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M2
09-09-2008, 02:15 PM
In conjunction with the announcement that Matt Wieters won BA's minor league player of the year honors, BA ran a story about all the hot catching prospects in the minors.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/online/prospects/prospect-pulse/2008/266835.html

You need a BA subscription to read it, but it's a fairly thorough article which names 19 catching prospects as part of a larger discussion about how to develop catchers.

Not a one of those 19 prospects catchers plays for the Reds mind you. Maybe Devin Mesoraco will have a breakout season in 2009 or 2010 and join those ranks, but for right now the Reds count as a definitive have-not franchise when it comes to catchers.

So what can the Reds do about it? Obviously they need to acquire some catching talent at the major league level (and probably upper minors as well).

In terms of development, the BA article comes with a built-in suggestion on how to build your own catcher - take a kid with good hands, a strong arm and some agility and convert him. Generally this works better with 3Bs, since they tend to have those skills.

And obviously you want this kid to have a bat too (as the article notes, there's no point in converting a kid unless he brings something to the table at the plate - the minors are full of non-hitting catchers).

So who do the Reds have to fit that profile? Seems to me the most obvious candidate is Juan Francisco. Admittedly, I have little love for his impatient plate approach and suspect there will come a point in time where better pitchers are going to get him out consistently with a steady diet of junk.

Yet he does have bat speed and power. If he can hit for average with a healthy SLG, it's a lot easier to swallow a lowish OB behind the plate. The other thing is, it may take him a few years to hone his plate approach to be major-league-ready. If so, he's got the time to don the tools of ignorance.

Another guy who's a little more advanced, but I think might be worth a conversion is Justin Turner. Granted, he doesn't have a big arm, but he's hard-nosed with a mind for the game. I suspect he'd be a quick study and a catcher conversion would definitely improve his future value.

I'm curious to see what others would do to improve the catching situation. Waiting for Mesoraco strikes me as too limited a plan, especially given the uncertainty of his future.

TRF
09-09-2008, 02:22 PM
I think princeton mentioned Todd Frazier as a guy that needs a position and would be athletic enough to make the move.

princeton
09-09-2008, 02:23 PM
In terms of development, the BA article comes with a built-in suggestion on how to build your own catcher - take a kid with good hands, a strong arm and some agility and convert him. Generally this works better with 3Bs, since they tend to have those skills.

And obviously you want this kid to have a bat too (as the article notes, there's no point in converting a kid unless he brings something to the table at the plate - the minors are full of non-hitting catchers).

So who do the Reds have to fit that profile? Seems to me the most obvious candidate is Juan Francisco. .

seems like I've been conducting this symphony.

Reds have a gazillion candidates. Rosales and Frazier are my faves, but there are several. They draft for smarts and good arms-- so, put those into a place where they help you.

instead, they keep vacillating about where to play these people.

OnBaseMachine
09-09-2008, 02:29 PM
I love the thought of moving Juan Francisco to catcher for the same reason you listed: his plate discipline obviously needs a lot of work and moving him to catcher would slow down his development and allow him more time to hone his plate approach. Plus he's good a very strong arm and is athletic enough to make the move. Todd Frazier could probably make the move but his bat is good enough to carry him to the majors by late 2009 or early 2010 so I don't see the point in slowing his development down. Justin Turner is another fine choice.

Here's another for ya: Brandon Waring. He's got a strong arm and is supposedly a decent defensive third baseman.

HBP
09-09-2008, 02:32 PM
Interesting thoughts M2. You're right, Francisco's horrific OBP would be much less of a knock at catcher. Only one catcher in Single A this year beat his .496 slg %.

Kc61
09-09-2008, 02:33 PM
The Reds should get a catcher from another organization to team up next year with Hanigan and Castillo. Such a trio would be good, hopefully for a couple of years.

Then there is Mesoraco who is a very highly touted prospect and should be ready in 2-3 years.

There is also Tatum as a defensive type who looks like a major leaguer, likely a backup or platoon guy with defensive skills. He could be available next year in case of injury. There are a few others in the very low minors who appear to be possibilities.

One trade and the situation isn't too bad.

If the Reds are going to convert prospects to catcher, they should start at the low minors level. I doubt it would happen with guys who are already at High A ball or above. If higher-level prospects can hit, like Frazier and Francisco, I don't know if the Reds would want to now start the clock again with the years it will take to make them catchers.

I do agree that Frazier needs a defensive position, but I doubt it will be catcher. He should probably become a left fielder in AA next year.

lollipopcurve
09-09-2008, 02:42 PM
I think the Turner suggestion is very interesting -- my main reservation is that he's a pretty little guy -- he could wear down too quickly. I also wonder whether Ryan Hanigan is already what we hope someone like Turner could become. Hanigan is not bad.

They're going to trade for Bengie Molina anyway, I think.

M2
09-09-2008, 02:53 PM
Todd Frazier could probably make the move but his bat is good enough to carry him to the majors by late 2009 or early 2010 so I don't see the point in slowing his development down.

That's my take too. Don't convert a kid who's on the fast track.

M2
09-09-2008, 02:57 PM
The Reds should get a catcher from another organization to team up next year with Hanigan and Castillo. Such a trio would be good, hopefully for a couple of years.

Then there is Mesoraco who is a very highly touted prospect and should be ready in 2-3 years.

There is also Tatum as a defensive type who looks like a major leaguer, likely a backup or platoon guy with defensive skills. He could be available next year in case of injury. There are a few others in the very low minors who appear to be possibilities.

One trade and the situation isn't too bad.

I'd suggest you're in a full-blown state of denial.

Benihana
09-09-2008, 03:12 PM
Ahem...

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1728168#post1728168
http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1726053#post1726053
http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=71203

dougdirt
09-09-2008, 03:23 PM
I'd suggest you're in a full-blown state of denial.

Outside of that it may take Mesoraco a little longer to develop than suggested, where is he in full blown denial? Tatum is a strong defensive catcher who could serve as a backup type. And one trade to bring another catcher in would help the situation some as well. I would suggest you are overreacting because he was off on one third of his post.

M2
09-09-2008, 03:28 PM
Outside of that it may take Mesoraco a little longer to develop than suggested, where is he in full blown denial? Tatum is a strong defensive catcher who could serve as a backup type. And one trade to bring another catcher in would help the situation some as well. I would suggest you are overreacting because he was off on one third of his post.

Yep, Tatum, Hanigan or Castillo could, if the stars align correctly, be a passable backup.

So maybe the Reds have a backup catcher in stock. Does that represent a good overall catching situation? I think not.

There is nothing like an everyday solution in house and, unless Mesoraco breaks out, there isn't anything like it in the minors either.

I'm not one to praise the crumbs in the cupboard when the family is dying of starvation.

princeton
09-09-2008, 03:35 PM
That's my take too. Don't convert a kid who's on the fast track.


Reds have sandbagged him. He might as well learn a trade while he's twiddling his thumbs waiting for them to decide where to play his bat.

Kc61
09-09-2008, 03:36 PM
The Reds are undoubtedly going to add catching in trades or free agency.

