View Full Version : Friday’s Dish: Stubbs Is Figuring It Out (plus Stubbs and Fairel make BA Hot Sheet)
05-15-2009, 02:46 PM
No. 12 DREW STUBBS, CF, REDS
Team: Triple-A Louisville (International)
Why He's Here: .423/.516/.692 (11-for-26), 7 2Bs, 2 RBIs, 5 BB, 8 SO, 3-for-3SB
The Scoop: Facing Wade Davis and the Rays on Wednesday night, Stubbs gave a perfect summation of his strengths and weaknesses. He struck out on three straight fastballs his first time up, then struck out on a Davis curveball in the fifth. But facing a potential 0-for-4 night, Stubbs managed to fist a bloop hit into short right field. Then by flying out of the box, he turned what looked like a single into a double, giving him a streak of seven straight games with a double. Stubbs may not be hitting the homers that were expected out of him, but he's getting on-base (.400 OBP) and his 13 doubles lead the IL, which suggests that eventually the home runs may come.
MATT FAIREL, LHP, REDS
Team: low Class A Dayton (Midwest)
Why He's Here: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 13 SO
The Scoop: As a draft-eligible sophomore, Fairel didn't get drafted until the 35th round last year, but that was more because of concerns about signability than anything else. He ended up signing for $250,000 and may prove to be the second-best pitching prospect in the Reds' '08 draft class.
For a lefty who normally sits between 86-89 mph, topping out at 90, Fairel sure performs like a power pitcher. He struck out 13 West Michigan batters on Wednesday night, one off the Dayton team record. It wasn't a fluke, as Fairel now has recorded 10 or more strikeouts in three of his past five starts and now leads the MWL with 49. His breaking ball is a plus pitch, which has proven to be too much for the inexperienced hitters he faces in low Class A.
Adam Dunn and Drew Stubbs seem like a set of brothers. One is the big hoss with power and the other is the one that figured out he was faster than his brother so when they got into fights it just turned into him running away.
Then they started playing baseball and it translated over to the field heh.
05-15-2009, 04:55 PM
Fridayís Dish: Stubbs Is Figuring It Out
Posted May. 15, 2009 2:41 pm by J.J. Cooper
Filed under: Daily Dish
With less than a week to go in April, Drew Stubbs (Reds) was hitting .176/.300/.206 with a solitary extra base-hit, no stolen bases and two caught stealing attempts. Hello rock bottom.
But less than a month later, Stubbs is leading the International League in doubles (13), is third in the league in stolen bases (11) and is hitting well over .300. So whatís changed? Nothing dramatic, itís just the continued maturation and tweaking that comes with the first full season in Triple-A.
"He was not using his lower half Ö We made a little adjustment. He was getting too forward, so we straightend him up and got him more balanced. He was popping up a lot of balls. He had a little loop in his swing," Louisville hitting coach Smokey Garrett said. "Now heís getting behind the ball and driving it."
Itís been a loud turnaround. Since April 26, Stubbs is hitting .397 with 12 doubles and 11 in 12 attempts. He had a seven-game doubles streak snapped last night, but heís seen his overall average climb to .320/.400/.454.
Wednesday night against Wade Davis and the Durham Bulls, Stubbs showed the good and bad of his game. In his first at-bat against Davis, he was struck out on three straight fastballs. The second time up, he looked nearly as helpless on a four-pitch at-bat that ended in an infield pop-up. And he was fanned a second time by Davis when he fell behind 0-2 on a curveball and changeup, then was struck out two pitches later on another curveball.
He headed into the sixth 0-for-3 with two rather helpless looking strikeouts. But once Davis left the game, Stubbs was able to inside-out a pitch from reliever Joe Bateman for a bloop hit to right field. For most hitters it would have been a no-doubt single, but Stubbs was out of the box quickly, got down the line to first in 4.2 seconds, cut the corner on the bag at first base and slid into second with a double.
It was a sign of why the Reds drafted Stubbs in the first round coming out of Texas in 2004. He has the speed to steal bases and cover acres of ground in center field. At 6-foot-4, he has the size to become a power hitter.
Thereís always just been one big if. One that has followed him since the day he stepped onto the campus at Texas as a college freshman. As one scouting director put it to BA in a pre-draft feature in 2006:
"Some of my guys love him, but I donít think he can hit," one scouting director says. "On 29 of the 30 teams, I bet heís compared to Rocco Baldelli, because thereís no one else like that. All the other four tools are fine or better if you give him usable power."
Three years later, that question still follows Stubbs around, but the reality is that his bat has made some major strides since then. Heís still an exceptional center fielder with a plus arm who is a threat on the base paths. But whatís surprising is heís ended up being a better hitter although with less power, than was expected.
He struck out in 25 percent of his plate appearances in the Pioneer League, but heís managed to reduce that at every step up the ladderĖheís striking out in 21.8 percent of his plate apperances this season. His walk rate has remained nearly the sameĖhe walked in 12.9 percent of his plate appearances in rookie ball, and heís walking 11.8 percent of his plate appearances now.
"My approach is improved," Stubbs said. "Iím a lot more selective at the plate."
But according to Stubbs, the cut in his strikeouts is not because of significant changes to his swing. Garrett said itís a little shorter than it was a couple of years ago, but there havenít been any massive changes. While he choked up for a week or two in Dayton in 2007, which helped him go on a tear, he says that was just a short-term approach to help him get back untrackedĖhe quickly went back to putting his hands near the nob of the bat.
He has hit less home runs as heís moved from Class A to Triple-A. He hit seven last year and has hit none this year, but his overall isolated power numbers havenít changed that muchĖhe had a .148 isolated power in Billings, which isnít much different than his .134 isolated power this season. He still hits plenty of doubles, and according to Garrett, the home runs will eventually show back up.
"Heís doing it," Garrett said. "Iím not worried about the power. That will come. Heís got leverage."
With his newfound selectiveness (and a .400 on-base percentage), Stubbs is closer to being a fit as a leadoff hitter than he appeared to be coming out of college. Whether heíll end up hitting for the power that brought on Mike Cameron comps is still to be determined.
05-15-2009, 05:10 PM
his 13 doubles lead the IL, which suggests that eventually the home runs may come.
if he gets more distance on his bloops, won't they go right to an OFer, not over the wall?
05-15-2009, 05:27 PM
It seems like he may be smart enough to realize that he will probably make more money in the game with his speed and D tools by focusing on OBP and becoming a top of the order CFer with a little pop. Sounds like a model leadoff guy to me.
05-15-2009, 05:47 PM
From the Chat:
Jesse (Detroit): Most pleasantly surprising prospect of the year so far?
Ben Badler: Either Cubs 2B Tony Thomas or Reds CF Chris Heisey. I wouldn't be surprised if Heisey turned out better than Drew Stubbs.
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