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View Full Version : Who's got the best major league future at 3B?



M2
12-01-2008, 02:24 PM
A conversation in another thread inspired this one. For the purposes of this poll, let's assume we're talking strictly about their future at 3B. I've included Edwin Encarnacion as the control element.

OnBaseMachine
12-01-2008, 02:30 PM
Good topic.

I'll go with Neftali Soto - I like all four guys on this list but Soto really stands out to me. Call me crazy, but I think he's got a chance to develop into a Miguel Cabrera type of hitter. Like most young hitting prospects, Soto needs to work on his discipline but his power potential and hitting skills are top notch. I really think Soto is going to develop into something special.

Like I said though, I like all four guys listed but Soto's potential sticks out the most to me.

dougdirt
12-01-2008, 02:30 PM
Went with Soto. The potential for his bat just isn't matched by anyone else listed. Defensively, only Francisco stands out and thats only because of his arm and not because of his glove/range.

TRF
12-01-2008, 02:35 PM
EE for me. defensively, He'll benefit from any solid defender at SS, 2007 was proof enough for me on that. Offensively, he had three brilliant months in 2008. I see him progressing at the plate, and 2009 could be his breakthrough year. At a comparable age to the other three, EE was already a major leaguer.

Redman15
12-01-2008, 02:37 PM
I went with Francisco. The ball just jumps off this kids bat. He could be the Reds next 40 homer guy now that Dunn's gone.

princeton
12-01-2008, 02:38 PM
Loser wins a catcher's mitt

mace
12-01-2008, 02:41 PM
That's the $64,000 question. At this point, though, I don't think any answer is worth a nickel. You could make a compelling case for each, as I'm sure somebody will.

It'll be interesting to see if there's a consensus, though. I doubt there will be.

Mario-Rijo
12-01-2008, 02:42 PM
Went with Soto. The potential for his bat just isn't matched by anyone else listed. Defensively, only Francisco stands out and thats only because of his arm and not because of his glove/range.

I hope Soto does, but too me it's too soon to say for sure. Frazier might be a tad too soon for sure as well but he's closer IMO. I don't know if either is a gaurantee there range wise but I like Frazier's range just a tad better. Granted range isn't as big a deal at 3rd but it helps.

Francisco too me doesn't yet rate until he proves he can be more disciplined at the plate and isn't likely to rate at 3B anyway due to his growing lack of range.

Edwin well he has only 1 problem to figure out defensively and probably only 1 more season left to figure it out, his odds are getting pretty slim at this point, although I haven't yet given up on him completely. He is thee most ideal solution assuming he figures it out.

I voted Frazier.

fearofpopvol1
12-01-2008, 02:58 PM
This is an interesting question. I'm going with Frazier though.

lollipopcurve
12-01-2008, 03:08 PM
I assume we're talking defense here.

Edwin.

I still think the guy will develop into a dependable defender, and none of the other three has established he can play a major league 3B. The best minor league accolade has gone to Francisco (best defensive 3B in the FSL, per BA), so he's the runner up.

M2
12-01-2008, 03:13 PM
I assume we're talking defense here.

No, I'm talking about all-around player. Obviously the guy has to be able to play enough defense to stick at 3B, so if you don't think a guy can do that, then he doesn't have much of a future at the position, but for the purposes of this poll pretend all four got moved around to different teams, which one would you want to keep as your 3B?

Orenda
12-01-2008, 03:28 PM
I've been on the Edwin bandwagon for a few years now but I think I would take Frazier. I still like Edwin but every time I say he could be dependable at 3rd he throws the ball into the dugout. He's starting to make me look worse than Chris Sabo with a broken bat.

RedlegJake
12-01-2008, 03:31 PM
I voted Soto. Frazier is very close but he can also go to left field and already plays it. Francisco has Mike Schmidt ceiling but Willie Mo floor. EE, frankly I'm losing patience with but I don't really think he's terrible but these younger guys have the allure of their ceiling yet while we're seeing more and more where EE is likely to be, which imo is a decent but not great player.

Scrap Irony
12-01-2008, 03:55 PM
Francisco is high-rish, high reward. But I remember well Samone Peters. Pass.
EdE, only 25? True. That 800+ OPS is likely for a decade. But the glove is brutal. Pass.
Frazier plays SS in my dream world, though he could also be Jeff Kent, Part Deaux. Pass. For now.
Soto has highest ceiling and best numbers, but is farthest away. Still, that bat. That athleticism. That power.