Period.

All the rest of this is irrelevant. All teams don't necessarily have all the answers in the farm system. Sometimes you go shopping. The Reds undoubtedly will.

There is no magic to in-house solutions. Sometimes they come from the outside. It can work.

Patrick Bateman
09-09-2008, 03:40 PM
I'd look at Arizona and obviously, Texas' catching situation for trades. Montero is finally starting to come alive and they ultimately might decide it's time to give him the bulk of catching duties. Or perhaps they are already commited to Snyder. Preferably, we could make a pitch for Snyder, but that might be a little costly.

As for internal options, I'd focus on grooming lowerish level guys like Franciso and Turner. Rosales is close as a utility guy, and we're going to need Frazier's bat pretty quick. In Turner's case, his bat profiles as more of a .750 OPSish type of utility guy that could suddenly make him part of the catching solution if he takes to the position, rather than being forced into a situation that his bat wont play in. Otherwise, there aren't a lot of internal candidates that make much sense.

M2
09-09-2008, 03:40 PM
Reds have sandbagged him. He might as well learn a trade while he's twiddling his thumbs waiting for them to decide where to play his bat.

He'll start next season in AA at age 23 and could work his way into ML regular gig when he's 24. That's hardly a sandbagging.

M2
09-09-2008, 03:52 PM
The Reds are undoubtedly going to add catching in trades or free agency.

Period.

All the rest of this is irrelevant. All teams don't necessarily have all the answers in the farm system. Sometimes you go shopping. The Reds undoubtedly will.

Last year when presented with a catching dearth they added Paul Bako. That was exciting.

I'm sure they will go shopping for a major league solution. Whether they actually land something worth having or they invest in the downside of Bengie Molina's career we'll have to see.

Yet that doesn't change the calculus of the larger problem. The Reds' long-term catching solution at the moment is hoping that Devin Mesoraco turns into something. The backup plan is maybe some of these other guys can be backup catchers.

I know I should probably stop thinking along the lines of the Reds conducting themselves like a major league franchise with an eye on winning something in the future and ignore that Hanigan/Castillo/Tatum is the sort of thing you should be sifting through for AAA filler, but I'm hard-headed (and I never was able to be smug about a team that sucks).

I actually think the Reds should make a number of strategic moves in this area in order to shore up an identifiable organizational weakness.

princeton
09-09-2008, 03:56 PM
He'll start next season in AA at age 23 and could work his way into ML regular gig when he's 24. That's hardly a sandbagging.


they'll still be thinking what-is-his-position at 24

mace
09-09-2008, 03:57 PM
Don't know much about Turner's physical makeup, or how well he plays second base, but he would seem to make some sense for three reasons: 1. Phillips 2. Richar 3. Valaika

M2
09-09-2008, 03:58 PM
they'll still be thinking what-is-his-position at 24

They'll still be thinking that when he's 28. They aren't the sharpest tools in the shed.

That said, he'll hit enough that the answer won't be catcher. In fact we both know what his position will be - whatever position the Reds need filled when he's raking his way through AAA.

dougdirt
09-09-2008, 03:59 PM
Nearly every team in baseball has questions for the future at catching. The amount of teams with legit options at catcher in the upper minors can be counted on one hand. Its not only a Reds problem, its a nearly every team problem.

BRM
09-09-2008, 04:05 PM
Nearly every team in baseball has questions for the future at catching. The amount of teams with legit options at catcher in the upper minors can be counted on one hand. Its not only a Reds problem, its a nearly every team problem.

Personally, I don't care what other team's problems are. The Reds have an issue with catching depth in the minors. There aren't many options (1?) as a possible long-term solution. I'd like to see them get proactive in trying to rectify that.

M2
09-09-2008, 04:08 PM
Nearly every team in baseball has questions for the future at catching. The amount of teams with legit options at catcher in the upper minors can be counted on one hand. Its not only a Reds problem, its a nearly every team problem.

And yet BA just called this "Year of the Catcher" and rattled off 19 prospect catchers from something like a dozen different organizations.

That other franchises have their troubles in this area doesn't absolve the Reds from trying to do better. I'd like the Reds to be one of the organizations showing strength at a high demand, low supply position. I know, I'm clearly crazy for thinking like that. This team puts a lot of effort into finishing 22nd or 23rd every year and I should be happy with that.

dougdirt
09-09-2008, 04:18 PM
And yet BA just called this "Year of the Catcher" and rattled off 19 prospect catchers from something like a dozen different organizations.

That other franchises have their troubles in this area doesn't absolve the Reds from trying to do better. I'd like the Reds to be one of the organizations showing strength at a high demand, low supply position. I know, I'm clearly crazy for thinking like that. This team puts a lot of effort into finishing 22nd or 23rd every year and I should be happy with that.

Actually it does.... because if nearly everyone else is having issues at catcher, the teams with actual catchers aren't going to likely move them, and if they do, teams are going to be severely overpaying for them. It would be fantastic if the Reds had about 3 or 4 guys that were legit catching prospects.... but thats just not a realistic option for anyone almost.

BA can call it what they want, but I want to ask them how many of those catchers actually have a shot at playing catcher in the majors? A lot of the 'catching prospects' on the top of my mind right now have some major questions about their ability to stick at catcher.

Kc61
09-09-2008, 04:25 PM
Actually it does.... because if nearly everyone else is having issues at catcher, the teams with actual catchers aren't going to likely move them, and if they do, teams are going to be severely overpaying for them. It would be fantastic if the Reds had about 3 or 4 guys that were legit catching prospects.... but thats just not a realistic option for anyone almost.

BA can call it what they want, but I want to ask them how many of those catchers actually have a shot at playing catcher in the majors? A lot of the 'catching prospects' on the top of my mind right now have some major questions about their ability to stick at catcher.

Does the article contain a list of the "top 19 catching prospects?" The description in this thread implies that there are just certain catchers mentioned in an article.

If there were an article with the top 19 catcher prospects in the minors, I'm fairly certain that Mesoraco would be in there. And Tatum might even sneak in at the end of the list.

So I don't know what this whole discussion is about. Very few teams have first round catching picks like Mesoraco in their system.

M2
09-09-2008, 04:34 PM
Actually it does.... because if nearly everyone else is having issues at catcher, the teams with actual catchers aren't going to likely move them, and if they do, teams are going to be severely overpaying for them. It would be fantastic if the Reds had about 3 or 4 guys that were legit catching prospects.... but thats just not a realistic option for anyone almost.

So maybe it would be a good idea to stock the minors with more than one kid who MIGHT be an every day solution. You're making my case for me. A convert or two could rescue the franchise from the have-not syndrome you just described.

Maybe it's also worth overpaying if there's a kid you really like. It was only the start of this season where I wanted to overpay Homer Bailey for Chris Iannetta.


BA can call it what they want, but I want to ask them how many of those catchers actually have a shot at playing catcher in the majors? A lot of the 'catching prospects' on the top of my mind right now have some major questions about their ability to stick at catcher.

You already know the answer to that. Most won't make it (and some not mentioned in the article will). Yet all the Reds have is one big maybe at catcher at the moment.

