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OnBaseMachine
08-17-2008, 11:28 AM
These five Reds got no respect
HERE'S THE SKINNY

By Richard Skinner • Enquirer contributor • August 17, 2008

Now that perennial whipping boy Adam Dunn has been traded, it's a good time to look at other under-appreciated Reds players from the past 50 years. These five were key cogs and statistically brilliant at times, but they always seemed to fly under the radar or draw unwarranted criticism:

5. Paul O'Neill

Years with Reds: 1985-92

Reds statistics:.259 batting average, 96 home runs, 411 RBI, 321 runs

The Skinny: His underappreciation came mostly from Jim Bowden, who had taken over as the Reds' general manager in 1992.

O'Neill's success with the Reds can't be measured totally in his statistics, and there's no doubt his best seasons came after he was traded to the New York Yankees following the 1992 season.

O'Neill was a solid performer in perhaps the best sustained period of success for the team since the Big Red Machine years. The Reds finished second in the National League West in 1988, won the World Series in 1990 and finished second in the NL West again in 1992.

O'Neill averaged 18 homers and 76 RBI per season from 1988-92 and his play was stellar in right field. He finished 19th in the NL MVP voting in 1991 and was selected to the All-Star team in 1992, then promptly was dealt for the underachieving Roberto Kelly in one of many bad Bowden trades.

4. Kal Daniels

Years with Reds: 1986-89

Reds statistics:.301 batting average, 52 home runs, 160 RBI, 228 runs, 74 stolen bases

The Skinny: One of the greatest what-should-have-been players perhaps in Reds history. He is largely forgotten because he played here only briefly and because he was so miserable defensively in left field. But the man could hit - both for average and for power.

In 1987, Daniels had the third-best adjusted on-base plus slugging percentage in team history in the modern era, behind only Joe Morgan in 1976 and Frank Robinson in 1972. That season, Daniels hit .334, had a .617 slugging percentage and had a .429 on-base percentage. The next season, in a career-high 140 games, he hit .291 with a .463 slugging percentage and .397 on-base percentage, scored 95 runs and stole 27 bases while being caught attempting to steal just six times.

3. Bobby Tolan

Years with Reds: 1969-73

Reds statistics:.282 batting average, 54 home runs, 306 RBI, 346 runs, 140 stolen bases

The Skinny: Whenever the conversation comes around to great five-tool players in Reds history, Tolan should be in the conversation but rarely is. That's thanks in part to some injury issues that cut short his career.

He appeared headed for superstardom after coming to the Reds from the St. Louis Cardinals before the 1969 season and was part of the first wave of the Big Red Machine. From 1969-71, Tolan hit better than .300 twice and averaged 101 runs, 15 homers, 85 RBI and 42 stolen bases in those three seasons.

2. Vada Pinson

Years with Reds: 1958-68

Reds statistics:.297 batting average, 186 home runs, 814 RBI, 978 runs, 221 stolen bases

The Skinny: Ask someone to name the top 10 Reds hitters and you'll be hard-pressed to find anyone who will name Pinson, but he should be among the first five mentioned. He was overshadowed at times by teammates Frank Robinson and Pete Rose.

Pinson is the only player to rank in the top-10 in Reds history in hits (seventh), runs (seventh), doubles (fifth), triples (fifth), homers (10th), RBI (10th) and stolen bases (10th). He was a model of consistency who could be penciled in for a .300 average and about 190 hits, 35 doubles, 10 triples, 20 homers, 90 RBI and 20 stolen bases every year, but he was selected for only two All-Star teams. He also was a great defensive player and won a Gold Glove.

1. Adam Dunn

Years with Reds: 2001-2008

Reds statistics:.247 batting average, 270 home runs, 646 RBI., 676 runs, .380 on-base percentage

The Skinny: Dunn one day will be remembered as one of the best offensive players in team history, but for now, in the minds of many, he embodies all that has been wrong with the Reds the past few years.

