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View Full Version : Could the Reds' prospects have gotten off to a worst start?



Blitz Dorsey
05-03-2009, 11:07 AM
While perusing the early numbers of our top hitting prospects (Alonso, Valaika, Frazier, Stubbs, Francisco, Soto, Mesoraco, etc.)... all of them are off to bad starts. Well, at least Alonso has four early HRs in a league known for pitching, but the other guys are really struggling. Frazier has a good BA, but has ZERO HRs so far. Not what we want out of a guy that could be our starting 3B in the near future. Valaika must be the streakiest hitter in the minors. He's either great or he stinks, no in between. Stubbs is back to the old Drew Stubbs and I fear the signs of life he showed last year was just a fluke. His overall minor league numbers are awful. Francisco is at least hitting with some power. Soto is outmatched right now in Sarasota in that pitchers' league. Mesoraco was just a flat-out bust. That kid will never be a starting big-league catcher.

Plenty of time for most of these guys to turn it around this season. I'm just saying I'm disappointed by the extremely slow start of all of our major hitting prospects.

Kc61
05-03-2009, 11:32 AM
Most or all of these guys have stepped up in league. Some are young for their league. Patience.

Francisco, Soto, and Mesoraco are the youngest players on their respective teams, Francisco is 21 at AA; Soto and Mesoraco are 20 at High A. By age, these guys are multiple levels above where they might be-and are new to these advanced leagues.

Valaika has struggled breaking into a new level before, but he generally gets there. Alonso is breaking into minor league ball, having hardly played after signing late last year.

Stubbs' bat has always been behind his glove, but again, AAA is an advanced league and he deserves more than late 2008 to become steadier at the level.

Everyone is not Jay Bruce and Johnny Cueto. As Homer Bailey seems to be showing, young guys will get there but need time to mature as players.

Tony Cloninger
05-03-2009, 11:54 AM
I agree with the patience aspect......but i think good fast starts would hasten the total rebuilding of the parent club.

Blitz Dorsey
05-03-2009, 12:22 PM
I guess Stubbs isn't doing quite as bad as I thought... he is batting .250 so far.

A guy like Soto I'm not worried about. Just the fact that he's playing high A ball at the age of 20 tells me a lot (and he hit the cover off the ball last year). I would just like to see these guys step it up. They are our best prospects... time to start hitting like it.

dougdirt
05-03-2009, 01:53 PM
Don't be worried about Stubbs. He was dealing with a thumb issue, then sat for 5 games to rest it. Since coming back he is hitting .393/.433/.500 with 2 walks and 4 strikeouts in 33 plate appearances.

With Alonso, its pretty simple. He is unlucky with his BABIP. We have a guy with 5 HR (hit one today), 10.6% walk rate, 14.9% walk rate and an 18% line drive rate who is hitting .241. The key to that is his .234 BABIP. If we just correct his BABIP to a normal .300, the guy would be hitting .301/.368/.542 if he only picked up singles in his gained hits.

As for Mesoraco, we have a guy with a .200 BABIP, showing much better patience than he ever has before with a 14% walk rate, but a high 27% strikeout rate. He does have a 20% line drive rate though. When his BABIP normalizes, he will be doing quite a bit better. His 100 points of BABIP would turn his season around some, but he does need to cut down on the strikeouts some. Still, he is a catcher.... the amount of catchers who can't hit for the first few years as pro's and then find it at 23 or 24 is decently long.

The only guy I am really worried about is Francisco. He still has nothing resembling an approach at the plate other than swing hard and swing often. He may be young, but he hasn't shown any improvements to his plate approach in 3 years now.

camisadelgolf
05-03-2009, 02:01 PM
I think Soto needs to struggle right now. He needs to learn that his approach at the plate needs to change because swinging at everything isn't going to cut it. He has yet to take a walk through 22 games. For comparison's sake, Justin Reed has 16 walks through 21 games. Even Juan Francisco has walked 3 times this year.

Orenda
05-03-2009, 04:28 PM
I think Soto needs to struggle right now. He needs to learn that his approach at the plate needs to change because swinging at everything isn't going to cut it. He has yet to take a walk through 22 games. For comparison's sake, Justin Reed has 16 walks through 21 games. Even Juan Francisco has walked 3 times this year.

Definitely, the longer he goes without changing his approach the harder it will be for him to make the transition.

OnBaseMachine
05-03-2009, 04:55 PM
I'm a huge Neftali Soto fan, but I've been very disappointed in his plate discipline so far. He's got great power and solid contact skills but his plate discipline needs to improve a lot. Thankfully he's still very young and has plenty of time to figure things out.

gedred69
05-03-2009, 05:13 PM
Don't be worried about Stubbs. He was dealing with a thumb issue, then sat for 5 games to rest it. Since coming back he is hitting .393/.433/.500 with 2 walks and 4 strikeouts in 33 plate appearances.