Since they've been incompetent at incompetence (never getting a high enough draft pick to land a Wieters or a Posey) they're going to need multiple options to overcome the prospect dropout rate that affects catchers.

Organizationally, are the Reds going to do anything about this? Or are they just going to collect journeymen and wait for the next draft?

Kc61
09-09-2008, 04:51 PM
So maybe it would be a good idea to stock the minors with more than one kid who MIGHT be an every day solution. You're making my case for me. A convert or two could rescue the franchise from the have-not syndrome you just described.

Maybe it's also worth overpaying if there's a kid you really like. It was only the start of this season where I wanted to overpay Homer Bailey for Chris Iannetta.



You already know the answer to that. Most won't make it (and some not mentioned in the article will). Yet all the Reds have is one big maybe at catcher at the moment.

Since they've been incompetent at incompetence (never getting a high enough draft pick to land a Wieters or a Posey) they're going to need multiple options to overcome the prospect dropout rate that affects catchers.

Organizationally, are the Reds going to do anything about this? Or are they just going to collect journeymen and wait for the next draft?

Last year, Mesoraco was the Reds first pick. They also picked a number of other catchers, including Wideman at number 11. This year, less so, but Kyle Day of MSU was selected at number 12. Another college catcher at 18.

They clearly have addressed catching in the system, will continue to do so, and will acquire additional guys in trades.

M2
09-09-2008, 04:51 PM
Does the article contain a list of the "top 19 catching prospects?" The description in this thread implies that there are just certain catchers mentioned in an article.

If there were an article with the top 19 catcher prospects in the minors, I'm fairly certain that Mesoraco would be in there. And Tatum might even sneak in at the end of the list.

So I don't know what this whole discussion is about. Very few teams have first round catching picks like Mesoraco in their system.

It wasn't a specific list.

That said, there is no way on God's green earth that Tatum would make a top 20 catching prospect list. That's just silly. And, given the number of catchers who actually had big seasons in 2008, Mesoraco would stand on a sliver of a chance (because there comes a time where what you do matters a lot more than where you got drafted).

M2
09-09-2008, 04:53 PM
Last year, Mesoraco was the Reds first pick. They also picked a number of other catchers, including Wideman at number 11. This year, less so, but Kyle Day of MSU was selected at number 12. Another college catcher at 18.

They clearly have addressed catching in the system, will continue to do so, and will acquire additional guys in trades.

Yep, they draft catchers every year. They draft pitchers every year too. That's probably why they've had such good pitching this decade.

Kc61
09-09-2008, 04:57 PM
It wasn't a specific list.

That said, there is no way on God's green earth that Tatum would make a top 20 catching prospect list. That's just silly. And, given the number of catchers who actually had big seasons in 2008, Mesoraco would stand on a sliver of a chance (because there comes a time where what you do matters a lot more than where you got drafted).

BA recently discussed Tatum in its Hot List and I believe reported a view that Tatum would be a major league regular. Some catchers develop more slowly at the plate.

dougdirt
09-09-2008, 05:16 PM
So maybe it would be a good idea to stock the minors with more than one kid who MIGHT be an every day solution. You're making my case for me. A convert or two could rescue the franchise from the have-not syndrome you just described.
I am not making any case for you. I never said converting a guy or two would be a good or bad idea. All I said is that nearly every team in baseball has catching prospect issues, because well, there are catchers that can hit and catchers that can field, but very few who can do both with anything resembling average on both sides of things. This franchise doesn't neccesarily need a catcher or two in the pipeline. Free agency is always an option. Sure, it would be nice to fill every spot on the roster with your guys, but thats not realistic. Would it be nice to go out and get a top flight catching prospect? Sure. Is it a reasonable possibility? Probably not. If that means we have to go out and sign a FA catcher who can hold his own, then thats what happens. Thats when you are glad you can pay Votto and Bruce a combined $800,000 next year and less than 1.5 million the year after that.

M2
09-09-2008, 05:40 PM
BA recently discussed Tatum in its Hot List and I believe reported a view that Tatum would be a major league regular. Some catchers develop more slowly at the plate.

I didn't see that particular list, but I'd put that statement on par with the assertion that Craig Tatum can fly. Seriously, he's got a .674 OPS this season, a .714 career minor league OPS, a sub-.660 overall OPS in the upper minors and he's going to be 26 next year.

He never had anything at the plate and hasn't developed anything. There's a difference between listing the bodies in the Reds assorted affiliates and the organization actually having some catching prospects worth getting excited about.

M2
09-09-2008, 05:54 PM
I am not making any case for you. I never said converting a guy or two would be a good or bad idea. All I said is that nearly every team in baseball has catching prospect issues, because well, there are catchers that can hit and catchers that can field, but very few who can do both with anything resembling average on both sides of things. This franchise doesn't neccesarily need a catcher or two in the pipeline. Free agency is always an option. Sure, it would be nice to fill every spot on the roster with your guys, but thats not realistic. Would it be nice to go out and get a top flight catching prospect? Sure. Is it a reasonable possibility? Probably not. If that means we have to go out and sign a FA catcher who can hold his own, then thats what happens. Thats when you are glad you can pay Votto and Bruce a combined $800,000 next year and less than 1.5 million the year after that.

Yep, there's always free agency, which is constantly swimming in catching talent.

Sure, you can try to pluck a journeyman and get his career season, but there's a reason for having a feeder system. You're supposed to be trying to develop players to fill future needs. Obviously there's no such thing as perfect success, but you've got to be exceptionally myopic to look at the Reds' system and not recognize the relative lack of quality behind the plate.

Something should be done.

Or maybe nothing should be done. After all, part of the lure of finishing 23rd every season is not having to think too hard about things.

dougdirt
09-09-2008, 06:47 PM
Yep, there's always free agency, which is constantly swimming in catching talent.

Sure, you can try pluck a journeyman and get his career season, but there's a reason for having a feeder system. You're supposed to be trying to develop players to fill future needs. Obviously there's no such thing as perfect success, but you've got to be exceptionally myopic to look at the Reds' system and not recognize the relative lack of quality behind the plate.

Something should be done.

Or maybe nothing should be done. After all, part of the lure of finishing 23rd every season is not having to think too hard about things.

Or we should just shoot for 23rd every year as if its a realistic position to finish. Obviously to win you must have a great catcher.

There are 7 teams with 80 or more wins in baseball right now. Their main 2 catchers on each team are hitting for these OPS's

TB - .743
BOS - .672
CHI (AL) .731
ANA - .684
NYM - .721
CHI (NL) - .846
MIL- .687

Catchers just flat out don't hit. When they do, great job, you are well ahead of the game. But the best of the best in baseball, only 1 team has a catching combo with an OPS out of the catchers spot over .745. Three of them are well under .700.

M2
09-09-2008, 06:55 PM
Obviously to win you must have a great catcher..

It wouldn't hurt.

I'm for running an organization like you give a damn.

dougdirt
09-09-2008, 06:57 PM
It wouldn't hurt.

I'm for running an organization like you give a damn.