He is fourth in club history in homers and could have become the all-time leader within four seasons. If he finishes this season with 40 homers and 100 walks, Dunn will become the second player in major-league history to have five straight such seasons (Barry Bonds is the other). Dunn also is one of six players in the majors the last four seasons to drive in at least 90 runs and score 90 runs each year.

There are more numbers to back up the argument for Dunn, but plenty of folks already made up their mind about him.

http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080817/SPT04/808170429/1071

princeton
08-17-2008, 12:21 PM
it's funny, but I think of Dunn as one of the most overappreciated Reds. must be the company I keep ;)

in time, appreciation for a ratio guy like Dunn will increase, especially as people who didn't watch him come on the scene. Just as appreciation for Pete Rose decreases, as people who never watched him look at him as a "counting stats" kind of guy as opposed to those who watched him make war on opposing teams

remember, Babe Ruth's contemporary managers much preferred Ty Cobb. Now, it's all-Babe, by people who never watched either.

RedEye
08-17-2008, 12:28 PM
it's funny, but I think of Dunn as one of the most overappreciated Reds. must be the company I keep ;)

in time, appreciation for a ratio guy like Dunn will increase, especially as people who didn't watch him come on the scene. Just as appreciation for Pete Rose decreases, as people who never watched him look at him as a "counting stats" kind of guy as opposed to those who watched him make war on opposing teams

remember, Babe Ruth's contemporary managers much preferred Ty Cobb. Now, it's all-Babe, by people who never watched either.

I think appreciation of Pete Rose decreases due to stuff unrelated to what he did on the field.

westofyou
08-17-2008, 12:31 PM
Bobby Tolan? That list is top heavy in OF's.. typical Cincinnati POV of the Reds history.

Shoot, I'll name 5 Red infielders who had better careers as a Red that most fans never heard of or gave a second thought.

Heine Grohl

Frank McCormick

Hughie Critz

Roy McMillan

Miller Huggins

OldXOhio
08-17-2008, 12:33 PM
Surprised ED wasn't on that list.

redsmetz
08-17-2008, 01:08 PM
Bobby Tolan? That list is top heavy in OF's.. typical Cincinnati POV of the Reds history.

Shoot, I'll name 5 Red infielders who had better careers as a Red that most fans never heard of or gave a second thought.

Heine Groh

Frank McCormick

Hughie Critz

Roy McMillan

Miller Huggins

Just correcting the spelling on Heinie Groh for you.

vaticanplum
08-17-2008, 01:14 PM
Was't Kal Daniels once put on the DL for an injured eyelash?

princeton
08-17-2008, 01:34 PM
Just correcting the spelling on Heinie Groh for you.

I wouldn't mess with another man's Heine like that

might make it groh

redsmetz
08-17-2008, 01:42 PM
I wouldn't mess with another man's Heine like that

might make it groh

What can I say, now I feel like such an a**.

Sea Ray
08-17-2008, 02:12 PM
I disagree with labeling Bobby Tolan a 5 tool player. I've never considered him a power hitter. He, like O'Neill played only a few years in Cincinnati. What kind of love does Skinner expect them to get?

As for Dunn, he was very appreciated here. Outside of Griffey, his jersey is the one you'd most often see in the stands during home games. I don't understand what else Skinner wanted the fans to do for Dunn.

RedsBaron
08-17-2008, 02:27 PM
I do not understand why Skinner referenced Bobby Tolan's hitting stats during 1969-71, referring to "those three seasons." Toaln never appeared in even a single game in 1971, after rupturing his achilles tendon in the offseason. He was a terrific player in 1969 and 1970, and, yes, he could be called a five tool player I guess. He hit 21 and 16 HRs those two seasons. Really, his medicore throwing arm was probably a greater weakness than any lack of power. In 1970 he lead the NL with 57 stolen bases, the last Red to ever lead the league in steals. Although he did have a decent season in 1972, he never really was the same player after the achilles injury.
I don't know that I would list Vada Pinson as being one the top five hitters in Reds history. I would list, in no particular order, Frank Robinson, Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Barry Larkin, Johnny Bench, Tony Perez, Ted Kluzewski and George Foster ahead of Pinson, and I haven't even considered anyone before WWII.