With Alonso, its pretty simple. He is unlucky with his BABIP. We have a guy with 5 HR (hit one today), 10.6% walk rate, 14.9% walk rate and an 18% line drive rate who is hitting .241. The key to that is his .234 BABIP. If we just correct his BABIP to a normal .300, the guy would be hitting .301/.368/.542 if he only picked up singles in his gained hits.

As for Mesoraco, we have a guy with a .200 BABIP, showing much better patience than he ever has before with a 14% walk rate, but a high 27% strikeout rate. He does have a 20% line drive rate though. When his BABIP normalizes, he will be doing quite a bit better. His 100 points of BABIP would turn his season around some, but he does need to cut down on the strikeouts some. Still, he is a catcher.... the amount of catchers who can't hit for the first few years as pro's and then find it at 23 or 24 is decently long.

The only guy I am really worried about is Francisco. He still has nothing resembling an approach at the plate other than swing hard and swing often. He may be young, but he hasn't shown any improvements to his plate approach in 3 years now.

I hope you're correct on Stubbs, but I got doubts. I agree totally on Francisco. I fear another Wily Mo. Hopefully the Reds take their time with him. Question for you Doug, since we both agreed last year, what's up with Dorn? Slow to get started?

Kc61
05-03-2009, 05:16 PM
Definitely, the longer he goes without changing his approach the harder it will be for him to make the transition.


I guess I look at it differently. Soto and Francisco are developing players with enormous offensive potential. Francisco has great power and tends to knock in runs. Soto is an extremely fine hitter with emerging power for a 20 year old.

Yes, they have a weakness. But they have a long, long way to go in minor league and major league development. These flaws can be worked on as the players mature.

I would much prefer players like Soto and Francisco, potential stars with great offensive tools, then a guy who looks like he can easily play in the majors but lacks any special ability.

Let's look at Soto and Francisco when they are 24 at AAA and see what they have. Meantime, they are developing players and all the doom and gloom about their walks puts too much emphasis on one area of weakness.

mbgrayson
05-03-2009, 07:57 PM
Also, keep that old 'small sample size' issue in mind.

Drew Stubbs went 3 for 4 today and his average is now .286. Sill, no HRs yet, and we would like to see some power there....

camisadelgolf
05-03-2009, 08:46 PM
Over his last 6 games, Stubbs is 10 for 22 with 4 doubles and 4 stolen bases.

fearofpopvol1
05-03-2009, 10:16 PM
I think the Reds should try to sell high on Francisco possibly Soto too, especially if it can help us land players we need in the immediate future.

I wonder if the Reds let Stubbs play the rest of this year in Louisville and then try to move Willy T. in the offseason or even at some point next year and have Drew replace him.

remdog
05-03-2009, 11:05 PM
I could see the Reds trying to move Stubbs into the mix late this year a la Dickerson, assuming he has a decent season at L'ville.

Even if they don't do that I think that any kind of solid ST in '10 brings Drew to the 25 man roster. What they do with Willy at that point is subject to a lot of factors that are yet to be determined.

Rem

Kingspoint
05-04-2009, 03:29 PM
You can't put Alonso among the names of those off to a bad start, at least no longer (he did have a really bad start his first week or so). His last 13 games, he's been great....20 RBI's during that time and an OPS of over 1.100

He leads the Florida State League in RBI's with 25. Second has 21. He's also the co-leader in HR's with 5.

No other Sarasota player has double-digit RBI's. Alonso's carrying the team Offensively.

Justin Reed has 17 Runs scored on 20 hits and 6 walks. If Justin Reed gets on base, there's a pretty good chance that Alonso's going to drive him home.

RED VAN HOT
05-06-2009, 02:02 PM
Don't be worried about Stubbs. He was dealing with a thumb issue, then sat for 5 games to rest it. Since coming back he is hitting .393/.433/.500 with 2 walks and 4 strikeouts in 33 plate appearances.

With Alonso, its pretty simple. He is unlucky with his BABIP. We have a guy with 5 HR (hit one today), 10.6% walk rate, 14.9% walk rate and an 18% line drive rate who is hitting .241. The key to that is his .234 BABIP. If we just correct his BABIP to a normal .300, the guy would be hitting .301/.368/.542 if he only picked up singles in his gained hits.

As for Mesoraco, we have a guy with a .200 BABIP, showing much better patience than he ever has before with a 14% walk rate, but a high 27% strikeout rate. He does have a 20% line drive rate though. When his BABIP normalizes, he will be doing quite a bit better. His 100 points of BABIP would turn his season around some, but he does need to cut down on the strikeouts some. Still, he is a catcher.... the amount of catchers who can't hit for the first few years as pro's and then find it at 23 or 24 is decently long.

The only guy I am really worried about is Francisco. He still has nothing resembling an approach at the plate other than swing hard and swing often. He may be young, but he hasn't shown any improvements to his plate approach in 3 years now.

Doug,
Has there been defensive improvement for Mesoraco? IIRC, he needed to improve his mechanics.