PDA

View Full Version : Is Russell Branyan Blossoming Into A Geuine Hitter?



Krusty
08-04-2002, 01:26 AM
Seems like another reclamation project is paying big dividends for the Reds once again in the name of Russell Branyan.

Come next year with that short porch in RF, could you Branyan getting a shot of playing everyday by juggling between LF and 3rd base. It is obvious that Larkin will need to rest more with Boone moving to shortstop.

If Larson and Branyan continue to develop as hitters, maybe the best thing Bowden did was not having the deal for Rolen go through?

Opinions?

WVRedsFan
08-04-2002, 01:28 AM
Yes, Krusty. He is. But when you pinch hit him just because there is a left hander on the mound, you send a message that just might ruin his confidence. Of course, far be it from me to question Bob Boone.

westofyou
08-04-2002, 01:47 AM
Russell is worth something while he is cheap, but he's pretty much the same hitter as before. He's striking out every 3.2 ab and bb every 6.7. His lifetime average prior to being a Red was a K every 2.4 ab and a bb every 8.8 ab.

HR total before being a Red was 15.8 as of tonight 14.8.

My complaint about Russell is that he is Rob Deer, better fielder, can play infield ect...

But he hits HR"s mostly not many 2b's (34 in 810 lifetime ab's)

Pretty much all or nothing with Branyan.

But after the dogs we've had on the bench over the past few years this year is nice.

WVRedsFan
08-04-2002, 01:58 AM
Originally posted by WVRedsFan
Yes, Krusty. He is. But when you pinch hit him just because there is a left hander on the mound, you send a message that just might ruin his confidence. Of course, far be it from me to question Bob Boone.

Amen! Russell gives us pop off the bench. That is so very important and he can pay infield as well as outfield. Sure beats Wilton or Juan. Or Reggie.....

NDRed
08-04-2002, 01:59 AM
Good point WOY, he does bring something off the bench we haven't had in awile. Sure beats Castro, Taylor, Selby, etc. etc. etc. At least win he is at bat you know it is possible to score some runs. Obviously, he will never be a great pure hitter but he is what he is. An all or nothing free swinger who can win a game for you with one at bat. Not a bad spare part to have around.

Have to try one of these:

:alien:

oregonred
08-04-2002, 02:00 AM
WOY -- I agree. Branyan is a great asset at under 1M a year. That kind of power is not easily found. I'd say he's a bit more promosing than Rob Deer, but how much remains to be seen.

I've gotta think he could intrigue some teams in the right package as a sweetner to an offseason deal.

Phhhl
08-04-2002, 02:07 AM
You can't dismiss the fact that Russell Branyan is doing things on defense that can only be described as bizarre when assessing his contributions to the team so far. He won a game against the Pirates late in the game with a sliding catch just before the allstar break, and punished the Padres tonight for underestimating him on a flair to left, gunning down what would have been a tying run at the plate in what turned out to be a one run victory (forget the two-run homer that ultimately decided the difference). He may be living down to certain isolated statistics, but he is also doing things in certain isolated situations that point towards his role in this club's date with destiny.

If Jim Bowden ran into a catalyst player at the right time in history, who are we as fans to complain about it?

oregonred
08-04-2002, 02:21 AM
Gotta love the Santo optimism!

101 AB's for Branyan as a Red and Russell is right at a .900 OPS. 2nd only to Mr. Dunn in that category (min 100AB's).

This has been an outstanding trade for the Reds in 2002. LT the jury is still out. Branyan has made the difference in 3-4 games thus far.

I think Branyan had a lot of hype and pressure in Cleveland and couldn't live up to the expectations. He had a hot start in 2000 and the fans thought he was going to become a young power hitter to make up for the Giles/Sexson/Casey unpopular trades. 2001 was a bad year (132K's in 315AB's), but he still had a .802 OPS despite his Rob Deer like .232 average.

He has no such expectations in Cinci and appears to have worked hard since his arrival without promise of much PT.

guernsey
08-04-2002, 02:26 AM
Both Wily Mo Pena and Ruben Mateo are out of options next year so someone will have to be traded. Branyan is arb eligilbe, and I'm guessing JimBo will hope he's put enough polish on him to trade him for more than he gave up to get him.

