chance. He has a nice skill set, now he justs needs the opportunity to get comfortable and relax.

oneupper
11-02-2006, 03:40 PM
Deno is currently playing with the Leones del Escogido of the DR Winter League (as is Joey Votto).

I'll put up some numbers when they have some more PT (only like 40 ABs so far).

Falls City Beer
11-02-2006, 03:50 PM
Deno is probably more Freel than Clark. A little less pop than Clark, a little more in the BB/OB category. A bit more than Clark in the SB department, too. Kind of strikes me as a Freel clone.

dougdirt
11-02-2006, 04:04 PM
This past season has proven to me that solid defense is an overlooked and undervalued asset. With Deno's defensive accolades, I would welcome his addition to the starting lineup. Do his speed and great fielding abilities also come with a strong arm?

In 2004, BA ranked him as the best outfield arm. Jay Bruce took that title last season, but I would say he has a strong arm.

oneupper
11-02-2006, 05:28 PM
Deno is becoming my favorite player...

He has a 2.500 OPS when I'm in attendance (1.000 BA/OBP. 1.500 SLG).

Still can't stand the socks...

Always Red
11-02-2006, 05:54 PM
...love the socks!

I'm ok with Deno starting out the season in CF, if there is no one else coming in to take the position. I think that's his only spot if a starter, as he doesn't have enough pop for a corner position, as mentioned above. Also, his ultimate role, if he flunks one more audition, is as a 4th OF'er. No shame in that at all!

RedsManRick
11-02-2006, 06:43 PM
If Deno can OPS in the .775 range and play Gold Glove defense, he's an above average major league CF. I know he has to prove it first, but honestly, it's not like we have better options.

Team Clark
11-02-2006, 07:01 PM
In 2004, BA ranked him as the best outfield arm. Jay Bruce took that title last season, but I would say he has a strong arm.

He has the best OF on the Reds roster. That includes Freel. JR in LF, Deno in CF and Freel in RF will cover A LOT of ground and make all the plays. Proper throws, outfield angles, ability to go over either shoulder.... Good scenario if both Freel and Deno can be consistent.

Cyclone792
11-02-2006, 07:31 PM
Chris Denorfia
Career Minor League Statistics

AVG OBP SLG OPS IsoD IsoP PA/BB
Denorfia .295 .375 .447 .822 .080 .152 9.08


2006 Denorfia Louisville Statistics

AVG OBP SLG OPS IsoD IsoP PA/BB
Regular .349 .409 .484 .893 .060 .135 10.38
Park Adj. .355 .418 .490 .908 .063 .135 9.81
MLE .313 .366 .429 .795 .053 .116 12.32


Career MLB Statistics

AVG OBP SLG OPS IsoD IsoP PA/BB
Denorfia .278 .356 .382 .740 .078 .104 9.65
2006 NL CF Avg. .263 .333 .412 .745 .070 .149 11.92*

*Approximated as I did not have HBP, SF and SH figures

The most important line to look at first in the above chart is what the average National League center fielder produced in 2006, which was a .263/.333/.412 line, good for a .745 OPS. If Chris Denorfia can put up an OPS in the .750 range, then he would be putting up offensive numbers good enough to be an average offensive center fielder in the big leagues.

Do I think Chris Denorfia can accomplish just that? Very much so.

Everything about his minor league history and even his short big league history of 164 career plate appearances suggests to me that Chris Denorfia can OPS in the .750 range. The main reason is his walk rate, which has always been solid in the minor leagues and has continued to show signs of life so far in the major leagues. If Denorfia maintains his walk rates, or even if they decline a bit which should be expected, then he could post 55-65 walks over a full major league season. Even if he only bats .280 instead of over .300 as his MLE's suggest, that still means Denorfia could post an on-base percentage in the .350 range, which would be above average for a center fielder. He won't display as much power as an average center fielder, but he'll make up for that with above average on-base skills.

Put the total offensive package together, and I think he's got the makings to produce similar numbers to what the average center fielder can produce.

Defensively, there's nothing at all not to like about Denorfia, who was also voted in a BA poll as having the best tools for defensive outfielder in all of AAA in 2006.

