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View Full Version : Who will have the best overall season at AAA



TRF
03-04-2010, 11:55 AM
yep another poll.

And you have to explain your answer. This is one of the more talented AAA teams the Reds have had in a very long time. I used the word overall for a reason. You have to take defense into account.

Homer Bailey
03-04-2010, 11:59 AM
I posted before I read that you have to take defense into account, so I went with JF. If I could re-do I'd probably go with Frazier. I'm predicted a come-down season from Heisey.

TRF
03-04-2010, 12:00 PM
Oh, and my choice is... Chris Valaika. He always seems to do better when he repeats a level. He's got a .900+ OPS bat in him, plays defense solid enough to at least be considered at SS, although he's likely now a 2B for life. And he seems humbled by last year. I think he could explode at the plate to the tune of .290 .360 .450, with the SLG potentially higher than that. He can hit, and play plus defense at 2B. breakout/comeback year for Valaika.

bucksfan2
03-04-2010, 01:08 PM
Oh, and my choice is... Chris Valaika. He always seems to do better when he repeats a level. He's got a .900+ OPS bat in him, plays defense solid enough to at least be considered at SS, although he's likely now a 2B for life. And he seems humbled by last year. I think he could explode at the plate to the tune of .290 .360 .450, with the SLG potentially higher than that. He can hit, and play plus defense at 2B. breakout/comeback year for Valaika.

Sadly I don't think much of Valakia anymore. I think he is maxed out as a utility player and if Frazier plays 2b at AAA I don't see Valakia as anything more than a tradeable piece.

I think Frazier will have the best season. I think he forces himself onto the big league club by June.

TRF
03-04-2010, 01:14 PM
I doubt Frazier is at 2B for more than a handful of games. Valaika's 2009 season was marred by a dumb injury, broken hand. He's healthy now. I see no reason he won't OPS at least .830, maybe better.

bucksfan2
03-04-2010, 01:19 PM
I doubt Frazier is at 2B for more than a handful of games. Valaika's 2009 season was marred by a dumb injury, broken hand. He's healthy now. I see no reason he won't OPS at least .830, maybe better.

Maybe. I thought last season the Reds talked about Frazier at 2b, but I could be wrong. I think Frazier's bat will dictate that he deserves to be called up. Barring an early injury (see Rolen) I think Frazier will work primarily in LF. But I also think the Reds may look at moving Phillips in the near future. Not because he isn't a good ball player, but because I think Frazier can be as productive overall as Phillips and cheaper.

aubashbrother
03-04-2010, 01:40 PM
Alonso

TRF
03-04-2010, 01:44 PM
They mentioned him at 2B. and the reports weren't too good then. I doubt the Reds push it though if Valaika is healthy. No reason for Frazier to be learning 2B, when 3B and LF seem to be a clearer path to the Reds. As for the Drazier/BP comp, I'm not so sure. BP is near elite defensively. Frazier will never be that at 2B. Offensively? Frazier is likely better, so i see it as a wash. He would be cheaper though. But I'd rather the better defender play 2B, especially since LF or 3B seem to be available in 2011.

REDblooded
03-04-2010, 01:51 PM
Taking defense into account, the pretty easy choice is Heisey... Actually, taking defense into account, it's a no freaking brainer...

Scrap Irony
03-04-2010, 01:55 PM
Valaika is my pick as well. He's going to score a ton of runs and see a crapload of fastballs, simply because of who's behind him in the lineup. He's also got some power and a history of success. He's moving down the defensive spectrum and should play well at the keystone spot. There may soon be an opening at the major league level, so that should keep him working hard. He's had the poor year before, so he has experience at reinventing himself, so to speak, at the minor league level and the confidence that he can do it well.

Frazier will get called up and play the I-71 shuffle game with every regular injury, IMO, which will hinder his numbers. Same thing for Francisco (and Rolen's eventual DL trip(s)). Alonso and Cozart-- meh, I'm not convinced. Yonder may need some time to find his bat and he has to absolutely mash because he's a first baseman. Decent bats don't play at first. Cozart had his first good offensive season last year; show me more, young man. Dorn can't play RF well enough, though it wouldn't suprise me to see him OPS 900 at AAA.

