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View Full Version : Gonzalez or Keppinger for SS in 2008?



fearofpopvol1
08-19-2007, 08:16 PM
Assuming the Reds are able to trade Gonzalez this offseason, would you rather have Keppinger at SS? Or would you rather Alex start and Keppinger be a super utility player? Or would you rather move EE and slide Keppinger to 3B? The former seems to be more likely and to keep this poll easier, we'll stick with that.

So let's look at some facts...

First we'll start with Gonzalez. First off, my heart goes out his son. Such a tough spot to be in and probably has had some sort of affect on his play offensively or defensively. On the plus side for Alex, he has hit 16 HRs in only 91 games. It's probably safe to say in GAB that he would've hit 25+ which is pretty exceptional for a guy not usually thought of to be a power hitter. Most of his other offensive stats are pretty much on par for his career or would balance out to be over the course of a season. The other plus is that the guy has great range at SS with a very good arm.

Now for the cons. Alex, at best, is an average major league hitter, and that may be a little generous. He strikes out quite a bit and has poor plate discilpine. He doesn't take walks and has a career OBP of under 300. Defensively, he's had 15 errors this season in 91 games. The last time he was on pace for that many errors or more was in 2001 (where he had 26). Again, it's hard to say whether or not his son plays a role in the errors portion of his game, but most of his offensive stats are on par with previous seasons and it's unlikely that Cincy was going to be the place he had a big offensive breakout season. Alex is also 30 and is making $3.5 million this year.

Let's move to Keppinger...

For the pros, in 106 ABs, he's hitting .368 with an OBP of .437. The guy has only struck out 5 times in 106 ABs. He's slugging .528 and he's OPS'ing at .965. Defensively, he has only committed 1 error in 16 starts at SS. Jeff is 27 years old and he is also making over $3 million less than Gonzo.

For the cons, the sample size of his play is small as a Red. Though he is still sporting a mlb career .312 batting average in almost 300 Abs (his OBP is almost .370 career). So even with the small sample size, it seems like the guy does have plate discipline and knows how to hit. Jeff does not have much power. He's hit 7 career home runs and doesn't seem to hit a lot of extra base hits either. Defensively, he simply does not have the range that Gonzo does and I don't know if anyone else has noticed, but his throw is a little awkward. It has seemed to do the trick thus far though.

So, the question really comes down to, are you willing to take a defensive dropoff for an offensive boost? And by no means has Kepp played bad defense, he just doesn't have the same range as Gonzo. It also comes down to whether or not you want to save some money and is Alex movable to another team (which I think he is and may land an okay prospect in addition).

Since the Reds don't have a lot of RH bats and a lot of guys that hit with contact and have high OBP's, I say keep Kepp at SS and try to trade Gonzo if possible. Thus far, it just seems like really good things happen when he is in the lineup.

What does everyone else think?

jojo
08-19-2007, 08:26 PM
Keppinger is a defensive liability (@ ss, 2b, 3b) who doesn't hit for power.

As an every day middle infielder, he's untenable. As a corner infielder he's probably just a place holder.

If compromising at a premium defensive position, the compromise should be in favor of defense rather than batting average.

fearofpopvol1
08-19-2007, 08:32 PM
1 error though at SS in 16 starts. He's on pace for far fewer errors than Gonzo. As I said, range withstanding, he's not really been a liability thus far.

Highlifeman21
08-19-2007, 08:34 PM
Keppinger is not an everyday player.

He is, however, an upgrade from Juan Castro.

Alex Gonzalez or Brandon Phillips should be the starting SS in 2008.

Joseph
08-19-2007, 08:42 PM
Keppinger deserves a reserve role on this team in 08, he doesn't deserve to start anywhere right now as far as I can see.

jojo
08-19-2007, 08:43 PM
1 error though at SS in 16 starts. He's on pace for far fewer errors than Gonzo. As I said, range withstanding, he's not really been a liability thus far.

Range is a huge part of defense especially at a middle infield position. If errors are are like holes in water bucket, lack of range is like trying to carry water in a flask made of pantyhose. In the case of Gonzo and his recent off the field issues or even EE and this throwing errors, the holes in the bucket most likely can be patched. A sieve on the other hand just doesn't make a good canteen.

Ron Madden
08-19-2007, 08:50 PM
Whenever the Reds find good bench players they fool around and try to make starters outta them. :nono:

MrCinatit
08-19-2007, 08:55 PM
As always, I am on a fence.
One side says that I like Keppinger a lot - he has been coming up with hits, and timely ones. He is also hitting the age where he should be hitting his ability summit - so why not go with the hotter hand.
On the other side, I remember guys in the past whom the Reds have given a chance after such short termed success: Freel, Wily Mo, Denorfia, Jimenez, young Castro, to name a few of the more recent players. Could we be doing the same in expecting a lot more out of Keppinger than he is capable of?
I think in the end, I see him as a super-sub type player, starting here and there when a player needs a rest or gets injured.

11BarryLarkin11
08-19-2007, 09:10 PM
I voted for A-Gon in large part because I don't believe in moving players up the defensive spectrum to more difficult positions.

That said, I also don't like conventional thought going unquestioned, so I go back and forth on the issue.

As for their defense, I've always thought A-Gon was a bit overrated. As for Keppinger, I'm still not a big believer in him at short because of concerns about his range, but some of the basic defensive metrics actually rate Keppinger as being the better shortstop.

2007 Shortstop Stats

A-Gon
Innings: 784.0
FPCT: .961
ZR: .842
RF: 4.27
DP: 68
E: 15

Kepp
Innings: 134.1
FPCT: .986
ZR: .907
RF: 4.89
DP: 9
E: 1

I know Range Factor is heavily flawed and we have a small sample size from Keppinger, but at this point Keppinger has better range (ZR & RF) and a better fielding percentage. If this is truly indicative of their respective levels of performance, then the only downside of switching from A-Gon to Kepp at short might be turning double plays.

JaxRed
08-19-2007, 09:14 PM
Keppinger without a doubt...

KronoRed
08-19-2007, 09:45 PM
If those are the 2 choices then I go with Phillips and let Keppinger have 2nd.

GAC
08-19-2007, 09:57 PM
Keppinger is a defensive liability (@ ss, 2b, 3b) who doesn't hit for power.

As an every day middle infielder, he's untenable. As a corner infielder he's probably just a place holder.

If compromising at a premium defensive position, the compromise should be in favor of defense rather than batting average.

I couldn't have said it better. We're looking at a very small window on Keppinger right now. I like this kid. It's obvious, in all liklihood, he's not going to maintain his current offense performance, and I'm not sure what his defensive rating is.

As far as Gonzo goes - I look at his overall career numbers defensively, and his struggles this year(# of errors) has to be affected by what his going on with his son. I know that if that were my son I'd have a hard time even going to work, let alone performing at the level expected of me.

Offensively, it's obvious there is a GABP factor. He is hitting for power (16 Hrs .475 SLG%). The knock on him by some is his OB% (.317). Then you bat him at the lower part of the order where he belongs.

We're paying him 3.5 Mil in '07, and then 4.6 Mil in '08. Some find that excessive?

Maybe they miss Felipe Lopez who is making 3.9 Mil while putting up a .308 OB% .362 SLG% .670 OPS 9 Hrs?

I will take Keppinger over a Castro though. http://www.freesmileys.org/emo/char016.gif (http://www.freesmileys.org)

Always Red
08-19-2007, 10:02 PM
I posted this on the "Keppinger's K'd twice in 90 AB's" thread, but it fits better on this thread:


Can he really play SS? There was a ball today that went up the middle that I thought Gonzo gets every time; Kepp wasn't near it.

I don't know if Kepp can play major league quality SS or not; it's a serious question. Aurilia played it for stretches last year when Narron was trying to get his stick in the lineup more often, and it was clear to me that Rich was no longer an MLB SS.

I love what I see in Keppinger- who doesn't? A pleasant surprise coming from nowhere is always a good thing. Play the hot hand, and when (and if) he proves himself to be a utility player, then you haven't lost anything. I love a guy like him coming off the bench. If he can push Gonzo or EE for a starting job, well that's even better.

Competition is always a good thing. But don't count on him for a starter. Hopefully the Reds have learned that lesson from Ryan Freel. Don't overpay him, don't sign him to a LTC, don't hand him a starting position, but DO count on him for bench strength. That's what I'd do, and I'd do the same for Norris Hopper, as well.

But I love the way they are both hitting right now!

cincrazy
08-19-2007, 10:09 PM
I'm not meaning in any way to minimize what's going on with Gonzo's son, I'm sure that's weighing heavily on his mind, but it's not as if this year is an exception for Gonzo. Twice he's had over 20 error's in the past, and one season he had 19. He's a very good shortstop, but I think he's always been a little overrated. He's prone to streaks where he's inconsistent, and then he'll go a long stretch with playing great D.

With that being said, I don't think Keppinger is an everyday player, and I want Gonzo in there. Keppinger would serve us best coming off the bench and being a supersub type, but I don't think he could be an everyday player in this league. Sooner or later the law of averages would catch up to him I'd have to imagine.

GAC
08-19-2007, 10:14 PM
Whenever the Reds find good bench players they fool around and try to make starters outta them. :nono:

Another good point.

Just envision what our bench strength could be like next year minus a Castro and Conine, and with RH'd/LH'd bats of Keppinger, Freel, and maybe even Hatteberg IF Votto finally gets the call up?

PuffyPig
08-19-2007, 10:28 PM
If you pointed a gun at me and said that keppinger had to be a starter, I don't see him being a good enough fielder to play SS, and I sure don't want him replacing EE at this time. So, I would cash in on Phillips, who is a great fielder and an over-rated hitter (but a good hitter)and get a very good, but cheap, major league ready starting pitcher for Phillips.

But, I'd rather just keep Keppinger as a spare.

fearofpopvol1
08-19-2007, 10:50 PM
With that being said, I don't think Keppinger is an everyday player, and I want Gonzo in there. Keppinger would serve us best coming off the bench and being a supersub type, but I don't think he could be an everyday player in this league. Sooner or later the law of averages would catch up to him I'd have to imagine.

He is still sporting a career .312 batting average in almost 300 Abs (his OBP is almost .370 career). While that certainly is not a .368 BA, I'd say 300 ABs is pretty good to say that he can hit consistently.

I think he is an everyday player no matter what. Whether that's going to be with the Reds remain to be seen.

All of the other past "bench" players mentioned by others who have performed for a short period of time have never hit like Keppinger has for as long as he has thus far.

cincrazy
08-19-2007, 11:40 PM
He is still sporting a career .312 batting average in almost 300 Abs (his OBP is almost .370 career). While that certainly is not a .368 BA, I'd say 300 ABs is pretty good to say that he can hit consistently.

I think he is an everyday player no matter what. Whether that's going to be with the Reds remain to be seen.

All of the other past "bench" players mentioned by others who have performed for a short period of time have never hit like Keppinger has for as long as he has thus far.