His range is superb, he gets excellent jumps on balls, he takes excellent routes to balls, and his arm is at least average - though I've heard reports that his arm is actually well above average. His top speed and closing speed on fly balls is simply remarkable, and he's truly the best defensive outfielder I've seen in a Reds uniform since Mike Cameron in 1999. In terms of defensive run value, I think it's very easily possible that Denorfia could save 15 runs per 150 games over the average big league defensive center fielder. That's about a 35 run swing in the positive direction from what we're getting out of Griffey defensively in center field (~ -20 runs above average).

Wrap all the above up into one player - average offense for center field plus excellent defense - and that's an overall above average player. Add in that he's still 26-years-old and will continue to make around the league minimum both in 2007 and 2008, and that means the Reds most definitely have a valuable asset in Denorfia. Personally, I'd make him the starting center fielder starting immediately in 2007 and wouldn't think twice.

Heath
11-02-2006, 07:37 PM
I am firmly convinced that Jr in CF is the biggest defensive deficiency on this team.

I appreciate Jr's work ethic and his past accomplishments that make him a sure-fire first ballot Hall of Famer. But he can't do it in center anymore. It's time for someone with steel marbles from this organization to make this known to him.

mth123
11-02-2006, 09:25 PM
I am firmly convinced that Jr in CF is the biggest defensive deficiency ever.

Just my take.

Cedric
11-02-2006, 10:23 PM
Deno is probably more Freel than Clark. A little less pop than Clark, a little more in the BB/OB category. A bit more than Clark in the SB department, too. Kind of strikes me as a Freel clone.

Agree completely.

I'm looking forward to a bunch of Deno in CF next year.

vaticanplum
11-02-2006, 10:31 PM
He doesn't always wear his socks high, by the way. I keep a log. So he's appealing to both sides of the coin. So to speak.

Heath
11-02-2006, 11:45 PM
He doesn't always wear his socks high, by the way. I keep a log. So he's appealing to both sides of the coin. So to speak.

vp, you really, dearly, need a job.

:D

George Foster
11-02-2006, 11:47 PM
Deno is similar to Clark. I think he would do fine if given the chance. He has a nice skill set, now he justs needs the opportunity to get comfortable and relax.


Knowing he will still be out there after going 0-5 and and error will do wonders for Deno. He knew that in the minors and he produced solid numbers. If given the chance at an everyday outfield spot, and not having to look over his shoulder, he WILL produce at the Major League level...mark it down.:thumbup: Pencil him in now Jerry.

Cant Touch This
11-03-2006, 02:27 AM
Thanks everyone for your detailed responses. This is exactly what I was looking for. I come away from this thread far more confident in Deno than I was when I started it - because I didn't know any better. (which is why I asked.)

So now I'm prepared for the Cincinnati trifecta: Bengals win the Super Bowl, Xavier takes the NCAA National Championship (I just bet on them tonight at 200-1 odds at Treasure Island) and then listen to Marty proclaim that the 2007 World Championship belongs to the Cincinnati Reds. (after Benzinger backs and calls, of course...) Hey - a guy can dream, right...?

GAC
11-03-2006, 06:40 AM
I am firmly convinced that Jr in CF is the biggest defensive deficiency on this team.

I appreciate Jr's work ethic and his past accomplishments that make him a sure-fire first ballot Hall of Famer. But he can't do it in center anymore. It's time for someone with steel marbles from this organization to make this known to him.

I thoroughly agree with you Heath, but it ain't gonna change in '07 IMO. And we're gonna have to endure thread after thread on why Jr is stil in CF. :lol:

Defensively, with an OF of Dunn, Jr, and Freel, we are gonna be in trouble. Dunn will be a defensive liability wherever he plays.... with Jr it's just age/injuries.... Freel mainly because he doesn't possess the strong arm I want in a RFer, and I am still not convinced that Freel has shown to be an everyday player.

Defensively, in both the INF and OF, I simply want to shake my head. It's gonna be a huge liability AGAIN in '07 unless some changes are made.

