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View Full Version : Futurethink: Joey Votto vs. Yonder Alonso



WebScorpion
12-19-2008, 11:19 AM
The day the Reds drafted Yonder Alonso they set up a conflict which will force a decision at some point in the (possibly near) future. We have two young left-handed power hitting first basemen and only one first baseman slot. Many people seem to thiink it's pre-determined that Joey will move to left field, but I'm not too sure about that.

At the time of the draft, I thought Yonder would have preference because he was a higher draft choice with a higher ceiling and Joey wasn't even drafted as a first baseman, he was a catcher. But then Joey played Major League baseball. He's played well by all accounts, he has an incredible work ethic which he dedicates to improving every aspect of his game. He has become the not so silent leader by example of the promising young core of our Little Red Machine. Meanwhile, Yonder has barely touched a baseball field. As far as I can tell, Joey has exceeeded his own ceiling and maybe even Yonder's too. I really hesitate to mention it, but he reminds me of another first baseman who wasn't drafted at the position and became the glue that held greater egos in check long enough to end up in the Hall of Fame. Joey is just that kind of guy...he sees the ball, he hits the ball. He is Jay Bruces comrade and he challenges Jay at every turn. Jay may be a special baseball talent, but Joey has an exceptional talent as a leader of men. IMO, Joey has become the most valuable person on the team.
The good part is we still have no real idea of what Yonder will become. So for the moment, the decision can be ignored. But if Yonder comes quickly and appears to be an Albert Pujols-type talent, it's not going to be an easy decision. Currently, I would favor keeping Joey over keeping Yonder, but that's only because I don't know what Yonder can do in the big leagues. I suspect that I will want to keep both, if at all possible, once Yonder establishes himself as a legitimate prospect. I've seen Yonder quoted as saying he'd like to try 3rd base...while he's still young and in the Minor Leagues is the time to test that. I think we should see what he can do at other positions now if we can. Comments?
:beerme:

RedEye
12-19-2008, 11:26 AM
Too early to really tell on this, but I don't see any reason why the Reds can't keep both at this point. Move Votto to the OF and let Yonder rake from the 1B position. Sounds good to me!

Chip R
12-19-2008, 11:27 AM
I'd like to see how Alonso adjusts to a wood bat for an extended period of time before making any plans to move these guys.

RANDY IN INDY
12-19-2008, 11:35 AM
Wise, you are, Chip.

Scrap Irony
12-19-2008, 11:45 AM
If Alonso works out as a top talent at 1B, could Votto play RF? He supposedly has a cannon for an arm and has decent wheels (and should for awhile). While his routes are really poor (or at least they were two years ago), I think he could improve. With Bruce in CF and Dorn in LF, they could conceivably average 300/350/500 across the OF, while providing better D than past seasons.

Benihana
12-19-2008, 11:58 AM
If Alonso works out as a top talent at 1B, could Votto play RF? He supposedly has a cannon for an arm and has decent wheels (and should for awhile). While his routes are really poor (or at least they were two years ago), I think he could improve. With Bruce in CF and Dorn in LF, they could conceivably average 300/350/500 across the OF, while providing better D than past seasons.

I wouldn't count on Dorn to be much more than a platoon-type/backup OF.

RedsManRick
12-19-2008, 11:59 AM
If and when Alonso forces a decision, you make it. Votto is probably the more likely candidate to move to the OF, but there's always a trade market for a cheap, highly productive bat.

lollipopcurve
12-19-2008, 12:03 PM
No hurry here. We'll know more about whether these guys are on a collision course -- and if so, when the crash will be imminent -- after this season. If all goes well for both, the Reds will have no trouble working a trade for either guy.

Always Red
12-19-2008, 12:05 PM
Too much talent, even in the same spot, is never a bad thing. All are assets.

Big Klu
12-19-2008, 01:57 PM
When the Reds drafted Alonso, I got the feeling that he was a Matt LaPorta-type trading chip, that the Reds planned to cash in if they ever need a player to put them over the top.

Caveat Emperor
12-19-2008, 02:04 PM
If and when Alonso forces a decision, you make it. Votto is probably the more likely candidate to move to the OF, but there's always a trade market for a cheap, highly productive bat.

