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View Full Version : Could Louisville Be Even Better This Season?



Scrap Irony
11-02-2008, 09:23 PM
A quick glance at the minor league roster and how it sets up for next season, asuming no deals, would present an interesting dilemma. There are four really solid prospects for three OF spots, with no room at 1B or other positions.

Sean Henry has been playing some 2B in the AFL this year, so perhaps he moves to that position. It definately increases the interest in him as a prospect if he can adequately play the keystone spot on the infield. With Henry's bat, that should vault him into Top 5-15 Prospect status next season, assuming he can indeed play at 2B. We do know Henry can play OF-- all three positions, though CF seems to be blocked by Stubbs in AAA. Henry's AFL numbers are really, really good (387/441/516). It's a small sample size, but he's done nothing to dim an above average regular season in AA Chattanooga either (285/361/455 with 16 SBs). He's only 22, too, so he's progressing really well and should be ready by 2010.

That's also the likely time Justin Turner should be ready, and, if Henry is moved out of the OF for his bat, that's likely the person he's replacing on the infield. Turner has done nothing but hit since being drafted in 2006, and, while his star isn't quite as bright as fellow '06 draftees Valaika, Dorn, and Stubbs, it's not like he's struggled either. If you think you've seen Turner's AA stats (289/359/432 with ) and AFL line (341/396/432), you have-- in th person of Sean Henry. Not only that, Turner has also been tried at different positions all over the field, from OF (obviously a no-go in Louisville) to 3B (pobably not an option with Eric Eymann progressing last season) to SS (no chance, with both Valaika and Janish there). Turner is a year older, so he may get the nod at AAA simply because of age, but that's a pretty arbitrary way to decide, nec pas?

If Turner nor Henry are sent packing, conventional wisdom says the most likely to say hello to Carolina would be Drew Stubbs . We all know his story-- Reds were Bowie'd by his athleticism and questions around the elastic arm of Lincecum. BUt a funny thing happened on the way to Palooka-ville. Stubbs hit. He didn't set the world afire. He didn't mash opponents into oblivion. He simply hit well enough to be promoted twice, through three levels. That should mean he's safe at AAA. After all, he was chosen to go to Louisville ahead of both Turner and Henry, not to mention at least four others in this conversation, so he' not going anywhere, right? Plus, he's a number one pick ahead of some guy who's a pretty good pitcher, or so I hear, so the temptation is to show the world what you saw in him. What the Reds saw was world class athleticism. He's long, lean, fast, and should eventually become powerful. He also plays CF like a gazelle and, if he were to hit enough, would probably be awarded with an the Au element for his leather.

If Stubbs is indeed sent back a step to Carolina, then Shaun Cumberland could play CF. He played it well in AA last season until his own promotion (before Stubbs, I might add) for the last third of the season. He's fast (19 SBs) and has some pop (an 835 OPS in Chattanooga before tanking with a 700 OPS in Louisville) in his bat. Also, Cumberland succeeded when he was allowed to repeat AA last season and has nothing left to prove there. He's 23, so he has some time.

Don't like what you've seen so far? Prfer a guy with more pop in his bat and less grace in his step? Looking for a meat and potatoes run producer? Look no further than Danny Dorn. He's strictly a LF, with an outside possibility of playing RF or 1B. But you're not looking at him for his glove. Dorn has arguably been the most consistent and best hitter in the Red system since he was drafted in 2006. He's averaged a 915 OPS since being drafted and has shown a propensity for BA, taking a walk, and hitting for power. Dorn's 23, but, looking at the Louisville potential lineup, he's the only guy there with much of a chance of hitting clean-up. (Actually, I'd hit him third and only that if the Reds didn't need him, but I digress.) Surely, they wouldn't get rid of him, would they?

If you insist Dorn can play 1B, that's fine. Perhaps you're right. Perhaps the Reds will move hiim between Alonso in AA and Votto in the majors. But they would never block Tonys Gutierrez. Besides owning a way-cool and oft-misspelled moniker, Tonys is a wizard with the glove. He's been voted the best glove-man around the first sack twice in his minor league career and is generally regarded as ready defensively for the majors. His OBP is ready for the majors, too. He's routinely around 400 for the season. In fact, Gutierrez's career OBP is a solid 396 and his OPS is 809. Both of these are good, but they're not really good enough to make him a prospect. Still, he's valuable, especially to a team in need of a good glove at 1B. He's the best glove on the team and no manager would play Gutierrez at DH, while teaching someone else 1B just to see them sit behind two better prospects in as little as half a season. I just can't see the Reds doing that. And Tonys has shown just enough to keep him around at age 25 to see if he develops a little more power. (If he does, he's a major league All Star.) You don't generally dump talent for nothing, especially young talent.