JaxRed
08-04-2002, 02:39 AM
Add Taylor to the mix of OF with no options (at least one of whom has to go)

WVRedsFan
08-04-2002, 02:45 AM
Go, Reggie, go! Anywhere :)

oregonred
08-04-2002, 02:46 AM
Reggie Taylor's loss would be devastating. Somewhere between the unbearable pain of losing Donnie Sadler and Wilton Guerrero. :D

Branyan has more trade value now than when the Reds dealt for him. Heck if Dante Bichette can yield a Reitsma than the sky is the limit for the low cost/high-power/young Russell Branyan!

One, probably two of Mateo/Pena/Branyan/Larson will likely have to go in 2003 assuming a 12 man rotation. Assuming Casey/Boone/AK/Dunn/KGJ are all still here.

Either Pena/Mateo as outfielder #4 and Branyan or Larson as the backup corner infielder/oufielder. Maybe a spot for one more. Assuming Castro/Dawkins//?? as the MI backup.

buckeyenut
08-04-2002, 11:46 AM
Originally posted by westofyou
Russell is worth something while he is cheap, but he's pretty much the same hitter as before. He's striking out every 3.2 ab and bb every 6.7. His lifetime average prior to being a Red was a K every 2.4 ab and a bb every 8.8 ab.

HR total before being a Red was 15.8 as of tonight 14.8.

My complaint about Russell is that he is Rob Deer, better fielder, can play infield ect...

But he hits HR"s mostly not many 2b's (34 in 810 lifetime ab's)

Pretty much all or nothing with Branyan.

But after the dogs we've had on the bench over the past few years this year is nice.

600 AB
before 188 strikeouts 68 BB 38 HR
after 250 strikeouts 90 BB 41 HR not to mention a higher batting average now than ever before.

I'd say a pretty significant improvement.

westofyou
08-04-2002, 12:04 PM
"I'd say a pretty significant improvement."

It's an improvment that's for sure.

But would you say he's more of a pure hitter now?

I say no, Branyan is what he his a slugger who strikes out alot and is a good xtra IF and OF.

Which I like.

That said I don't expect Branyan to ever get 600 AB's in a season with the Reds.

So Bobby Bonds can relax his K record won't be taken on by Russell.

buckeyenut
08-04-2002, 04:29 PM
If he continues to OPS at .900 (which I don't think he will), he'll get 600 ABs somewhere.

There has been a difference in Branyan since he came over. He's not an allstar right now, but he is a very good player for this team. And that's really what is important.

TeamBoone
08-04-2002, 05:00 PM
He seems to really like it in Cincy and has nothing but good things to say about the hitting coach. It's nice to see guys come here and really enjoy it!

Scrap Irony
08-04-2002, 05:04 PM
Between Branyan and Larson, the Reds have a choice to make. I don't think Boone will be SS in 2003, as Larkin and his contract will be the starter. (With good reason, as Larkin is still the bellweather cow to the offensive pasture in Cincinnati.)

With Pena and Mateo out of options after 2002, the real battle will be between Larson and Branyan as backup corner infielder and OF. That, IMO, is what they are battling for this season.

If Bowden is able to deal Walker, Casey, or Boone, both guys would be surer bets to stay with the Reds. However, a trade involving Casey is unlikely, a deal involving Boone is almost impossible, and Walker is less likely to be wanted than many other free agent second sackers. (In fact, it could be argued that, because of the new collective bargaining agreement that may take place, Walker's salary could be higher than a better player like Kent or Alfonzo, though that is almost as unlikely as a Boone deal.)

As it is, I would argue that BBoone and Bowden are in favor of keeping Branyan. He's LH, he's got more pop (as evidenced by his major and minor league numbers), and he has shown the ability to play numerous positions well enough to be a back-up.

Allen and Lindner would probably side with Larson, as he is cheaper and comes from the Cincinnati farm system. Actually, Larson should be quite a bit cheaper, as Branyan is at least close enough to arbitration to make front office personnel nervous.

Is Branyan a great hitter? No. But he does produce when given a chance. And that's more than any Reds bench guy since Jeffery Hammonds and Alex Ochoa. In fact, he reminds me a bit of Hammonds in that he is a "failed" uber-prospect that stuck out too much with his former team. If he could play CF... Well, no one's perfect.