I'd love to see Deno over Freel in the OF. And since Aurilia is probably gone, then it looks like they ought to give Freel a shot at 2B so that Deno can get that playing time. What are their options now in the INF unless something is done in the off-season.

Maybe we can slide Jr into RA's old slot in platooning 1B with Hat? :lol:

I just hope Jay Bruce continues to impress, and is promoted sometime in '07 to AAA.

But I've stated before that managment needs to sit down with Jr and TELL HIM (not the other way around) what their plans are and where he is gonna play. And if Jr doesn't like it, then tough. Retire or demand a trade.

buckeyenut
11-03-2006, 06:41 AM
He has the best OF on the Reds roster. That includes Freel. JR in LF, Deno in CF and Freel in RF will cover A LOT of ground and make all the plays. Proper throws, outfield angles, ability to go over either shoulder.... Good scenario if both Freel and Deno can be consistent.

Who has the better arm, Freel of Deno? They both have great range, so I could see either in CF. I'd put the better arm in RF if I am playing both.

Big problem is that Deno, Freel, Jr is not a good offensive OF and the only way we can handle that OF is if we get a big bat for 2B/SS and Dunn moves to 1B or is replaced by a big bat.

Personally, I would still rather drop Freel into 2B every day, Dunn at 1B and go get a big bat off the market for RF for a year or two, until Bruce takes over out there. I also don't mind Dunn in LF and Jr in right, if you leave Freel at 2B and don't want to block Votto. But I think that really hurts you for 2007. If we want to win in 2007, I think we need to add a big bat and a #2 or better SP without stepping back elsewhere to have a chance.

As far as deno goes, I think he could hold down the starting CF job without a problem. I'd rather the team was good enough he (or Freel) could be our fourth OF. I would really love for us to be good enough to give Freel 100 starts at 5 different positions (all 3 OF, 2B and 3B), but we really need to add two bats to make that work well IMO.

GAC
11-03-2006, 07:09 AM
If Freel would just take Jr "out" in CF, all our problems would be solved! :lol:

dfs
11-03-2006, 10:00 AM
I thoroughly agree with you Heath, but it ain't gonna change in '07 IMO. And we're gonna have to endure thread after thread on why Jr is stil in CF.
At the opening of spring training in 06, the biggest question I had about the organization was how much playing time were they going to squander on Tony Womack. They got that one right. I simply cannot believe that they intend to start 07 with Junior in center. We'll see,


I am still not convinced that Freel has shown to be an everyday player.
Oddly enough, I agree. I spent the last two winters wondering why the reds didn't just hand him an infield slot and live with him, but after his August-September vanishing act....I think he needs rest throughout the full season.


I just hope Jay Bruce continues to impress, and is promoted sometime in '07 to AAA.
Bruce was great on the field in Dayton and I'm a fan, but I can't imagine Bruce getting to AAA next year.
I'm all for pushing propects, but if Homer Bailey can't start the season in Sarasota and jump above AA in this pitching poor organization, I can't see Bruce jumping higher than that unless there is a total outfield meltdown.

Chip R
11-03-2006, 10:23 AM
At the opening of spring training in 06, the biggest question I had about the organization was how much playing time were they going to squander on Tony Womack. They got that one right. I simply cannot believe that they intend to start 07 with Junior in center. We'll see,

Womack was expendable. Jr., not so much. I firmly believe that barring injury, Jr. will play CF this year. Last year their reasoning was that he would be less likely to hurt himself staying in CF.


Oddly enough, I agree. I spent the last two winters wondering why the reds didn't just hand him an infield slot and live with him, but after his August-September vanishing act....I think he needs rest throughout the full season.


I don't buy the notion that Freel needs rest. Everyone needs an occassional day off but let's just say that he does need rest. When do you rest him and for how long? Let's say around the middle of May, you give him 3 days off in a row. Next game he comes back and hurts himself. Now what good did that rest do?