I like Keppinger a lot, he's a very good player, and he'll probably be around .300, but the fact is he hits for almost no power. I'm not sure I can justify giving him SS or 3B when he's strictly a singles hitter. I'd say if he's a guy that could come off the bench and sub in not only the infield, but also the outfield, he'd be a very valuable piece of this club, especially as a pinch hitter.

This team's going to need some valuable bench guys, and I think guys like Hopper and Kepp fill that role perfectly. That's not a knock on their abilities, and with the right manager they'd still get plenty of playing time. We're just going to need better depth than the Juan Castro's and Jason Ellison's of the world, and I think guys like Hopper and Kepp are perfect for that role.

paulrichjr
08-20-2007, 12:41 AM
The problem with the "hits for no power" talk is that the Reds have been full of "power" hitters for years and haven't gotten anywhere. When Kepp comes to bat you almost expect a hit. Not one player on the team in the past 2 years has seemed to have the ability to get a hit when needed. This team shows that they win when someone gets on base in front of the power guys. This dependence upon power has gotten us nowhere. Let's try something different. Winning is more fun than watching an extra homerun a week.

fearofpopvol1
08-20-2007, 12:57 AM
The problem with the "hits for no power" talk is that the Reds have been full of "power" hitters for years and haven't gotten anywhere. When Kepp comes to bat you almost expect a hit. Not one player on the team in the past 2 years has seemed to have the ability to get a hit when needed. This team shows that they win when someone gets on base in front of the power guys. This dependence upon power has gotten us nowhere. Let's try something different. Winning is more fun than watching an extra homerun a week.

This is a great point and something that absolutely should not be overlooked. Hatteberg has sort of been providing that, but he's LH. Keppinger is RH and we have desperately needed a good right handed contact hitter, which is something Hopper has sort of brought in. I don't see Hopper as an everyday player though, but it has made the games more interesting when he's been in.

cincrazy
08-20-2007, 01:40 AM
I'm not knocking Kepp for his lack of power. I'm just stating that as far as any type of XBH, whether it be homer, triple, or double, Kepp doesn't provide a lot of that, and most guys that are just singles hitters are speed guys like Ichiro, not 27 year old's that have been around a while.

Again, I'm not taking anything away from Keppinger, and I agree with the point above that we need a guy like him on our team, with an emphasis on putting the ball in play. But our power and lack of singles hitters haven't been the reason we haven't won in years, it's the lack of pitching.

Me and one of my best friends go back and forth on Keppinger all the time. He thinks he should be starting no matter what, and I think we should ride him while we can. But the fact is, the guy's not going to continue to hit .368, and he's not extremely young, either. He can be a very valuable part of this club, as I've said, and I would by no means be upset if he had a starting role. I just think he'd be best suited coming off of the bench.

TOBTTReds
08-20-2007, 01:49 AM
The problem with the "hits for no power" talk is that the Reds have been full of "power" hitters for years and haven't gotten anywhere. When Kepp comes to bat you almost expect a hit. Not one player on the team in the past 2 years has seemed to have the ability to get a hit when needed. This team shows that they win when someone gets on base in front of the power guys. This dependence upon power has gotten us nowhere. Let's try something different. Winning is more fun than watching an extra homerun a week.

If we knew he was going to hit like this next year, heck yeah! But he won't. Here is a post from another thread I made:


His isolated power numbers are showing just how high he is hitting over his head. In years that he had over 200 AB's at one level, his ISOP numbers are:

.075 - '04 - AA (Altoona)
.118 - '05 - AAA (Norfolk)
.059 - '06 - AAA (Norfolk)
.101 - '07 - AAA (Louisville)

.193 - '07 - MLB (Cincinnati) This number is WAY above his career norms. At a repeat of AAA Norfolk, his ISOP actually went down by a lot in his 2nd year...not good.

Great bench player, but he won't hit like this forever. I like the guy, but don't make any major moves based around him.

cincrazy
08-20-2007, 02:08 AM
If we knew he was going to hit like this next year, heck yeah! But he won't. Here is a post from another thread I made:

:clap:

MartyFan
08-20-2007, 02:17 AM
Keep Gonzo and make Keppinger a utility player...Love what he is doing, let let him continue to do it.

mth123
08-20-2007, 02:17 AM
Neither.

I try and trade Gonzalez for something useful at an area of need and clear his 08 and 09 obligations from the books. Gonzalez is not a huge problem for the Reds at SS and really isn't all that overpaid in future years with his current contract in this market, but he's expendable. If defense is the primary goal at SS, its out there for cheap and the Reds need money to improve the pitching staff

Keppinger can spot around getting RH ABs at 1B, maybe SS 1 day a week (or for longer stints in a hot streak) and be the primary back-up at 2B and 3B (with 10 to 15 starts per year at each spot). This should still get Kepp about 4 starts a week or so w/o committing a primary spot to him.

I try to acquire a young cheap SS of the future, but if that fails, go with a cheap and easily acquired glove man at SS. Pedro Lopez or a similar 4A glove guy is good enough. The Reds need the $ for the pitching staff and glove guys for SS are relatively cheap and easy to find.

AtomicDumpling
08-20-2007, 02:22 AM
I voted for Keppinger.

I would put Keppinger at 2B and put Phillips at SS.

Gonzalez to me has not fulfilled the hype he garnered when the Reds signed him. We were hearing stories from Narron and Francona and others that Gonzo was "the best SS they had ever seen." Well, I have seen dozens of better shortstops than Gonzo. I wouldn't be surprised if Phillips were a better shortstop than Gonzo.

Keppinger doesn't have nearly as much power as Gonzo, but Keppinger has much better batting average and on-base skills than Gonzo. The kicker is that Gonzo makes 7x more money than Keppinger. That is why I would trade Gonzo if we can find a good deal.

The other option is to trade Keppinger rather than keep him as a bench player. I would imagine some team out there would be willing to trade a fairly good pitcher for Keppinger as hot as he has been. His trade value has never been higher, now is the peak of his value. Right now we have more good hitters than we can put on the field, so why not trade from our excess and patch a hole in the pitching staff? We all know we could use a good pitcher, right?

camisadelgolf
08-20-2007, 05:53 AM
Having Valentin, Cantu, Keppinger, Lopez, Freel, and Hopper on the bench next year sounds like a pretty darn good bench to me. It gives you speed, power, contact, and defense.

oneupper
08-20-2007, 07:36 AM
Keep Kepp and Hopper as IF/OF backups. Trade Freel.

GAC
08-20-2007, 10:44 AM
Gonzalez is not a huge problem for the Reds at SS and really isn't all that overpaid in future years with his current contract in this market, but he's expendable. If defense is the primary goal at SS, its out there for cheap and the Reds need money to improve the pitching staff

Where though? Give some names of cheap, defensive SS's that can be easily had, or were missed?

Now I realize you list Pedro Lopez as an example/possibility (below)....


I try to acquire a young cheap SS of the future, but if that fails, go with a cheap and easily acquired glove man at SS. Pedro Lopez or a similar 4A glove guy is good enough. The Reds need the $ for the pitching staff and glove guys for SS are relatively cheap and easy to find.

I know he was ranked by Baseball America (2004?), as one of the top defensive INFers; but aren't we going to too much of an extreme - you're definitely downgrading your offensive production from that position as compared to what Gonzo has given us this year - in order to save a buck? And on the other side of the coin we really have no idea how he may pan out defensively either.

Again - a big risk there just to save some money.

I understand your objective in what you're wanting to do - to improve our pitching; but I believe we can achieve that in other areas by ridding ourselves of "dead wood" and save money. We just dropped Lohse's 4 Mil, will lose Conine's 2 Mil at season's end, Milton's 10 Mil comes off the books, and I think there is more. But I think we can achieve it without divesting (hurting) ourselves in this area when Gonzo's yearly salary is pretty reasonable IMO, when I look at this market.

GAC
08-20-2007, 10:46 AM
Keep Kepp and Hopper as IF/OF backups. Trade Freel.

What about Farney? Can we get a 2 fer 1 deal? http://www.freesmileys.org/emo/merv/chaplin.gif (http://www.freesmileys.org)

redsmetz
08-20-2007, 10:53 AM
Keep Kepp and Hopper as IF/OF backups. Trade Freel.

I agree that Freel is expendable, although I doubt he's tradeable until next spring so clubs can see if he returns healthy. Did he say something about playing winter ball since he'd missed so much of the season?

Johnny Footstool
08-20-2007, 10:58 AM
The problem with the "hits for no power" talk is that the Reds have been full of "power" hitters for years and haven't gotten anywhere. When Kepp comes to bat you almost expect a hit. Not one player on the team in the past 2 years has seemed to have the ability to get a hit when needed. This team shows that they win when someone gets on base in front of the power guys. This dependence upon power has gotten us nowhere. Let's try something different. Winning is more fun than watching an extra homerun a week.

The offense hasn't been the problem for the past few years.

bucksfan2
08-20-2007, 11:02 AM
I like Keppinger a lot, he's a very good player, and he'll probably be around .300, but the fact is he hits for almost no power. I'm not sure I can justify giving him SS or 3B when he's strictly a singles hitter. I'd say if he's a guy that could come off the bench and sub in not only the infield, but also the outfield, he'd be a very valuable piece of this club, especially as a pinch hitter.

This team's going to need some valuable bench guys, and I think guys like Hopper and Kepp fill that role perfectly. That's not a knock on their abilities, and with the right manager they'd still get plenty of playing time. We're just going to need better depth than the Juan Castro's and Jason Ellison's of the world, and I think guys like Hopper and Kepp are perfect for that role.

Keppinger is exactly the type of hitter the reds need in their lineup every day. Dunn, Griffey, Hamilton, and Phillips all posess power but the reds don't have a single player who is going to hit over .300 outside of Hatty and Hatty is in the tail end of his career. I don't like to slot what offensive number a guy should produce becaues of the defensive position he plays. IMO Keppinger is a player who has earned the right to play every day. The guy is hitting in the .360's and really shows no signs of slowing down. He is the type of hitter who isn't going to go into prolonged slumps. I have always been a supporter of Edwin but right now I would take Keppinger over Edwin. I don't care about Keppinger's lack of power he does something that no one else on this team does, he hits the ball hard without striking out.

Johnny Footstool
08-20-2007, 11:08 AM
He is the type of hitter who isn't going to go into prolonged slumps.

That type of hitter is *extremely* rare. Even Derek Jeter goes through prolonged slumps.

So far, Keppinger hasn't slumped, but let him tour the league a couple more times and then we'll talk about him being slump-proof.

KronoRed
08-20-2007, 02:42 PM
Everyone goes into big slumps now and then, the trouble with all average guys who don't walk is they are useless when they aren't hitting the ball.

Why oh why did they give Freel an contract extension?

cincrazy
08-20-2007, 03:00 PM
If Jeff Keppinger continues to hit .360, I will move to Chicago, become a Cubs fan, and buy season tickets in the bleacher seats. I kid you not.