Give me Soto.

lollipopcurve
12-01-2008, 04:06 PM
No, I'm talking about all-around player. Obviously the guy has to be able to play enough defense to stick at 3B, so if you don't think a guy can do that, then he doesn't have much of a future at the position, but for the purposes of this poll pretend all four got moved around to different teams, which one would you want to keep as your 3B?

Both Francisco and Soto have higher ceilings than Frazier, I think. Frazier's the safest pick, probably, since we know he's got a solid approach at the plate and solid character. But since I like guys with high ceilings, I'd weather Frazier's departure better than either of the others....

But, one player and one only, eh?

At this point in time, I think Frazier is the pick, simply because he's the safest. Still, I would play him in LF and Francisco at 3B in AA, since playing them at those positions sets neither back defensively (they both have experience at those spots). The essential challenge before each is to prove the bat at AA -- if one shoots convincingly ahead of the other during the season, so be it. He gets 3B at Louisville.

Much as you want a reckoning on Frazier's position in 09, I think it's too soon. The guy still has to prove the bat -- as the Hawaiian League prospect report today showed, there are still doubts about how well his hitting mechanics will hold up. It's possible he'll need the defensive versatility the organization is building in him in order to have a long major career.

Fortunately, the organization doesn't have to make this kind of judgment yet.

M2
12-01-2008, 04:18 PM
Much as you want a reckoning on Frazier's position in 09, I think it's too soon. The guy still has to prove the bat -- as the Hawaiian League prospect report today showed, there are still doubts about how well his hitting mechanics will hold up. It's possible he'll need the defensive versatility the organization is building in him in order to have a long major career.

Fortunately, the organization doesn't have to make this kind of judgment yet.

There's going to be reckoning on his position one way or another. I'd just prefer it be an active decision rather than a passive one. If he goes to the OF, the Reds won't be bringing him back to the IF. I actually expect the Reds to end up with an OF logjam in the next year or two thanks to a series of path-of-least-resistance decisions.

As for the bat, Frazier's been hitting since Little League. There's always concerns about every hitter in the minors, particularly until they put in a full big season in the upper minors. Yet I'll echo BA's John Manuel from his chat today, until Frazier's unorthodox stance causes him trouble, I see no reason to worry about it. His mechanics seem to work quite nicely for him.

dougdirt
12-01-2008, 04:21 PM
Yet I'll echo BA's John Manuel from his chat today, until Frazier's unorthodox stance causes him trouble, I see no reason to worry about it. His mechanics seem to work quite nicely for him.

Yep. Hunter Pence's swing wasn't supposed to work in the majors either.... as far as his hitting itself goes, he seems to be doing just fine.

OnBaseMachine
12-01-2008, 04:24 PM
I really don't care about how unorthodox Frazier's swing is. It works for him. Plenty of great hitters have had unorthodox swing mechanics. I'm not worried about it at all.

lollipopcurve
12-01-2008, 04:25 PM
I'd just prefer it be an active decision rather than a passive one.

Sure -- they'll promote him once he proves the bat is ready. If he keeps playing multiple positions, it probably means he gets there sooner rather than later. I see no reason to sweat his position, really. Pujols moved from 3B to LF to 1B. Braun has moved already. Josh Fields, Pablo Sandoval, Gary Sheffield, etc., etc., etc. -- all these guys have been to 3B and elsewhere early in their major league careers.

You seem anxious to devalue Francisco by saying Frazier should be at 3B in Carolina in 08. I think the organization would be unwise to take that approach.

Mario-Rijo
12-01-2008, 04:30 PM
Both Francisco and Soto have higher ceilings than Frazier, I think. Frazier's the safest pick, probably, since we know he's got a solid approach at the plate and solid character. But since I like guys with high ceilings, I'd weather Frazier's departure better than either of the others....

That's a very interesting take and tells me alot about why we sometimes differ on prospects. But give me a silver nugget (Frazier) over potential fools gold (Francisco) any day. Plus taking everything into consideration I'm not sure Francisco does have a higher ceiling just because he has potentially more power.


But, one player and one only, eh?

At this point in time, I think Frazier is the pick, simply because he's the safest. Still, I would play him in LF and Francisco at 3B in AA, since playing them at those positions sets neither back defensively (they both have experience at those spots). The essential challenge before each is to prove the bat at AA -- if one shoots convincingly ahead of the other during the season, so be it. He gets 3B at Louisville.

Much as you want a reckoning on Frazier's position in 09, I think it's too soon. The guy still has to prove the bat -- as the Hawaiian League prospect report today showed, there are still doubts about how well his hitting mechanics will hold up. It's possible he'll need the defensive versatility the organization is building in him in order to have a long major career.

Fortunately, the organization doesn't have to make this kind of judgment yet.

I didn't read that report like that. I took it to mean he's unorthodox but it works for him.


On Frazier:

Fast hands compensate for a high setup. Held his own at shortstop. Has plus raw power and led the league in slugging. The ball jumps off his bat. Will be a frontline hitter. Played all four positions (1B, 3B, SS, LF) well.

lollipopcurve
12-01-2008, 04:37 PM
I really don't care about how unorthodox Frazier's swing is. It works for him. Plenty of great hitters have had unorthodox swing mechanics. I'm not worried about it at all.

I'm not of the mind that a good -- not great -- year in high A and a fine Hawaiian League campaign proves a guy is ready to hit in the majors. I'm optimistic about Frazier, but his numbers remain a far cry from what Bruce was putting up at higher levels, and we all saw the tremendous inconsistency that Bruce had to battle through in the majors last year.

Frazier's mechanics, which apparently pose the same kind of challenge Eric Davis's did -- having to do with the positioning of the hands -- must be tested against better pitching. Guys who throw harder and who disrupt timing more effectively (there's more to be timed in Frazier getting the bat into the hitting zone) are going to be more plentiful in AA and AAA.

lollipopcurve
12-01-2008, 04:42 PM
Here's the 1st sentence in BA's assessment of Frazier's prospect status post-HWL:


Frazier continues to elicit a strong difference of opinion among scouts due to his unorthodox approach at the plate,

We heard the exact same stuff when he was drafted. Does this mean his solid performance so far should remove doubts about his mechanics? Or does it mean he has not really honed his mechanics enough to allay doubts about how well his swing will hold up against better pitchers? I am not expert enough to answer that question, and I don't know that anyone is.

Mario-Rijo
12-01-2008, 04:45 PM
I'm not of the mind that a good -- not great -- year in high A and a fine Hawaiian League campaign proves a guy is ready to hit in the majors. I'm optimistic about Frazier, but his numbers remain a far cry from what Bruce was putting up at higher levels, and we all saw the tremendous inconsistency that Bruce had to battle through in the majors last year.

Frazier's mechanics, which apparently pose the same kind of challenge Eric Davis's did -- having to do with the positioning of the hands -- must be tested against better pitching. Guys who throw harder and who disrupt timing more effectively (there's more to be timed in Frazier getting the bat into the hitting zone) are going to be more plentiful in AA and AAA.

I'd say that's a fair argument but 2 things. 1 Frazier is a notch or 2 ahead of Bruce when it comes to plate discipline and 2 Bruce is a very special young player. So IDK if that's a fair comparison.

M2
12-01-2008, 04:57 PM
Sure -- they'll promote him once he proves the bat is ready. If he keeps playing multiple positions, it probably means he gets there sooner rather than later. I see no reason to sweat his position, really. Pujols moved from 3B to LF to 1B. Braun has moved already. Josh Fields, Pablo Sandoval, Gary Sheffield, etc., etc., etc. -- all these guys have been to 3B and elsewhere early in their major league careers.

You seem anxious to devalue Francisco by saying Frazier should be at 3B in Carolina in 08. I think the organization would be unwise to take that approach.

I devalue Francisco because I see Tony Batista as his ceiling and I don't bungle up anyone else's progress through the system for a Tony Batista wannabe. That's just common sense.

And Frazier probably won't be seeing multiple positions in 2009. Figure Alonso, Turner, Valaika and Francisco as the starting IF in Carolina. In the OF you might have Heisey and Stubbs. That sticks Frazier in LF via path of least resistance thinking, and with very little shifting around.

So now you've got the guy playing at the right-hand side of the defensive spectrum and taking little-to-no reps in the IF as he approaches the majors. That's called lock-in.

And, yes, those other players did move off of 3B (note that they didn't move to it from 1B or an OF corner). They couldn't hack the position so they slid down the defensive spectrum to less challenging positions. Meanwhile the Reds are looking at Frazier taking the quantum leap from the left-hand side of the spectrum (SS) to the right-hand side (LF) without ever giving him time to settle into a higher defensive value position like 3B or 2B. This isn't some crazy, New Age philosophy I'm pushing here. This is old as the hills. Guys who move off SS go to 2B, 3B or CF. The Reds are ignoring something statheads and seamheads alike agree upon.