Bruce was great on the field in Dayton and I'm a fan, but I can't imagine Bruce getting to AAA next year.
I'm all for pushing propects, but if Homer Bailey can't start the season in Sarasota and jump above AA in this pitching poor organization, I can't see Bruce jumping higher than that unless there is a total outfield meltdown


Pitchers and hitters have different timetables for development. A wise man said, "Challenge thy hitters and coddle thy pitchers." Krivsky's philosophy seems to be that players have to advance level by level and not skip any levels on the way. That may be wise for pitchers but I think exceptions should be made for players - mainly hitters - who show that they are ready for the next level. I'm sure Homer would have done well against AAA hitters but they don't want to rush him. That's probably the only reason he wasn't in AAA. There was serious consideration about having him skip AAA and going right up to the majors last summer. So it's not that he couldn't rise above AA, he just wasn't allowed to.

BRM
11-03-2006, 10:24 AM
Womack was expendable. Jr., not so much. I firmly believe that barring injury, Jr. will play CF this year. Last year their reasoning was that he would be less likely to hurt himself staying in CF.


And the pitching staff and W/L column will suffer for it. I simply won't be able to take Krivsky and Narron seriously when they speak of defense if they continue to play Junior in CF.

Redsland
11-03-2006, 10:37 AM
I keep a log.
Deno's log, start date, 9 dash 27 dash 06.

For two...days...we've battled the...Marlin...people. A win. A loss.

When I'm four-for-four, we win. When I get two hits, we lose. Must...hit.

I've reversed the polarity of my batting average by 45 points. Will it be enough? Only...time...will tell.

Tomorrow? The decisive battle. Sound red alert! Raise the socks!

:usa:

Chip R
11-03-2006, 11:00 AM
And the pitching staff and W/L column will suffer for it. I simply won't be able to take Krivsky and Narron seriously when they speak of defense if they continue to play Junior in CF.


I agree but what are you going to do? I think they would rather he move but they are afraid to broach the subject with him.

RedsManRick
11-03-2006, 11:12 AM
I agree but what are you going to do? I think they would rather he move but they are afraid to broach the subject with him.

"Hey Ken, we've got a choice we need you to make. We have two positions that we're gonna need filled and we want to make sure you're on board. The first one is a corner OF. We think your bat is still there, but we need some more range in CF. The other one is left bench. Narron is lonely and needs somebody to talk to. We think you're quite capable to do either. Which would you prefer?

Always Red
11-03-2006, 11:15 AM
I agree but what are you going to do? I think they would rather he move but they are afraid to broach the subject with him.

Afraid?

Why be afraid? If they are afraid, then they really do not run this team.

To me, this is the biggest issue of the off-season. I love Junior, but he's no CF'er anymore. If the Reds start 2007 with him in CF, then I'll have severe 2nd thoughts about the new FO. This is their biggest decision, deciding who runs this team, the players (as has happened occasionally in the past) or the FO.

BRM
11-03-2006, 11:15 AM
I agree but what are you going to do? I think they would rather he move but they are afraid to broach the subject with him.

Then they have no business running a franchise.

dfs
11-03-2006, 11:41 AM
I agree but what are you going to do? I think they would rather he move but they are afraid to broach the subject with him.

I love your posts about the hot stove league and usually you are spot on, but if that's the case I might as well give up and just be a cub's fan and go to the park in order to drink beer.

I spent cycles last offseason worrying that they would not "solve" the Womack problem and it just vanished. I HAVE to believe they recognize that Junior in centerfield is a problem and that they will address it before too much playing time leaks away.

vic715
11-03-2006, 11:52 AM
I agree but what are you going to do? I think they would rather he move but they are afraid to broach the subject with him.

No problem. I'll be in Orlando Monday and I'll gladly drop by and give him the news that he'll be in rightfield on opening day.
On a serious note though if Junior is a team player I would hope that he realizes that his oft injured 37 year old legs just can't do what they used to do.Sometimes pride just won't listen either.

GAC
11-03-2006, 01:37 PM
I agree but what are you going to do? I think they would rather he move but they are afraid to broach the subject with him.

And therein lies the problem. I'd tell him he's moving. What is HE gonna do?

If the FO needs a set of cahonies I'll loan'em mine. I'm 50 years old and they don't get as much use as they use to. ;)

Chip R
11-03-2006, 02:01 PM
I love your posts about the hot stove league and usually you are spot on, but if that's the case I might as well give up and just be a cub's fan and go to the park in order to drink beer.