My choice is to go with Branyan, as he has a track record and is more likey to improve as he comes into his prime. Too, I like his LH stick and his speed is a bit better than Larson's. He also seems to come through in the clutch an inordinant number of times. Or at least he has since his trade to Cincinnati.

Raisor
08-04-2002, 05:40 PM
Even with his great 100 abs in Cincy, he still only has a .750 OPS for the season.

Yes, he's on a hot streak, but let's not get carried away over 100 at bats.

PSR

Krusty
08-04-2002, 05:45 PM
With such good looking hitters like Larson, Mateo, Branyan and even Pena, look for Bowden to wheel and deal like the good ole days when Schott was the owner come this offseason.

With a payroll boast anywhere between 10-15 million, Bowden could move the entire roster if he wanted with the exception of maybe three players. Now young hitters might command a decent return if a small market team was interested.

Should make an interesting offseason.

Old School Redleg
08-04-2002, 06:29 PM
What better time to bump this ol' thread back to the top. :thumbup:

Benihana
08-04-2002, 06:34 PM
Answer: Yes

And I will be one of the first to take credit for saying this the day of the trade ( I wish I knew how to retreive old threads ).

I have said repeatedly that the Broussard-Branyan and Brower-Chen deals would go down as two of JimBo's best and I stand by that statement.

The question now becomes what to do with the sudden surplus of positional talent?

D-Man
08-04-2002, 06:56 PM
For his career, Branyan has hit for a .790 OPS in 900 plate appearances. As a Red, he has hit for a .900+ OPS in over 120 plate appearances. That improvement in his 120 PA can NOT be shrugged off as random noise in the data (or as a small sample size for that matter). The difference between his career numbers and his 120 PAs as a Red is likely STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT (caveat: I don't have the software with me to run the numbers :) ).

Moreover, Branyan's hitting has improved across the board--hitting for a higher average, fewer Ks, more walks, higher slugging percentage, etc. That is further evidence that we are witnessing REAL improvement in his performance.

Add in the fact that he has always had a ton of talent (top prospect in 1997-1999), and this is likely a case of where a change of scenery has done a world of good.

MWM
08-04-2002, 07:00 PM
Good to hear from you again D-Man. Where ya' been?

guernsey
08-04-2002, 07:08 PM
Maybe ole Russell oughtta be hitting 4th!

Benihana
08-04-2002, 07:08 PM
JESUS! THIS GUY'S AWESOME!!!

Old School Redleg
08-04-2002, 07:08 PM
And the OPS just went higer.... Another HR for RB. :smokin:

D-Man
08-04-2002, 07:11 PM
Originally posted by MWM
Good to hear from you again D-Man. Where ya' been?

Vacation!! Thanks for asking. I actually didn't have much access to a computer while I was away--hard to believe, nowadays.

I actually was at the Reds-Dodgers game on Thursday. Wow, did I luck out--I got to see the best game of the year. FWIW, everyone in my section (green seats in RF) thought Gagne was clearly trying to hit Dunn. After the game, all the press was talking about how Gagne got jobbed; however no one was talking about how he was spouting off expletives after the Boone HR. I think it was clearly a case where Eric let emotions get the better of him. Of course it didn't make *sense* to plunk Dunn in that situation, but Gagne is not exactly a slave to logic (and he reminds me a lot of Rob Dibble, who was known as a bit of a hothead himself).

BTW, my whole family is now convinced Gagne is on the "juice."

RFS62
08-04-2002, 07:24 PM
Originally posted by D-Man


but Gagne is not exactly a slave to logic


:lol: :lol: :lol:


Glad you're back D-Man, awesome game for you to get a chance to see!!


:beerme:

oregonred
08-04-2002, 08:27 PM
Holy timely threads batman.

3 dingers for ol' Russ!

Krusty
08-04-2002, 08:29 PM
The guy is making a believer out of me. 10-10. Now lets win this wild one.

Old School Redleg
08-04-2002, 08:31 PM
ESPN just showed No. 3... Oppo off a LHP. Impressive. :)

oregonred
08-04-2002, 09:42 PM
Originally posted by oregonred
Gotta love the Santo optimism!