RedsManRick
08-20-2007, 03:14 PM
I'm not sure that the difference between the two in terms of overall contribution is worth the financial commitment to Alex Gonzalez.

In 2008, Gonzo will make $4.625M; '09:$5.375M. That's a lot of pay a guy who's basically living off of a defensive reputation. Conceptually, I understand the value of a great glove guy and SS and how it can make up for a lot of defensive shortcomings. However, that formula only works if the guy is really that good defensively. I have yet to be convinced that he is.

Factoring in GABP, Both Keppinger and AGone are .750 OPS guys (.300/.350/.400 and .260/.300/.450 respectively). While the HRs are sexy, I'll take the OBP in this case. In all, I'd call them a wash offensively.

So, is AGone worth ~$5M more than Keppinger on the strength of his defense alone? Not in my estimation. Don't get me wrong, I don't think Keppinger is a great option at 2B/SS either and would not build a roster around that idea. However, given the choice presented in this scenario, I'd rather have Keppinger, $5M to invest elsewhere, and the trade return of AGone than AGone at SS and Keppinger on the bench. Again, neither is a great option and we should be exploring ways to improve at SS in any case, but that's my preference.

fearofpopvol1
08-20-2007, 03:21 PM
For those that continue to suggest that Phillips should play SS, it's NEVER going to happen! If it didn't happen this past offseason (when the Reds had no SS), it's not going to happen now. He has come into his own at 2B and is gold glove caliber there. The Reds would be foolish to try experimenting this point with moving him there. He has played very little at SS at the major league level anyhow.

Sea Ray
08-20-2007, 08:15 PM
I like Keppinger a lot, he's a very good player, and he'll probably be around .300, but the fact is he hits for almost no power. I'm not sure I can justify giving him SS or 3B when he's strictly a singles hitter. I'd say if he's a guy that could come off the bench and sub in not only the infield, but also the outfield, he'd be a very valuable piece of this club, especially as a pinch hitter.




I'm not a believer that SS is a position of power. This team needs more of Kepp's skills (OBP, contact) than power. See David Eckstein.

It all gets down to projections. What will he do in the next couple of years? I'd like to see a more athletic, rangy SS for the Reds but unless Gonzo picks up his play in 2008, Kepp would be a decent option for this team at SS. It's not like we're benching Barry Larkin to start this guy. You've got to compare him with options that are currently in the organization.

As for 2007, Kepp has been a better overall choice at SS than Gonzo or anyone else on this team.

Sea Ray
08-20-2007, 08:18 PM
For those that continue to suggest that Phillips should play SS, it's NEVER going to happen! If it didn't happen this past offseason (when the Reds had no SS), it's not going to happen now. He has come into his own at 2B and is gold glove caliber there. The Reds would be foolish to try experimenting this point with moving him there. He has played very little at SS at the major league level anyhow.

I too am puzzled why so many around here continue to pencil Phillips in at SS. We've seen more of Kepp at SS already than we've ever seen of BP at SS. The decision has been made that BP would not be a good major league SS and the Reds' brass have seen him take more grounders at SS than those of us banging on our computer keyboards all day.

vaticanplum
08-20-2007, 08:33 PM
Keppinger doesn't have nearly as much power as Gonzo, but Keppinger has much better batting average and on-base skills than Gonzo. The kicker is that Gonzo makes 7x more money than Keppinger. That is why I would trade Gonzo if we can find a good deal.

I still like the Gonzo signing a lot, Keppinger or no Keppinger, but I have to think that his trade value will be at a massive low after this season. His defense hasn't been up to par when he's played, and his availability is (understandably) much in question for the foreseeable future.

I don't think the Reds would do themselves any favors by trading him before 2008. See how available Gonzo is next year and fool around with the infield if you have to. By the end of next season the Reds should have a much better idea of Keppinger's long-term capabilities as well as Gonzo's future.

Wheelhouse
08-20-2007, 09:19 PM
Keppinger is not an everyday player.

He is, however, an upgrade from Juan Castro.

Alex Gonzalez or Brandon Phillips should be the starting SS in 2008.

He's hitting about .370. I don't think there is any definitive word on whether this young player is a starter or not. The Reds would be well served by letting his performance determine that.

GAC
08-20-2007, 09:31 PM
How can anyone assume that Keppinger is not, nor can become, an everyday player? Based on what?

camisadelgolf
08-20-2007, 09:36 PM
I think Keppinger could be a Joe Randa-type at third or Todd Walker-type at second, but at shortstop, his lack of range is particularly noticeable. I don't mind him getting a spot start at short every once in a while, but with EE and BP on the team, I'd prefer to see him as a reserve (unless he continues to hit like he's been hitting this year, which I doubt he will).

Rojo
08-20-2007, 09:40 PM
Every morning I wake up thinking Keppinger's a fluke and every night he raps out two hits.

Always Red
08-20-2007, 09:42 PM
Every morning I wake up thinking Keppinger's a fluke and every night he raps out two hits.

I do, too.

I love being wrong! BTW, Kepp has two more hits thus far tonight, and is up to .380 right now.

Matt700wlw
08-20-2007, 09:48 PM
I do, too.

I love being wrong! BTW, Kepp has two more hits thus far tonight, and is up to .380 right now.

3-3 now

red-in-la
08-20-2007, 10:05 PM
As always, I am on a fence.
One side says that I like Keppinger a lot - he has been coming up with hits, and timely ones. He is also hitting the age where he should be hitting his ability summit - so why not go with the hotter hand.
On the other side, I remember guys in the past whom the Reds have given a chance after such short termed success: Freel, Wily Mo, Denorfia, Jimenez, young Castro, to name a few of the more recent players. Could we be doing the same in expecting a lot more out of Keppinger than he is capable of?
I think in the end, I see him as a super-sub type player, starting here and there when a player needs a rest or gets injured.

Man....I bet that hurts.....:eek:

GAC
08-20-2007, 10:22 PM
3-3 now

4 fer 4

Big Klu
08-20-2007, 10:24 PM
4 fer 4

Nope. "Only" 3-for-4.

GAC
08-20-2007, 10:26 PM
Nope. "Only" 3-for-4.

I'll never believe a Brennaman again :lol:

KronoRed
08-20-2007, 11:09 PM
Why did you in the first place? ;)

WVRedsFan
08-21-2007, 02:34 AM
I keep thinking Chris Stynes. I can't help it. He came up and like Kepp, was batting near .400 and a lot of us thought he was the next big one. and then...well, you know.

Kepp for versatile bench guy.

That is all...

Always Red
08-21-2007, 07:57 AM
I keep thinking Chris Stynes. I can't help it. He came up and like Kepp, was batting near .400 and a lot of us thought he was the next big one. and then...well, you know.

Kepp for versatile bench guy.

That is all...

I agree; but I'd ride this horse until it falls down.

Stranger things have happened than Kepp having the stuff to be a starter; sometimes all of the scouts and pundits are wrong- Mike Piazza went from 62nd round draft choice to Hall of Famer. :beerme:

The best thing for Kepp is that he has done well enough, that like Chris Stynes, his future will be decided by himself out on the field, not by a GM in an office. He's played well enough that he has value now, and they're going to keep running him out there, until he proves that he cannot do it.

osuceltic
08-21-2007, 09:39 AM
A weak spot in statistical analysis and player projections based on those analyses is the late bloomer. Some guys just take longer to reach their potential -- and that potential isn't as high as some others. But that doesn't mean they can't be valuable major leaguers. Chris Sabo was a good example. Brady Clark was another. These are guys who work hard, study the game, and eventually max out their natural abilities. Maybe Keppinger is that kind of guy.

We don't know, but I'm not in nearly the rush to bury him on the bench that most here seem to be.

cincrazy
08-21-2007, 01:42 PM
A weak spot in statistical analysis and player projections based on those analyses is the late bloomer. Some guys just take longer to reach their potential -- and that potential isn't as high as some others. But that doesn't mean they can't be valuable major leaguers. Chris Sabo was a good example. Brady Clark was another. These are guys who work hard, study the game, and eventually max out their natural abilities. Maybe Keppinger is that kind of guy.

We don't know, but I'm not in nearly the rush to bury him on the bench that most here seem to be.

I don't think anyone is wanting to "bury him on the bench." There's no shame in being a valuable part of a good team's bench. Kepp is good, but where does he start? If we trade Edwin, that's one thing. But what if Edwin meets his potential?

This team DESPERATELY needs a good bench, and player's like Hopper and Kepp can help that cause.

Kepp is a good player, but I don't know HOW good. A guy like him has very little margin for error. If he turns out to be a .300 hitter, that's great. But what if he's a .260 or .270 hitter as a starter, while also generating no XBH's, is he worth it then? It's too soon to say one way or the other.

LINEDRIVER
08-21-2007, 04:50 PM
I keep thinking Chris Stynes. I can't help it. He came up and like Kepp, was batting near .400 and a lot of us thought he was the next big one. and then...well, you know.

Kepp for versatile bench guy.

That is all...

Chris Stynes came to the Reds in August, 1997 and appeared in 49 games before the season was over. He spent most of that time in the outfield. The right-handed hitting Stynes had a rough time adjusting to lefthanded big league pitching. Over Aug & Sept, he went 8-for-41 and hit .195 against the lefthanders. However, he ripped the righties pretty good by going 61-for-157 for a. 389 BA. He went into Sept 1, 1997 with a .409 BA. He cooled off some and wound up with a .348 BA for the year.

RedsManRick
08-21-2007, 05:23 PM
Stynes in ~2900 minor league PA: .303/.340/.436
Stynes in ~2500 major league PA: .275/.335/.399

He upped his walk rate, lost some batting average and the slugging that went along with it.

Keppinger in ~2400 minor league PA: .320/.373/.419
Keppinger in ~300 major league PA: .307/.361/.433

Lost a little average, gained a little power.

Keppinger is little bit more of a slap hitting OBP guy and a little less power than Stynes. But overall the comp is pretty good. Sub-par everyday player, plus utility/bench guy. I have very little confidence that Keppinger is suddenly Michael Young. The Freddy Sanchez comp is still the closest I've seen. Across the board offensively and defensively they're nearly the same guy.

Eric_Davis
08-21-2007, 05:33 PM
Unlike Stynes, Keppinger hits lefties and righties. Stynes weaknesses were quickly exposed. That .409 AVG in August was vs 92 plate appearances. He hit .300 in Sep/Oct in about 121 plate appearances.

Keppinger seems to be getting better and through 129 plate appearances he has his average rising. Stynes was 50/50 BB/K that year and for 2 more years before he started stiking out twice as much as he walked. Keppinger has a 13/5 BB/K ratio.

Kepp's OPS numbers are increasing also, where Stynes' OPS went from .980 during those first 92 PA's in Aug to .800 during those 123 PA's in Sep/Oct.