I spent cycles last offseason worrying that they would not "solve" the Womack problem and it just vanished. I HAVE to believe they recognize that Junior in centerfield is a problem and that they will address it before too much playing time leaks away.


Thanks for the kind words. It's only my opinion that Jr. is going to stay put. I hope I'm wrong but we heard how Jr. reacted this year when the possibility was brought up in the media.

As much as we rip on Narron and as much as Wayne is criticized, they have to realize that Jr. is not the answer in CF. Narron's a baseball lifer and Wayne has spent years scouting and doing what assistant GMs do. So I can't believe they can watch balls that he would have put in his hip pocket 5 years ago drop in front or go over Jr.s head and still believe that CF doesn't need an upgrade. And if they do believe that, what is stopping them from asking Jr. to switch positions? It has to be fear. They either fear actually bringing up the topic to Jr. or they fear his reaction. Maybe Wayne and Jerry are passing the buck to each other on this. Wayne won't tell Jerry how to make up a lineup and Jerry figures it isn't his place to tell a superstar like Jr. he's going to switch positions. That it has to come from Wayne or Bob.

I like Jr. but he needs to realize that he's going to start looking like Willie Mays with the Mets if he continues to play CF. Sure, he'll be upset that they want him to move but, like GAC said, what's he going to do about it, ask to be traded?

GAC
11-03-2006, 02:12 PM
Here is why I figure the Reds will have a tough off-season, when looking at their most dire needs..... pitching

And you can forget about Barry Zito with Scott Boras as his agent. ;)

Baseball is healthy, but free agency is dying

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?id=2648096

As free agency celebrates its 30th birthday, it's not aging very gracefully.

Call it the onset of a midlife crisis. The concept, for most, is a lot less fetching, not nearly as dependable and, generally speaking, not what it used to be.

A look at this winter's class of available free agents illustrates the point, like a vanity mirror revealing every blemish and flaw. Among everyday position players, only two -- Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Lee -- can be viewed as true All-Stars in their prime, with a third, Aramis Ramirez, a step below.

The rest run the gamut from injury-plagued veterans (Nomar Garciaparra, Darin Erstad) to able warhorses (Mike Piazza, Moises Alou) to useful parts (Frank Catalanotto, Scott Spiezio).

But it's in the pitching department where the talent drop-off is most evident.

Beyond Barry Zito and Jason Schmidt, there isn't another starter who could be classified as better than a middle-of-the-rotation arm. And even Zito and Schmidt have dipped.

After winning the American League Cy Young Award in 2002 with a 23-5 record and a 2.75 ERA, Zito is just 55-46 with a 3.85 ERA in the last four seasons. As for Schmidt, he won 35 games in the 2003 and '04 seasons combined, but just 23 the last two years.

Remember, these two are, by far, the class of the free-agent pitchers.

Just an off year, perhaps? A cyclical aberration? Not likely. The era of superstar players flooding the market, providing quick fixes for those with deep pockets, is likely over for good. Gone are the classes like 2000, which featured both Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez, inarguably two of the game's best hitters in the post-expansion era.

"It's tough to make forecasts in this game," said one executive, "but I don't think next year is going to be any better."

More and more, clubs are locking up their own players -- again, pitchers in particular -- before they reach free agency. That practice, once the exclusive privilege of big-market teams, is now available to virtually every franchise.

"With revenue sharing and the money that's in the game and the overall financial health of the game, there are fewer and fewer quality players getting to free agency," said one American League general manager. "It's especially true of pitching. If you're a small-market team and you have a third baseman [approaching free agency], you might have a third base prospect ready to take over, so you let [the veteran] go. But with pitching, there's always a need and teams are much less likely to let it get away."

Revenue sharing, which began in earnest with the collective bargaining agreement reached in 2002, has reached fruition. Additionally, new revenue streams, led by online media, now flow freely and deeply to all 30 franchises, and more than half of baseball's teams now play in ballparks less than a dozen years old, producing still more avenues of income.

"Revenue sharing has worked the way it's supposed to," said commissioner Bud Selig. "There's no question the sport is wonderfully healthy."