TRF
03-04-2010, 02:07 PM
Valaika is my pick as well. He's going to score a ton of runs and see a crapload of fastballs, simply because of who's behind him in the lineup. He's also got some power and a history of success. He's moving down the defensive spectrum and should play well at the keystone spot. There may soon be an opening at the major league level, so that should keep him working hard. He's had the poor year before, so he has experience at reinventing himself, so to speak, at the minor league level and the confidence that he can do it well.

Frazier will get called up and play the I-71 shuffle game with every regular injury, IMO, which will hinder his numbers. Same thing for Francisco (and Rolen's eventual DL trip(s)). Alonso and Cozart-- meh, I'm not convinced. Yonder may need some time to find his bat and he has to absolutely mash because he's a first baseman. Decent bats don't play at first. Cozart had his first good offensive season last year; show me more, young man. Dorn can't play RF well enough, though it wouldn't suprise me to see him OPS 900 at AAA.

Scrap, then vote for Valaika, he's getting no love in the poll :)

dougdirt
03-04-2010, 02:40 PM
Alonso. He will hit better than everyone else and only Frazier will be close enough to put up a fight.

Mario-Rijo
03-04-2010, 02:51 PM
Taking defense into account, the pretty easy choice is Heisey... Actually, taking defense into account, it's a no freaking brainer...

Not to mention base running, I am gonna agree on Heisey.

mace
03-04-2010, 03:40 PM
I'll go with Heisey because I sense he might be just beginning to figure out how good he can be. And because Frazier might disqualify himself by spending too much time in Cincinnati. And because Francisco's defense might hold him back just a bit (in spite of the Gold Glove he won in the Dominican Winter League). And because I'm still in the show-me state with Alonso.

Kc61
03-04-2010, 04:04 PM
Francisco had 99 plate appearances at AAA last year and was a dominant hitter. He had a .982 OPS, 5 homers and 19 RBIs in that short stint. He then moved up to Cincy, did well, and won the Dominican League MVP.

I can see folks questioning JF's ability to master major league pitching. At AAA, though, I expect further dominant hitting.

Also think his fielding will improve such that he easily should win this poll.

membengal
03-04-2010, 04:57 PM
I went with Alonso. I think the bounceback from the broken hand is already underway, and that he is as was always advertised, a ridiculously good hitter. He will be a hot prospect by June 1. And a great trade chip if need be right thereafter.

dougdirt
03-04-2010, 05:11 PM
Francisco had 99 plate appearances at AAA last year and was a dominant hitter. He had a .982 OPS, 5 homers and 19 RBIs in that short stint. He then moved up to Cincy, did well, and won the Dominican League MVP.

I can see folks questioning JF's ability to master major league pitching. At AAA, though, I expect further dominant hitting.

Also think his fielding will improve such that he easily should win this poll.

Do you believe AAA was easier than AA? Francisco had an .818 OPS in AA. He got lucky in AAA and posted a BABIP of .450 over a small sample size. I would expect more of the same this season, somewhere between an .800 and .850 OPS, mostly built on slugging percentage.

I do think his error rate will improve slightly, as Carolina is notorious for its infield. Still, if he is over .925 I would be a little surprised.

Kc61
03-04-2010, 05:51 PM
Do you believe AAA was easier than AA? Francisco had an .818 OPS in AA. He got lucky in AAA and posted a BABIP of .450 over a small sample size. I would expect more of the same this season, somewhere between an .800 and .850 OPS, mostly built on slugging percentage.
.

I don't think AAA is easier than AA. But you are ignoring JF's progression. There was no stark difference between his late Carolina performance and his Louisville performance - he dominated both.

He broke into AA last year as a very young player for that level. He OPS'd .685 and .726 in April and May, respectively.

Once he was comfortable at the level, he OPS'd .899, .804, and 1.148 at AA in his last three months there.