101 AB's for Branyan as a Red and Russell is right at a .900 OPS. 2nd only to Mr. Dunn in that category (min 100AB's).

This has been an outstanding trade for the Reds in 2002. LT the jury is still out. Branyan has made the difference in 3-4 games thus far.

I think Branyan had a lot of hype and pressure in Cleveland and couldn't live up to the expectations. He had a hot start in 2000 and the fans thought he was going to become a young power hitter to make up for the Giles/Sexson/Casey unpopular trades. 2001 was a bad year (132K's in 315AB's), but he still had a .802 OPS despite his Rob Deer like .232 average.

He has no such expectations in Cinci and appears to have worked hard since his arrival without promise of much PT.

OPS Update. Russell leaves Dunn in the Dust by picking up 107 points in today's game alone.

Check out Russell's 1.005 OPS! :lol:

Actually, very impressed with Branyan taking his walk in the 9th and scoring the winning run.

malcontent
08-04-2002, 09:44 PM
Originally posted by Benihana
The question now becomes what to do with the sudden surplus of positional talent?
Methinks it would be a good idea not to trade it away for the wrong pitchers...

Props for the Branyan/Broussard trade analysis, Beni. Brousssard was my fav-o-rite, high-OPS prospect so I hated the trade, especially knowing that Branyan had an ungodly K rate. But later that night I saw Branyan's complete stats and saw that he was more than a HR hitter, he could also take a walk every now and then. And that he had hit for a decent average in the minors. But he's still been a huge surprise, for me at least. I just want JimBo to do the right thing and steal Ben back from the Indians.

malcontent
08-04-2002, 09:54 PM
L Walker 2B
R Kearns LF
L Dunn 1B
L Griffey CF
R Encarnacion RF
L Branyan 3B
R Boone SS
R Miller/LaRue C

Of course, we wouldn't have Dempster...but #3-6 could have put on a BP display...

Scrap Irony
08-05-2002, 01:13 AM
Somtimes, you amaze me, Mal. You question Bowden's move to grab a talented young pitcher by giving up Juan E? Juan E?!?!?! Just for clarification:

1. You leave Casey off your list. I assume that's permanent. Therefore, not only will he be a $4 million a year pinch hitter/ part-time player, he'll be a part-timer with a horrid contract and no hope of moving him. Casey as a pinch hitter? From a guy who hits .300+ for his career? For Encarnacion?

2. Larkin is also not in your lineup. That's $13 million on the bench right there, in case you're interested. Leaving the two natural leaders of the Cincinnati franchise on the bench, to boot. That would make for great team chemistry. Especially at this point.

3. Are we completely ignoring career stats, career norms, and likely contributions from veterans? I agree that Juan is a talented ballplayer, but no way is he more valuable than Casey. Especially in a pennant race. Look at what he's done since the deal. That's called reverting to career norms. That's usually what players do. That's what Juan has done his entire career, though he had a monster 1/2 year in Cincinnati.

4. With Encarnacion in the lineup, that would mean no deal for pitching, right? Because, according to you and your bretheren, Casey has little value and Larkin is of no value. Is the pitching staff, then, good enough to win? Who do you propose to entice teams willing to deal? Which pitchers are you targeting? WIth which players? Remember, too, not to spend over what you're dealing, so no prospects for Colon deals.

5. You're taking Boone out of the #2 hole in the lineup. The one spot he has excelled. As in the best offensive 3B in the league while in the #2 hole. For Kearns? Hypothtically, sure, but why would the Reds do this? It's working (and working well) with Boone in the 2 spot and Kearns at #5. Besides, Kearns has power potential Boone does not possess.

6. Finally, Boone and Branyan on the left side of the infield? Defensively, that's among the worst in the game. You're talking 40 errors a year, at least. With Dunn and Walker around the horn? Ugh. That's the epitome of fantasy baseball.

Benihana
08-05-2002, 01:30 AM
Originally posted by malcontent

I just want JimBo to do the right thing and steal Ben back from the Indians.
Thanks for the credit Mal, but surely you can't be serious when you say this??