So am I, but its also something to note that if you have a catching platoon that can give you an OPS of around .700 you are doing just fine for yourself. I am not against going out and trying to find a catcher in the minors to add to the system, but I am not going to go out and overpay for one either.

nemesis
09-09-2008, 07:04 PM
We still don't know if maybe Hanigan can play out as a regular. All he has ever done is his minor leauge stint is hit for avg, and keep his BB to K about even. I'd take that over Ross, Bako, LaRue and Javier every day of the week. Castillo is only 24 and can hit left handed. If he could keep a .700 OBS that still would be ok in a tandum... and he adds value as a pinch runner / utility guy...

M2
09-09-2008, 07:11 PM
So am I, but its also something to note that if you have a catching platoon that can give you an OPS of around .700 you are doing just fine for yourself. I am not against going out and trying to find a catcher in the minors to add to the system, but I am not going to go out and overpay for one either.

That really depends on your team. Yeah, if you've got Johan Santana leading your pitching staff and three guys in the middle of your lineup with 100+ RBIs, and the 4th-best DER in MLB, then Brian Schneider and his .702 OPS are just fine and dandy.

However, if your team isn't near the top of every league leader list, you might find that a .700 OPS catcher is a bit of an anchor, another feckless bat in a lineup populated by too many feckless bats.

And if you're not against converting a guy or trading for a minor leaguer, then what exactly is your bloody point in this thread? I mean, if you agree with the premise (namely that the Reds could use an organizational upgrade at this position) and you don't actually think a good catcher is a meaningless accessory (and you don't), what exactly are you typing about here? Is this just some elaborate method of covering that you've got no actual ideas when it comes to improving the catching situation?

Benihana
09-09-2008, 07:24 PM
Juan Francisco and Justin Turner should BOTH be tried at catcher. How do you like THEM apples?!

Seriously though, take a look at their respective positional depths within the organization:

Francisco has Encarnacion, Frazier, Waring, Soto, and possibly even Valaika all angling for the hot corner. Offensively, Francisco is clearly behind all of those guys with the possible exception of Waring. Defensively, I would guess Francisco is on par with Waring, trailing Frazier and Valaika defensively. Part of his defensive strength however is a cannon arm. And his biggest holdup offensively is his plate discipline, which needs to be refined before he can advance to AA. I would have him work at catcher in the Dominican winter league and spring training next year, and assuming he reacts positively start him behind the plate in Sarasota. Mesoraco IMO could use another couple months in Dayton at least.

Turner trails Phillips and Valaika in the organizational pecking order at 2B. While he has hit well at every level, most scouts project him to be a utility man/backup at the major league level at best. With an all-star firmly entrenched at the major league level and one of the Reds' top prospects in Valaika more highly thought of, Turner could benefit from a positional switch. Give him reps behind the dish over the offseason and in spring training, and if he responds well he could be catching for Chattanooga come April.

Realistically, at least one if not both of these guys will not pan out as a catcher. Francisco's plate discipline or Justin Turner's arm strength may not allow them to advance through the system. However I maintain the Reds don't have much to lose by trying this method. As of right now, neither player projects to be an impact player for the Reds in the next two seasons, if ever. Geovany Soto, Russell Martin, and Terry Steinbach were all All-Star catchers at the major league level who came up through their respective systems as infielders. Let's give it a whirl.

dougdirt
09-09-2008, 07:29 PM
That really depends on your team. Yeah, if you've got Johan Santana leading your pitching staff and three guys in the middle of your lineup with 100+ RBIs, and the 4th-best DER in MLB, then Brian Schneider and his .702 OPS are just fine and dandy.

However, if your team isn't near the top of every league leader list, you might find that a .700 OPS catcher is a bit of an anchor, another feckless bat in a lineup populated by too many feckless bats.

And if you're not against converting a guy or trading for a minor leaguer, then what exactly is your bloody point in this thread? I mean, if you agree with the premise (namely that the Reds could use an organizational upgrade at this position) and you don't actually think a good catcher is a meaningless accessory (and you don't), what exactly are you typing about here? Is this just some elaborate method of covering that you've got no actual ideas when it comes to improving the catching situation?

That the Reds don't realistically need to upgrade their minor league catching options in order to improve their major league catching future. I would much rather upgrade the other positions of need and just grab a guy who can give me a .700 OPS at the catchers position.

M2
09-09-2008, 07:37 PM
That the Reds don't realistically need to upgrade their minor league catching options in order to improve their major league catching future. I would much rather upgrade the other positions of need and just grab a guy who can give me a .700 OPS at the catchers position.

So you're just fine with aiming for something slightly below the league catching OPS average of .715? And for taking the ostrich approach on the current lack of quality/upside when it comes to the catching situation?

I must say, the Reds are definitely the organization for you. It will give you everything you want - nothing.

dougdirt
09-09-2008, 07:44 PM
So you're just fine with aiming for something slightly below the league catching OPS average of .715? And for taking the ostrich approach on the current lack of quality/upside when it comes to the catching situation?

I must say, the Reds are definitely the organization for you. It will give you everything you want - nothing.

If it comes down to a .700 OPS catcher or way overpaying for a catcher who isn't likely to make a big difference, I am willing to aim for something slightly below the league average and hope a draftee is ready sometime. That said, I think Hanigan could give us league average offense at catcher right now. If I can not overpay for close to league average at catcher but acquire a shortstop or power bat for LF, then I would absolutely make that trade off.

You don't seem to grasp what I am saying though. Would I love to have an .800 OPS catcher? Of course. Its not very doable though. Acquiring a shortstop or solid left fielder is a lot easier to accomplish though and will make a much larger impact on the offense.

Mario-Rijo
09-09-2008, 07:55 PM
I would absolutely overpay for a legitimate offensive and defensive minded catcher, in terms of cash or prospects.

I like the idea of taking a guy like Francisco and turning him into a catcher, it's a damn near perfect idea for a guy like him. I wonder if he has the intangibles to play the position mentally but he certainly has enough physical tools. Turner IDK his arm is nothing special and I'm not so sure he hits well enough to be an everyday major leaguer, he would be lucky to be a Hanigan clone (offensively speaking).

Another guy though who maybe could fit there and is far enough away to convert is Alex Bucholz. He may have enough arm, savvy and his bat would definitely play there well. I don't think his future is at SS, 3B or even say CF and 2B are a dime a dozen as are LF's. He may be a nearly perfect fit with the exception of having a cannon as his isn't but still may be adequate. He was also drafted at 6 foot and 185 so he should eventually have the size to play that position just fine.


SCOUTING REPORT (3/1): Buchholz has had two high-profile seasons at Delaware, batting .378-18-64 as a freshman and .387-11-63 as a sophomore. He didn’t hit quite to that level last summer in the Cal Ripken Sr. League (.270-1-21), but he nonetheless led Youse’s Maryland Orioles to its fifth straight All-American Amateur Baseball Association title. He impressed scouts with his bat speed and power to all fields. While he spent most of his first two college seasons at second base, Buchholz played third base last summer and displayed the best infield arm in the Cal Ripken Sr. League. He was expected to continue to play third base his junior year at Delaware, but began the 2008 season on familiar ground at second base. He has the power numbers to profile at the hot corner, though they may be enhanced somewhat since Delaware plays in a bandbox.—ALLAN SIMPSON

UPDATE (5/15): Buchholz played the bulk of the 2008 season at shortstop for Delaware—more on team need than design, but he may have enhanced his profile as a potential utility player in the process. He has good hands and graceful actions in the middle, but his arm was a little short from the hole though is very playable at second, his best position. He showed a quick, aggressive, compact stroke but had an inclination to be too home-run happy this spring as he pressed to hit the long ball more consistently like he did his first two seasons. He hit just five long balls this year, while batting.319. Despite a pronounced dip in offensive production, scouts have little doubt Buchholz will hit.—AS

M2
09-09-2008, 08:17 PM
If it comes down to a .700 OPS catcher or way overpaying for a catcher who isn't likely to make a big difference, I am willing to aim for something slightly below the league average and hope a draftee is ready sometime. That said, I think Hanigan could give us league average offense at catcher right now. If I can not overpay for close to league average at catcher but acquire a shortstop or power bat for LF, then I would absolutely make that trade off.

You don't seem to grasp what I am saying though. Would I love to have an .800 OPS catcher? Of course. Its not very doable though. Acquiring a shortstop or solid left fielder is a lot easier to accomplish though and will make a much larger impact on the offense.

What's WAY overpaying? I'm talking about converting guys to grow what you pretty much can't buy in the marketplace (no matter how much you pay). BTW, you're the one who typed this - "Free agency is always an option. Sure, it would be nice to fill every spot on the roster with your guys, but thats not realistic. Would it be nice to go out and get a top flight catching prospect? Sure. Is it a reasonable possibility? Probably not. If that means we have to go out and sign a FA catcher who can hold his own, then thats what happens. Thats when you are glad you can pay Votto and Bruce a combined $800,000 next year and less than 1.5 million the year after that."

Now you don't want to overpay? Fine. I'm not talking about what the Reds should do for catching next year. If I were, this thread would be in the ORG. I'm talking about systematically addressing the overall lack of catching talent so we're not forever speculating which tremendously unexciting oldish minor leaguers might be able to squeak out a .715 OPS. The mere thought of that makes me want to claw my brain out.

And I grasp what you're saying. It's hard, so let's not try.

dougdirt
09-09-2008, 08:27 PM
I would much rather overpay money to go get a catcher capable of being average than overpaying talent to get the same guy. I don't think I have said anything about cnoverting guys to catcher. Even still, the odds that anyone you convert is ready to catch in the major leagues before 2012 is very unlikely.

And no, you don't full grasp what I am saying. I am saying don't overpay for a catcher just because you don't have one ready to take over from your system simply for the reason that you don't have one. Free agency is always an option to fill that role at the major league level. Continue drafting catchers and hope one or more pans out. Convert a guy or two into catchers and hope something clicks. I am just not into overpaying for a catcher in the minor leagues simply because we lack catchers in the system.

M2
09-09-2008, 09:13 PM
I would much rather overpay money to go get a catcher capable of being average than overpaying talent to get the same guy. I don't think I have said anything about cnoverting guys to catcher. Even still, the odds that anyone you convert is ready to catch in the major leagues before 2012 is very unlikely.

And no, you don't full grasp what I am saying. I am saying don't overpay for a catcher just because you don't have one ready to take over from your system simply for the reason that you don't have one. Free agency is always an option to fill that role at the major league level. Continue drafting catchers and hope one or more pans out. Convert a guy or two into catchers and hope something clicks. I am just not into overpaying for a catcher in the minor leagues simply because we lack catchers in the system.

I like spending money better than talent too, but Bailey for Iannetta would have been a steal (the Reds' overrated prospect for the Rockies' underrated catcher). Sometimes it's better to have their guy than yours, and sometimes it's better to have yours. Being able to make the right call (as opposed to refusing to even consider your options) is likely the difference between success and continued failure for an organization like the Reds.

And you keep saying the same thing with seemingly no thought as to its ramifications. What it boils down to is "keep doing what you're doing." Yeah, maybe you'd convert a guy, though it sounds like you're pretty much just paying lip service to it (you haven't mentioned a single name). You're not coming across as someone who thinks the Reds should get aggressive about their internal options and you're actively arguing against pretty much any consideration of external options. At some point in the next year or two the Reds will be trading a veteran player and it might make sense to prioritize a young catcher as part of the return.

In the meantime your prescription is draft and wait. I agree with you that converted catchers likely won't prove a quick fix, but any fix or advancement of the timetable when you can actually produce a quality catcher would be an improvement.

And that's the point. The Reds don't have a compelling answer at catcher right now and if you look at their system, they might be in the same position for a long time to come. Some sort of reaction, some change in standard operating procedure, is warranted. And even if you're only going to draft and wait, is there perhaps a better way of picking catchers with some actual upside?

dougdirt
09-09-2008, 09:33 PM
Of course its all your opinion on the 'rated'ness over Homer Bailey or Iannetta. Who is to say Iannetta was even available? Why would the Rockies have made him available? It wouldn't make sense for them to do so, he was a premiere catching prospect.

As for switching someone to catcher, I don't have any names. There is a whole lot that goes into making a catcher that no number I can see a stat line is going to tell me that makes someone a good guy to perhaps convert. No one on this site likely has enough insight on these guys to make the right decision on who could potentially cut it as a catcher.

My solution is likely just like everyone elses in baseball. Draft and develop. If a trade opens up for one, then go for it. There aren't many teams lining up to trade catchers with upside though, especially ones with upside who have already produced. Sure it would be great to go snag a guy like Wilson Ramos or Jonathon Lucroy, but odds are they aren't available for something reasonable.

How they go about fixing the lack of catching is one thing... but its still not a Reds problem, for the most part its a baseball problem because good catchers are extremely hard to come by. Convert a guy or two, draft a few in the 4th-10th rounds.... odds are you still don't see much turning out because, catchers don't usually turn out.

HokieRed
09-09-2008, 09:38 PM
I think there is still a strong possibility that all the Homer Bailey critics/knockers/undersellers will have to eat major crow. Where else do you find a 96 mph heater, 87 slider, 18 inch down-breaking curveball, and a change he's beginning to learn to throw for strikes? Sure the kid's struggled, like a lot of other guys who had such overpowering stuff they never had to learn to pitch, and he might turn out to be a bust. BUT MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT. THERE'S A LOT OF TALENT THERE. If somebody trades us for him, it's because they think they have a chance to take us to the cleaners.

kpresidente
09-09-2008, 11:00 PM
Alonso to catcher.

I'm kidding.

Or am I?

M2
09-09-2008, 11:14 PM
Of course its all your opinion on the 'rated'ness over Homer Bailey or Iannetta.

Well, anyone with a predisposition toward honesty would have to admit that Bailey (both his performance and his stuff over the past two seasons) was vastly overrated by ratings houses like BA. As for Iannetta, the Rockies gave Yorvit Torrealba a two-year, $7.25M contract to be their main catcher, something they'd have never done had they properly recognized that Iannetta would be the superior player. Given what he's done this season, that would be a fairly clear underrating.