The team has quite a few systemwide needs -- notably at the middle infield and catching spots. There aren't any players in the pipeline who profile to plus-talent at either spot. Not coincidentally, there's also a major league need at those positions as well.

When and if Yonder Alonso forces the Reds to bring him up with his performance, the team should seriously look at cashing either him or Votto to fill one (or more) of those holes with top-flight minor league talent.

That'd be my preference, if available, instead of sending Votto out to play a position that he hasn't shown much (if any) aptitude at playing in the past.

11larkin11
12-19-2008, 02:54 PM
I'd like to see how Alonso adjusts to a wood bat for an extended period of time before making any plans to move these guys.

He hasn't given any indication he won't. He absolutely mashed in the Cape Cod League with a wood bat, and raked in his small time in Sarasota and Hawaii.

chicoruiz
12-19-2008, 02:54 PM
Would you trade Alonso for Gordon Beckham at this point?

dougdirt
12-19-2008, 02:56 PM
Would you trade Alonso for Gordon Beckham at this point?

Nope.

Beckham won't stick at SS, his bat isn't as good as Alonso's and there are still some people questioning his stick and how it will translate.

Its funny, at the time of the draft I would have without question. Now, I wouldn't think about it.

Kc61
12-19-2008, 03:01 PM
Add Juan Francisco to the mix. I think he projects as another left handed power hitting first baseman/left fielder.

The Reds will have some decisions to make. These decisions will also involve guys like Todd Frazier (another possible left field candidate, although possibly a 3B).

The question ultimately will not be who the fans "like" the most, who seems like a good guy, or even who is the most advanced or talented player. The question will be who is the best trade bait to be swapped for a top talent to fill a need; and who fits the Reds' own needs at the time of decision.

The ability to field these positions will also be a factor. In the AL, there's always the DH option. In the NL, not.

Today, there is just no way to know which of these guys will remain Reds for the longer term.

pahster
12-19-2008, 03:05 PM
Add Juan Francisco to the mix. I think he projects as another left handed power hitting first baseman/left fielder.


Only if he starts getting on base.

Kc61
12-19-2008, 03:10 PM
Only if he starts getting on base.

Yes, I've heard.

Look at Francisco's numbers in winter leagues this year.

The point is that much depends on the team's needs going forward. Look at the deal the Brewers made for one of their top prospects, getting Sabathia last year to help make the playoffs. The Reds could find themselves in a similar position and wind up trading any one of their top guys.

The most important thing is that they not get hung up on keeping any one particular player and make the moves necessary to have high caliber players at all or most positions.

Chip R
12-19-2008, 03:22 PM
He hasn't given any indication he won't. He absolutely mashed in the Cape Cod League with a wood bat, and raked in his small time in Sarasota and Hawaii.


As I said in my original post, "for an extended period of time." Dragons hitting coach Darren Bragg said last year to a group I belong to that it usually takes a player a year and a half to make the transition from metal to wood. He's probably going to start in AA so if he rakes there right away, then I'd start thinking about the future.

Always Red
12-19-2008, 03:53 PM
Yes, I've heard.

Look at Francisco's numbers in winter leagues this year.

The point is that much depends on the team's needs going forward. Look at the deal the Brewers made for one of their top prospects, getting Sabathia last year to help make the playoffs. The Reds could find themselves in a similar position and wind up trading any one of their top guys.

The most important thing is that they not get hung up on keeping any one particular player and make the moves necessary to have high caliber players at all or most positions.

I'll admit that I don't know nearly as much about the Reds minor leaguers as some here do, but I got a chance to take in 2 games in Sarasota this summer. I thought Francisco was out of shape, and couldn't hit anything offspeed to save his life. I did see him absolutely murder a fastball, though. My 2 cents.

RANDY IN INDY
12-19-2008, 04:43 PM
Nope.

Beckham won't stick at SS, his bat isn't as good as Alonso's and there are still some people questioning his stick and how it will translate.

Its funny, at the time of the draft I would have without question. Now, I wouldn't think about it.

What changed your mind?

dougdirt
12-19-2008, 04:44 PM
What changed your mind?

