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View Full Version : John Sickels on Drew Stubbs and Chris Valaika



dougdirt
11-06-2008, 06:25 PM
Drew Stubbs, OF, Cincinnati Reds: He has clearly shortened up his swing since I saw him in college. I think this will help him overall, but I'm uncertain now about what his power development is going to look like. Will improved OBP and BA make up for any slippage in SLG?

Chris Valaika, SS, Cincinnati Reds: Impressive bat, swung at pitches outside the zone but still made hard contact on them and drove the ball. Did not get a good read on his defense, but the hitting looks good to me.

http://www.minorleagueball.com/

RedsManRick
11-06-2008, 06:45 PM
If Stubbs ends up being the CF version of Luis Castillo, how does that sit with you?

dougdirt
11-06-2008, 06:58 PM
If Stubbs ends up being the CF version of Luis Castillo, how does that sit with you?

I think Stubbs will hit for more power than Castillo ever has.

*BaseClogger*
11-06-2008, 07:30 PM
If Stubbs ends up being the CF version of Luis Castillo, how does that sit with you?

I would be ecstatic with .280/.370/.400 and gold glove defense in CF...

RedsManRick
11-06-2008, 09:26 PM
I think Stubbs will hit for more power than Castillo ever has.

The guy is 24. At some point he's going to actually have to hit for power. I know you think he will, Doug, but that wasn't my question.

dougdirt
11-06-2008, 09:30 PM
The guy is 24. At some point he's going to actually have to hit for power. I know you think he will, Doug, but that wasn't my question.

And he will be 24 all of next season too. I guess I would feel a little disappointed if he turned into a .370/.370 type of hitter like Castillo has been in the past. I see him hitting for more power than that though.

SMcGavin
11-07-2008, 12:45 AM
If Stubbs ends up being the CF version of Luis Castillo, how does that sit with you?

If his D is as good as it's supposed to be, a Castillo in his prime bat would make Stubbs a pretty useful player. I'd take it.

Mario-Rijo
11-07-2008, 02:22 AM
If Stubbs ends up being the CF version of Luis Castillo, how does that sit with you?

That's better than swinging and rarely making contact too me. But that ain't gonna happen Stubbs has way more raw strength than Luis Castillo. That's like comparing Ryan Freel with Matt Holliday.

icehole3
11-07-2008, 05:10 AM
Gold glove defense and a ton of SBs, I'd take that.

schmidty622
11-07-2008, 08:36 AM
I don't even care if he hits for power if he can be a good defensive CF and possibly a leadoff hitter.

camisadelgolf
11-07-2008, 10:24 AM
If Stubbs ends up being the CF version of Luis Castillo, how does that sit with you?

I don't think you were asking me, but I'll say that I think that that would be acceptable. The hits Stubbs would take away from opponents would be more than enough compensation for a so-so offense. However, regarding the power, Castillo hit one homerun over his 1,535 minor league at-bats, and Drew Stubbs (who has around 50 lbs. on Castillo) has 25 homeruns in 1,177 at-bats. I think it's almost ridiculous to compare Stubbs' and Castillo's power.

mound_patrol
11-07-2008, 10:40 AM
If Stubbs ends up being the CF version of Luis Castillo, how does that sit with you?

I'm not concerned with Stubb's power. I'm concerned with how Stubbs has hit, or hasn't hit, while batting in the leadoff spot. In my opinion he isn't as valuable to this team if he has to bat in the 7th or 8th spot in the order.

Kc61
11-07-2008, 10:46 AM
Stubbs will hit for power, eventually. Last season at AA and AAA it seems like he was concentrating more on making contact and getting some hits. I think it's a good way to progress. He has good power, at some point he'll use it more.

RedsManRick
11-07-2008, 06:49 PM
Sean Casey was supposed to hit for good power too. A big frame isn't a guarantee of power. It's one thing to hit for power with a long swing and a metal bat that doesn't punish weak contact. Now that he's shortened his stroke to make sufficient contact, I'm not convinced the power will come back in any meaningful way. Maybe he uses pull power and hits 10-15 homers a year, but I don't see any more than that as anything close to a sure thing.

dougdirt
11-07-2008, 07:31 PM
Sean Casey was supposed to hit for good power too. A big frame isn't a guarantee of power. It's one thing to hit for power with a long swing and a metal bat that doesn't punish weak contact. Now that he's shortened his stroke to make sufficient contact, I'm not convinced the power will come back in any meaningful way. Maybe he uses pull power and hits 10-15 homers a year, but I don't see any more than that as anything close to a sure thing.

Rick, I recalled this post you made about Chris Dickerson late in the season

Maybe we define power differently. I don't think he's suddenly going to put up a .200 ISO because of one HR. But I'm not sure what "gap power" means if it a 430' oppo homer doesn't contradict it. If you have a slugging percentage in mind, just say it, because it's clear he's got "power".


Now you note that with Dickerson its clear that he has power because of that 430 foot HR that wasn't quite in L/C as it went into the Reds pen, just off of dead center. Still, I will submit this video of Drew Stubbs hitting a 438 foot HR in Louisville late last year.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZYH5vWsvDk

Now yeah, it was just one little HR in AAA, but he is certainly capable of hitting those types of HR's with some more frequency as he gets more in tune with his new swing.

camisadelgolf
11-07-2008, 10:40 PM
Now yeah, it was just one little HR in AAA, but he is certainly capable of hitting those types of HR's with some more frequency as he gets more in tune with his new swing.

I don't know, Doug . . . I think Luis Castillo could've blasted that pitch 430+ feet. That was a terrible pitch. :D

Player's power numbers go up once they're in the Major Leagues all the time. I've been looking through players with builds similar to Drew Stubbs' (tall, lanky), and almost all of them saw nearly a 50% increase or more in their homerun production.

Through 2+ seasons in the minors, Stubbs averages a homerun every 54 plate appearances or so. Shannon Stewart has put together a heck of a career doing that in the Major Leagues. The thing is, if Stubbs becomes a regular in MLB, he will play better defense, steal more bases, get on base just as much, and almost definitely have more power than Shannon Stewart.

RedsManRick
11-09-2008, 01:21 AM
Rick, I recalled this post you made about Chris Dickerson late in the season

Now you note that with Dickerson its clear that he has power because of that 430 foot HR that wasn't quite in L/C as it went into the Reds pen, just off of dead center. Still, I will submit this video of Drew Stubbs hitting a 438 foot HR in Louisville late last year.

Now yeah, it was just one little HR in AAA, but he is certainly capable of hitting those types of HR's with some more frequency as he gets more in tune with his new swing.

Thanks for posting that video. However, perhaps you missed the point of my post. My Dickerson comment was about pointing out a raw ability. I don't doubt that Stubbs has power. Given the right circumstance and the right swing, Stubbs can hit the ball far.

I do doubt that given his apparent need to alter his swing significantly in order to make enough contact that he'll be able to utilize that power with any regularity. As you said, maybe he'll grow in to it as he gets more "in tune" with the new swing. Maybe those doubles will turn in to homers. I certainly hope so. I'm just not going to hold my breath.

OnBaseMachine
11-10-2008, 03:49 PM
Joe Sheehan on Chris Valaika:

Chris Valaika looked good enough on a few plays to make me think he can stay at shortstop.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=8294

RedlegJake
11-12-2008, 10:30 PM
I've been hearing more and more that observers are changing their mind about Valaika at short. Apparently he has improved enough that many are now saying they think he can stick at SS. THAT would be a huge boost for the Reds - and up Chris' stock dramatically.