View Full Version : The Reds and outfielders

05-07-2007, 03:48 PM
With the emergence of Josh Hamilton this year, I started thinking about the Reds and their recent history of good outfielders. While there's been very few things to cheer about in the last ten years, the one bright light has been the outfield talent the Reds have been able to put out on the field. For whatever reason, many outfielders have thrived in the Queen City, and the Reds have benefited from this not only from a performance standpoint, but in also using them as trade bait. Players such as Ron Gant, Greg Vaughn, Jeffrey Hammonds, Michael Tucker, Dmitri Young, Mike Cameron, Jose Guillen, Alex Ochoa, Brady Clark, Ryan Freel, and now Hamilton have all rejuvenated their careers here. Other players such as Dunn, Wily Mo, and Kearns have enjoyed success after being developed in the Reds' system. The one big exclusion would obviously be Junior, but it's quite apparent that injuries were the culprit.

For whatever reason, it seems like the Reds have always had good depth in the outfield. In some cases, the 4th or 5th outfielders could have started for other teams. It's been said that the Cardinals and Dave Duncan can work magic with pitchers. They've been known to get good to great performances out of seemingly every pitcher they've signed, such as Chris Carpenter, Jeff Weaver, the late Josh Hancock, and now possibly Ryan Franklin. Are the Reds the Cardinals' counterparts when it comes to outfielders? What is it about this franchise that's allowed them to continually develop or find solid/great outfielders?

05-07-2007, 04:46 PM
While I've rooted as hard as anyone for most of those folks, how many of them are truly good ML OFers?

Griffey [at least he was if not now].
Kearns is probably league average or slightly above due to his arm.

The rest as just filler, or bats who needed a place to play wouldn't you say?

Dunn [goodness knows I love him] but he's all bat.
Dmitri was all bat
Vaughn and Gant, batman and well, batman.

Ochoa, Tucker, Hammonds, Clark, all filler for the most part.

Jay Bruce could be one that ends up on that list of having both skills though, so there is something to be said for that.

05-07-2007, 04:47 PM
Jim Bowden loved five tool outfielders, and acquired as many as he could get. Lots of them thrived, like the ones you listed, plus Juan Encarnacion, among others.

Quality from quantity. We tend not to remember the other side of that equation. The Brian Hunters, the Ruben Mateos, the Jason Romanos and Reggie Taylors. The Ruben Riveras and Ruben Sierras and Dante Bichettes.

Bowden had the opposite result when he applied the same "quality from quantity" principle to pitching. Every spring training was a cattle call of 70+ pitchers, hoping a few of them would catch lightning. It almost never happened.