So if Encarnacion finally makes the GM's head explode with his erratic play on the hot corner and Francisco continues to swing at everything and Soto experiences a few hiccups (all fairly reasonable possibilities), who's your 3B?

It won't be Todd Frazier if the team sticks him in LF and never lets him get his reps at 3B.

Anyway, my reason for posting this poll isn't nearly as nefarious as you seem to think. I'm actually curious as to who RedsZone thinks the best 3B will be and I'd think it should go without saying that whomever you think is the pick, then that guy ought to be playing 3B in 2009.

lollipopcurve
12-01-2008, 05:03 PM
It won't be Todd Frazier if the team sticks him in LF and never lets him get his reps at 3B.

He's like Pete Rose. A ballplayer. He can move from LF to 3B if need be.

This is much wringing of hands unnecessarily.

dougdirt
12-01-2008, 05:03 PM
I am not sure that Valaika starts in AA next year though. Stubbs won't be starting in AA for sure. The guy had success in AAA last year, even in limited time, he is going to start in AAA.

I do have to ask though, if you think Frazier can play 3B now, why couldn't he likely handle 3B in a year or two down the road after playing some LF? Playing left field isn't going to make him fat or slow.

Still, I see him playing SS in AA at the start of the year and splitting time other places (1B, 3B and LF) with others as they shuffle DH's throughout the year.

lollipopcurve
12-01-2008, 05:05 PM
I'm actually curious as to who RedsZone thinks the best 3B will be and I'd think it should go without saying that whomever you think is the pick, then that guy ought to be playing 3B in 2009.

Disagree. Build the value of both Frazier and Francisco, not just one of them. That's common sense.

Mario-Rijo
12-01-2008, 05:09 PM
I devalue Francisco because I see Tony Batista as his ceiling and I don't bungle up anyone else's progress through the system for a Tony Batista wannabe. That's just common sense.

And Frazier probably won't be seeing multiple positions in 2009. Figure Alonso, Turner, Valaika and Francisco as the starting IF in Carolina. In the OF you might have Heisey and Stubbs. That sticks Frazier in LF via path of least resistance thinking, and with very little shifting around.

So now you've got the guy playing at the right-hand side of the defensive spectrum and taking little-to-no reps in the IF as he approaches the majors. That's called lock-in.

And, yes, those other players did move off of 3B (note that they didn't move to it from 1B or an OF corner). They couldn't hack the position so they slid down the defensive spectrum to less challenging positions. Meanwhile the Reds are looking at Frazier taking the quantum leap from the left-hand side of the spectrum (SS) to the right-hand side (LF) without ever giving him time to settle into a higher defensive value position like 3B or 2B. This isn't some crazy, New Age philosophy I'm pushing here. This is old as the hills. Guys who move off SS go to 2B, 3B or CF. The Reds are ignoring something statheads and seamheads alike agree upon.

So if Encarnacion finally makes the GM's head explode with his erratic play on the hot corner and Francisco continues to swing at everything and Soto experiences a few hiccups (all fairly reasonable possibilities), who's your 3B?

It won't be Todd Frazier if the team sticks him in LF and never lets him get his reps at 3B.

Anyway, my reason for posting this poll isn't nearly as nefarious as you seem to think. I'm actually curious as to who RedsZone thinks the best 3B will be and I'd think it should go without saying that whomever you think is the pick, then that guy ought to be playing 3B in 2009.

I don't see Francisco's ultimate ceiling as Batista, but I do think it's his realistic ceiling an act of god notwithstanding. In fact I honestly would be surprised to see him reach Batista-esque status. But I agree wit your view/points.

M2
12-01-2008, 05:14 PM
I'm not of the mind that a good -- not great -- year in high A and a fine Hawaiian League campaign proves a guy is ready to hit in the majors. I'm optimistic about Frazier, but his numbers remain a far cry from what Bruce was putting up at higher levels, and we all saw the tremendous inconsistency that Bruce had to battle through in the majors last year.

Frazier's mechanics, which apparently pose the same kind of challenge Eric Davis's did -- having to do with the positioning of the hands -- must be tested against better pitching. Guys who throw harder and who disrupt timing more effectively (there's more to be timed in Frazier getting the bat into the hitting zone) are going to be more plentiful in AA and AAA.