Speaking of young talent, how about erstwhile SS Chris Valaika? It looks like Louisville may be loaded with talent, but the middle infield questions surounding Cincinnati have to take precedence and Valaika is the best option at short in the upper minor leagues. He's hit solidly everywhere, bu everyone but mth thinks he'll hit pretty well wherever he goes. (Though it may take a half season or so. It seems as if Valaika needs to see the pitchers and make his own adjustments and that takes him half a year. Then he crushes the ball.) Valaika's question is his glove. Or, rather, his arm. His average range, coupled with a slightly below average arm conjur images of Jeff Keppinger in the minds of many. And they may be right. But Valaika's Range factor (admittedly a flawed stat) shows him well above average for his league and the best SS on his team by a wide margin (and that team also included supposed glove man Jose Castro). He has made 25 E's a year or so, but that's not many when you consider the shape many fields are in and the poor lighting conditions.

If you decide to keep Valaika (and, really, it's not like he needs another go-'round at AA), what do you do with Paul Janish? You rememer Janish. He the Rice grad with Dave Concepcion's glove. And his anemic early 70's bat. Still, Janish is seriously good with the glove and perhaps he hits enough at AAA to justify using it in The Show. He does all the little things well-- hitting behind runners, sacrifice bunts, etc. (Dusty loves that, you know he does.) But, no one thinks he's ready for Cincinnati now. He needs more seasoning.

Maybe they can move Valaika to 2B (a la many posters here), Janish sticks at SS, and Turner moves to the hot corner and provides a top of the order hitter at that position. But that, then, leaves out Eric Eymann. Eymann, after a poor beginning to his professional career, blossomed into a solid hitter while playing 3B for Chattanooga. He hit a shade under 300 for the year and provided his AA team with timely hit after timely hit. He led a pretty powerful team in RBIs (a team-dependent stat, I know), with 71 and socked 31 doubles. And it's not like Eymann is a statue at 3B, either. He's a former SS and 2B who moved to the hot corner because Valaika and Turner were the AA double play combination. He's good with the glove and a good bet to continue success up the ladder. And, really with 3B stacked in below (Frazier and Francisco, not to mention Soto and Waring a level behind that), the Reds aren't likely to switch another top prospect to the hot corner.

So, Redszone, what happens? They can't all play in AAA, can they? What happens to the loser of the middle infield spot up for grabs in Cincinnati between Adam Rosales, Danny Richar, and Jeff Keppinger? Where do they go?

Who is most likely to be sent packing in a deal?
Who's your pick to drop back, if no deal is made?

GOYA
11-03-2008, 12:38 AM
It will be interesting to see who ends up where. You haven't even mentioned a few guys that are likely to be back at Louisville if they are not traded. Castillo, Bolivar, Anderson, Griffin. I don't think there is a middle infield spot up for grabs in Cincy. The SS will be AGon. I don't think Richar is MLB ready but Rosales might be a decent bench addition.

Who comes up from AA is a good question. I believe Barker and Mackowiak are gone so there will likely be Gutierrez and either Dorn or Henry taking there places. (maybe both) Third base will depend on whether the FO decides that Valaika moves there or stays at SS. It could be him or Eymann at 3rd.

dougdirt
11-03-2008, 12:42 AM
It will be interesting to see who ends up where. You haven't even mentioned a few guys that are likely to be back at Louisville if they are not traded. Castillo, Bolivar, Anderson, Griffin. I don't think there is a middle infield spot up for grabs in Cincy. The SS will be AGon. I don't think Richar is MLB ready but Rosales might be a decent bench addition.

Who comes up from AA is a good question. I believe Barker and Mackowiak are gone so there will likely be Gutierrez and either Dorn or Henry taking there places. (maybe both) Third base will depend on whether the FO decides that Valaika moves there or stays at SS. It could be him or Eymann at 3rd.

If Danny Dorn isn't in Louisville to start the season, there is something seriously wrong.

sh0619
11-03-2008, 01:09 AM
Sean is actually 23...

HokieRed
11-03-2008, 08:31 AM
Danny Dorn may be in Cincinnati next season; that's the only reason he wouldn't be in Louisville.

kpresidente
11-03-2008, 01:08 PM
One thing I could see is the entire roster, or at least all the starters, being real prospects, as opposed to washed-up has-beens or never-were's...

1B - Gutierrez
2B - Valaika | Richar
3B - Rosales
SS - Eymann | Janish
CA - Tatum
LF - Dorn | Henry
CF - Stubbs
RF - Cumberland

SP - Bailey
SP - Ramirez
SP - Thompson
SP - Maloney
SP - Jukich

CL - Roenicke
SU- Herrera
MR - Fisher
MR - Manuel
MR - Pelland

We have a lot of near-ML-ready prospects. A lot of them are C prospects, but still, there's a ton of guys with a legit shot at being contributers there. Hell, you could probably field that team in 2010 and not be totally embarrassed.