He then went on to AAA and OPS'd .982.

His BABIP will always be high because JF hits the ball so hard that a disproportionate number of balls hit in play will go for base hits. Not merely luck IMO.

Having said that, I don't expect him to OPS .982. There will be slumps, and injuries, and tough pitching matchups and all the reasons a players' numbers level off over a long season. And JF's OPS sometimes suffers because his OBP is relatively low.

But JF comes into the season better equipped to dominate at that level than any other Reds' hitter. He's had the experience at AAA and already succeeded. This includes Alonso and Frazier - who I expect will also do well BTW, particularly given the terrific lineup the team will have.

TRF
03-04-2010, 06:09 PM
But JF comes into the season better equipped to dominate at that level than any other Reds' hitter. He's had the experience at AAA and already succeeded. This includes Alonso and Frazier - who I expect will also do well BTW, particularly given the terrific lineup the team will have.

I disagree. Though I picked Valaika to have the best overall season, I can see Dorn outhitting Francisco. Dorn's power is legit. He may never figure out LH's, but vs RH's in the Reds minor league system has there been a better hitter over the last 4 years?

Kc61
03-04-2010, 06:22 PM
I disagree. Though I picked Valaika to have the best overall season, I can see Dorn outhitting Francisco. Dorn's power is legit. He may never figure out LH's, but vs RH's in the Reds minor league system has there been a better hitter over the last 4 years?

Good point, Dorn must be a mature hitter by now with AAA experience. He too could have a great year at AAA. Really, the AAA team is well stocked.

I just think JF's big challenge this season is improving defensively. I think he will belt the ball in Louisville.

11larkin11
03-04-2010, 06:23 PM
I disagree. Though I picked Valaika to have the best overall season, I can see Dorn outhitting Francisco. Dorn's power is legit. He may never figure out LH's, but vs RH's in the Reds minor league system has there been a better hitter over the last 4 years?

Jay Bruce?

dougdirt
03-04-2010, 06:30 PM
His BABIP will always be high because JF hits the ball so hard that a disproportionate number of balls hit in play will go for base hits. Not merely luck IMO.
Francisco had a BABIP in AA last year of .312. In AAA it was .444 and .612 in the majors. You are trying to convince me that Francisco was hitting the ball that much harder in AAA and the majors than he did in the Southern League instead of just random small sample size luck? Come on.

TRF
03-04-2010, 06:37 PM
Jay Bruce?

Jay Bruce career vs RH's in the minors .950 OPS
Danny Dorn career vs RH's in the minor leagues .948 OPS

I'd call that a wash.

Of course, in the minors, Bruce could hit LH's too...

Looking deeper, Bruce's BABIP vs LH's .383 while Dorn's is .256. Normalize both and Dorn certainly looks a little better. Of course his babip could be low because he hits weakly against southpaws.

Kc61
03-04-2010, 06:38 PM
Francisco had a BABIP in AA last year of .312. In AAA it was .444 and .612 in the majors. You are trying to convince me that Francisco was hitting the ball that much harder in AAA and the majors than he did in the Southern League instead of just random small sample size luck? Come on.


Again, you can't look at JF's overall AA numbers because of the huge disparity between his break-in period, April/May, and his later period when he did much better. So the .312 is an overall average including his early period and I don't think it means much.

I don't know exactly how hard he hit the ball and when. I do know, generally, that JF is likely to have high BABIP numbers because he hits the ball very hard. So his "batting average on balls in play" may be higher than the average player. That's all.

dougdirt
03-04-2010, 06:55 PM
Again, you can't look at JF's overall AA numbers because of the huge disparity between his break-in period, April/May, and his later period when he did much better. So the .312 is an overall average including his early period and I don't think it means much.

I don't know exactly how hard he hit the ball and when. I do know, generally, that JF is likely to have high BABIP numbers because he hits the ball very hard. So his "batting average on balls in play" may be higher than the average player. That's all.