I appreciate the skepticism and completely agree that he's got things to prove in the upper minors. That said, everyone's got something to prove. Alonso's got to prove he can hit breaking balls and southpaws. Bruce had to prove his five tools were for real and not just some lazy, inaccurate designation.

Yet where should Frazier be playing while he proves out his bat? Because if his bat proves itself, then you're going to want to find a place find a place for him in the majors in fairly short order.

One thing about Frazier that, IMO, argues for him at 3B is head for the game. He hasn't been playing SS because of his defensive tools, but his game sense has allowed him to stick there. One of the things that a lot of good defensive 3Bs seem to share is that they play above their tools.

*BaseClogger*
12-01-2008, 05:16 PM
:laugh:

How can you not take the guy already playing 3B in MLB over A-ballers!?

dougdirt
12-01-2008, 05:20 PM
:laugh:

How can you not take the guy already playing 3B in MLB over A-ballers!?
Because it says best future as a MLBer at 3B and I think Edwins days at 3B are pretty much numbered among a few other things.

lollipopcurve
12-01-2008, 05:21 PM
One thing about Frazier that, IMO, argues for him at 3B is head for the game. He hasn't been playing SS because of his defensive tools, but his game sense has allowed him to stick there. One of the things that a lot of good defensive 3Bs seem to share is that they play above their tools.

Frazier's instincts are an important ingredient in my not worrying about him having to settle in at 3rd down the road, if that looks like the best place to put him.

M2
12-01-2008, 05:23 PM
Disagree. Build the value of both Frazier and Francisco, not just one of them. That's common sense.

So you'd have the guy you expect to be your future 3B pretty much never play 3B? Madness.

And no one is like Pete Rose. Well, Honus Wagner and King Kelly were, but that only reinforces how rare those types are. They're extreme outliers. When mortal ballplayers go to an OF corner they don't go back to a more premium IF position, especially a position where they've gotten almost no playing time, even back into their college days.

You can pretend that's not the case, but that's just you pretending.

Benihana
12-01-2008, 06:21 PM
I devalue Francisco because I see Tony Batista as his ceiling and I don't bungle up anyone else's progress through the system for a Tony Batista wannabe. That's just common sense.

And Frazier probably won't be seeing multiple positions in 2009. Figure Alonso, Turner, Valaika and Francisco as the starting IF in Carolina. In the OF you might have Heisey and Stubbs. That sticks Frazier in LF via path of least resistance thinking, and with very little shifting around.

So now you've got the guy playing at the right-hand side of the defensive spectrum and taking little-to-no reps in the IF as he approaches the majors. That's called lock-in.

And, yes, those other players did move off of 3B (note that they didn't move to it from 1B or an OF corner). They couldn't hack the position so they slid down the defensive spectrum to less challenging positions. Meanwhile the Reds are looking at Frazier taking the quantum leap from the left-hand side of the spectrum (SS) to the right-hand side (LF) without ever giving him time to settle into a higher defensive value position like 3B or 2B. This isn't some crazy, New Age philosophy I'm pushing here. This is old as the hills. Guys who move off SS go to 2B, 3B or CF. The Reds are ignoring something statheads and seamheads alike agree upon.

So if Encarnacion finally makes the GM's head explode with his erratic play on the hot corner and Francisco continues to swing at everything and Soto experiences a few hiccups (all fairly reasonable possibilities), who's your 3B?

It won't be Todd Frazier if the team sticks him in LF and never lets him get his reps at 3B.

Anyway, my reason for posting this poll isn't nearly as nefarious as you seem to think. I'm actually curious as to who RedsZone thinks the best 3B will be and I'd think it should go without saying that whomever you think is the pick, then that guy ought to be playing 3B in 2009.

I've actually wondered for some time if Frazier or Valaika could play CF. I see no reason why they couldn't, seeing as how they both had the athleticism to play SS at the high college/low minors levels. Valaika now seems primed to stick at SS, but the two position trials I wouldn't mind seeing would be Frazier at CF and Francisco at C. I could see Frazier as a Jim Edmonds in his prime type player with a weaker glove (and less arrogance.)

How about a 2010 lineup of

Escobar/Furcal (or Valaika worst-case) SS
Votto LF
Bruce RF
Soto 3B
Alonso 1B
Frazier/Stubbs CF
Phillips 2B
Francisco C

fearofpopvol1
12-01-2008, 08:10 PM
Who did you pick M2 and why?