Kepp's AVG/OBP/SLG last 7 days (35 PA's): .481/.588/.556 for a 1.144 OPS
Kepp's AVG/OBP/SLG last 14 days (50 PA's): .463/.551/.585 for a 1.136 OPS
Kepp's AVG/OBP/SLG last 28 days (93 PA's): .405/.478/.557 for a 1.035 OPS

On the year against LH's Keppinger is hitting .467/.515/.533 for a 1.048 OPS (36 PA's)
On the year against RH's Keppinger is hitting .350/.429/.550 for a .979 OPS (93 PA's)

His 20 RBI's and 20 Runs project out to 101/101 on a 162 game season with 50 Doubles, 5 Triples and 10 Homeruns.

It's not like this guy wasn't supposed to be good. He was picked at the top of the 4th Round.

jojo
08-21-2007, 08:04 PM
Unlike Stynes, Keppinger hits lefties and righties. Stynes weaknesses were quickly exposed. That .409 AVG in August was vs 92 plate appearances. He hit .300 in Sep/Oct in about 121 plate appearances.

Keppinger seems to be getting better and through 129 plate appearances he has his average rising. Stynes was 50/50 BB/K that year and for 2 more years before he started stiking out twice as much as he walked. Keppinger has a 13/5 BB/K ratio.

Kepp's OPS numbers are increasing also, where Stynes' OPS went from .980 during those first 92 PA's in Aug to .800 during those 123 PA's in Sep/Oct.

Kepp's AVG/OBP/SLG last 7 days (35 PA's): .481/.588/.556 for a 1.144 OPS
Kepp's AVG/OBP/SLG last 14 days (50 PA's): .463/.551/.585 for a 1.136 OPS
Kepp's AVG/OBP/SLG last 28 days (93 PA's): .405/.478/.557 for a 1.035 OPS

On the year against LH's Keppinger is hitting .467/.515/.533 for a 1.048 OPS (36 PA's)
On the year against RH's Keppinger is hitting .350/.429/.550 for a .979 OPS (93 PA's)

His 20 RBI's and 20 Runs project out to 101/101 on a 162 game season with 50 Doubles, 5 Triples and 10 Homeruns.

It's not like this guy wasn't supposed to be good. He was picked at the top of the 4th Round.

100 PAs are meaningless when projecting a fellow.... Keppinger is a bench player having the time of his life. Good for him, I hope he's enjoying the ride.

Eric_Davis
08-21-2007, 08:05 PM
100 PAs are meaningless when projecting a fellow.... Keppinger is a bench player having the time of his life. Good for him, I hope he's enjoying the ride.


Everyone in your eyes is a bench player.

jojo
08-21-2007, 08:13 PM
Everyone in your eyes is a bench player.

Snarkiness is best served when it's based in fact....

:mooner:

RedsManRick
08-21-2007, 08:26 PM
Keppinger's OPS from this point forward to end the season.... Everybody guess. Closest wins the prize.

I'll go with .805 with a line of .290/.355/.450 with lots of double plays.

Prize is the Juan Castro guide to above replacement production. May or may not actually exist.

Rojo
08-21-2007, 09:39 PM
I think Keppinger could be a Joe Randa-type at third or Todd Walker-type at second

I like the comps. I'd add Kevin Seitzer or Ken Oberkfell. All could fill in a position and were useful as long as they kept the average high. I think the trick is knowing how high that should be. These guys can go coyote in a hurry. One day you wake up and your
.315/.370/.430 guy who doesn't strike out or throw the ball into the stands is now .270/.330/.385. Now you realize that he's got the range of a tetherball, less power than a Russian legislator and needs three hits to score from second.

Eric_Davis
08-21-2007, 09:42 PM
I'll go with .345/.414/.486 for a .900 OPS.

Eric_Davis
08-21-2007, 09:44 PM
Brandon...you da man!

Eric_Davis
08-21-2007, 09:53 PM
Snarkiness is best served when it's based in fact....

:mooner:


Seriously, if you listed everyone that you thought was worthy of starter's status, only half the teams or less would would be filling their rosters with someone on the field.

Starter does not equal 10-year Major Leaguer.

Many, many, many, many starters are "legitimate, qualified, and capable" starters for 1 to 4 years in their careers.

Keppinger can be a quality starter for a couple of years at least.

He obviously is in 2007.

Eric_Davis
08-21-2007, 09:55 PM
I like the comps. I'd add Kevin Seitzer or Ken Oberkfell. All could fill in a position and were useful as long as they kept the average high. I think the trick is knowing how high that should be. These guys can go coyote in a hurry. One day you wake up and your
.315/.370/.430 guy who doesn't strike out or throw the ball into the stands is now .270/.330/.385. Now you realize that he's got the range of a tetherball, less power than a Russian legislator and needs three hits to score from second.

Excellent examples.

jojo
08-21-2007, 10:16 PM
Seriously, if you listed everyone that you thought was worthy of starter's status, only half the teams or less would would be filling their rosters with someone on the field.

And seriously that's neither an accurate nor fair statement.


Starter does not equal 10-year Major Leaguer.

Many, many, many, many starters are "legitimate, qualified, and capable" starters for 1 to 4 years in their careers.

Keppinger can be a quality starter for a couple of years at least.

Legitimate, qualified, capable and quality are generalizations that can mean a lot of things to a lot of people.

I view player evaluation this way...either the sum of a player's bat and glove represents an advantage for his team or he's a compromise. Keppinger is a defensive liabilty whose bat doesn't project to be good enough to carry his glove as a middle infielder. He doesn't have the pop/producion relative to the pool of guys playing corner positions to be an advantage there either.

As a starter, he'd most likely be a compromise.

fearofpopvol1
08-21-2007, 10:38 PM
1-4 tonight with a BB. Keppinger has a 10 game hitting streak.

WVPacman
08-22-2007, 12:49 AM
Guys I hav'nt read the whole five pages but I think Gonzo should stay at SS and if Keppinger keeps hitting the ball like he is then the reds should seriously think about trading EE.Some are saying that he isn't a everyday player BUT how do you know when he has'nt been given a chance.He is one of our best hitters on the team as of now and the guy should get rewarded for that.

He has outplayed and out hit EE in every way of the game.From what I have seen from the both of them I think Keppinger is a better player than EE.I think the real question should be is EE worthy of playing everyday next year when Keppinger has outplayed him in every way of the game.EE only has 8 homers and 50 rbi's I think!!! Now I can remember a few years ago on here some was saying that Casey should be traded b/c of his terrible stats.Well EE is now in that same boat and I think he should be treated the same b/c he just isn't producing.

Next year I would like to see
3b-Keppinger
ss-Gonzo
2b-Phillips
1b-Hatti or Votto

just my opinion!!

Sea Ray
08-22-2007, 11:10 AM
Although Kepp's range is not so great I really appreciate his steadiness defensively at SS. His throws to first are right on the money everytime. The first baseman doesn't even have to stretch to reach it. After what we've seen at SS since the Larkin years that makes me breathe a bit better whenever a ball is hit to SS. He is very fundamentally sound.

Sea Ray
08-22-2007, 09:55 PM
I'll tell you what, I'm starting to change my mind on this. I don't see any signs that this guy is going to forget how to hit and I'm not convinced he's the punch and judy hitter some around here have portrayed him as. Nor do I think he's a liability at SS. In fact I think he can get better. He really doesn't have a lot of experience at SS.

I'd do this:

I'd tell Kepp that he's got a chance to win the fulltime SS job next year. Work hard in the off season, take grounders ala Pete Rose 3B-1975, and if you outplay Gonzo in 2008 you'll be there after the Findlay Market Parade in April.

If that happens I think he'll win the job and next year we'll wonder why this was ever discussed in Aug of 2007. I think Reds' fans will not be complaining about the SS next summer.

fearofpopvol1
08-23-2007, 12:16 AM
2-4 tonight with a HR!!

BA is .381 for the season.

cincrazy
08-23-2007, 12:21 AM
I'll tell you what, I'm starting to change my mind on this. I don't see any signs that this guy is going to forget how to hit and I'm not convinced he's the punch and judy hitter some around here have portrayed him as. Nor do I think he's a liability at SS. In fact I think he can get better. He really doesn't have a lot of experience at SS.

I'd do this:

I'd tell Kepp that he's got a chance to win the fulltime SS job next year. Work hard in the off season, take grounders ala Pete Rose 3B-1975, and if you outplay Gonzo in 2008 you'll be there after the Findlay Market Parade in April.

If that happens I think he'll win the job and next year we'll wonder why this was ever discussed in Aug of 2007. I think Reds' fans will not be complaining about the SS next summer.

I'm starting to change my tune, too. The guy will obviously cool off, but he can flat out hit nonetheless, and he's not a liability on defense.

WVPacman
08-23-2007, 12:30 AM
I'm starting to change my tune, too. The guy will obviously cool off, but he can flat out hit nonetheless, and he's not a liability on defense.

Im telling you the guy would fit perfectly at 3rd base.You can't just give him the SS position b/c gonzo has'nt really gotten a chance to play everyday with his ill son.That would'nt be right to him BUT EE has had a major chance and he just isn't producing and I think Kepp would take that everyday position and run with it.I know nobody will agree with me but I think we should let EE go.His 8 homers and 50 rbi's is terrible.

cincrazy
08-23-2007, 12:47 AM
True, Edwin's number's aren't good, but last year he did ok, and his defense has improved considerably this season. I'm just not comfortable giving up on him quite yet. But then again, if we were going to trade him, now would be the time before he drives his value down any further. Tough call to make for WK.

fearofpopvol1
08-23-2007, 12:56 AM
I agree about EdE. His defense has really really improved since being sent down to Louisville. I'm not high on his offense though. His plate discipline really really bugs me. But, to his credit, he has great career numbers with runners in scoring position. I think Keppinger's build (defensively) fits 3B better, but I think I'd rather have EdE at 3rd (who is younger and cheaper) with Keppinger at SS rather than Gonzo who is older and more expensive. I'd take a slight dropoff in defense, but that's just me. This all assumes that Gonzo and his contract can be moved.

WVPacman
08-23-2007, 01:08 AM
I know what you mean fearofpopvol1,The way EE goes up there and bats really bothers me b/c it makes it look like he is only giving a half effort to hit the ball.Don't get me wrong I like EE but he just isn't proving to me that he deserves to be a everyday player.Kep,on the other hand is doing everything right... he can bat,field and gives 110% every game.

how old is Kep?

fearofpopvol1
08-23-2007, 01:27 AM
Keppinger is 26.

WVPacman
08-23-2007, 01:32 AM
Keppinger is 26.


Shoot that isn't old at all!!! If the reds play their cards right then this guy could be a red for a long time.

KronoRed
08-23-2007, 02:31 AM
Keppinger is 26.

He's 27

Ron Madden
08-23-2007, 03:36 AM
He's 27

Yep, and Edwin just turned 24.

fearofpopvol1
08-23-2007, 04:01 AM
Oops, yeah, my mistake. 27 he is.