Small-market Milwaukee secured Ben Sheets to an extension. Arizona has done the same with Brandon Webb. Toronto, felled more than any other club by the 1994 strike, has regained its financial health and locked up Roy Halladay. Minnesota, threatened with contraction only four years ago, has put Johan Santana under contractual lock and key.

So, there: four pitchers, all in their 20s, all taken off the market by their own small- and medium-market teams, at least temporarily.

"You have to assume a little more risk to retain [younger pitchers]," acknowledged a National League general manager, "but sometimes, it's worth it."

"If you can buy out free-agent years," agreed another general manager, "you do it, because of the limited supply."

It's little surprise, of course, that pitchers have been the biggest beneficiaries of such largesse. Pitching remains both the game's rarest commodity and its most essential ingredient. Stockpile it and you're guaranteed to be competitive; fail to have enough and you're guaranteed to struggle.

Pitching isn't inexpensive, but thanks to baseball's spread-the-wealth approach, it's never been more within reach for so many teams.

Take the deal that Boston made with Arizona for Curt Schilling after the 2003 season. Once the teams agreed upon the handful of (mostly) young players to be sent to the Diamondbacks, the Sox had the financial wherewithal to give Schilling a three-year $38.5 million contract extension to waive his no-trade clause.

It was a classic case of the rich getting richer.

"Back then," mused a baseball source, "only a handful of teams could have afforded that kind of deal. Now, only a handful couldn't."

Unlike other investments, quality pitching never depreciates, so teams do their best to hoard it when they get it.

"Unless you grow [pitching] yourself," said one major league executive, "or hit a home run in trading for a minor league pitcher, getting pitchers who are really accomplished, either through a trade or free agency, is very, very difficult. When you have it, you better not let it go."

Conversely, there's a real danger in overbidding for pitchers in an auction setting. The free-agent class of 2004, which featured Carl Pavano, Russ Ortiz, Matt Clement, Eric Milton and other relative busts, serves as a cautionary tale for general managers eager to sign those pitchers who reach free agency.

Still, the notion that player movement will become nonexistent in the years to come can't be fully supported. If small-market teams hope to convince players to stay and eschew free agency, they'll eventually need to achieve a level of respectability.

"Look at Kansas City," said one longtime executive, noting that the Royals have had one winning season in their last 13 while finishing last in the AL Central four times in the last six years. "If they continue to struggle, I don't think franchise players will want to stay. Let's face it, young players want to make as much money as they can in their first five or six years. Once they make the money, it's all about winning. And if they've never won, they'll want to go somewhere where they think they can."

What happens next will be fascinating, and if teams aren't smart, terribly inflationary. One prominent agent this week predicted that both Soriano and Lee will land deals with higher AAVs (average annual value) than the deal signed by Carlos Beltran ($17 million per season) two winters ago.

Boras, meanwhile, has reportedly told some that Zito can expect a five-year, $75 million package -- minimally.

"We could be looking at some regrettable deals in a couple of years," said one fearful GM.

"Clubs are going to have to do what they have to do," said Selig. "I just hope when teams are doing things, they do them sensibly."

The general unavailability of quick-fix answers makes it imperative that teams plan better and budget more carefully.

Most executives surveyed predict an upswing in trade activity this winter. There, too, a more level economic playing field will make deals more tenable.

"There are so many teams on equal footing," projected one GM, "you'll see more old-fashioned deals, rather than the ones with a defined buyer and seller. But free agency will always have its appeal, under the right circumstances."

What's clear, however, is that free agency is evolving and isn't the fallback it was not long ago.

"It changes the whole way you look at payroll flexibility," asserted another club executive. "A few years ago, if you walked away from, say, a guy like Cliff Floyd, you could spread that money around. Now, payroll flexibility is much less valuable because there's no one to spend it on. You have to plan for the ability to afford talent, but also for the access to that talent. I keep hearing that Houston and San Francisco are going to have a lot of money to spend this offseason. Well, who are they going to spend it on?"

So many dollars to spend, and now, so few choices.