Francisco hits strikes hard. He doens't hit bad pitches hard all that often. Its going to even out his BABIP. Its why he has never posted a BABIP over .340 in the minors for a full season. The good comes with the bad. His BABIP for June + July was .300. His BABIP from that point forward in the season was over .450, something that no one has ever in the history of baseball come close to posting in a season. Given over 500 at bats in a season, .400 BABIP has been cracked just 5 times since 1960. Rod Carew had a .411 BABIP in 1977 as the highest BABIP going back to 1960 with at least 500 PA.

Point being, Francisco isn't going to be that guy, has never been that guy in the past over a full year and won't be moving forward. He is a .300-.320 BABIP guy just like he always has been in the minor leagues. Unless he can change the amount of crap he swings at, regardless of how hard he can actually hit strikes, his BABIP isn't going to break the norm by much because he just swings at too much junk that he can't do much with.

RED VAN HOT
03-04-2010, 08:31 PM
My ratings in order of likelihood of having best season.

1. Heisey. Consistent hitter, good strike zone discipline, improving power stats, above average defender, excellent base stealing skills
2. Frazier. Consistent hitter, good strike zone discipline, good power potential, excellent arm, not as much speed as Heisey
3. Alonso. Great strike zone discipline, best pure hitter, success will be defined in terms of power and that may be difficult to achieve coming off injury.
4. Cozart. Good strike zone discipline, improving as a hitter, and showing some pop, good defense at a premium position. An OPS over 800 would likely give him the best year.
5. Valaika. K/BB is >3. This might have caught up to him at AAA. He does have above average power for a middle infielder. Average defender at best. I think he will bounce back, but others will have a better year. To have the best year, he needs to OPS 850 and defend better at 2B than he has at SS.
6. Francisco. Clearly the most power. Did he make a change that caused him to take off at mid season in AA? Strong arm but below average fielder. Needs to hit 30+ HRs, get K/BB under 3, and make gigantic strides defensively to have the best year.
7. Dorn. Very good hitter. He always seems to get off to a slow start, but has good power and good contact. From reports on RZ, average defender at best. As a left fielder, needs to hit a ton and show ability to hit left handers.

mth123
03-04-2010, 10:46 PM
1. Alonso
2. Dorn
3. Francisco
4. Heisey
5. Frazier
6. Cozart
7. Valaika
8. Janish

camisadelgolf
03-05-2010, 01:39 PM
Why wasn't Corky Miller listed as an option?

TRF
03-05-2010, 02:01 PM
Why wasn't Corky Miller listed as an option?

funny, but the above seven are legit prospects, all 26 or younger.

lollipopcurve
03-05-2010, 02:01 PM
Why wasn't Corky Miller listed as an option?

That's the bus I'm on.

klw
03-05-2010, 02:47 PM
I went with Francisco. Heisey and Frazier I thought were more likely to spend time with the big league club making their AAA season less impressive. Alonso will likely not be fully recovered in the power department during the first half which will be seen as a bit of a disappointment. (It seems like power returns after the year mark with Hamate bone injuries- or at least that is what Big Papi said with his, seems true with WMP too). Francisco could force his way onto the MLB team but I see him as spending the majority of the AAA season there barring an injury. I think he will out perform the other 3.

OGB
03-05-2010, 03:23 PM
Taking defense into account, I'd change mine to Frazier, but I also see Valaika having a bounce back year offensively.

I picked Alonso because I've convinced myself he's going to be a 300/400/550 hitter in the bigs by early 2011. I wouldn't mind seeing Votto moved to LF this year if Alonso proves he's ready, but I don't necessarily see Yonder getting the everyday spot at 1B this year unless there is an injury that gets him there. The more I think about it, the less I see Jocketty/Baker asking Votto to switch positions mid season, particularly if he's hitting .320 plus this year, which I think he might

TRF
03-05-2010, 03:57 PM
If Alonso, Frazier, Francisco and Heisey all live up to the poll results, AND Valaika ends up the top player, that Louisville team will be a sight to see. :)