Who is to say Iannetta was even available? Why would the Rockies have made him available? It wouldn't make sense for them to do so, he was a premiere catching prospect.

No one's to say to that and let's hyperfocus on that detail so we can avoid any intellectual consideration of the larger point, shall we? I mean, the fact that the Rockies had signed a veteran to start instead of Iannetta, let's blithely ignore that. Maybe Dan O'Dowd would have been impossible to deal with. So let's never consider the possibility that any options have ever existed outside of what actually occurred. Let's be that obdurate.

Of course, if we were to allow ourselves to think about subjects like this, rather than drum up endless hypotheticals as to why it never would have happened (and we already know it didn't), then perhaps, just perhaps, we might recognize that sometimes an organization has an overrated prospect. I don't care what his name is. Some kids are overrated.

And what will the Reds do the next time they've got one of those? Heck, pick your most-overrated Reds prospect and then start to muse on what you might be able to get for him. Surely somewhere out there, you'll recognize there's a kid who's blocked by a veteran or a kid who's struggled, but you like his future. Maybe that's who you'd trade your overrated prospect for. Anyone can play. It's that simple.

Would you be "overpaying?" Technically you might be, but you'd be getting someone you want for someone you think isn't all that and a bag of chips.


As for switching someone to catcher, I don't have any names. There is a whole lot that goes into making a catcher that no number I can see a stat line is going to tell me that makes someone a good guy to perhaps convert. No one on this site likely has enough insight on these guys to make the right decision on who could potentially cut it as a catcher.

Yes, it's completely arcane and only advanced Jedi scouts know how to do it. Everyone else should banish all such thoughts from their minds.


My solution is likely just like everyone elses in baseball. Draft and develop. If a trade opens up for one, then go for it. There aren't many teams lining up to trade catchers with upside though, especially ones with upside who have already produced. Sure it would be great to go snag a guy like Wilson Ramos or Jonathon Lucroy, but odds are they aren't available for something reasonable.

How they go about fixing the lack of catching is one thing... but its still not a Reds problem, for the most part its a baseball problem because good catchers are extremely hard to come by. Convert a guy or two, draft a few in the 4th-10th rounds.... odds are you still don't see much turning out because, catchers don't usually turn out.

Again, did you miss where BA is touting the relative surplus of catchers in the prospects ranks at the moment? Good catching prospects, while far from plentiful, aren't extremely hard to come by at this moment. Yes, the current bubble will pop (all do sooner or later), but there's catchers out in them thar hills and the Reds currently don't have much to show outside of a claim that hasn't produced yet.

Clearly, you're bereft of ideas. Yeah, draft and develop. Draft who? Develop how? You don't know. Make a trade if someone comes available, but no one's going to trade a catching prospect, ever, and even if they did the Reds shouldn't trade anyone of any quality to get that catcher because lots of other teams don't have squat on the catching front either.

And here's where I fault myself for spending all this back and forth with the guy who's got zero ideas instead of engaging with the good folks who've actually posted some. That's going to stop with this post, guaranteed.

M2
09-09-2008, 11:19 PM
Alonso to catcher.

I'm kidding.

Or am I?

I was hoping someone would bring up his name.

While I'd put him in the Todd Frazier category of, hopefully, hitting too well to ever slow down to learn how to catch, I like that sort of reckless thinking.

Patrick Bateman
09-09-2008, 11:28 PM
I was hoping someone would bring up his name.

While I'd put him in the Todd Frazier category of, hopefully, hitting too well to ever slow down to learn how to catch, I like that sort of reckless thinking.

I'd have to agree with the Frazier like grouping.

One guy is Neftali Soto... he's again, a guy that looks like he's going to be on a corner because of his eventual size. He's athlethic, and young, and could make an interesting experiment given that his bat looks semi-interesting. Of the better prospects for the Reds, he makes the most sense to move. He also has some discipline issues that might stall his bat somewhere along the way, but if he took to catching well, that really wouldn't be the case. Same level of Meseraco, but his bat is way more advanced, and wouldn't have to putter around in the minors for a while before his bat is ready.

SMcGavin
09-09-2008, 11:34 PM
Back when we drafted Alonso I thought about him as a catcher. After a google search I came upon this:



“Currently I am playing 1st base and I am the back-up catcher. I think I will end up being a first baseman at Miami."

That was Yonder Alonso before his freshman year at Miami. I think he's an advanced bat that we don't want to slow down by making him learn the nuances of catching. But if he was going to be the backup catcher at Miami it's likely he's played catcher before at some point in his life. Just food for thought.

kpresidente
09-09-2008, 11:34 PM
I was hoping someone would bring up his name.


I was hoping somebody else would respond and not call me crazy.

I have some pro's for Alonso -> catcher:

1. He was originally drafted as a catcher out of high-school by the Twins. Admittedly, they didn't draft him because of his glove.
2. He was Miami's backup catcher as a freshman.
3. Scouting reports say he has a strong arm.
4. He's not known for his defense elsewhere, so it won't cost you a glove.
5. Opens up LF or 1B in the future for another big bat.
6. He looks like a catcher.
7. His father was a catcher.

Dusty would be sold on #6 and #7. :) Seriously, though, he probably has the fundamentals of the position down. You don't have to teach him the footwork or how to throw from your ear. The rest is just cereberal stuff, which anybody can learn if they put in the effort, or is just natural ability, which you either have or you don't.

I wouldn't normally suggest this kind of thing, but, desperate times...

HokieRed
09-09-2008, 11:47 PM
Why would Alonso be interested in being a catcher?

dougdirt
09-09-2008, 11:56 PM
No one's to say to that and let's hyperfocus on that detail so we can avoid any intellectual consideration of the larger point, shall we? I mean, the fact that the Rockies had signed a veteran to start instead of Iannetta, let's blithely ignore that. Maybe Dan O'Dowd would have been impossible to deal with. So let's never consider the possibility that any options have ever existed outside of what actually occurred. Let's be that obdurate.
Or we can just be realistic and take a good strong guess that he probably wasn't going to be had for anything resembling an even trade. Sure, we could have gotten him, but it likely would have taken a lot more than it should have.



Of course, if we were to allow ourselves to think about subjects like this, rather than drum up endless hypotheticals as to why it never would have happened (and we already know it didn't), then perhaps, just perhaps, we might recognize that sometimes an organization has an overrated prospect. I don't care what his name is. Some kids are overrated.
Sure. Identifying and moving those guys is ideal.




Would you be "overpaying?" Technically you might be, but you'd be getting someone you want for someone you think isn't all that and a bag of chips. Then you aren't overpaying at that point.




Yes, it's completely arcane and only advanced Jedi scouts know how to do it. Everyone else should banish all such thoughts from their minds.
Exactly, I knew you would see that light.




Again, did you miss where BA is touting the relative surplus of catchers in the prospects ranks at the moment? Good catching prospects, while far from plentiful, aren't extremely hard to come by at this moment. Yes, the current bubble will pop (all do sooner or later), but there's catchers out in them thar hills and the Reds currently don't have much to show outside of a claim that hasn't produced yet.
I saw where they were touting the relative surplus of guys who wear catchers gear in the prospect ranks. I didn't read the article, so I don't know who all was listed, but I bet half of them either can't hit or can't catch without knowing any of the names.



Clearly, you're bereft of ideas. Yeah, draft and develop. Draft who? Develop how? You don't know. Make a trade if someone comes available, but no one's going to trade a catching prospect, ever, and even if they did the Reds shouldn't trade anyone of any quality to get that catcher because lots of other teams don't have squat on the catching front either.
Yes, I have no idea. As far as who to draft, I go with the toolsy types at the catcher position all day long. How to develop them depends on the player, so to delve into that one is pointless unless I know which exact player we are talking about. As for the rest of your rambling, well thats all it was.

kpresidente
09-09-2008, 11:57 PM
Why would Alonso be interested in being a catcher?

At 1B he's lost in the crowd. At catcher, he could be a perennial all-star. Besides, maybe he likes catching. Who knows?

TC81190
09-09-2008, 11:59 PM
Why would Alonso be interested in being a catcher?
His plus-bat at a position where a .715 OPS is the average...can you imagine the money he'd make?

Mario-Rijo
09-10-2008, 12:02 AM
Why would Alonso be interested in being a catcher?

And do the Reds feel his bat is too good to move to a position that could, would likely shorten his career.

HokieRed
09-10-2008, 12:13 AM
Moving him to catcher will shorten his career, reduce his stats, and probably the money he'll make over a career. It will almost certainly slow down his progress to the majors. He's already on the fastest of tracks. There's absolutely nothing in it for him to consider a move to catcher.

kpresidente
09-10-2008, 01:01 AM
There's absolutely nothing in it for him to consider a move to catcher.

Then why don't all catchers who can hit demand to be moved?

RedlegJake
09-10-2008, 09:52 AM
When I look at catchers in other organizations I don't see any great seperation from Mesaraco or after a point from Hanigan. Wieters, Clement, Towles, Conger, Teagarden and Montero plus the new guys Posey and Skipworth. Skipworth and Montero are years away. Wieters is in a class by himself. Towles and maybe Conger are next. Clement isn't looking like the beast he was once thought to be. Neither is Teagarden, though both have a ton of upside. Mesaraco compares favorably with most of the rest - I'd rate him ahead of Bryan Anderson, Cervelli, Salome, Navarro, Josh Donaldson, Mitch Canham for instance. I'd rate Hanigan favorably with any of that group although he is older - Ryan is not going to get a lot better than he is - he just needs to put up similar numbers as his did inthe minors, while a coupleof these guys could develop some power but so far the griup looks a lot like him actually. Same good OBP but little power. Max Ramirez can flat hit but his defense is really iffy. Chris Stewart is a backup. Max Sapp has been really disappointing actually, Jesus Flores looks pretty good but not immeasurably better as a prospect than Mes. Yes, there are a lot of names and some organizations can count 3 or 4 reasonable prospects behind the plate, basically one at each level. The Reds have basically one real bullet in Mesaraco unless one of the kids in the GCL or Billings suddenly steps up. Saying that Hanigan is AAA filler, though, is a ridiculous statement on the same level with saying Mesaraco isn't even a top twenty catching prospect. But what burns me most I guess is when someone disagrees and gets called clueless, unimaginative or deficient in ideas. COULD the Reds convert one of their players like Yonder or Francisco? Sure, if the kid agreed to it and the Reds felt he could do it but I'm not sure that would solve the problem as much as some think itwould. It might even backfire and take the focus from improving plate discipline from a kid like Francisco.

nate
09-10-2008, 11:10 AM
Moving him to catcher will shorten his career, reduce his stats, and probably the money he'll make over a career. It will almost certainly slow down his progress to the majors. He's already on the fastest of tracks. There's absolutely nothing in it for him to consider a move to catcher.

I'd say there's a pretty big payday awaiting him if he can hit well and catch OK.

M2
09-10-2008, 11:22 AM
Saying that Hanigan is AAA filler, though, is a ridiculous statement on the same level with saying Mesaraco isn't even a top twenty catching prospect.

Hanigan's got a light stick, always has, always will (.372 SLG in the minors). He just turned 28. He's not a stellar defender (e.g. like a Henry Blanco). That's the kind of guy you generally keep stashed in AAA as filler, to be called up in case of emergency.

Could he be a passable backup? Certainly. It's not like that requires any outstanding ability, but in terms of age/ability/experience Hanigan absolutely qualifies as the sort of fellow you commonly find employed as AAA filler.

As for Mesoraco, we've seen reports this year that his catching mechanics are poor and his swing has gotten slow and long. His raw numbers are positively yawn inducing. Given the number of kids who had good seasons in high A and AA, three top 10 picks in this year's draft and a few kids from the 2007 draft who've probably passed Mesoraco in terms of prospect luster (D'Arnaud, Lucroy, Norris), Devin would be hard-pressed to make a top 20. Again, BA just named 19 kids in its article about all the nifty catching prospects in the minors. Do you think they'd omit a clear top 20 selection? I don't think so.

Mesoraco might make the tail end of a top 20 list, but it's far from a given. There are 29 other organizations out there, some of which have something to brag about in the catching ranks. Assuming Mesoraco makes a top 20 strikes me as a case of being generally unaware of what else is out there. Maybe he would. Maybe he wouldn't. It will be interesting to see if Mesoraco makes BA's MWL top 20, which should be out soon.

None of that means Hanigan shouldn't be given a shot to be on a major league roster or that Mesoraco's dropped eternally from the land of hot prospectdom, but Hanigan's ceiling is "passable" and Mesoraco's yet to thrive in professional baseball. I fail to see where anyone should be smug about those guys.

RedlegJake
09-10-2008, 05:03 PM
None of that means Hanigan shouldn't be given a shot to be on a major league roster or that Mesoraco's dropped eternally from the land of hot prospectdom, but Hanigan's ceiling is "passable" and Mesoraco's yet to thrive in professional baseball. I fail to see where anyone should be smug about those guys.

I agree on Hanigan's ceiling but think he's likely to reach it for a couple years anyway. I also have reservations about Mes but point out that a great number of BA's prospects have some holes in their game, either hitting or fielding. I still feel Mes fits in the second ten as well as any of them. The top 9 or 10 guys on the list though are well ahead of him, that I agree with. And it's thin as heck at catching (in the Reds system), I agree with that. There are two key positions where the hopes ride on only a single guy - the other is SS. If Mesaraco or Cozart don't develop there is a huge vacuum. I think SS is a bigger problem, though. While it's probably harder to find a great catcher, imo it's easier to find a "passable" catcher, than it is a decent SS.

M2
09-10-2008, 05:08 PM
I think it's probably fair to guess that all Reds fans are nervous about the SS situation as long as the team doesn't have an annual All-Star at the position. I know I am.

fearofpopvol1
09-11-2008, 12:26 PM
Why would Alonso be interested in being a catcher?