Between

Griffey, Jr.
Kearns
Dunn (until Casey is moved)
Branyan
Larson
Taylor
Clark
Mateo
and Pena,

don't you think we have enough OFs? And obviously either Casey or Dunn is a permanent fixture at 1B, so BB could never play there. We already have to move some guys from the above list, so acquiring BB would be counterproductive- even if he's your favorite player
;)

ForLoveOfTheGame
08-05-2002, 01:46 AM
I just can't help but wonder how this team is winning without adding Rolen to this team. It's pretty obvious to all astute Red's fans that the current talent level at 3b is just pathetic at the ML level. Good grief, how can this team win when all they have to choose from at the 3b position is Boone, Branyan, and Larson?

Hat's off to Russ who had perhaps the biggest game of his career, and most definetly the biggest offensive contribution of any player on the Reds for a single game this year!

I think it's fair to say that Russell singlehandedly won this all important rubber game with the Padres. Now the question is how do you justify taking his bat out of the lineup anytime in the next week or two? It's impossible. He is a super talented baseball player in the middle of a torrid hot streak.

As much as I would love to see Casey contributing to Red's wins, the team can afford to leave him on the DL until he is 100% healthy. If that means he rest's his shoulder until Sept, then so be it.

I am far from ready to give up on Casey, as I believe he has a batting title yet to win in his career, but you this team just can't afford to have him in the lineup unless he is producing like he did in '99.

Bowden is going to have some tough decisions to make in regards to the everyday lineup in the offseason, but the good news is that if he can keep his mouth shut long enough to keep his job he is likely to turn this abundance of talented young hitters into an abundance of talented pitchers.

malcontent
08-05-2002, 02:00 AM
Originally posted by Benihana
Thanks for the credit Mal, but surely you can't be serious when you say this??
No. I am serious. I always wanted to see Broussard replace Casey at 1B. Even if Dunn is there, Broussard could play some OF.

Scrap: I'm not suggesting the Reds move Boone from the #2 hole. But in that fantasy lineup, I'd rather see JE bat #2. I know the IF defense sucks, but face it, Casey is no Gold Glove at 1B. Dunn or, in the future, Branyan, would provide offensive production at that position that Casey simply can't. Larkin merits super-sub status based on a sub-0.700 OPS.

I just don't see the 1st half as being an aberration for Encarnacion. Sounds like you do, though.

Encarnacion = power and speed.

Casey = neither.

As for Dempster being a promising pitcher...maybe, but unless your name is Randy Johnson, a career 4.68 BB per 9 IP is not an encouraging sign for any young pitcher.

Benihana
08-05-2002, 01:16 PM
Mal,

He could play some OF? When?!

As it is we can't find enough playing time for Branyan and Larson, and either Dunn or Casey is locked in at 1st. Sounds like you share JimBo's obsession with "not being able to acquire enough OFs."

Ohioballplayer
08-05-2002, 01:59 PM
:thumbup: Go Russell, "It's a great day for a miracle!!"

Eric G. is juiced I was at that game also, I was sitting blue off the 1st base side. He is alot bigger than last year:thumbdown

cincinnati chili
09-12-2002, 07:27 PM
As some of you remember, I promised to eat a cheese coney through my nostril if Branyan ever blossomed into a great hitter. Then, after his hot couple of weeks, some of you actually offered to drive to my hometown and apply said coney into my nasal pathway yourself. Well, before you drive up here...

Branyan in August .167 average
Branyan so far in September .188 average

Now as a Red, he has a .338 on-base% and a .479 slugging%, in 200 or so plate appearances.

Neither of these are significantly higher than his career totals.

However, I have to say that the trade looks good for the Reds so far. Broussard totally choked in the majors, and seems to be sputtering in Buffalo. I almost wonder if he's injured.

westofyou
09-12-2002, 08:00 PM
Since his 3 HR game Russell has struck out 32 times out of 64 AB's.

Sidenote.: the most K's in a season that Joe Dimaggio ever had was in his rookie season - 36

Steve4192
09-13-2002, 01:38 AM
Originally posted by westofyou
Sidenote.: the most K's in a season that Joe Dimaggio ever had was in his rookie season - 36

I don't ask for much out of Russell. Dimaggio had more HR than K's seven times in his career. I just want him to see Branyan do it once.

How cool would it be to see Russell pound out 185 HR while striking out 'only' 180 times?

Hey, it could happen .... if they move the fences in to about 150 feet.