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JKam
10-16-2007, 08:13 PM
Long time lurker and a first time poster on this board.

I live in Hawaii. I haven't been to any of the Hawaii Winter Baseball games, but we get the boxscores in the local paper.

Here's a recent article on Valaika (it is in the second part of the article.

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071016/SPORTS07/710160357/1052/SPORTS07

texasdave
10-16-2007, 10:19 PM
Thanks for the article.

OesterPoster
10-17-2007, 09:13 AM
I live in Hawaii. I haven't been to any of the Hawaii Winter Baseball games, but we get the boxscores in the local paper.


Well, considering there isn't anything to do in Hawaii...I can't believe you haven't been to a game yet. ;)

Thanks for the update.

redsmetz
10-17-2007, 11:23 AM
From the article:


"Now, we play the day game and get to go to the beach (later in the day) and take in what Hawai'i has to offer," said Valaika, who added he is learning to surf.

Yipes! I wonder if his contract says anything about.

Doc. Scott
10-17-2007, 11:49 AM
Valaika's also been moved to second base. According to the Reds, that's his best chance to get to the big leagues.

lollipopcurve
10-17-2007, 12:18 PM
Valaika's also been moved to second base. According to the Reds, that's his best chance to get to the big leagues.

Will be interesting to see how this plays out re: Justin Turner, also a 2B. I could see one of these two being included in a trade package.

icehole3
10-18-2007, 06:28 AM
I'd like to see Valaika and Turner play some outfield

mth123
10-18-2007, 06:33 AM
I'd like to see Valaika and Turner play some outfield

Me too. I think these MI types with decent bats and mediocre defense are better served to be groomed as supersub types.

lollipopcurve
10-18-2007, 09:25 AM
Me too. I think these MI types with decent bats and mediocre defense are better served to be groomed as supersub types.

See Griffin, Michael. He's even played some 1B in Hawaii this month (along with 3B, LF and RF -- and maybe some 2B).

Turner played some OF while in Billings in 06. I think he's played a very little at SS and 3B, too.

I'd keep Valaika at 2B for at least a year -- let him adapt to the position and see if he can rejuvenate the bat to where it was in Billings and Dayton. I wouldn't give up on him as a possible regular yet. Turner has always hit well, too, but if they feel Valaika is clearly the better prospect at 2B, giving Turner some versatility would be a good idea.

M2
10-18-2007, 10:19 AM
Yipes! I wonder if his contract says anything about.

Surfing's pretty low impact. You can get knocked cold or scraped up, but you're not torquing your knees. If anything it'll keep you limber.

IslandRed
10-18-2007, 12:00 PM
I'd keep Valaika at 2B for at least a year -- let him adapt to the position and see if he can rejuvenate the bat to where it was in Billings and Dayton. I wouldn't give up on him as a possible regular yet.

Me neither. Particulars about defense are always sketchy with guys in the low minors, but the criticism I'd heard of Valaika only had to do with lacking the range for a big-league shortstop, not that he had bad range for a second baseman or that his hands or arm stunk.

HokieRed
10-18-2007, 12:52 PM
No way Valaika projects as any better than a supersub unless he learns to take some walks. He's now 0 walks in 60 AB in Hawaii; was 30 for 517 during the regular season. Not the numbers of an everyday player.

dougdirt
10-18-2007, 01:10 PM
No way Valaika projects as any better than a supersub unless he learns to take some walks. He's now 0 walks in 60 AB in Hawaii; was 30 for 517 during the regular season. Not the numbers of an everyday player.

Sounds like Brandon Phillips.... who last I checked, was a very solid every day player. Would I like to see more walks? Sure would, but its not the be all end all.

texasdave
10-18-2007, 01:14 PM
Me neither. Particulars about defense are always sketchy with guys in the low minors, but the criticism I'd heard of Valaika only had to do with lacking the range for a big-league shortstop, not that he had bad range for a second baseman or that his hands or arm stunk.

This is something that I have asked in the past, but never really felt like it was answered adequately. If the infield of a diamond symmetrical, then why does a shortstop require greater range than a second baseman? I might even argue that since the first baseman is often holding on the runner, a second baseman needs more range. Of course, a shortstop needs a stronger arm. I decided to look up the fielding numbers at www.espn.com and was actually surprised to learn that, using the team fielding numbers, the average second baseman has more total chances than the average shortstop. (SS has around 30 more assists, while 2b has almost 100 more putouts) So, once again, why does a shortstop need greater range than a second baseman?

Triples
10-18-2007, 01:25 PM
Excellent Question: I've often wondered that myself. I agree on the armstrength issue, but in terms of getting to the ball, I see little difference. Could this have to do with the % of right handed hitters vs left handed hitters as well as right handed pitchers vs left handed pitchers?