This is the point that I wanted to bring up for all those who think converting kids from other positions is the way to go.

Who says these guys "want" to be converted? Catching is not for everyone.

While it'd be great to get some of these kids converted (or try to get them converted), I just don't think it's a given that this is what they want to do.

I don't think these kids would care about the fact that they could be above average offensively at their position. To take it a step further, at least for the kids that are in the high minors (or even high A), learning a new position only means it's going to take longer for them to get to the majors.

There is just not a lot of upside, as a player, to becoming a catcher unless you're really fantastic or really mediocre.

M2
09-11-2008, 01:09 PM
Who says these guys "want" to be converted? Catching is not for everyone.

I agree with that to an extent, but there's a question the organization can ask them to help them along with that choice - do you want to play in the majors?

For Alonso and Frazier, they probably don't need to squat behind the plate to get a regular gig in the majors. Yet for others, it might be the choice between a fringe infielder or a plus catcher.

fearofpopvol1
09-11-2008, 01:37 PM
I agree with that to an extent, but there's a question the organization can ask them to help them along with that choice - do you want to play in the majors?

For Alonso and Frazier, they probably don't need to squat behind the plate to get a regular gig in the majors. Yet for others, it might be the choice between a fringe infielder or a plus catcher.

Yeah, I agree. I just think it would be tough to get kids who are older or in the high A and above class to convert. The younger kids in rookie ball though I think would be great targets. The Reds would be smart to invest in scouts that specialize in catching and have them give their best guesses on who would be good fits and who wouldn't be.

I think your original point/idea is spot on...the Reds do need to start to explore some additional options to strengthen the catching in the system.

kpresidente
09-11-2008, 07:43 PM
It can't hurt to ask, can it?

Like I said earlier, Alonso grew up playing catcher, up until college. He was originally drafted as a catcher. He might prefer it. It's not like you're asking somebody to do something they've never done before.

dougdirt
09-11-2008, 07:52 PM
Here is a name to toss into the catcher equation. Logan Parker. He is currently a first baseman, but there doesn't seem to be a future at the position.

Redman15
09-11-2008, 08:09 PM
Logan Parker is left handed isn't he?

dougdirt
09-11-2008, 08:11 PM
Logan Parker is left handed isn't he?

Yeah.... I for some reason had it in my head he threw righty and hit lefty. Don't mind me.

Redman15
09-11-2008, 08:36 PM
It's too bad he is not a righty. He would of of been a good candidate. Good size,
hits from the left side and has decent pop.

HokieRed
09-11-2008, 09:15 PM
Some years ago I thought Rosales would be the ideal guy to do this with but it's probably too late. I think we don't want to underestimate Castillo. This kid could be the kind of guy who just gets better and better each year and will be a very good answer at the position by two years out.

Kingspoint
09-14-2008, 01:39 AM
In conjunction with the announcement that Matt Wieters won BA's minor league player of the year honors, BA ran a story about all the hot catching prospects in the minors.

Nice to know there's so much out there to trade for from one of our positions of strength.

TC81190
09-15-2008, 06:58 PM
I had Logan Parker on my mind as well when I was reading this thread at some point. Too bad he does throw left handed. He's blocked at 1B.

Another idea, is that the team could trade for another toolsy, athletic young player who's blocked at his position in the minors and may have some warts (like Francisco or Soto.)

princeton
09-16-2008, 10:14 AM
I had Logan Parker on my mind as well when I was reading this thread at some point. Too bad he does throw left handed.


lefthanded-throwing catchers are worth trying, IMO

flyer85
09-16-2008, 05:45 PM
lefthanded-throwing catchers are worth trying, IMOno reason it should rule someone out, it's not like trying to play 2nd, SS, or 3rd.

M2
09-16-2008, 09:08 PM
Nice to know there's so much out there to trade for from one of our positions of strength.

Which might be the long-term answer. Of course, that begs the question of who do you trade for and what do you deal to get him?

Kingspoint
09-16-2008, 11:33 PM
Which might be the long-term answer. Of course, that begs the question of who do you trade for and what do you deal to get him?

That was Krivsky's strength. The Twins talent evaluators have always been excellent at evaluating Catchers. Going by that, Mesoraco will reach the Majors by 2011.

We still need someone for the next 3 seasons.

Jockety's strength is in negotiating for Free Agents and trading for pricey veterans.

Texas is still one of the choice picking areas for an available catcher. Jockety never went after Offense at the Catching position in St. Louis, though, so I don't expect him to do that here, either.

I think Hanigan and another low-priced Vet will be our Catchers next year.

I'm pretty certain that Jockety will go after Derek Lowe.

M2, I'd rather hear what you think about this, though, as I haven't paid attention to the Catchers that are in the Majors and AAA this season. I know very little about that area.

M2
09-17-2008, 12:51 AM
M2, I'd rather hear what you think about this, though, as I haven't paid attention to the Catchers that are in the Majors and AAA this season. I know very little about that area.

Got to be honest with you, I haven't paid much attention to which backups and AAA catchers might be good pickups. Miguel Montero's a guy I'd be interested in, but I haven't devoted enough eye/brain time to give you names beyond him.

princeton
09-17-2008, 08:26 AM
no reason it should rule someone out, it's not like trying to play 2nd, SS, or 3rd.

there's a reason.

but in spite of the thread title, I suspect that catchers will remain scarce for some time.

Mario-Rijo
09-17-2008, 05:19 PM
We still need someone for the next 3 seasons.

Texas is still one of the choice picking areas for an available catcher. Jockety never went after Offense at the Catching position in St. Louis, though, so I don't expect him to do that here, either.

I think Hanigan and another low-priced Vet will be our Catchers next year.

I agree, I don't think there is any doubt about this. I still say Gregg Zaun makes alot of sense, has experience with handling young pitchers (see Toronto) has a better offensive game than Bako (I know who doesn't) and from the left side and isn't much different defensively than Bako and at a price probably not much more than what Bako would make. He and Hanigan would make a solid L-R tandem. We could probably even still sign Bako to a minor league gig as insurance.

My guess however is that Hanigan, a couple borderline starting vets, Castillo and Tatum is what we will see until Mes is ready if he makes it at all (just too soon to know for sure). Also Jordan Widemann has done pretty well this season, at least offensively so he should be put on a watch list also at this point. He may at some point surpass Mes due to his experience at the position, it should be interesting to see if he has as better #'s than Mes at Dayton assuming he get's a similiar opportunity. I would expect he should do better but if he does much better, watch out.

As far as young up & coming catchers go it's kind of hard to make a true assessment w/o the help of some major league scouts. We just cannot get a good enough read on them defensively and calling a game from this seat in the house.

I wonder if Texas would take a deal something like this.

Homer Bailey
Drew Stubbs
Matt Belisle
Tyler Pelland

Taylor Teagarden
Nelson Cruz
Frankie Francisco

I know that's a lot of people moving around but we could shrink that deal to a Bailey + Stubbs for Teagarden + Cruz deal, just trying to maximize the deal to the utmost.