Spring~Fields
11-03-2006, 02:25 PM
Maybe we can slide Jr into RA's old slot in platooning 1B with Hat? :lol:


Great idea GAC!! :thumbup:

Krivsky: Junior we need to head into a different direction,
Junior: Yeah, what direction is that?
Castellini: I have orderd Wayne to move you to first base, and to bat you 6th in the batting order,
Junior: How's that?, What's up with that?
Krivsky: Junior, you don't want anything to do with hitting 6th or playing 1B?
Junior: I want nothing to do with that, I am still the best center fielder in baseball, I will ask to be traded if you insist on moving me to 1B and bat me 6th.
Castellini: How do you feel about furthering your career ambitions in the American league?
Junior: Fine get it done
WaLa the Reds pay half his salary in a trade after a healthy Griffey shows up during spring training and GAC becomes the hero. ;)

Cyclone792
11-03-2006, 02:30 PM
Here's one methodology (http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/dialed_in/discussion/dr_strangeglove_or_how_i_learned_to_stop_worrying_ and_love_zone_rating1/) used to judge defense. Don't be afraid to get Dialed In ... (http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/dialed_in/newsblog/)



Center Field

First LastName TEAM GP INN RSpt RS/150

Corey Patterson Bal 134 1079.7 16 20
Vernon Wells Tor 150 1290.3 12 13
Grady Sizemore Cle 160 1379.3 7 6
Curtis Grndersn Det 157 1312.0 5 6
Johnny Damon NYY 131 1087.7 4 5
Brian Anderson CWS 134 966.0 3 5
Chone Figgins LAA 96 829.0 3 5
Rocco Baldelli TB 91 749.3 0 0
Torii Hunter Min 143 1232.3 0 0
Joey Gathright KC/TB 130 1017.7 -2 -3
Mark Kotsay Oak 127 1047.0 -5 -6
Gary Matthews Tex 142 1227.0 -8 -9
Coco Crisp Bos 103 901.7 -8 -13


First LastName TEAM GP INN RSpt RS/150

Juan Pierre ChC 162 1426.0 16 15
Carlos Beltran NYM 136 1184.0 9 10
Eric Byrnes Ari 123 1051.0 8 11
Mike Cameron SD 141 1244.0 8 9
Chris Duffy Pit 77 672.7 6 12
Jim Edmonds StL 99 792.3 6 9
Willy Taveras Hou 138 1117.7 5 6
Steve Finley SF 130 973.3 3 5
Cory Sullivan Col 114 841.0 -1 -2
Kenny Lofton LA 120 961.0 -2 -3
Brady Clark Mil 114 911.7 -3 -4
Aaron Rowand Phi 107 901.7 -3 -5
Andruw Jones Atl 153 1317.3 -9 -9
Ken Griffey, Jr. Cin 100 870.3 -11 -18


Based on Griffey's defensive performance in 2006, over 150 games he'd be projected to be 18 runs below average defensively, which is not surprisingly the worst of all center fielders ranked above.

Oh, and Baseball Prospectus' Fielding Runs Above Average (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/dt/griffke02.shtml) slapped Griffey with -14 runs above average defensively this season. Project that to 150 games, and he's sitting on a stellar -21 runs above average.

For better or for worse, we'll know what this front office stands for by seeing where #3 is at out on the field come April, 2007.

Spring~Fields
11-03-2006, 03:24 PM
Cyclone looking at your work above I see a couple center fielders that are listed on the FA market, Mathews Jr. and Pierre are two that come to mind. Do you think that either of these two would be of any help to the Reds?

I have thought so, but then again I am not so sure.

Cyclone792
11-03-2006, 03:34 PM
Throwing everything into the picture ... offense, defense, salary, age, etc ... Chris Denorfia is better than any available option currently on the FA market.

Spring~Fields
11-03-2006, 03:37 PM
Throwing everything into the picture ... offense, defense, salary, age, etc ... Chris Denorfia is better than any available option currently on the FA market.

Okay thanks, I was just curious, as I said, I was not certain.

RedsManRick
11-03-2006, 06:05 PM
Cyclone, can you contextualize those RS/150 numbers with the normalized offensive equivalent? I assume this is the fielding version of RC?