GOYA
11-03-2008, 02:23 PM
I think a pitcher or two from your roster will be in Cincy. I guess you project Owings in Cincy but where is Pettyjohn? Where's Adkins? Where's Lehr? Lehr may not be a young prospect but he did a very good job out of the pen in 2008.

TRF
11-03-2008, 05:38 PM
I think a pitcher or two from your roster will be in Cincy. I guess you project Owings in Cincy but where is Pettyjohn? Where's Adkins? Where's Lehr? Lehr may not be a young prospect but he did a very good job out of the pen in 2008.

Hopefully dfa'd before the season begins in favor of actual talent. I'm not a guy that likes to be harsh when it comes to people losing their dream and all, but none of those guys needs to be blocking anyone on kpresidente's list.

TRF
11-03-2008, 06:32 PM
I mentioned LeCure in the top prospect poll. He's now spent 2 years in AA, has built up some innings, but seems stalled as far as development goes. He likely has a decent shot at starting in Louisville in '09.

GOYA
11-03-2008, 08:05 PM
Hopefully dfa'd before the season begins in favor of actual talent.

Those guys that lack "actual talent" lead the league in wins, lead the league in saves and in Lehr's case, pitched 64.1 innings with an ERA of 2.10 and a WHIP of 0.96. His K/BB was 3.73. Maybe this season was a fluke and maybe he put it together this year but either way, that's not a guy I'd DFA right now.

For Pettyjohn and Adkins you have more of a point. But I expect Roenicke to go north out of spring training and I don't see Danny Ray or anybody else as the Bats closer.

dougdirt
11-03-2008, 10:17 PM
Those guys that lack "actual talent" lead the league in wins, lead the league in saves and in Lehr's case, pitched 64.1 innings with an ERA of 2.10 and a WHIP of 0.96. His K/BB was 3.73. Maybe this season was a fluke and maybe he put it together this year but either way, that's not a guy I'd DFA right now.

For Pettyjohn and Adkins you have more of a point. But I expect Roenicke to go north out of spring training and I don't see Danny Ray or anybody else as the Bats closer.

Wins and saves don't tell me anything about a particular player. I would keep Adkins though, he actually has enough stuff to be a 6th inning reliever in the majors at least. Lehr, not too sure about though.

As for the Bats closer, if Roenicke isn't there, or even if he is, I would have Carlos Fisher closing unless he is in Cincinnati.

GOYA
11-03-2008, 10:50 PM
Wins and saves don't tell me anything about a particular player.

Agreed to a point, but you don't lead your league in either category without talent. That's all I meant. Both of those guys have suspect ERAs. But to be fair, so did most of the rest of Bats pitching staff.

Lehr's 2008 was stellar but looking at his time in the majors is not encouraging. He had one AAA season nearly as good as 2008, back in 2004 (but only out of the pen. He had 8 starts for the Bats) and when the A's called him up he didn't perform that well. But in my book, you just don't cut a guy who pitched that well, even if he is 31.

GOYA
11-03-2008, 11:00 PM
Not that is pertinent to this but:


The Louisville Bats are pleased to announce that a new Kentucky Bluegrass field, which has been growing at a sod farm in Patoka, IN, is being installed at Louisville Slugger Field this week. It is the first time since Louisville Slugger Field opened in 2000 that the Bats will have a new playing surface.

The old Kentucky Bluegrass has already been removed and recycled back to Metro Parks for compost for future projects. The field has been tilled and laser graded, and 200 tons of sand has been added to the field. Also, modifications to the drainage system have been made and the infield irrigation has been redesigned.

The old turf was pretty good overall but there were some bad spots.

dougdirt
11-03-2008, 11:21 PM
Agreed to a point, but you don't lead your league in either category without talent. That's all I meant. Both of those guys have suspect ERAs. But to be fair, so did most of the rest of Bats pitching staff.

Lehr's 2008 was stellar but looking at his time in the majors is not encouraging. He had one AAA season nearly as good as 2008, back in 2004 (but only out of the pen. He had 8 starts for the Bats) and when the A's called him up he didn't perform that well. But in my book, you just don't cut a guy who pitched that well, even if he is 31.

Pettyjohn led the league in wins, but was the worst starting pitcher on his own team. Other than Tom Shearn, he has by far the highest FIP of anyone in the rotation. A guy can have talent and still not be worth keeping around. Let a team pick him up who needs AAA depth, but the Reds don't really have that inconvenience right now with the amount of starting pitching they have at that level looking at next year.

GOYA
11-04-2008, 12:33 AM
Notice I haven't defended Pettyjohn any more than to say that I took exception to the "talent" comment. Speaking of talent, Janish has me a bit perplexed. I don't see a glove man coming up anytime soon that is near as slick as Janish but for the life of me, I don't see him hitting in the bigs. He's even a little weak for AAA. We've got a bunch of other IF bats but no one who can really pick it at short too. At least for 2-3 years.

Screwball
11-04-2008, 06:50 AM
Speaking of talent, Janish has me a bit perplexed. I don't see a glove man coming up anytime soon that is near as slick as Janish but for the life of me, I don't see him hitting in the bigs. He's even a little weak for AAA. We've got a bunch of other IF bats but no one who can really pick it at short too. At least for 2-3 years.

Pray for a trade. Or Gonzalez. Or Cozart. Or rain.

Ok, maybe the rain shoud be in-between "trade" and "Gonzalez"... :pray:

kpresidente
11-04-2008, 09:18 AM
Wins and saves don't tell me anything about a particular player. I would keep Adkins though, he actually has enough stuff to be a 6th inning reliever in the majors at least. Lehr, not too sure about though.


I think Adkins is comparable to Mike Lincoln. He's earned a spot somewhere with the team next year. Plus, he's had a couple of stints in the majors and done OK with them. I could see him being just as good as Nick Massett.

TRF
11-04-2008, 11:48 AM
Agreed to a point, but you don't lead your league in either category without talent. That's all I meant. Both of those guys have suspect ERAs. But to be fair, so did most of the rest of Bats pitching staff.

Lehr's 2008 was stellar but looking at his time in the majors is not encouraging. He had one AAA season nearly as good as 2008, back in 2004 (but only out of the pen. He had 8 starts for the Bats) and when the A's called him up he didn't perform that well. But in my book, you just don't cut a guy who pitched that well, even if he is 31.

Jimmy Haynes once got 16 wins for the Reds.

just sayin'.

GOYA
11-04-2008, 01:03 PM
15

What's your point?

BRM
11-04-2008, 01:05 PM
15

What's your point?

I think he's saying that wins are a pretty poor way to judge a pitcher's talent level.

GOYA
11-04-2008, 02:31 PM
This is getting redundant.

Pettyjohn is a talentless bum. His 15-6 record was a total fluke just like his 12-4 record in AAA in 2007.

Better now?

BRM
11-04-2008, 02:38 PM
He's 31 years old and has a grand total of 69 innings in MLB. He's journeyman fodder and should not block any prospect in the Reds system.

TRF
11-04-2008, 02:43 PM
This is getting redundant.

Pettyjohn is a talentless bum. His 15-6 record was a total fluke just like his 12-4 record in AAA in 2007.

Better now?

Think there MIGHT be a reason he's 31 and in AAA?

BRM
11-04-2008, 02:44 PM
Think there MIGHT be a reason he's 31 and in AAA?

Every team in MLB has failed to see his immense talent?

TRF
11-04-2008, 04:26 PM
Every team in MLB has failed to see his immense talent?

RIGHT!

I bow to your immense wisdom. Pettyjohn for OD starter!!!

gedred69
11-19-2008, 10:25 PM
Danny Dorn may be in Cincinnati next season; that's the only reason he wouldn't be in Louisville.

I've been otherwise occupied and away, so,, I'm sorry I missed this discussion. Not to worry. You nailed it perfectly. Thanks.

GOYA
11-19-2008, 11:21 PM
The Bats roster currently shows light hitting catcher Ben Davis, formerly of Norfolk.

http://www.dailypress2.com/forums/showthread.php?p=23492

You have to wonder why.

dougdirt
11-19-2008, 11:24 PM
The Bats roster currently shows light hitting catcher Ben Davis, formerly of Norfolk.

http://www.dailypress2.com/forums/showthread.php?p=23492

You have to wonder why.

He is going to be a pitcher, in Carolina if he sticks. That is according to Terry Reynolds.

GOYA
11-19-2008, 11:37 PM
Thanks Doug. He had a good arm but do you have any idea how hard he can throw now?

dougdirt
11-19-2008, 11:43 PM
Thanks Doug. He had a good arm but do you have any idea how hard he can throw now?

No clue. He apparently pitched some independent league ball this year and I guess he looked good enough to get a look in ST.

RedlegJake
11-20-2008, 11:28 AM
Pettyjohn and Adkins are in the level where they thrive best. I've no problem at all with the Reds having a few AAAA professionals as emergency guys and to strengthen Louisville's chances. I'm one of the old timers, I guess, I believe in winning - giving your young players the best chance to develop includes playing for winning squads. And I love seeing other AAA teams employing Adkins and Pettyjohn types because our young hitters face guys whose repertoire and experience is similar to what they'll face in the majors. IMO, guys like this are invaluable at AAA - but when their record at AAA has people suggesting they get a spot on the ML roster THEN you have a problem.

schmidty622
11-20-2008, 11:45 AM
How bout a Encarnation and Dorn platoon in left next year? I think that could be pretty solid if they found a 3B to start everyday.