Highlifeman21
12-01-2008, 08:20 PM
I went with Francisco. The ball just jumps off this kids bat. He could be the Reds next 40 homer guy now that Dunn's gone.

I went with Francisco just b/c I think his bat will trump his defensive shortcomings @ 3B.

I'm not sure all the others have the bat to outweigh their defense.

RedsManRick
12-01-2008, 08:46 PM
Yep. Hunter Pence's swing wasn't supposed to work in the majors either.... as far as his hitting itself goes, he seems to be doing just fine.

Great rookie year, but he got exposed big time last year.

Fangraphs had an interesting take on the subject: http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/index.php/pences-production-takes-a-slide/

I went with Soto. What's he's doing at his age is quite impressive. I still think EE has Aramis Ramirez potential, but only if he stops try to pull everything -- and I'm not convinced he'll make the change. Fransisco is easily the biggest wildcard in the bunch, but a 6:1 K:BB ratio just isn't going to work; he needs to take a big step next year. All that said, if you had to put 20 bucks on any of these guys being a multiple All-Star guy, Frazier may well be your bet -- the question is whether it's at 3B.

dougdirt
12-01-2008, 08:49 PM
Great rookie year, but he got exposed big time last year.

Fangraphs had an interesting take on the subject: http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/index.php/pences-production-takes-a-slide/


His hitting wasn't bad, his walks were. .270 average, 25 HR, .466 slugging.

OnBaseMachine
12-01-2008, 08:58 PM
I went with Francisco just b/c I think his bat will trump his defensive shortcomings @ 3B.

I'm not sure all the others have the bat to outweigh their defense.

Neither Frazier nor Soto project as the defensive liabilities that you make them out to be IMO. They'll never win a Gold Glove but they won't kill you over there either. We've already read that Frazier played well at 3B during the HWL. On Soto, Kevin Goldstein says he has good hands at third base and a cannon for an arm. He did say he'll need to improve his range to his left, though.

M2
12-01-2008, 09:12 PM
Who did you pick M2 and why?

Frazier, he rolled out of the womb playing baseball.

RedlegJake
12-01-2008, 09:39 PM
Frazier, he rolled out of the womb playing baseball.

I love that answer and its why I see Frazier being an impact player somewhere for someone. Some guys just look to be born to play the game.

OnBaseMachine
12-01-2008, 09:54 PM
Frazier, he rolled out of the womb playing baseball.

I've gone on record as saying Frazier reminds me of a Kevin Youkilis type of player. He's a guy that does about everything well and has great baseball instincts. Like Youkilis, he's versatile, has a good eye at the plate, and also possesses above average power. He's the type of player you want on your team. I've liked Frazier since the day he was drafted... he's a keeper IMO.

mace
12-01-2008, 09:58 PM
I haven't seen him play, but for some reason he makes me think of Matt Williams.

bubbachunk
12-01-2008, 10:04 PM
Edwin because 95% of his problems are mental and since he is maturing I believe he can fix those. I also do not see him as a black hole at 3B as some people make him out to be. He has the athletic ability to make the plays and with more practice he will.

Betterread
12-01-2008, 11:04 PM
I picked Francisco because he profiles so clearly as a 3B. Frazier and Soto are far superior overall prospects, but I worry about what the Reds will do with their positional development. I have so little faith in the Reds developmental program's ability to match their talent to the correct position. EE has all the tools to be a good 3B and yet somehow he doesn't put it together. RF would be good for him, but if Bruce is there, why not leave him at 3b until we find a better alternative.
I would start Frazier at AA in LF. If this happens he will be in cincinnati in mid/late 2010. Soto is good at 3b for a while.
What the Reds will do remains to be seen.

M2
12-01-2008, 11:57 PM
Edwin because 95% of his problems are mental and since he is maturing I believe he can fix those. I also do not see him as a black hole at 3B as some people make him out to be. He has the athletic ability to make the plays and with more practice he will.

One of the reasons I included Edwin is any one of the kids will have to do pretty well to better what he's done so far in his career and he's only 25.

I'm frustrated with Encarnacion because he hasn't progressed the past two years, but you're right that he's still young enough to correct some of his bigger flaws and be a very good player. Chris Sabo hadn't even touched the majors at Edwin's age.

AmarilloRed
12-02-2008, 01:31 AM
Juan Francisco. It is a risky pick, but I think his defense at third and his power make him the best choice.

reds44
12-02-2008, 03:08 AM
Give me the guy who has actually produced at the big league level.