Btw, 11 game hitting streak for Kepp now too.

jojo
08-23-2007, 04:18 PM
Here's an interesting nugget that Mitchel Lichtman (coauthor of "The Book", creator of UZR and current employee of the St Louis Cardinals) posted in a thread discussing streakiness on the blog that supports "the Book". Keppinger came up in the comments:


My current projection for Keppinger is good, about that of Hatteberg and about that of an average third baseman. Id be real happy to have this guy as my everyday second baseman.

http://www.insidethebook.com/ee/index.php/site/comments/streaks1/#23

BRM
08-23-2007, 04:57 PM
I’d be real happy to have this guy as my everyday second baseman.


So, Kepp projects to be an average third baseman and a slightly above average second baseman? I'd take that. Second base is already filled though.

Sea Ray
08-23-2007, 04:59 PM
So, Kepp projects to be an average third baseman and a slightly above average second baseman? I'd take that. Second base is already filled though.

Sounds like he'd be an above avg SS

BRM
08-23-2007, 05:03 PM
Sounds like he'd be an above avg SS

He definitely would offensively.

Sea Ray
08-23-2007, 05:06 PM
He definitely would offensively.

I agree so it kind of boils down to Gonzo or EE. My guess is EE will outplay Gonzo in the next couple of years so on this team Kepp could contribute most as a SS. I wouldn't put anything past the kid. I think if you told him to become a SS he would work at it like Bret Boone did at 2B.

jojo
08-23-2007, 05:08 PM
So, Kepp projects to be an average third baseman and a slightly above average second baseman? I'd take that. Second base is already filled though.

That isn't exactly what MGL was arguing.

jojo
08-23-2007, 05:09 PM
Sounds like he'd be an above avg SS

MGL certainly wasn't arguing that....

BRM
08-23-2007, 05:10 PM
That isn't exactly what MGL was arguing.

What exactly was he arguing?

camisadelgolf
08-23-2007, 05:11 PM
I wouldn't mind keeping Keppinger and selling high on Brandon Phillips.



Please don't shoot me.:scared:

KronoRed
08-23-2007, 05:20 PM
I wouldn't mind keeping Keppinger and selling high on Brandon Phillips.



Please don't shoot me.:scared:

*puts gun down*

;)

Cyclone792
08-23-2007, 05:22 PM
I went to last night's game and tried to get a good look at Keppinger's defense at shortstop. The first thing I noticed is Keppinger seems to have a pretty quick first step, and that's very important. When the bat makes contact with the ball, Keppinger's already moving and anticipating where the ball's going. This is great to see.

The downside is I'm not sure Keppinger's total range beyond a quick first step is all that great. He looks like he has a very short stride, so while his legs appear to be moving somewhat quick, he doesn't actually eat up much ground with each stride. That means his extended range may be lacking if he has to range far to field a ball in the infield. The quick first step will always help him, but the farther he has to range to field a ball, the more that short stride will hurt him.

I'd rate his arm strength at average, but his throws appear to be very true and accurate.

Now where to play him? Honestly, IMO, I think second base may be the best position for him defensively. His short stride and less extended range would start showing up at shortstop over a meaningful sample size, and his average arm strength may not be the best fit at third base. But he'd have a nice quick first step at second base, the option of backing up a step to help his extended range, and a very accurate arm. I really think he could play an average second base defensively without many problems.

Now I'd put the chances of the following happening at around 0.01 percent this offseason, but if it were up to me, I'd be shopping Alex Gonzalez this offseason. Gonzalez could bring in something decent, and it would give the Reds $10 million in financial flexibility over 2008-09 by moving his contract. Then I'd shift Phillips over to shortstop and install Keppinger at second base.

Keppinger won't hit .380 over a full season, or anything close to it. But I do think he could provide enough offense for the position over a full season or three, and I don't think his defense there would hurt him at all. Get a few cheap years of that type of production, and that could really turn into an asset for this organization.

BRM
08-23-2007, 05:33 PM
Keppinger will either be Mr. Utility or the starting third baseman next year IMO. I just can't see Phillips or Gonzalez being shopped.

KronoRed
08-23-2007, 05:34 PM
Keppinger will either be Mr. Utility or the starting third baseman next year IMO. I just can't see Phillips or Gonzalez being shopped.

Agreed.

BRM
08-23-2007, 06:09 PM
A poster on Trent's blog posted this blurb from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.



Keppinger is Cox's kind of player

Manager Bobby Cox heaped high praise on the Reds' Jeff Keppinger, formerly of Parkview and the University of Georgia. Keppinger went 2-for-4 Wednesday to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. "I told [pitching coach] Roger [McDowell] the night before, do you think we'll ever get Honus Wagner out?" Cox said. "... You can't strike him out. It's nothing but balls in play. He'll bloop them, line drive them, anything to keep them in play."

jojo
08-23-2007, 06:49 PM
What exactly was he arguing?

Given sample size issues with PBP defensive metrics, he was probably addressing Keppie's offensive potential (i.e. only half of the equation).

fearofpopvol1
08-24-2007, 12:07 AM
Kepp was 1 for 6 tonight, but his histting streak is still alive. In the month of August, he's hitting in the .400's. His average during the month of August is the highest posted by a Reds player since the 50's.

WVPacman
08-24-2007, 12:27 AM
Keppinger will either be Mr. Utility or the starting third baseman next year IMO. I just can't see Phillips or Gonzalez being shopped.

I agree completly!!!!

fearofpopvol1
08-24-2007, 10:54 PM
Kepp went 1 for 3 tonight with a BB and a HR! Extended his hitting streak.

Patrick Bateman
08-25-2007, 12:40 AM
Kepp as a utility player is best IMO, but as a starter at second he could be acceptable. He should be able to get on base enough to be an asset.

Cyclone's idea of dealing Gonzalez is a fine idea. Another one of trading Phillips could be a good idea. That wouldn't be a popular idea I'm sure, but he's a plyer that I think will always be overrated. He's not particularly patient, and he racks up counting stats. A very solid player, but not the top dollar player he will be in a few seasons.

However, trading Phillips only makes sense if you could get a massive return, and that possibility could make it a decent idea. If you could pry an Ian Snell type, you may want to pull the trigger. Otherwise, holding on to Phillips would be the way to go.

Of course the Reds could just use Kepp as the super utility player. I'm sure he could garner 350-400 at-bats in that role filling in at 3rd, SS, 2nd, and, LF. Someone will get injured eventually, and it would be nice to have some depth and a decent bench for a change.

But if you can move Gonzalez or Phillips and end up with a good starter in the return (or money saved) that may be the optimal use of assets. It depends on the market for the players.

The only flaw with moving Gonzalez, is that there are some serious doubts that Phillips may not be able to cut it at SS. He's been terrific at 2nd base this season, but SS can be a different animal. The Indians (and now the Reds) haven't seemed to think that Phillips can cut it as SS (and many scouts have suggested the same). If this was a realistic option, then the Reds should have been taking advantage of Gonzalez' absense by trying Phillips at SS to see if he can play the position adequately. The fact that the Reds have shown no effort to moving Phillips there probably suggests that it's not in their plans. If he could cut it at SS, then moving Gonzalez and freeing up budget space would be a no brainer IMO.

Sea Ray
08-25-2007, 12:48 AM
Kepp as a utility player is best IMO, but as a starter at second he could be acceptable. He should be able to get on base enough to be an asset.


What does this guy have to do to deserve a starting job with some of you? Why is he only a utility guy but Gonzo is a starter?

This guy has given every indication that he can hit a solid .300 in the majors and make contact 97% of the time. What other Red can do that? He's also playing solid defense wherever they put him. This is a player the Reds need to balance their power-laden free swinging lineup. A guy who hits .300 and plays steady INF defense deserves a starting job on most teams IMO.

Patrick Bateman
08-25-2007, 01:15 AM
What does this guy have to do to deserve a starting job with some of you? Why is he only a utility guy but Gonzo is a starter?

This guy has given every indication that he can hit a solid .300 in the majors and make contact 97% of the time. What other Red can do that? He's also playing solid defense wherever they put him. This is a player the Reds need to balance their power-laden free swinging lineup. A guy who hits .300 and plays steady INF defense deserves a starting job on most teams IMO.

Probably a proven track record.

It's not that I don't like Kepp. I was one of the few that wanted him on the roster since day 1 (except he was injured). There was no reason he should have been in the minors this season considering the Reds lack of depth.

My main problems with Kepp are that he doesn't walk a lot, offers little power, and isn't a great fielder due to lack of range. Now his lack of walks is not a big deal because of how often he hits the ball. I have no doubts that he will get enough hits to get on base at a good clip.

His career minor league slugging percentage is .419. His power has of course been better lately with the insane amount of hits he has been getting. The main problem is small sample size. Is Kepp going to bat .370? You can virtually guarntee that he won't, but how far of a fallback is there? He has been hit lucky since coming up and has been exceptional, but you have to remember, it'sonly been a 130 at-bat sample. Over a full season, his hits are going to stop finding holes constantly and will find gloves. Nobody is going to BAPIP .370 for much of a length of time.

So I expect a major fallback. My expectations are that he will hit around .315/.365/.435 over a full season. His minor league track record doesn't indicate that his current success will last forever. These are very fine numbers, but knowing the numbers of an average 3rd baseman, he's not a major asset there. Considering the fielding neccessary to be a competent SS, I don't see Kepp being an asset there either.

I like Kepp at 2nd. His bat fits well there, and his fielding skillset should work well too. Unfortunately for him, the Reds have Brandon Phillips there. If he weren't here, I would penicl Kepp in the line-up there everyday in a second.

I'd prefer to keep Gonzalez at SS because of his fielding ability where he is acceptable, and I want the Reds to continue giving Encarnacion a chance at 3rd base because I see him having a higher ceiling than Kepp because of his hopefully deeloping power and fielding abilities.

Anyways, I think Kepp will get tons of at-bats in a utility role. If just about anyone gets injured or needs a day off, Kepp will find himself in the line-up. There should be 350+ at-bats waiting for him easily. Having an extra starting calibre player is not a bad thing, especially when he is so versatile. No team is going to get through a full season without needing a really good back-up player.

So if there is a market for Gonzalez and you can move his salary and acquire some pitching, then great. If you can move Phillips for a stud starter, great. I have no problem finding a spot for Kepp in the right role. That might be the optimal use of resources.

What I don't want to see the Reds do is get rid of EE while his value is at a lowpoint so that Kepp can play at 3rd base where I don't see him as a valuable asset. I just don't see Kepp is the stud many here do. A 130 at-bat sample size needs to be considered with guys without great track records. Look at Freddy Sanchez. He gets majorly lucky for a season. Makes the all-star team, becomes the centrepiece of the Pirates line-up and then proceeds to show his true colours, as a solid starter at 2nd. And that's how I see Kepp. He doesn't have the natural talent at the plate, and doesn't have the great fielding abilities to stick at SS. Don't confuse Kepp as a star. He's valuable in the right role, but don't go creating room for him in the wrong spots. That's what turns him from being an asset to a pretty meh player.