cincrazy
08-17-2008, 03:04 PM
I think that Eddie Taubansee will go down as a very underappreciated Red. He meant so much to that team in 1999, producing big hit after big hit, and did a great job of leading that pitching staff, even if he wasn't a great defensive catcher. Larkin and Vaughn got a lot of praise for the leadership of that team, and rightfully so. But I feel as the years go by, that season, and his career, get more and more overlooked.

mth123
08-17-2008, 03:07 PM
Watching Eddie Taubensee behind the plate offended me almost as much as watching David Ross behind the plate or Ken Griffey Jr in the OF. Jeff Keppinger at SS is approaching that level.

chicoruiz
08-17-2008, 03:07 PM
Whenever this topic comes up, I always say Leo Cardenas, and I'm sayin' it agaon...

cincrazy
08-17-2008, 03:10 PM
Watching Eddie Taubensee behind the plate offended me almost as much as watching David Ross behind the plate or Ken Griffey Jr in the OF. Jeff Keppinger at SS is approaching that level.

He certainly wasn't a good defensive catcher, but without him, that 99 team has a heck of a time duplicating the success they had with him.

macro
08-17-2008, 04:03 PM
Should Mario Soto be on this list somewhere?

KronoRed
08-17-2008, 04:03 PM
Should Mario Soto be on this list somewhere?

I think he gets a lot of appreciation, injuries sank his standing.

westofyou
08-17-2008, 04:26 PM
He certainly wasn't a good defensive catcher, but without him, that 99 team has a heck of a time duplicating the success they had with him.

That team was 10 runs above the league average in runs that season, and in modern times it was the most runs a Reds team ever scored (865) yet... it's only the 42nd best season for the Red vs the league average in Runs by team.

865 scored and yet only 10 runs above the league average... when I think of Eddies 1999 season I think of Harry Heilmann's 1930 Reds season.

.333/.416/.577/.993

Roy Tucker
08-18-2008, 02:35 PM
4. Kal Daniels



Woo boy, I shudder to think of the debate that would have gone on about Kal Daniels had RZ existed then. I think it would have rivaled the Dunn threads.

IIRC, Marty got on Daniels' case pretty hard. Daniels liked to hit but didn't pursue fielding, base-running, etc. with equal verve. And Kal was not know as the hardest worker off the field.

George Anderson
08-18-2008, 03:07 PM
Woo boy, I shudder to think of the debate that would have gone on about Kal Daniels had RZ existed then. I think it would have rivaled the Dunn threads.

IIRC, Marty got on Daniels' case pretty hard. Daniels liked to hit but didn't pursue fielding, base-running, etc. with equal verve. And Kal was not know as the hardest worker off the field.

Kal always seemed to have a chip on his shoulder to which would not of played well in Reds country.

flyer85
08-18-2008, 03:18 PM
I would have put Eric Davis on the list. He was not appreciated because of all the games he missed in his first stint with the Reds. In recent years he has been seen in a different light than he was during the 84-91 years

Hoosier Red
08-18-2008, 03:25 PM
Woo boy, I shudder to think of the debate that would have gone on about Kal Daniels had RZ existed then. I think it would have rivaled the Dunn threads.

IIRC, Marty got on Daniels' case pretty hard. Daniels liked to hit but didn't pursue fielding, base-running, etc. with equal verve. And Kal was not know as the hardest worker off the field.

Stupid jerk didn't dive for a ball with Ron Robinson's perfect game on the line. It wouldn't have mattered probably but I'll always hold a grudge for that.

bucksfan2
08-18-2008, 03:30 PM
Anyone who played after the BRM is underappreciated if you ask me.

Rojo
08-18-2008, 04:11 PM
Anyone who played after the BRM is underappreciated if you ask me.


Good point. It worked against Dreissen, who really wasn't a bad player, he just replaced a legend and had an unusual skillset.