Ron Madden
12-02-2008, 03:56 AM
I still have faith in Edwin.

camisadelgolf
12-02-2008, 06:14 AM
I see Francisco and Frazier as outfielders, personally. I gave the nod to Soto over Encarnacion based on what he's accomplished at his age and level.

OesterPoster
12-02-2008, 11:57 AM
I gotta go with Frazier. His intangibles/leadership qualities are the trumping factors for me. Some guys have "it" and some guys don't. In my opinion, Frazier has "it".

dougdirt
12-02-2008, 12:01 PM
I gotta go with Frazier. His intangibles/leadership qualities are the trumping factors for me. Some guys have "it" and some guys don't. In my opinion, Frazier has "it".

Well I have to ask, what leads you to believe that Soto or Francisco don't have "it"?

Benihana
12-02-2008, 05:20 PM
The more I actually think about this question, the more obvious the answer becomes to me that the Reds don't have to make that choice right now. Barring an overpowering showing in ST, I would begin the 2009 season with the following:


Neftali Soto at SS, Juan Francisco 3B in High A (Brandon Waring at 1B or DH)
Todd Frazier 3B in AA

While all three have already showed success at those levels, they all can show some improvement in order to facilitate early season promotions. For instance, Soto only played 52 games in Dayton. Francisco played a full season in Sarasota but needs to improve his plate discipline as he OPSed only 800. Frazier has yet to see AA, but he is certainly ready, and should be in Louisville by June. In fact, assuming no major setbacks, I'd like to see the following by June:

Soto 3B in High A
Francisco 3B in AA
Frazier 3B in AAA

Similarly, I'd start Yonder Alonso at 1B in Carolina with the expectation that he will also be in Louisville by Summer. Again, assuming no hiccups, that should leave the Reds with some decisions to make come next offseason, given that both Alonso and Frazier should be ready to takeover full-time roles by Opening Day 2010.

Who plays 1B? My guess would be Alonso.
Who plays 3B? Either Frazier or Encarnacion. The loser of that battle or Joey Votto gets LF, with the other man in the equation being traded (at this point, my guess would be Encarnacion.)

Regardless, that is a ways off, and a lot could happen between now and then. The point of my post is that the Reds could easily play all four guys (Soto, Francisco, Frazier and EdE) at 3B for the entire 2009 season, and then make a more educated decision on who should man the position with the big club going forward.

Superdude
12-02-2008, 05:28 PM
Francisco played a full season in Sarasota but needs to improve his plate discipline as he OPSed only 800.

Leaving him in high A isn't gonna help Francisco's plate discipline any. Struggling a little in AA will help him develop his plate discipline way more than mashing in Sarasota.

TRF
12-02-2008, 05:28 PM
The more I actually think about this question, the more obvious the answer becomes to me that the Reds don't have to make that choice right now. Barring an overpowering showing in ST, I would begin the 2009 season with the following:


Neftali Soto at SS, Juan Francisco 3B in High A (Brandon Waring at 1B or DH)
Todd Frazier 3B in AA

While all three have already showed success at those levels, they all can show some improvement in order to facilitate early season promotions. For instance, Soto only played 52 games in Dayton. Francisco played a full season in Sarasota but needs to improve his plate discipline as he OPSed only 800. Frazier has yet to see AA, but he is certainly ready, and should be in Louisville by June. In fact, assuming no major setbacks, I'd like to see the following by June:

Soto 3B in High A
Francisco 3B in AA
Frazier 3B in AAA

Similarly, I'd start Yonder Alonso at 1B in Carolina with the expectation that he will also be in Louisville by Summer. Again, assuming no hiccups, that should leave the Reds with some decisions to make come next offseason, given that both Alonso and Frazier should be ready to takeover full-time roles by Opening Day 2010.

Who plays 1B? My guess would be Alonso.
Who plays 3B? Either Frazier or Encarnacion. The loser of that battle or Joey Votto gets LF, with the other man in the equation being traded (at this point, my guess would be Encarnacion.)

Regardless, that is a ways off, and a lot could happen between now and then. The point of my post is that the Reds could easily play all four guys (Soto, Francisco, Frazier and EdE) at 3B for the entire 2009 season, and then make a more educated decision on who should man the position with the big club going forward.