Spitball
08-25-2007, 01:20 AM
Range is a huge part of defense especially at a middle infield position.

I've posted this before, but watch Keppinger. His reactionary first step off the bat is not very quick. That is usually the difference between the haves and have nots in the middle infield. With long term exposure, Red fans would surely see his flaws.

WVPacman
08-25-2007, 01:39 AM
Guys its going to be very interesting to see were the reds put Kep next year.The guy is tearing it up on offense and defense and he has a good arm in the field.Did you see him throw out that runner at 1st base?? He was behind 2nd in the grass and nailed the guy at first.Say what you want but this guy is turning into a everyday player IF he isn't that already.I really think he will be a starter next year for the reds.I don't see the reds trading Phillips b/c he is the heart and soul of this team.I don't see Gonzo losing his SS job b/c the truth is that he did'nt have a chance this year to show what he can do b/c his heart was somewhere else with his ill son.

The player that I would try to move is EE b/c he just isn't getting it done on a consistant basis.Nine homers and 52 rbis is terrible and will not get it done with any team.We have a guy in Kep,that is tearing the cover off the ball and is playing great defense yet some still says he isn't a everyday player.Kep,is a everyday player and the reds should trade EE RIGHT NOW b/c the time is right.Kep at 3rd base!!!

DoogMinAmo
08-25-2007, 01:47 AM
Lost in the hubbub of Kep's hot August, EE has been on fire as well.

.320 avg, .346 OBP, .480 SLG, .826 OPS, 13 RS, 11 RBI in 19 games

Cant we keep EE too?

WVPacman
08-25-2007, 01:49 AM
Lost in the hubbub of Kep's hot August, EE has been on fire as well.

.320 avg, .346 OBP, .480 SLG, .826 OPS, 13 RS, 11 RBI in 19 games

Cant we keep EE too?


The only way I see them keep EE is if they let Hatti go and keep votto down at AAA and put Kep at 1st.

Patrick Bateman
08-25-2007, 01:50 AM
One thing to note is that EE now has a better RC/27 than Phillips.

You could make the argument that EE at his worst has outproduce Phillips this season, een with the much smaller amount of couting stats. I'm not suggesting that EE has been better than Phillips this seaosn, because he hasn't when positions are considered. But if this debate comes down to who you's bat in the line-up - EE or Phillips (with Kepp replacing the other) EE could be the right choice, especially when Phillips has much higher trade value IMO. And that's what it really comes down to. Position at that point doesn't really matter since Kepp is in the line-up in either scenario. Moving Phillips as opposed to EE would be a much better use of assets.

WVPacman
08-25-2007, 02:02 AM
I just don't see the reds trading Phillips before they would EE.Phillips plays better defense,hits the ball better,runs the bases better than EE.Its just my opinion but Phillips is a much better player than EE and to trade Phillips and keep EE a player that is inconsistant every year would just be plain stupid.Don't get me wrong I like EE but if I had to pick which one I would keep it would be Phillips without a doubt.

Patrick Bateman
08-25-2007, 02:17 AM
As I said, Phillips has been the far better player this seaosn(due mainly because of his aility to play a more skillful position).

My point is that the decision mainly comes down to hitting ability. If you get rid of Phillips, then you have Kepp ready to play 2nd. If you get rid of EE, then Kepp plays 3rd. The fact that Phillips plays 2nd and EE plays third isn't that big of a deal, especially when the replacement's fielding ability works on paper better at 2nd.

EE's and Phillip's bats are actually pretty close this season. Phillips counting stats inflates his value. Considering that Phillips should have far greater value, keeping Edwin oer Phillips may be the right choice since Kepp can play either position. Phillips may be the more valuable player, but in the Reds circumstance, much of Phillips' value to the team is lost by the Reds having a viable replacement for the position, while at 3rd base, Kepp's bat doesn't project as well. The optimal value IMO, is keeping Edwin and getting a valuable haul for Phillips. Anyways, my first hope is to seeif Phillips sticks at SS so they can trade Gonzalez.

However, I do agree with you Pacman. The Reds aren't going to trade Phillips. Like most other teams, I'm sure they value Phillips higher than I do.

DoogMinAmo
08-25-2007, 02:21 AM
I just don't see the reds trading Phillips before they would EE.Phillips plays better defense,hits the ball better,runs the bases better than EE.Its just my opinion but Phillips is a much better player than EE and to trade Phillips and keep EE a player that is inconsistant every year would just be plain stupid.Don't get me wrong I like EE but if I had to pick which one I would keep it would be Phillips without a doubt.

EEs defense, now that you mention it, has been amazing of late as well. Since he was recalled from Louisville, actually, he has been beyond consistant, and bordering spectacular. EE gets a bad wrap because he started the year off bad and his defense has been a work in progress. But I think we have actually seen improvement in his game.

That much being said, let's remove names from the equation.

If you had to choose between a plus defender at 3rd and a plus defender at 2nd with equal offensive stats, who do you pick?

I like Phillips, but almost everyone would pick the 3rd sacker. Like I said, why cant we have both?

KronoRed
08-25-2007, 02:25 AM
If EE can keep it up and end with a flourish it'll be interesting to see what the Reds do, he's young and cheap, not someone you want to dump.

Patrick Bateman
08-25-2007, 02:26 AM
I like Phillips, but almost everyone would pick the 3rd sacker. Like I said, why cant we have both?

My reason would be that Phillips may not be able to play SS. If he stinks there, and I'd love to see him given the chance, then the Reds will likely need to keep Gonzalez.

With a viable alternative at 2nd to Phillips, in that scenario, I think the Reds could get a ton in a trade to make moving Phillips worthwhile. IMO, Phillips is quite oerrated. I don't like his on base skills, and I think his counting stats inflate his value.

If you could move Phillips, replace him easily, and come out with a stud starting pitcher, then that may be a better plan.

However, in a perfect world, you probably have EE at 3rd, Phillips at SS, Kepp at 2nd, and a prospect coming your way in a Gonzalez moe, plus 5M a year going towards finding another decent starting pitcher.

KronoRed
08-25-2007, 02:27 AM
Its just my opinion but Phillips is a much better player than EE and to trade Phillips and keep EE a player that is inconsistant every year would just be plain stupid

I don't see how the conclusion can be made that EE is "inconsistent every year" and Phillips is a sure thing considering both histories.

DoogMinAmo
08-25-2007, 02:54 AM
My reason would be that Phillips may not be able to play SS. If he stinks there, and I'd love to see him given the chance, then the Reds will likely need to keep Gonzalez.

With a viable alternative at 2nd to Phillips, in that scenario, I think the Reds could get a ton in a trade to make moving Phillips worthwhile. IMO, Phillips is quite oerrated. I don't like his on base skills, and I think his counting stats inflate his value.

If you could move Phillips, replace him easily, and come out with a stud starting pitcher, then that may be a better plan.

However, in a perfect world, you probably have EE at 3rd, Phillips at SS, Kepp at 2nd, and a prospect coming your way in a Gonzalez moe, plus 5M a year going towards finding another decent starting pitcher.


Next year, I start EE, Gonzo, and Phillips, with Kepp as a supersub spelling each of them once a week. If Kepp continues to rake in that role, I ship out Gonzo at the deadline for either prospects or help for a run, and bring up somone from the minors as a late inning defensive replacement.

For me, the priorities this off season are (in this order) find a 3rd starter, sign Dunn long term, find a taker for Stanton, sign BPhil and EE long term, a super stuff bullpen guy.

I like a lot of the current team's makeup, and the skill sets seems balanced. I would only want to tweak a few things, and I think they are headed in the right direction.

Ron Madden
08-25-2007, 03:50 AM
Probably a proven track record.

It's not that I don't like Kepp. I was one of the few that wanted him on the roster since day 1 (except he was injured). There was no reason he should have been in the minors this season considering the Reds lack of depth.

My main problems with Kepp are that he doesn't walk a lot, offers little power, and isn't a great fielder due to lack of range. Now his lack of walks is not a big deal because of how often he hits the ball. I have no doubts that he will get enough hits to get on base at a good clip.

His career minor league slugging percentage is .419. His power has of course been better lately with the insane amount of hits he has been getting. The main problem is small sample size. Is Kepp going to bat .370? You can virtually guarntee that he won't, but how far of a fallback is there? He has been hit lucky since coming up and has been exceptional, but you have to remember, it'sonly been a 130 at-bat sample. Over a full season, his hits are going to stop finding holes constantly and will find gloves. Nobody is going to BAPIP .370 for much of a length of time.

So I expect a major fallback. My expectations are that he will hit around .315/.365/.435 over a full season. His minor league track record doesn't indicate that his current success will last forever. These are very fine numbers, but knowing the numbers of an average 3rd baseman, he's not a major asset there. Considering the fielding neccessary to be a competent SS, I don't see Kepp being an asset there either.

I like Kepp at 2nd. His bat fits well there, and his fielding skillset should work well too. Unfortunately for him, the Reds have Brandon Phillips there. If he weren't here, I would penicl Kepp in the line-up there everyday in a second.

I'd prefer to keep Gonzalez at SS because of his fielding ability where he is acceptable, and I want the Reds to continue giving Encarnacion a chance at 3rd base because I see him having a higher ceiling than Kepp because of his hopefully deeloping power and fielding abilities.

Anyways, I think Kepp will get tons of at-bats in a utility role. If just about anyone gets injured or needs a day off, Kepp will find himself in the line-up. There should be 350+ at-bats waiting for him easily. Having an extra starting calibre player is not a bad thing, especially when he is so versatile. No team is going to get through a full season without needing a really good back-up player.

So if there is a market for Gonzalez and you can move his salary and acquire some pitching, then great. If you can move Phillips for a stud starter, great. I have no problem finding a spot for Kepp in the right role. That might be the optimal use of resources.

What I don't want to see the Reds do is get rid of EE while his value is at a lowpoint so that Kepp can play at 3rd base where I don't see him as a valuable asset. I just don't see Kepp is the stud many here do. A 130 at-bat sample size needs to be considered with guys without great track records. Look at Freddy Sanchez. He gets majorly lucky for a season. Makes the all-star team, becomes the centrepiece of the Pirates line-up and then proceeds to show his true colours, as a solid starter at 2nd. And that's how I see Kepp. He doesn't have the natural talent at the plate, and doesn't have the great fielding abilities to stick at SS. Don't confuse Kepp as a star. He's valuable in the right role, but don't go creating room for him in the wrong spots. That's what turns him from being an asset to a pretty meh player.

Good call, That's the way I see it as well.

Caveat Emperor
08-25-2007, 04:15 AM
If EE can keep it up and end with a flourish it'll be interesting to see what the Reds do, he's young and cheap, not someone you want to dump.