Hearing more and more about Beckham not sticking at SS and more scouts questioning his swing and how it will translate also while liking more and more of Alonso as I see more of him and hear more about him from those within the organization (from other players).

RANDY IN INDY
12-19-2008, 04:53 PM
What are the questions about Beckham's swing?

Have you seen Alonso play since the draft? How do you think his swing will translate with the wood bat?

dougdirt
12-19-2008, 04:59 PM
What are the questions about Beckham's swing?

Have you seen Alonso play since the draft? How do you think his swing will translate with the wood bat?

A lot of scouts think it is 'choppy' and won't lead to much power at all. Add that in with his likely move off of SS and it really kicks his value down a notch or three.

I haven't seen Alonso play live since he was drafted, but have talked to 5 different players who have and all had good things to say about him. I have seen him on video for about 25 at bats though since he was drafted. His swing is fine for a wooden bat. I see him as Adrian Gonzalez with slightly less power but better plate discipline.

RANDY IN INDY
12-19-2008, 05:03 PM
Doug, what do you think the main thing that scouts look for when projecting a player from the metal bat to the wood bat? I think it is one of the tougher things to do as a scout. For me, I would look for quick hands, good bat speed and nice extension through the baseball to a strong and balanced finish. Just wondering about your thoughts on the subject.

corkedbat
12-19-2008, 05:03 PM
Add Juan Francisco to the mix. I think he projects as another left handed power hitting first baseman/left fielder.

The Reds will have some decisions to make. These decisions will also involve guys like Todd Frazier (another possible left field candidate, although possibly a 3B).

The question ultimately will not be who the fans "like" the most, who seems like a good guy, or even who is the most advanced or talented player. The question will be who is the best trade bait to be swapped for a top talent to fill a need; and who fits the Reds' own needs at the time of decision.

The ability to field these positions will also be a factor. In the AL, there's always the DH option. In the NL, not.

Today, there is just no way to know which of these guys will remain Reds for the longer term.


I know that Francisco is supposed to have a heck of an armand I don't think he's horrible there. I can see him either sticking at 3B or moving to RF if he shows enough plate discipline.

Encarnacion, Votto, Bruce, Alfonso, Frazier, Francisco, Dorn, Soto. A lot of corners and only 4 spots. I'm thinking at least 2 are dealt between now and ST 2010 and bring backa big return - a luxury this franchise hasn't had in a while.

dougdirt
12-19-2008, 05:16 PM
Doug, what do you think the main thing that scouts look for when projecting a player from the metal bat to the wood bat? I think it is one of the tougher things to do as a scout. For me, I would look for quick hands, good bat speed and nice extension through the baseball to a strong and balanced finish. Just wondering about your thoughts on the subject.

Bat speed and the swing itself. I think the bat speed is at the top of it all though because its something you can't teach. If you have good bat speed but a bad swing, odds are they can get you away from that swing, but you can't take a guy with a perfect swing and give him special kind of bat speed.

RANDY IN INDY
12-19-2008, 05:24 PM
Metal and composite bats hide a world of flaws.

Redmachine2003
12-19-2008, 08:43 PM
What's the problem. This is a simple thing for the Reds future. Yonder at 1st, Votto to left, find a good hitting right handed Right fielder, Fraizer to 3rd, find a lead off hitting SS and trade EE and/or Bailey to get the SS or Right Fielder and spend the money to get the other.
SS
BP 2nd
Bruce Center
Right Fielder
Votto Left
Fraizer 3rd
Yonder 1st Until he proves he is the real deal
Catcher
Pitcher

RedsManRick
12-19-2008, 08:47 PM
What's the problem. This is a simple thing for the Reds future. Yonder at 1st, Votto to left, find a good hitting right handed Right fielder, Fraizer to 3rd, find a lead off hitting SS and trade EE and/or Bailey to get the SS or Right Fielder and spend the money to get the other.
SS
BP 2nd
Bruce Center
Right Fielder
Votto Left
Fraizer 3rd
Yonder 1st Until he proves he is the real deal
Catcher
Pitcher

The problem is finding real players to fit those holes. I agree with the basic blueprint, but I'm not sure I see any natural solutions out there. WK is going to have to be pretty creative in the next 18 months if we're to be a contender with the current core.