I'd have an IF of Frazier SS, Alonzo 1B and Francisco 3B at AA. Two have earned it, and one may be just that talented. I wouldn't move Frazier off SS until he proves he can't play there.

M2
12-02-2008, 05:32 PM
Benihana, nice plan.

mace
12-02-2008, 05:33 PM
Benihana mentioned Waring, and he's the forgotten man in all this. To me, he's sort of Francisco-lite. Although he hasn't played in Sarasota, he has more HR/AB than either Francisco or Frazier. And he walks more than Francisco. And (from what I've read) he's likely the best fielding 3B of the bunch. I have him in my top 25 organizational prospects. He may not be quite in the league of the other four, but he probably ought to at least be in the discussion.

Benihana
12-02-2008, 05:39 PM
Leaving him in high A isn't gonna help Francisco's plate discipline any. Struggling a little in AA will help him develop his plate discipline way more than mashing in Sarasota.

You might be right, but unless you want to DH him so he can get some ABs in Carolina, I would keep him in Sarasota until Frazier is ready to move up to Louisville. Who knows? That could be Memorial Day or even earlier, especially if he mashes in ST like he did in Hawaii.

Benihana
12-02-2008, 05:41 PM
Benihana mentioned Waring, and he's the forgotten man in all this. To me, he's sort of Francisco-lite. Although he hasn't played in Sarasota, he has more HR/AB than either Francisco or Frazier. And he walks more than Francisco. And (from what I've read) he's likely the best fielding 3B of the bunch. I have him in my top 25 organizational prospects. He may not be quite in the league of the other four, but he probably ought to at least be in the discussion.

Even if he is the best fielding 3B of the bunch, the fact remains from an all-around standpoint that he's #5 on the 3B organizational depth chart at best. That is reason enough to move him off the position (despite his glove) if he's ever going to have a chance to make an impact in the bigs. Otherwise, he'd be a top candidate to go in a trade package.

OnBaseMachine
12-02-2008, 06:03 PM
IIRC, Terry Reynolds has already said Francisco will most likely start 2009 at Double-A.

Benihana
12-02-2008, 06:13 PM
IIRC, Terry Reynolds has already said Francisco will most likely start 2009 at Double-A.

Maybe Frazier starts in AAA?

TRF
12-02-2008, 06:17 PM
IIRC, Terry Reynolds has already said Francisco will most likely start 2009 at Double-A.

Who is the AA SS? Castro?

OnBaseMachine
12-02-2008, 06:27 PM
Who is the AA SS? Castro?

Probably, unless they decide to jump Cozart from Low-A to Double-A, which is doubtful.

M2
12-02-2008, 06:51 PM
Who is the AA SS? Castro?

There's a decent chance Valaika starts in AA. He did all there last year, but the Reds might want to see him do better than all right before moving him up to AAA.

Then again, keeping Valaika in AA is what I'd do, so it's a safe bet the Reds will send him to AAA.

camisadelgolf
12-03-2008, 07:45 AM
There's a decent chance Valaika starts in AA. He did all there last year, but the Reds might want to see him do better than all right before moving him up to AAA.

Then again, keeping Valaika in AA is what I'd do, so it's a safe bet the Reds will send him to AAA.

I think this is what makes the most sense. The only other reasonable options would be keeping Frazier at shortstop or letting Jose Castro and Justin Tordi split time at shortstop. If Cozart starts the year hot in Sarasota, I could see him getting promoted quickly, which could result in Valaika being the starting second baseman in Louisville since Janish will probably hold things down at shortstop.

OesterPoster
12-03-2008, 11:50 AM
Well I have to ask, what leads you to believe that Soto or Francisco don't have "it"?

I thought you were the one with all the connections. Prove me wrong.

dougdirt
12-03-2008, 11:55 AM
I thought you were the one with all the connections. Prove me wrong.

I am with you that Frazier certainly has an extra little factor going his way with his leadership skills in the clubhouse. I just was wondering why you felt Frazier had it, but not the other guys.

TRF
12-03-2008, 12:44 PM
I thought you were the one with all the connections. Prove me wrong.

Jay Bruce is a closet cross dresser. prove me wrong.

That's a silly statement. You have to back your assertion, doug doesn't have to disprove it.

gonelong
12-03-2008, 02:19 PM
I picked EdE, though Frazier is the guy most likely to make me wrong.

GL

WillRich
12-03-2008, 10:40 PM
Edwin is a run producer and could consistently hit 30 or more homeruns as you can probably tell I voted for Edwin.