On the flipside -- young and cheap is precisely what is being overvalued the most in the current baseball market.

If EE finishes with a flourish, I actively look to move him to a budget-conscious small/mid market team in need of a RH corner infield bat. Try and get some high-level pitching prospects in return.

mth123
08-25-2007, 05:53 AM
On the flipside -- young and cheap is precisely what is being overvalued the most in the current baseball market.

If EE finishes with a flourish, I actively look to move him to a budget-conscious small/mid market team in need of a RH corner infield bat. Try and get some high-level pitching prospects in return.

Agree. EE or Votto for Kevin Slowey would be OK.

Sea Ray
08-25-2007, 09:53 AM
So I expect a major fallback. My expectations are that he will hit around .315/.365/.435 over a full season. His minor league track record doesn't indicate that his current success will last forever. These are very fine numbers, but knowing the numbers of an average 3rd baseman, he's not a major asset there. Considering the fielding neccessary to be a competent SS, I don't see Kepp being an asset there either.


I think that's a fair projection. My bet is those are above avg numbers for a SS. While he's not stellar there he's been very steady making very few errors.

Granted A Gon has had a trying year but his range is not what it once was. I don't think Kepp is much of a dropoff from Gonzo defensively as of today. I don't think he's the SS he was five years ago. Do you really think Gonzo (and his .260 numbers) is worth starting over Keppinger?

The improvement of the pen has been nice but IMO Kepp has been a huge reason why the team's record is so good under Mackanin. My bet is their record when Kepp starts at SS is excellent.

I'm not going to re-hash moving Phillips to SS. Face the fact that's not going to happen in this town. So the choice comes down to A Gon, Castro or Keppinger at SS. In my mind Gonzo is now the utility INF unless he wins his job back.

Sea Ray
08-25-2007, 10:04 AM
Why all the talk of moving Phillips or EE? A Gon is now in his 30s and he's a lifetime .247 hitter. Kepp, EE, and Phillips are still on the upsides of their career. You have to figure the numbers of EE, Kepp and Phillips will improve in the coming years while those of AG will decline.

jojo
08-25-2007, 11:18 AM
Why all the talk of moving Phillips or EE? A Gon is now in his 30s and he's a lifetime .247 hitter. Kepp, EE, and Phillips are still on the upsides of their career. You have to figure the numbers of EE, Kepp and Phillips will improve in the coming years while those of AG will decline.

It's a real safe bet that Kep's numbers aren't going to be improving.

Patrick Bateman
08-25-2007, 01:17 PM
I think that's a fair projection. My bet is those are above avg numbers for a SS. While he's not stellar there he's been very steady making very few errors.

Granted A Gon has had a trying year but his range is not what it once was. I don't think Kepp is much of a dropoff from Gonzo defensively as of today. I don't think he's the SS he was five years ago. Do you really think Gonzo (and his .260 numbers) is worth starting over Keppinger?

The improvement of the pen has been nice but IMO Kepp has been a huge reason why the team's record is so good under Mackanin. My bet is their record when Kepp starts at SS is excellent.

I'm not going to re-hash moving Phillips to SS. Face the fact that's not going to happen in this town. So the choice comes down to A Gon, Castro or Keppinger at SS. In my mind Gonzo is now the utility INF unless he wins his job back.


I agree Gonzalez' defense has slipped. He has made more mental errors than usual, and you have to wonder whether his child's illness is taking a major toll on him in that regard. If things change on that front, I think you will see Gonzalez get closer to his usual standards of fielding.

In any event, I really don't like Kepp at SS. He reminds me of Aurilia there. He's fine on the plays he gets to, but his range is extremely limited IMO. Plus I'm not a big fan of his arm. He seems that he really needs to load up to get a strong throw accross the diamond. That's just my opinion, you may see things very differently. It's the reason I see Kepp as a 2nd baseman

Because of that, I'd rather have Gonzalez at SS because I think he represents a major fielding upgrade over Keppinger, enough to offset what Kepp brings offensively. But if Phillips could make a smooth transition, than Gonzalez would be expendable. As of now, I just don't see Kepp being a terrific option at SS. The only place where I would really enjoy having him penciled in as a starter is 2nd base. Otherwise I prefer to keep him as a utility player.

Sea Ray
08-25-2007, 01:57 PM
I agree Kepp's skills are most ideally suited for 2B. In a perfect world we put Kepp at 2B and we have Barry Larkin or Dave Concepcion at SS. But this team has an All Star caliber 2B as it is. We have a SS that the Red Sox didn't even think was worthy of starting and I surmise others agreed because I don't think AG was over run with FA offers last year. Although's Kepp's range is limited he makes up for it by not making errors. I think his range is better than the 34 yr old Rich Aurilia we saw in Cincinnati.

I'll take Kepp at either 3B or SS but I want him in the lineup a lot. On this team I think SS is the best bet but if EE turns into Willie Greene that plan can change.

KronoRed
08-25-2007, 02:32 PM
It's a real safe bet that Kep's numbers aren't going to be improving.

Not at his age, this is peak years time.

Always Red
08-25-2007, 02:43 PM
Not at his age, this is peak years time.

And also there's the fact that he's already hitting .370; not even Ty Cobb himself could improve on those numbers! ;)

KronoRed
08-25-2007, 02:44 PM
And also there's the fact that he's already hitting .370; not even Ty Cobb himself could improve on those numbers! ;)

.470? :cool:

Always Red
08-25-2007, 02:44 PM
.470? :cool:

why not?! :D :beerme:

fearofpopvol1
08-25-2007, 11:32 PM
3 for 5 tonight for Kepp extending that hitting streak. Hopefully those that have said "there's not a big enough sample size to judge him at the major league yet" will cease those comments.

Caveat Emperor
08-25-2007, 11:52 PM
3 for 5 tonight for Kepp extending that hitting streak. Hopefully those that have said "there's not a big enough sample size to judge him at the major league yet" will cease those comments.

He's still a well below-average defender at a position that demands defensive proficiency.

fearofpopvol1
08-25-2007, 11:53 PM
He's still a well below-average defender at a position that demands defensive proficiency.

I wasn't talking about his defense. I was talking about his hitting.

RedsManRick
08-26-2007, 12:49 PM
3 for 5 tonight for Kepp extending that hitting streak. Hopefully those that have said "there's not a big enough sample size to judge him at the major league yet" will cease those comments.

Actually no, 5 more at bats does not make the sample size large enough. Neither would 50. Sure there is growing evidence that his "true mean" is different than what we may have hypothesized, However, given his track record, it's very unlikely that he'll continue a 1000+ OPS, or even 900+ OPS pace at the major league level. Even entire seasons aren't sufficient to really draw conclusions.

He will hit a streak where he hits balls at people and can't buy a hit. I think Keppinger is a great addition to this offense, providing the utility OBP that Freel used to provide.

The Freddy Sanchez comparison is incredibly apt. Sanchez made his full season debut at age 27, a late bloomer, like Keppinger. He's a solid defender with mediocre range at SS/3B/2B. His rookie year, age 27, he hit .291/.336/.400 over 453 AB. In 2006, he hit .344/.378/.473 over 582 AB. This year, he's hit .307/.347/.438 over 489 AB. So which is it? Is he the guy who OPS'd .736 in 2005 or the guy who OPS'd .851 over an entire season? Or is he that mid point of his .785 OPS this year?

In May & June of 2006 (214 AB), he hit .370/.410/.525 over 214 AB. That's a bigger sample than we've seen from Keppinger. His career OPS is still under .800. He had an over 100 OPS fluctuation between years during his peak years, with no injury.

Keppinger is clearly a solid hitter, and I wouldn't at all be surprised to see him continue to hit .300 for the remainder of his career. However, while .300/.360/.440 is very solid for a 2B or SS, it's below average at 3B. The key is to not give more weight to his 132 2007 at bats and ignore his 176 major league at bats and over 2000 minor league at bats when we forecast out what he's likely to do in the future. I think there are good things ahead for Jeff Keppinger, but let's not make the mistake of thinking he's necessarily reached some new level of sustainable performance until there's sufficient evidence to that effect. That said, you do have to act on the information available to you. The information we have on Jeff Keppinger says that he'd be an asset playing 2B, possibly SS depending on how the defense considerations balance out. However, committing to him at 3B would be a mistake in my estimation.

fearofpopvol1
08-26-2007, 01:15 PM
Actually no, 5 more at bats does not make the sample size large enough. Neither would 50. Sure there is growing evidence that his "true mean" is different than what we may have hypothesized, However, given his track record, it's very unlikely that he'll continue a 1000+ OPS, or even 900+ OPS pace at the major league level. Even entire seasons aren't sufficient to really draw conclusions.

He will hit a streak where he hits balls at people and can't buy a hit. I think Keppinger is a great addition to this offense, providing the utility OBP that Freel used to provide.

The Freddy Sanchez comparison is incredibly apt. Sanchez made his full season debut at age 27, a late bloomer, like Keppinger. He's a solid defender with mediocre range at SS/3B/2B. His rookie year, age 27, he hit .291/.336/.400 over 453 AB. In 2006, he hit .344/.378/.473 over 582 AB. This year, he's hit .307/.347/.438 over 489 AB. So which is it? Is he the guy who OPS'd .736 in 2005 or the guy who OPS'd .851 over an entire season? Or is he that mid point of his .785 OPS this year?

In May & June of 2006 (214 AB), he hit .370/.410/.525 over 214 AB. That's a bigger sample than we've seen from Keppinger. His career OPS is still under .800. He had an over 100 OPS fluctuation between years during his peak years, with no injury.

Keppinger is clearly a solid hitter, and I wouldn't at all be surprised to see him continue to hit .300 for the remainder of his career. However, while .300/.360/.440 is very solid for a 2B or SS, it's below average at 3B. The key is to not give more weight to his 132 2007 at bats and ignore his 176 major league at bats and over 2000 minor league at bats when we forecast out what he's likely to do in the future. I think there are good things ahead for Jeff Keppinger, but let's not make the mistake of thinking he's necessarily reached some new level of sustainable performance until there's sufficient evidence to that effect. That said, you do have to act on the information available to you. The information we have on Jeff Keppinger says that he'd be an asset playing 2B, possibly SS depending on how the defense considerations balance out. However, committing to him at 3B would be a mistake in my estimation.

So what is enough at bats at the major league level then? 3,000?

DoogMinAmo
08-26-2007, 01:17 PM
So what is enough at bats at the major league level then? 3,000?

I would be comfortable with 2 season's worth of at bats to judge a player, so roughly 1000. Remember, Chris Stynes and Jon Nunally managed to look lights out for 1 season, let a lone a couple hundred ABs.

Patrick Bateman
08-26-2007, 01:28 PM
I think with Kepp's minor league stats that we have some idea how he is going to do. We don't really need 2 seasons worth of major league at-bats to have an accurate gauge of his abilities.

