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redhawk61
08-31-2008, 10:56 AM
Bats' Stubbs hot on Jay Bruce's heels

Another Texan on the fast track


By Rick Newkirk • rnewkirk@courier-journal.com • August 31, 2008


Now Jay Bruce has a partner in the Texas two-step.
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In much the same way as Bruce last season, Drew Stubbs has risen through the ranks of the Cincinnati Reds' farm system, jumping from Class A Sarasota to the Triple-A Louisville Bats in a matter of weeks.

And he's getting better.


A .261 hitter in Sarasota -- where he was the Florida State League All-Star Game MVP -- he then hit .315 in 26 games with Double-A Chattanooga before getting the call to Louisville to roam center field as Bruce did at the start of the season.
Stubbs is hitting .313 with eight extra-base hits in two weeks with the Bats.


"I'm kind of surprised about coming up to Louisville," said Stubbs, the only Sarasota player to advance to Triple-A this season. "My expectation going into the year was to get to Chattanooga. ... (Now I'm) one step away from the major leagues. I've really enjoyed it, and I've learned a lot in a short amount of time."


His career path seems to be following that of Bruce, who rose from Sarasota to Louisville last season before breaking into the big leagues this year. Both are Texas boys -- Bruce from Beaumont, Stubbs from the Texarkana area and the University of Texas (he still tailgates at the Longhorns' football games). Both were drafted in the first round -- Bruce No. 12 in 2005, Stubbs No. 8 in 2006.


And both have extraordinary talent.


"Jay has probably the best natural ability I've ever seen," Bats hitting coach Smokey Garrett said. "And Drew's got the same kind of ability."
Stubbs was a four-sport athlete at Atlanta High School, playing wideout in football and wing in basketball. He was also a track star, reaching the state meet in the 400- and 1,600-meter relays, 300 hurdles and triple jump.
He continues to prove his athleticism on the basepaths, stealing 33 bases in 42 tries this year. Now his bat is coming around.


Garrett said the 23-year-old Stubbs has thrived in the higher levels of minor league baseball thanks in part to pitch selection that is better than Bruce's. In lower classes pitchers spend more time nibbling off the plate.
Since his promotion from Sarasota, Stubbs has sported a .391 on-base percentage, up from .364 last season at Dayton. He has only himself to thank for that.


"I really haven't worked with him on much of anything," Garrett said, "because if it's not broke, don't fix it."


The power stroke is there, too, although that facet of Stubbs' game has yet to take off. In naming him the No. 5 prospect in the Reds' system last year, Baseball America claimed he had "light-tower power" with the potential to be a big league slugger.


Stubbs has just seven home runs in 129 games this year, but Garrett said he has the potential to hit 25-30 a year in the majors.
"If pitchers make mistakes, he's got the abilities to turn it around," Garrett said.


Bats manager Rick Sweet is impressed with Stubbs' right-handed stroke, too -- although not for its power.


"I think the fact that he drives the ball to all fields is more important to me," Sweet said. " ... But he's too good of a hitter to be just classified as a home run guy."


Stubbs also has an exemplary glove, but it's one other weapon that could help him take Bruce's place as the Reds' top prospect: an insatiable appetite for improvement.


"I know my time will come, but I'm not thinking of myself as 'The Guy,' " he said. "I just want to go out there and just improve as a player and put myself in the position where I can be promoted to the next level. I'm not going to worry about the expectations that other people have for me."
http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080831/SPORTS07/808310656/1002/SPORTS

Spring~Fields
08-31-2008, 12:20 PM
"Jay has probably the best natural ability I've ever seen," Bats hitting coach Smokey Garrett said. "And Drew's got the same kind of ability."

Stubbs was a four-sport athlete at Atlanta High School, playing wideout in football and wing in basketball. He was also a track star, reaching the state meet in the 400- and 1,600-meter relays, 300 hurdles and triple jump.
He continues to prove his athleticism on the basepaths, stealing 33 bases in 42 tries this year. Now his bat is coming around.


Garrett said the 23-year-old Stubbs has thrived in the higher levels of minor league baseball thanks in part to pitch selection that is better than Bruce's. In lower classes pitchers spend more time nibbling off the plate.
Since his promotion from Sarasota, Stubbs has sported a .391 on-base percentage, up from .364 last season at Dayton. He has only himself to thank for that.


"I really haven't worked with him on much of anything," Garrett said, "because if it's not broke, don't fix it."




Interesting

paulrichjr
08-31-2008, 05:46 PM
We all told Dougdirt to just watch and Stubbs would be fine. I just wonder if Doug has finally been convinced how right we all were? :D

dougdirt
08-31-2008, 06:36 PM
We all told Dougdirt to just watch and Stubbs would be fine. I just wonder if Doug has finally been convinced how right we all were? :D

I need to see more of it. He can't play defense and hasn't shown he can adjust his offensive game at all.... :p:

TRF
08-31-2008, 08:35 PM
5 for his last 21, with 2 walks.

sample size works both ways.

icehole3
09-01-2008, 07:27 AM
the doubters are on standby, I see

camisadelgolf
09-01-2008, 07:57 AM
5 for his last 21, with 2 walks.

sample size works both ways.

If he keeps that up, he will suck. But even when he's sucking, he has an OPS higher than Jay Bruce's as a Red.

Spring~Fields
09-01-2008, 11:06 AM
If he keeps that up, he will suck. But even when he's sucking, he has an OPS higher than Jay Bruce's as a Red.

Yeah but he has a better hitting instructor. ;)


"because if it's not broke, don't fix it."

TRF
09-01-2008, 02:24 PM
If he keeps that up, he will suck. But even when he's sucking, he has an OPS higher than Jay Bruce's as a Red.

3 years older, 1 level lower.

camisadelgolf
09-01-2008, 03:48 PM
3 years older, 1 level lower.

Ryan Howard was still in AAA when he was 25 years old. If you want to judge a prospect based on his age at a level, Drew Stubbs is a better prospect than Ryan Howard was.

RedsManRick
09-01-2008, 05:00 PM
I think the phrase skeptically optimistic sums it up for me.

IslandRed
09-01-2008, 10:00 PM
I think the phrase skeptically optimistic sums it up for me.

Yep. Same here.

I'm usually on the boat with stats analysis but it can break down for minor-leaguers because the minor leagues are for development and the players are not finished products. PECOTA and its siblings are excellent tools but they're not foolproof. They're best-fit lines on a very scattered graph. It's not always good enough to say a prospect is what his performance record says he was.

That doesn't mean Stubbs' improvement is necessarily real and permanent, either. But every now and then, a toolsy guy does have the light come on. I hope it did, anyway.

OnBaseMachine
09-01-2008, 10:07 PM
Stubbs finished at .293/.354/.480 - .834 at Louisville and .277/.371/.417 - .788 with 33 stolen bases between Sarasota, Chattanooga, and Louisville.

Degenerate39
09-01-2008, 10:34 PM
Ryan Howard was still in AAA when he was 25 years old. If you want to judge a prospect based on his age at a level, Drew Stubbs is a better prospect than Ryan Howard was.

The Phillies had Thome about that time period though if I'm correct

fearofpopvol1
09-01-2008, 11:36 PM
I think the phrase skeptically optimistic sums it up for me.

Me 3. I don't think anyone can argue that he "regressed" this year. He certainly improved, but just how that would translate to the major league level is the million dollar question.

Anyone think he'll get the call to the Reds? I actually wouldn't be surprised if it happens, though I'm not necessarily sure I'd call him up.

LoganBuck
09-02-2008, 12:11 AM
Me 3. I don't think anyone can argue that he "regressed" this year. He certainly improved, but just how that would translate to the major league level is the million dollar question.

Anyone think he'll get the call to the Reds? I actually wouldn't be surprised if it happens, though I'm not necessarily sure I'd call him up.

Protect the 40 man roster, Stubbs isn't eligible for the Rule V. Send him home, with an invite to spring training.

dougdirt
09-02-2008, 12:30 AM
Stubbs won't get called up. He is in the AAA playoffs and playing in the AFL.

Steve4192
09-05-2008, 05:08 PM
sample size works both ways.

LOL

TRF just can't let it go.

For a guy who 'just had a hot April and sucked the rest of the of year', Stubbs has certainly put together a nice final tally. Elite defense, a 370+ OBP, and 30+ SB are some pretty nice qualities to see out of your future centerfielder. He even showed a little bit of pop late in the year.

Cedric
09-05-2008, 10:14 PM
LOL

TRF just can't let it go.

For a guy who 'just had a hot April and sucked the rest of the of year', Stubbs has certainly put together a nice final tally. Elite defense, a 370+ OBP, and 30+ SB are some pretty nice qualities to see out of your future centerfielder. He even showed a little bit of pop late in the year.

It's one thing to debate Drew and his abilities. I'm just confused with someone openly trying to squash anything good he does. It's not like he plays for the Cubs does he? Why would someone look up 21 at bats just to disparage Stubbs on a Reds website?

Weird.

klw
09-05-2008, 10:55 PM
Longest Stubbs thread in Redszone history without someone using the L word.

dougdirt
09-05-2008, 10:58 PM
Longest Stubbs thread in Redszone history without someone using the L word.

Lanky?
Longevity?
Long Homeruns?
Louisville Centerfielder?

Mario-Rijo
09-06-2008, 02:02 AM
Honestly I have gotten what TRF has said all along. I don't agree 100% with him but he does have a good point in that he hasn't really stayed at any higher level long enough for the opposition to exploit his weaknesses.

So again we must tune in later to find out the results. If he doesn't get dealt this off-season which I can honestly see happening. Walt lifted him to AA and then to AAA quickly and now he is going to the AFL for some "grooming" (uhum exposure). If he does well in the AFL I expect him to be some fine bait for good 'ole Mr. Jocketty. If he doesn't do well there I expect to see him back at Louisville for the next chapter in this continuing saga.

TRF
09-08-2008, 12:15 AM
Honestly I have gotten what TRF has said all along. I don't agree 100% with him but he does have a good point in that he hasn't really stayed at any higher level long enough for the opposition to exploit his weaknesses.

So again we must tune in later to find out the results. If he doesn't get dealt this off-season which I can honestly see happening. Walt lifted him to AA and then to AAA quickly and now he is going to the AFL for some "grooming" (uhum exposure). If he does well in the AFL I expect him to be some fine bait for good 'ole Mr. Jocketty. If he doesn't do well there I expect to see him back at Louisville for the next chapter in this continuing saga.

And really that's all i have been saying.

kpresidente
09-08-2008, 02:27 AM
Longest Stubbs thread in Redszone history without someone using the L word.

15-3 | 2.60 | 190 | 216 | 72

cincinnati chili
09-08-2008, 05:13 AM
Ryan Howard was still in AAA when he was 25 years old. If you want to judge a prospect based on his age at a level, Drew Stubbs is a better prospect than Ryan Howard was.

I see what you're getting at, but Ryan Howard hit 48 homers between double a, triple a, and the majors at age 24. The Phillies, being the horrible organization they are, let him fester in the minors for half of his 25-year-old season.

I'll eat my gym socks if Drew Stubbs hits 48 homers next year. He ain't no Ryan howard.

camisadelgolf
09-08-2008, 08:29 AM
I'll eat my gym socks if Drew Stubbs hits 48 homers next year. He ain't no Ryan howard.

That makes two of us, but no one is saying Drew Stubbs is Ryan Howard, so I'm not sure what that has to do with anything. People keep bringing up the age issue, but it's not always as black-and-white as people paint it.

klw
09-08-2008, 11:03 AM
Ryan Howard in CF would be an amusing sight.

TRF
09-08-2008, 11:19 AM
That makes two of us, but no one is saying Drew Stubbs is Ryan Howard, so I'm not sure what that has to do with anything. People keep bringing up the age issue, but it's not always as black-and-white as people paint it.

No it isn't. Here is what is black and white. At the time he was drafted, a toolsy OF wasn't a glaring need. The team had just drafted Jay Bruce the year before. At the time he was drafted, he was considered a "project". He was considered "raw" (despite having played ball at a higher level that the previous year's #1, Bruce, and for three years longer too.) Apparently, he was immediately hurt, didn't hit at Billings, didn't hit at Dayton until the last two months. He got off to a FANTASTIC start at Sarasota, and followed it with two HORRIBLE months. This pattern repeated itself at AA albeit with a smaller sample, then at AAA with an even smaller sample.

Not since Low A have we seen how Stubbs adjusts after pitchers have adjusted to him. Hot on Buce's heels? No. Overpromoted without offensive merit? Yes. Defensively he might indeed be great, yet I doubt any poster has seen him defensively more than a dozen times.

And yet I read over and over that some posters (not doug) actually want to see the Reds call him up now that L'ville's season is over. Ridiculous. right now he'd be lucky to hit as well as Patterson, and would NOT be a defensive upgrade. I see four Scenarios for Stubbs (the same four for any prospect i guess)

He has a hot spring, forces the Reds' hand and wins the CF job. From there he either shines or tanks offensively.
He spends half or all of next year in AAA, dominates and plays for the Reds/some other team late in the year.
Has a good/bad AFL and is dealt with accordingly. (bad, pushed back to AA? good, starts at AAA)
He's traded this offseason in a big package for need (LF, SP)Barring any outside move my fear is #1 happens. And frankly there is too much uncertainty with that scenario. I prefer #2 or #4. Stubbs has value as long as he's perceived to have value. And there is nothing wrong with that. I worry that the Reds see him as a cornerstone to their future. I see him as Gary Matthews Jr. with more range and less pop.

I don't really like Gary Matthews Jr.

dougdirt
09-08-2008, 02:08 PM
Drew Stubbs would both hit and field better than Corey Patterson right now. He actually swings a bat with purpose, knows when to lay off pitches for the most part and he is a better fielder than Patterson is (those who disagree, I think you have yet to watch Drew Stubbs in person because you don't know what you are missing).

Redman15
09-08-2008, 02:16 PM
If you want to someone that's really fun to watch, you need to see Chris Heisey
in person. He gets to everything. He making diving catches every where. He makes
catches while slamming into the wall. He was the most exciting OF that I
saw this year in Sarasota or Chattanooga.

BRM
09-08-2008, 02:26 PM
If you want to someone that's really fun to watch, you need to see Chris Heisey
in person. He gets to everything. He making diving catches every where. He makes
catches while slamming into the wall. He was the most exciting OF that I
saw this year in Sarasota or Chattanooga.

It sounds like you see Heisey as a better defender than Stubbs. Interesting.

dougdirt
09-08-2008, 02:28 PM
It sounds like you see Heisey as a better defender than Stubbs. Interesting.

Depends when he saw Heisey and if he saw Stubbs. Still, with your eyes, especially only seeing a guy 3-4 times, its very difficult to separate exciting from good. How many times have we seen guys dive on plays that others would have made simply running in? One looked a lot better, but had that ball landed 2 feet the other way one guy would have still caught it, while the guy who was 'exciting' wouldn't have. Heisey has good defense, so don't take that the wrong way, but he isn't on the same level as Stubbs (not that many are).

BRM
09-08-2008, 02:31 PM
Thanks Doug. I was always under the impression Drew was the best outfielder in the organization, defensively. I've read good things about Heisey but most reports put Stubbs at the top.

Redman15
09-08-2008, 02:31 PM
I said more exciting. I did not see Stubbs dive for one ball this year. He just
gets to them. I saw Heisey make some pretty amazing catches. He plays the
OF like Ryan Freel. He is really fun to watch.

BRM
09-08-2008, 02:31 PM
I said more exciting. I did not see Stubbs dive for one ball this year. He just
gets to them. I saw Heisey make some pretty amazing catches. He plays the
OF like Ryan Freel. He is really fun to watch.

Gotcha. My mistake.

Redman15
09-08-2008, 02:36 PM
I probably saw Stubbs 15 times this year in person. Heisey about 10.
I saw them both last year in Dayton around 15 times and for me, Heisey
was more fun to watch. He plays every game like it's his last.

dougdirt
09-08-2008, 02:39 PM
I probably saw Stubbs 15 times this year in person. Heisey about 10.
I saw them both last year in Dayton around 15 times and for me, Heisey
was more fun to watch. He plays every game like it's his last.

Heisey is a real fun guy to watch. He is balls to the wall at times. He has some talent to go with that mindset though. He comes off to me as a better hitting Freel with a little less speed (but still fast).

princeton
09-08-2008, 02:39 PM
He plays every game like it's his last.

could be.

OnBaseMachine
09-08-2008, 02:46 PM
I said more exciting. I did not see Stubbs dive for one ball this year. He just
gets to them. I saw Heisey make some pretty amazing catches. He plays the
OF like Ryan Freel. He is really fun to watch.

Just ignore BRM. He's been going through hard times lately since the state of Colorado wouldn't let him change his name to Dusty Baker Jr.

BRM
09-08-2008, 02:47 PM
Just ignore BRM. He's been going through hard times lately since the state of Colorado wouldn't let him change his name to Dusty Baker Jr.

No, but they did let me change it to Captain Sweatband.

OnBaseMachine
09-08-2008, 02:54 PM
Captain Toothpick sounds better.

BRM
09-08-2008, 02:57 PM
Captain Toothpick sounds better.

That one was already taken by RMR.

Redman15
09-08-2008, 03:11 PM
There is not much difference between Stubbs and Heisey offensively. The biggest difference
is that Heisey puts the ball in play more than Stubbs. Stubbs strike out rate is about 2-1 to Heisey's.
I can see them playing side by side again like in Dayton.That was a pretty good OF.

dougdirt
09-08-2008, 04:22 PM
There is not much difference between Stubbs and Heisey offensively. The biggest difference
is that Heisey puts the ball in play more than Stubbs. Stubbs strike out rate is about 2-1 to Heisey's.
I can see them playing side by side again like in Dayton.That was a pretty good OF.

The biggest difference between the two offensively is Stubbs power potential. Heisey just simply doesn't have it.

Redman15
09-08-2008, 04:48 PM
The biggest difference between the two offensively is Stubbs power potential. Heisey just simply doesn't have it.
I would agree if you are going by potential. Otherwise the real numbers say different.


Stubbs 2008 Season
Team League AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS OBP SLG OPS
SAR FSL .261 86 303 49 79 21 4 5 38 123 50 82 27 8 .366 .406 .772
CHA SOU .315 26 92 12 29 8 0 0 9 37 11 21 3 1 .400 .402 .802
LOU INT .293 19 75 14 22 4 2 2 10 36 6 20 3 0 .354 .480 .834
Minors .277 131 470 75 130 33 6 7 57 196 67 123 33 9 .371 .417 .788

Heisey's 2008 Season
Team League AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS OBP SLG OPS
SAR FSL .287 117 436 77 125 31 7 7 51 191 57 69 27 2 .381 .438 .819
CHA SOU .316 19 79 11 25 6 1 2 10 39 3 15 5 0 .341 .494 .835
Minors .291 136 515 88 150 37 8 9 61 230 60 84 32 2 .375 .447 .822

TRF
09-08-2008, 05:24 PM
I love the word potential. It's the catchall for maybe he could even though he never has.

puca
09-08-2008, 06:42 PM
I love the word potential. It's the catchall for maybe he could even though he never has.

Nobody has ever done it until they do it.

TRF
09-08-2008, 11:13 PM
Nobody has ever done it until they do it.

Ask the Rangers about Ruben Mateo's potential. Sometimes overhyped is just that. I remember when Todd Van Poppel was the next Nolan Ryan. At least until he wasn't.

puca
09-09-2008, 12:12 AM
Ask the Rangers about Ruben Mateo's potential. Sometimes overhyped is just that. I remember when Todd Van Poppel was the next Nolan Ryan. At least until he wasn't.

And Nolan Ryan wasn't Nolan Ryan until he was. Before that he was a kid with a lot of potential. Having potential is not a bad thing. It sure has heck beats not having any.

MWM
09-10-2008, 11:46 AM
Drew Stubbs developing in the next year or two into a plus CF would be huge for the Reds. I'm hoping he does it and proves me completely wrong and I was one of those people who thought he would never develop into the hitter needed to play full time in the majors. I was never absolute in that assertion, but I was in the camp that thought that was the strongest likelihood. I sincerely hope he becomes a perrenial all star.

But I'm surprised at the level of certainty to which some are scoffing at the skeptics now, as if a couple of good months in AAA proves them wrong. It's encouraging that he's improved as he's been moved up and I hope it continues. But yes, sample sizes are very relevant here. These two months are encouraging, nothing more, IMO. There's till plenty of reason for skepticism and I'll wait until he does it for at least another half season in AAA before I'm ready to say he'll be a plus major leaguer.

TRF
09-10-2008, 12:22 PM
Drew Stubbs developing in the next year or two into a plus CF would be huge for the Reds. I'm hoping he does it and proves me completely wrong and I was one of those people who thought he would never develop into the hitter needed to play full time in the majors. I was never absolute in that assertion, but I was in the camp that thought that was the strongest likelihood. I sincerely hope he becomes a perrenial all star.

But I'm surprised at the level of certainty to which some are scoffing at the skeptics now, as if a couple of good months in AAA proves them wrong. It's encouraging that he's improved as he's been moved up and I hope it continues. But yes, sample sizes are very relevant here. These two months are encouraging, nothing more, IMO. There's till plenty of reason for skepticism and I'll wait until he does it for at least another half season in AAA before I'm ready to say he'll be a plus major leaguer.

probably the most reasonable post in this thread on either side. Well stated.

kpresidente
09-10-2008, 12:38 PM
probably the most reasonable post in this thread on either side. Well stated.

Everything is imbellished when it's controversial. For everybody who's saying Stubbs in the next greatest thing (comparing him to Bruce!?!), there's somebody who wrote him off after his first season at Billings.

puca
09-10-2008, 01:39 PM
Drew Stubbs developing in the next year or two into a plus CF would be huge for the Reds. I'm hoping he does it and proves me completely wrong and I was one of those people who thought he would never develop into the hitter needed to play full time in the majors. I was never absolute in that assertion, but I was in the camp that thought that was the strongest likelihood. I sincerely hope he becomes a perrenial all star.

But I'm surprised at the level of certainty to which some are scoffing at the skeptics now, as if a couple of good months in AAA proves them wrong. It's encouraging that he's improved as he's been moved up and I hope it continues. But yes, sample sizes are very relevant here. These two months are encouraging, nothing more, IMO. There's till plenty of reason for skepticism and I'll wait until he does it for at least another half season in AAA before I'm ready to say he'll be a plus major leaguer.


I guess it is all in the perception of the reader. I saw absolutely no scoffing going on in this thread or any other.

The only camps I see (in this thread and all other Drew Stubbs threads) are the one that says it is way too early to label Drew Stubbs a bust and the one that has done so since he was drafted.

I also am skeptical about Drew Stubbs going forward, but I'm also enough of an optimist to believe that potential is not a dirty word.

gonelong
09-11-2008, 01:13 PM
The only camps I see (in this thread and all Drew Stubbs threads) are the one that says it is way too early to label Drew Stubbs a bust and the one that has done so since he was drafted.

There is a rather large camp that echo's MWM, and it's present on most of the Stubbs theads as well. Its the "Hope he is the CF of the future, but just haven't seen enough from the guy (based on age/level/production) yet to believe it will come to pass."

Stubbs in AAA had done well enough to raise a few eyebrows, but it's too short a run (IMO) to anoint him as the Reds answer to CF. He is however, progressing a bit faster than I would have suspected.

GL