Assuming this is, my manually calculated RC/150 G values from this year include:

Wells: 106
Hunter: 82
Pierre: 77
Griffey: 77
Clark: 52

In other words, the difference between Pierre and Griffey defensively (33 runs) is greater than the difference between Pierre and Vernon Wells offensively (29 runs).

The difference between Junior and Brady Clark defensively makes up for more than half of their difference offensively.

I'm curious what the rankings of net RC would look like... Aaron Rowand and Cory Sullivan look to be comps to Junior...

Topcat
11-03-2006, 06:19 PM
MY personal feeling is throw the kid in (CF) stick with him and in the end he will atleast be serviceable. As for Griffey he is making the move if he likes it or not ala Sorianno and his spouting of about being a 2nd baseman.

RedsManRick
11-03-2006, 06:43 PM
MY personal feeling is throw the kid in (CF) stick with him and in the end he will atleast be serviceable. As for Griffey he is making the move if he likes it or not ala Sorianno and his spouting of about being a 2nd baseman.

By "the kid" I assume you mean Deno and not "THE Kid"... =P

mth123
11-03-2006, 07:12 PM
"Hey Ken, we've got a choice we need you to make. We have two positions that we're gonna need filled and we want to make sure you're on board. The first one is a corner OF. We think your bat is still there, but we need some more range in CF. The other one is left bench. Narron is lonely and needs somebody to talk to. We think you're quite capable to do either. Which would you prefer?

I think giving Griffey a choice is the right approach. A flat out order will just backfire IMO. But I'm thinking of a different choice. I offer Griffey the right to void the final 2 years of his contract if he wants to pursue a continuing career in CF. I let him look around and see if any teams would want him under his terms. He probably wouldn't accept a trade to the AL if the team he was being traded to were going to play him at DH. The whole point is that he wants to continue in CF. Let him make his own inquiries and find out for himself what everyone already knows. The worst that could happen is some other team will want to sign him and the contract is off the books. If no one does, I think he'd warm-up to playing a corner pretty quickly.

This is really a tough situation for the Reds and isn't as simple as just ordering him around. My solution surely has flaws as well. I just don't think there is a perfect answer. But he can't continue in CF.

westofyou
11-04-2006, 12:25 AM
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=5683&PHPSESSID=c4d631b7353bd6f32fb5810bf61cd2b3


Leones del Escogido: The Lions have probably the best group of foreign players at the moment. Reds first baseman Joey Votto is hitting .303/.477/.485 in 33 at-bats. Votto also has 11 walks and four stolen bases. He hit a home run off of Licey's Jose Jimenez in his first at-bat of the season, but hasn't homered since. Also from the Reds, outfielder Chris Denorfia is off to a slow start, hitting just .233/.283/.256 with one XBH (a double) in 43 at-bats.

Cyclone792
11-04-2006, 02:05 AM
Cyclone, can you contextualize those RS/150 numbers with the normalized offensive equivalent? I assume this is the fielding version of RC?

Assuming this is, my manually calculated RC/150 G values from this year include:

Wells: 106
Hunter: 82
Pierre: 77
Griffey: 77
Clark: 52

In other words, the difference between Pierre and Griffey defensively (33 runs) is greater than the difference between Pierre and Vernon Wells offensively (29 runs).

The difference between Junior and Brady Clark defensively makes up for more than half of their difference offensively.

I'm curious what the rankings of net RC would look like... Aaron Rowand and Cory Sullivan look to be comps to Junior...

Yep, you can pretty much apply the runs saved/cost to runs created and get a full player production level.

For example, if Denorfia produces offensively what the average NL center fielder produces, then he'd produce ~80 runs created per 150 games. The good to great defensive center fielders each season save around 10-15 runs defensively per 150 games, which is right about where I'd project Denorfia. Add that up, and we're looking at ~90-95 runs from a full season of Chris Denorfia in center field, which would be 10-15 runs higher than the average center fielder as far as total production value.

oneupper
11-04-2006, 09:28 AM
You can keep daily tabs on Deno and Votto in the DomREP at this page:

http://www.escogido.com/stats/escogido.pdf