I mean Kepp is outperforming all of his minor league seasons while being in the majors. At 27, it's not likely he all of a sudden got way, way better than he was. Based on what he has done in the past, it's basically guaranteed that Kepp will fall off to some degree. this is the best stretch he's ever had in his life, and I'm guessing it isn't suddenly going to become the norm.

One thing I have noticed is that I think his power is very well suited for GABP. In AAA this season he only hit 2 homers, while since he's come up, he already has 4. He has poor power, but his slugging should continue to be enhanced while playing in GABP, which should offset some of his regression.

Anyways, 150 plate appearances is way too small a sample size. There are way too many variables to consider that simply can't be processed without having more at-bats to play with. That's why you need to look at past histrory to see if his hot streak is for real, or if decline is expected. With more at-bats, Kepp's stats should continue to come down. When a player without a great track record comes up and starts crushing the ball, there should be red flags everywhere.

It's not that we are saying that Kepp is useless, it's that expectations need to be tempered when dealing with players without great pedigrees. You can't just segregate such a small sample from the rest of the statistics available to come to a conclusion about a player's abilities. That process is full of holes and will likely not create a valid represetation of a player.

RedsManRick
08-26-2007, 02:05 PM
So what is enough at bats at the major league level then? 3,000?

This is a fair question -- and honestly, one that would serve all of us to answer well. We too often throw out this answer as a way to dismiss performance, sometimes justly, sometimes less so. Here's a deeper dive.

It's shades of gray. As you accumulate a larger and larger sample, more and more PA, you get a clearer picture of the likely true mean. There is no magic number. This of course is complicated by the fact that a player's true ability is a moving target. They improve, they get worse. However, once they reach Keppinger's age, they're usually fairly established in terms of certain levels of ability. So, keeping in mind that it IS possible for a player to genuinely improve his ability over time, let's move forward with the assumption that Keppinger has a true OBP ability of .360 -- a solid mark in the majors.

As you get more and more AB, the range of likely means decreases. Let me copy a table for "The Book", by Tom Tango et. al.



Random Variation for Players with an OBP skill of .330

# PA Std. Dev. 68% have observed OBP b/w 95% will have observed OBP b/w
10 .149 .181 to .479 .033 and .627
20 .105 .225 to .435 .120 and .540
50 .066 .264 to .396 .197 and .463
100 .047 .283 to .377 .236 and .424
200 .033 .297 to .363 .264 and .396
500 .021 .309 to .351 .288 and .372
1000 .015 .315 to .345 .300 and .360

So, what this table tells us is that, given 100 players with a true OBP ability of .330,, after 1000 PA, 98 of them will have OBP between .300 and .360. 1 of them will still have an OBP under .300 and another 1 will have an OBP over .360.

Remember, this is a likelihood distribution based on the measured standard deviation of 1000s of players in Tango's study. Any given player can fall outside even those intervals, but that player is a rare bird, per the level of confidence (68%/95%) you use. It should give you a good sense of the effect of simple random variation for OBP. The above table would vary based on what stat you are measuring, because each stat has it's own distribution, and thus different standard deviation.

Let's look at this from a slightly different angle. What the ranges above tell us that after 200 PA, we expect a player's "true" OBP ability to be within 33 points (1 standard deviation in either direction) of his observed OBP 68% of the time, 66 points in either direction of his current OBP 95% of the time. 99 points would take us to 99.8%. Most statisticians use 95% as a good middle point of reasonable evidence, so let's go with that. For 19 out of 20 cases, this estimate would be accurate.

So, what's interesting, is that if we hypothesize that Keppinger's true OBP is .360 (our null hypothesis), after 200 PA we would expect his OBP to be between .294 and .426, 95% of the time.

Keppinger is currently at .446. If he were to maintain that rate through 200 PA, we have to come to 1 of 2 conclusions. Either Keppinger is the 1 out of 20 who falls at the extreme of random variation OR we should reject the null hypothesis and state that Keppinger has a true OBP of greater than .360. In fact, this would state that there is a 95% chance that Keppinger's true OBP is at least .380.

Given that Kepp is only at 150 PA, the standard deviation we have to use for today is a bit larger. 100 is .047, 200 is .033. If we use .040, Keppinger is basically right at that upper end of being within acceptable variation from the mean.

If a person is within that range, it does NOT mean that they are a .360 OBP hitter -- it simply means we cannot reject the hypothesis that they are a .360 OBP hitter based on what we've observed.

My gut tells me that Keppinger is that 1 out of 20 whom random variation has carried beyond the 95% confidence interval. But I am certainly open the more likely possibility that Keppinger is a better hitter than I've given him credit for.

That said, let's take a step back and think about what his rates would look like if we did this for all his stats, specifically OPS. The standard deviation of OPS (which I can't seem to track down) would give us a better picture of what Keppinger is likely to do (or be)...

What PECOTA does, in a nutshell, is use a series of comprable players to establish the baseline means of what we can expect, and then produces confidence intervals such as the one above to produce percentile projections. Here is what PECOTA projects:

90th: .335/.391/.455
75th: .322/.375/.430
60th: .308/.358/.403
50th: .303/.352/.394
40th: .299/.347/.386
25th: .289/.336/.368
10th: .277/.320/.344

He's so far above his PECOTA projections as to suggest that even if he isactually much better than we thought he'd be, he's still on the upper edge of what random variation could do for him. Expecting him to maintain anything higher than his 75th percentile projection in to the future wouldn't seem very bright to me. That said, it will be very interesting to see what his PECOTA projections look like next year.

pedro
08-26-2007, 04:57 PM
Seems to me like Keppinger's already taken Gonzalez' job.

Gonzalez isn't hurt is he? Or is he just out of shape or out of sorts b/c of his family situation and the reds are trying to give him a break?

Sea Ray
08-26-2007, 05:27 PM
Use whatever stat formulas you want. The truth is nobody knows for sure what he'll do in the future. From what I've read, everyone here agrees he'll be a solid .300 hitter in the big leagues. If that's the case then he'll find himself in the lineup often.

fearofpopvol1
08-26-2007, 07:24 PM
This is a fair question -- and honestly, one that would serve all of us to answer well. We too often throw out this answer as a way to dismiss performance, sometimes justly, sometimes less so. Here's a deeper dive.

It's shades of gray. As you accumulate a larger and larger sample, more and more PA, you get a clearer picture of the likely true mean. There is no magic number. This of course is complicated by the fact that a player's true ability is a moving target. They improve, they get worse. However, once they reach Keppinger's age, they're usually fairly established in terms of certain levels of ability. So, keeping in mind that it IS possible for a player to genuinely improve his ability over time, let's move forward with the assumption that Keppinger has a true OBP ability of .360 -- a solid mark in the majors.

As you get more and more AB, the range of likely means decreases. Let me copy a table for "The Book", by Tom Tango et. al.



Random Variation for Players with an OBP skill of .330

# PA Std. Dev. 68% have observed OBP b/w 95% will have observed OBP b/w
10 .149 .181 to .479 .033 and .627
20 .105 .225 to .435 .120 and .540
50 .066 .264 to .396 .197 and .463
100 .047 .283 to .377 .236 and .424
200 .033 .297 to .363 .264 and .396
500 .021 .309 to .351 .288 and .372
1000 .015 .315 to .345 .300 and .360

So, what this table tells us is that, given 100 players with a true OBP ability of .330,, after 1000 PA, 98 of them will have OBP between .300 and .360. 1 of them will still have an OBP under .300 and another 1 will have an OBP over .360.

Remember, this is a likelihood distribution based on the measured standard deviation of 1000s of players in Tango's study. Any given player can fall outside even those intervals, but that player is a rare bird, per the level of confidence (68%/95%) you use. It should give you a good sense of the effect of simple random variation for OBP. The above table would vary based on what stat you are measuring, because each stat has it's own distribution, and thus different standard deviation.

Let's look at this from a slightly different angle. What the ranges above tell us that after 200 PA, we expect a player's "true" OBP ability to be within 33 points (1 standard deviation in either direction) of his observed OBP 68% of the time, 66 points in either direction of his current OBP 95% of the time. 99 points would take us to 99.8%. Most statisticians use 95% as a good middle point of reasonable evidence, so let's go with that. For 19 out of 20 cases, this estimate would be accurate.

So, what's interesting, is that if we hypothesize that Keppinger's true OBP is .360 (our null hypothesis), after 200 PA we would expect his OBP to be between .294 and .426, 95% of the time.

Keppinger is currently at .446. If he were to maintain that rate through 200 PA, we have to come to 1 of 2 conclusions. Either Keppinger is the 1 out of 20 who falls at the extreme of random variation OR we should reject the null hypothesis and state that Keppinger has a true OBP of greater than .360. In fact, this would state that there is a 95% chance that Keppinger's true OBP is at least .380.

Given that Kepp is only at 150 PA, the standard deviation we have to use for today is a bit larger. 100 is .047, 200 is .033. If we use .040, Keppinger is basically right at that upper end of being within acceptable variation from the mean.

If a person is within that range, it does NOT mean that they are a .360 OBP hitter -- it simply means we cannot reject the hypothesis that they are a .360 OBP hitter based on what we've observed.

My gut tells me that Keppinger is that 1 out of 20 whom random variation has carried beyond the 95% confidence interval. But I am certainly open the more likely possibility that Keppinger is a better hitter than I've given him credit for.

That said, let's take a step back and think about what his rates would look like if we did this for all his stats, specifically OPS. The standard deviation of OPS (which I can't seem to track down) would give us a better picture of what Keppinger is likely to do (or be)...

What PECOTA does, in a nutshell, is use a series of comprable players to establish the baseline means of what we can expect, and then produces confidence intervals such as the one above to produce percentile projections. Here is what PECOTA projects:

90th: .335/.391/.455
75th: .322/.375/.430
60th: .308/.358/.403
50th: .303/.352/.394
40th: .299/.347/.386
25th: .289/.336/.368
10th: .277/.320/.344

He's so far above his PECOTA projections as to suggest that even if he isactually much better than we thought he'd be, he's still on the upper edge of what random variation could do for him. Expecting him to maintain anything higher than his 75th percentile projection in to the future wouldn't seem very bright to me. That said, it will be very interesting to see what his PECOTA projections look like next year.

Fair enough. I do think he'll hit better than .300 over the course of a season. I think he could hit 310-315ish, but that's a minor disagreement I suppose.

After watching him play several games now, I really think his defense is better than people give him credit for. There is definitely a dropoff in range, but I don't think it's as drastic as some have made it out to be. And hey, the Cards are doing it with Eckstein and I've gotta believe Kepp has better range than Eckstein.

fearofpopvol1
08-26-2007, 07:24 PM
Seems to me like Keppinger's already taken Gonzalez' job.

Gonzalez isn't hurt is he? Or is he just out of shape or out of sorts b/c of his family situation and the reds are trying to give him a break?

The latter.