This is something that I have asked in the past, but never really felt like it was answered adequately. If the infield of a diamond symmetrical, then why does a shortstop require greater range than a second baseman? I might even argue that since the first baseman is often holding on the runner, a second baseman needs more range. Of course, a shortstop needs a stronger arm. I decided to look up the fielding numbers at www.espn.com and was actually surprised to learn that, using the team fielding numbers, the average second baseman has more total chances than the average shortstop. (SS has around 30 more assists, while 2b has almost 100 more putouts) So, once again, why does a shortstop need greater range than a second baseman?

medford
10-18-2007, 01:28 PM
I assume you want more range in a SS b/c the 2nd baseman has a shorter throw to the 1st basement, meaning that he can play a little deeper (allowing him to get to more balls than he would at a normal depth) and still throw the runner out at 1st.

camisadelgolf
10-18-2007, 01:29 PM
This is something that I have asked in the past, but never really felt like it was answered adequately. If the infield of a diamond symmetrical, then why does a shortstop require greater range than a second baseman? I might even argue that since the first baseman is often holding on the runner, a second baseman needs more range. Of course, a shortstop needs a stronger arm. I decided to look up the fielding numbers at www.espn.com and was actually surprised to learn that, using the team fielding numbers, the average second baseman has more total chances than the average shortstop. (SS has around 30 more assists, while 2b has almost 100 more putouts) So, once again, why does a shortstop need greater range than a second baseman?

Maybe part of the reason the difference in assists is so small is because on almost every team, the shortstop has better range. If you were to switch the shortstop and second baseman on each team, perhaps the difference in assists from each respective position would be noticeably greater.

M2
10-18-2007, 03:03 PM
This is something that I have asked in the past, but never really felt like it was answered adequately. If the infield of a diamond symmetrical, then why does a shortstop require greater range than a second baseman? I might even argue that since the first baseman is often holding on the runner, a second baseman needs more range. Of course, a shortstop needs a stronger arm. I decided to look up the fielding numbers at www.espn.com and was actually surprised to learn that, using the team fielding numbers, the average second baseman has more total chances than the average shortstop. (SS has around 30 more assists, while 2b has almost 100 more putouts) So, once again, why does a shortstop need greater range than a second baseman?

More RH hitters.

Shortstops also need to be able to reach the ball quicker than 2Bs because they've got a longer throw.

bucksfan2
10-18-2007, 03:19 PM
I may be completly off base but I think part of the reason a 2b gets more chances is that he is able to play deeper in the infield. The throw is shorter so they don't need to be in as far as a 3b or SS. That enables them to play deeper when enables them to get to more balls.

Redman15
10-18-2007, 03:23 PM
He also needs to be able to turn the double play.(Pitchers best friend). It's a lot different for a SS. The 2b must be quick and accurate.

Redman15
10-18-2007, 03:34 PM
I think Valiaka will stay at SS longer than Frazier. Cozart plays better defense than both Valaika and Frazier. He just did not hit. It will interesting to see where everybody lands after Spring Training.

dougdirt
10-18-2007, 04:13 PM
Redman, the Reds have Valaika playing 2B in Hawaii so he can learn his new position. I would be very surprised if he played much SS anymore.

Redman15
10-18-2007, 04:45 PM
Having seen the 3 of them play short, I would rank them like this.
Offensively
1. Frazier
2. Valaika
3. Cozart
Defensively
1.Cozart
2.Valaika
3.Frazier

If you throw Castro and Soto in the mix I would rank them like this.
Offensively
1. Frazier
2. Valaika
3. Soto
4. Castro
5. Cozart.
Defensively
1. Cozart
2. Valaika
3. Castro
4. Frazier
5. Soto
IMO Valaika is the best prospect at SS in this group.

M2
10-18-2007, 05:30 PM
Valaika better than Castro with the glove?

I thought the new Castro had some defensive rep (then again so does the old one and I've never cared for his defense).

Redman15
10-18-2007, 06:37 PM
Castro had 18 errors on the year to Valaika's 17.

M2
10-18-2007, 07:18 PM
Castro had 18 errors on the year to Valaika's 17.

In 1988 Ozzie Smith committed 22 errors while Steve Jeltz committed 14. Didn't mean Jeltz was a better, or even vaguely equivalent, fielder

I was under the impression that you had eyeballed both of these guys and thought Valaika brought better tools to the position. If your ranking was based on error totals then I'm going to have to pay it no attention.

Redman15
10-18-2007, 07:38 PM
I have watched Valaika since college in California. He played SS on Team USA. My ranking are based on what I've seen, which I said in my earlier post. I have seen Valaika,Cozart and Frazier. I have not seen Castro or Soto, so I can only base my ratings on stats and other posts relating to them. I will defer to the pros as to who has better tools. Valaika 3rd rd pick. Castro 32 rd pick. I'll go out on a limb here and say Valaika probably has better tools and is a much better prospect IMO.

M2
10-18-2007, 09:40 PM
Valaika 3rd rd pick. Castro 32 rd pick. I'll go out on a limb here and say Valaika probably has better tools and is a much better prospect IMO.

Where they were picked has more to do with their bats than their gloves. Brandon Larson was a 1st round SS pick and he could play defense to save himself.

Though since you've seen Valaika play, do you think he's got the skills to stick at SS? Looks like he's moving to 2B.

BigRed07
10-18-2007, 10:36 PM
I would think that where they were drafted would be based on their tools and overall make up. Most of the 5 tool players drafted are 1st rounders.

M2
10-18-2007, 10:54 PM
I would think that where they were drafted would be based on their tools and overall make up. Most of the 5 tool players drafted are 1st rounders.

I could run the list of non-1st round five-tooler forever, but I'll note that Eric Davis was an 8th round pick and leave it at that.

I'm still interested in hearing your impressions of Valaika in the field. I haven't seen him play live and I'm curious to hear from someone who has about his relative strengths and weaknesses.

texasdave
10-19-2007, 09:57 AM
Didn't someone in another thread state that some of these games were televised last year? I have looked, but haven't seen anything. Has anyone been able to pick up any of these games so far this year? And, if so, was it on one of the ESPN channels or FoxSports or somewhere else?

dougdirt
10-19-2007, 10:13 AM
They weren't on ESPN or FSN.... I believe it was a local cable channel, but I can't recall which one the poster said it was.

Kc61
10-20-2007, 08:53 AM
Valaika is now at .222 with a .552 OPS. Didn't hit at Sarasota. What's with this?

JKam
10-22-2007, 02:06 PM
So far, this league has proven to be a pitcher's league. The batters in this league also have the tendency to start off slow.

Last season the overall batting average for the first 2-3 weeks of the league was around .200. After 3 more weeks it moved up to around .230.

I think I heard on the radio today that this season the batting averages were around .220 for the first couple of weeks and now has moved up to around .260.

Cooper
10-25-2007, 08:12 PM
Sarasota is a big jump....i know it's only 1 league up the chain, but it's the florida state league (a pitchers league) and sarasota is a tough place to hit. Everyone that goes there seems to have a difficult adjustment --purely guessing--appears to me that alot of players who go to sarasota do not lose much when they get promoted.

Everybody just kinda stalls there....if they work it out in sarasota then they can make the jump to chattanooga without too much trouble (see Dorn, Votta, etc...).

WebScorpion
10-30-2007, 01:40 PM
Sarasota is a big jump....i know it's only 1 league up the chain, but it's the florida state league (a pitchers league) and sarasota is a tough place to hit. Everyone that goes there seems to have a difficult adjustment --purely guessing--appears to me that alot of players who go to sarasota do not lose much when they get promoted.

Everybody just kinda stalls there....if they work it out in sarasota then they can make the jump to chattanooga without too much trouble (see Dorn, Votta, etc...).

Not to mention that in Dayton you play in front of 7,000+ somewhat baseball-intelligent fans every day and in Sarasota you play for a handful of people working on their tans. Sort of hard to consistently play at the same emotional level.

bucksfan2
10-30-2007, 02:01 PM
Sarasota is a big jump....i know it's only 1 league up the chain, but it's the florida state league (a pitchers league) and sarasota is a tough place to hit. Everyone that goes there seems to have a difficult adjustment --purely guessing--appears to me that alot of players who go to sarasota do not lose much when they get promoted.

Everybody just kinda stalls there....if they work it out in sarasota then they can make the jump to chattanooga without too much trouble (see Dorn, Votta, etc...).

What makes Sarasota a pitchers league?

dougdirt
10-30-2007, 02:03 PM
What makes Sarasota a pitchers league?

The big parks and the weather.

BoydsOfSummer
11-20-2007, 12:56 PM
Valaika was named the 12th best prospect in the HWL by Baseball America.

12. CHRIS VALAIKA, SS/2B
North Shore (Reds)

edit: premium content oopsie

gedred69
11-20-2007, 07:59 PM
Sarasota is a big jump....i know it's only 1 league up the chain, but it's the florida state league (a pitchers league) and sarasota is a tough place to hit. Everyone that goes there seems to have a difficult adjustment --purely guessing--appears to me that alot of players who go to sarasota do not lose much when they get promoted.

Everybody just kinda stalls there....if they work it out in sarasota then they can make the jump to chattanooga without too much trouble (see Dorn, Votta, etc...).

Excellent observation! Sarasota is a tough hit. Valaika had limited time there to make any adjustments. Fla. State League is tough on hitters, lots of strong breezes especially early and again late season. Dorn struggled at first, then got good, and tore it up at Chatanooga late in the season.