RANDY IN INDY
12-19-2008, 10:06 PM
What's the problem. This is a simple thing for the Reds future. Yonder at 1st, Votto to left, find a good hitting right handed Right fielder, Fraizer to 3rd, find a lead off hitting SS and trade EE and/or Bailey to get the SS or Right Fielder and spend the money to get the other.
SS
BP 2nd
Bruce Center
Right Fielder
Votto Left
Fraizer 3rd
Yonder 1st Until he proves he is the real deal
Catcher
Pitcher

Votto to left sounds easy, but I don't think it is as easy as a lot of people think.

GADawg
12-19-2008, 11:22 PM
speaking of Votto...have you ever seen a player look so bad on a pitch(or plate appearance) and so awesome on the next? Is that a product of guessing or just being inexperienced?

Phhhl
12-20-2008, 12:20 AM
Votto is not a very good defensive first baseman. I kind of poo pooed the scouting report about that until I saw him play the position all year. It makes me wonder if he could make an easy transition to any other position right now. I am sure he would improve at first if left there and maybe become pretty good. But, he's such a good hitter that I don't know if it would be smart to overload him by asking him to change positions anytime soon. Why not see if Alonzo would be willing to make the move? I know he is the big bonus baby who hob knobs with A-rod, but the Reds need to find value wherever it presents itself. By all accounts, Alonzo could be ready within two years if not less, which puts both of these great young hitters in the same lineup for multiple seasons if the club plays it right. In the minors, instructors will have the time and comfort level to work with a player on such a fundamentally important move than you would ideally want to see on the major league level.

Outshined_One
12-20-2008, 12:42 AM
The Brewers had a similar problem coming into this past season with Fielder manning 1B and LaPorta coming up through the system. Considering they got a pitcher who put them into the playoffs out of it, I think they were rather glad they had that conundrum.

dougdirt
12-20-2008, 12:57 AM
Votto is not a very good defensive first baseman. I kind of poo pooed the scouting report about that until I saw him play the position all year. It makes me wonder if he could make an easy transition to any other position right now. I am sure he would improve at first if left there and maybe become pretty good. But, he's such a good hitter that I don't know if it would be smart to overload him by asking him to change positions anytime soon. Why not see if Alonzo would be willing to make the move? I know he is the big bonus baby who hob knobs with A-rod, but the Reds need to find value wherever it presents itself. By all accounts, Alonzo could be ready within two years if not less, which puts both of these great young hitters in the same lineup for multiple seasons if the club plays it right. In the minors, instructors will have the time and comfort level to work with a player on such a fundamentally important move than you would ideally want to see on the major league level.

Joey Votto is a very good first basemen. His range over there can be matched by maybe 3 or 4 other guys in baseball. He needs to work on digging the ball out of the dirt still, but his range more than makes up for that.

remdog
12-20-2008, 01:52 AM
WK is going to have to be pretty creative in the next 18 months....


WK?

Freudian slip? :)

Rem

RedsManRick
12-20-2008, 01:56 AM
WK?

Freudian slip? :)

Rem

Force of habit, I guess.

remdog
12-20-2008, 01:56 AM
Joey Votto is a very good first basemen. His range over there can be matched by maybe 3 or 4 other guys in baseball. He needs to work on digging the ball out of the dirt still, but his range more than makes up for that.

I agree. While Joey had a high number of errors charged last season I was impressed with his athletic ability and range. He's only played the position for a short time and, with his rep as a 'punisher' when it comes to his dedication for self-improvement, I think he has the potential to win a GG at first if he stays there long enough.

Rem

icehole3
12-20-2008, 08:27 AM
Here is Alonso using a wood bat, you may wanna turn your sound up a little to hear how the ball is coming off the bat

ZBVKnnmAArg

http://www.sternfannetwork.com/forum/images/smilies/Props/hathair.gif

RANDY IN INDY
12-20-2008, 10:29 AM
Sweet!

BoydsOfSummer
12-20-2008, 01:46 PM
That is the sound of a perfectly centered baseball. :D

Gotta love the air raid signal going off. :thumbup: