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View Full Version : Who Should Be the Opening Day Centerfielder?



AdamDunn
01-25-2008, 02:29 PM
Just a thought. With Dusty saying Bruce really has to impress him during spring training to open the season as the starting CF, who do you think will start? If you choose other, please say who.

Bip Roberts
01-25-2008, 02:33 PM
I cant answer that because I dont know how Bruce is going to perform in spring training. I predict that Freel is the starting CF after spring training although I hope Bruce does well enough to get the spot.

Degenerate39
01-25-2008, 02:37 PM
I have a strong feeling that Bruce will be roaming Centerfield on Opening Day. I'd personally love to see Bruce as the starting Centerfielder so he can get more Major League experience.

Bip Roberts
01-25-2008, 02:39 PM
If i was going to vote for who SHOULD get the spot id vote Bruce because if hes as good as we hope then he should run away with it.

IamWallaman
01-25-2008, 02:43 PM
Is the question "who SHOULD" or "who WILL"?

I've got differing answers for each.

redrum
01-25-2008, 03:08 PM
The Magic 8 Ball says:

Check back again later

BuckWild03
01-25-2008, 04:11 PM
Depends on spring training performances. But I would say Freel has the edge at this point simply because of Bruce's lack of major league experience.

BLEEDS
01-25-2008, 04:15 PM
It better be Bruce. We have no shot at competing with Freel/Hopper out there IMO. They are 4th OF'ers at best.

BUT, since we didn't go out and get a top-end SP to REALLY compete this year, perhaps it's best to keep him from starting his Arb clock, since it's pretty apparent we are playing for 2009 and beyond.

My vote goes with Bruce, but my head goes with Hopper/Freel.

PEACE

-BLEEDS

GoReds33
01-25-2008, 04:20 PM
I think it'll be Freel. I would love to see Bruce or Hopper get the nod though. To me, Hopper is atleast as good as Freel, and provides just as much effort.

Vada Pinson Fan
01-25-2008, 05:48 PM
I'd like to see Jay Bruce in CF to begin the season. He has done everything asked of him in the minors and succeeded to the max. Time to let him be the Centerfielder unless he completely fails in spring training which is the opposite feeling of Dusty Baker wanting Jay Bruce to overwhelm him. I'd tell Bruce to just relax in ST, get your work in and play hard in the exhibition games and we'll see how it works out from there, if I were manager.

As a backup plan- I would want to see Norris Hopper start over Freel in CF. Hopper's bunting and infield singles were just awesome last year due to his speed and bat handling/ball placement. Freel is my super-sub.

Bigredfan#1
01-25-2008, 05:58 PM
I have a hard time believing they traded Hamilton to sit Bruce!!

BuckWild03
01-25-2008, 06:08 PM
I have a hard time believing they traded Hamilton to sit Bruce!!

Good point. The more I think about it...All three are going to get their starts. Freel can play anywhere. Hopper can cover for Griffey and Dunn when he's not in center. Bruce is going to get his starts. Just maybe not right away. Opening day starter means little to nothing at this point.

durl
01-25-2008, 06:14 PM
I picked Bruce but my alternate is Hopper. The man was a legitimate lead-off for the Reds last year and I'd have no problem if that were to continue in 2008. But if Bruce truly impresses in Spring Training, he should get a shot.

*BaseClogger*
01-25-2008, 07:23 PM
We need to give Bruce playing time so that he is ready for next year- don't worry about his arb clock...

Bip Roberts
01-25-2008, 07:24 PM
We need to give Bruce playing time so that he is ready for next year- don't worry about his arb clock...

Its not like hes going not playing when in AAA. Odds are if he doesnt make it on the squad out of spring hes going to be called up some time this year.

*BaseClogger*
01-25-2008, 07:26 PM
Its not like hes going not playing when in AAA. Odds are if he doesnt make it on the squad out of spring hes going to be called up some time this year.

yeah and getting called up midseason would start his arb clock too. I want him to start getting used to MLB pitching...

AmarilloRed
01-25-2008, 07:27 PM
Jay Bruce, simply because the other options are not starting outfielders.

Stephenk29
01-25-2008, 07:29 PM
Alex Gordon, Delmon Young, Jeff Francis, Joe Mauer, Rocco Baldelli, and Josh Beckett are the past 6 Minor League Players of the year prior to Jay Bruce. Of all of them Josh Beckett was the only one not to start the next year in the major leagues for the entire year. Mauer didn't but he had knee surgery which prevented it anyway. I see absolutely no reason why Jay Bruce shouldn't be in the majors on day 1. Five other GMs had the same line of thinking. As far as who starts opening day I don't think that really matters in the end, but one thing is for sure, Bruce should get the majority of the starts next year. This is barring a pathetic spring of course, but if Bruce does his normal thing in SP I think he should get it.

I voted for Bruce and I think he should also start Day 1. It shouldn't be given to him I agree, but he is certainly in the lead already I would think.

Bip Roberts
01-25-2008, 07:31 PM
yeah and getting called up midseason would start his arb clock too. I want him to start getting used to MLB pitching...

Yea hopefully hes ready for MLB pitching durring spring training because I dont like the idea of having him be awful all year.

flash
01-26-2008, 12:36 AM
Although I have no problem with Bruce being the opening day starter I cannot understand why many feel Hopper is not an everyday player. He has the best range of any outfielder in the majors, one of the highest fielding persentages, he hits .300, steals bases. What is not to like?

gedred69
01-26-2008, 12:38 AM
Jay Bruce, simply because the other options are not starting outfielders.

You have put it about as succinctly as possible. I love Freel, and was greatly impressed with Hopper last year. Fantastic PT players. But c'mon, they ain't starting CF guys. And, I have to admit, I really, really, really want to see that this Kid is all EVERYBODY says he is! But if he sucks in ST, show him Louisville. One way or another, he'll be in the Bigs soon enough. Yeah, he's that good.

Nasty_Boy
01-26-2008, 01:23 AM
He has the best range of any outfielder in the majors,


Excuse me?!??!!? :confused::confused::confused::confused:

Please tell me that was a typo and you don't really believe that. Hopper is a solid defensive OF, but in no way does he have the best range. As much as Freel drives me nuts with his reckless play in CF, even he has more range and is a better OF than Hopper.

BigRed
01-26-2008, 11:59 AM
If Bruce is as advertised, not only will he be the starting center fielder, but he will also win NL Rookie of the Year.

Hey Meat
01-26-2008, 07:26 PM
Use Freel as a utility player. If he is the everyday centerfielder he will be out for the season with an injury by the end of May.

flash
01-26-2008, 10:32 PM
Just check the stats
Range factor for last year
Hopper 2.99
Freel 2.80

Fielding percentage
Hopper .995
Freel .986

Hopper had the highest range factor of all outfielders in the majors last year. The closest competition came from Gary Matthews Jr. who finished at 2.90

flash
01-26-2008, 11:01 PM
correction
Crisp was at 3.07 with a .998 FP batted .268
Ganderson was at 3.06 with a .989 FP. batted .302 with23 HRs
Amezaga was at 3.04 with a .978 FP batted .263

Hopper batted .329

AdamDunn
01-27-2008, 12:50 AM
correction
Crisp was at 3.07 with a .998 FP batted .268
Ganderson was at 3.06 with a .989 FP. batted .302 with23 HRs
Amezaga was at 3.04 with a .978 FP batted .263

Hopper batted .329

That just confirms what I thought. Thanks flash. Norris Hopper should be the starting centerfielder because we need help covering area in the outfield with Griffey and Dunn barely covering any area. Not to mention Hopper is a righty and a leadoff guy. Both of which we desperately need. I think Hopper can hit in the majors.

AmarilloRed
01-27-2008, 01:41 AM
That just confirms what I thought. Thanks flash. Norris Hopper should be the starting centerfielder because we need help covering area in the outfield with Griffey and Dunn barely covering any area. Not to mention Hopper is a righty and a leadoff guy. Both of which we desperately need. I think Hopper can hit in the majors.

A good discussion to have. Griffey and Dunn might be gone next year, so it will be important to determine this year if Hopper will hit enough to start in the outfield. It will be important for him to sustain his high BA, in addition to learn some plate discipline and take a walk. He is late starting his major league career, but he certainly could be a starting outfielder for a number of years. We do need a lead-off hitter, and if he can sustain a high OBP Hopper could fill that role.

*BaseClogger*
01-27-2008, 02:59 PM
My personal favorite fielding metric, FRAR, had Hopper at +5 for 2007 in CF, which is one below average for the number of playing time he received in center. Lets not forget that arm strength is a part of defense in baseball, and Hopper is at best an average defensive center fielder. Considering that the defensive gap between Bruce and Hopper cannot be extremely large, it is obvious that Bruce should be the starting center fielder come opening day. Just look at the ZiPS offensive projections, which obvisouly are a bit conservative for the rookie Bruce: .266/.317/.476. Hopper: .291/.330/.340. It's clear that Bruce will be the better offensive player, and considering their defensive gap will be minimal, you have to play Bruce, especially considering that this playing time he receives this year will allow him to develope into that superstar we envision for our run in 2009...

jimbo
01-27-2008, 04:24 PM
Just a thought. With Dusty saying Bruce really has to impress him during spring training to open the season as the starting CF, who do you think will start? If you choose other, please say who.

I think one option should have been, "Let's wait and see who earns the position in spring training."

flash
01-27-2008, 10:40 PM
I believe Hopper's biggest defensive liability is his arm. I think part of that his throwing motion. I saw him throw sidearm last year like an infielder several time rather overhand like an outfielder should. That is something the coaches should address. It should have already happened when he made the switch to the outfield earlier in his career.

As I said before though, I have no problem with Bruce starting, but I disagree that Hopper is not an everyday player.