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Will M
01-15-2011, 12:39 PM
I think we often forget that small samples are small samples, regardless of who they are from. 200 PA of a guy getting his first chance to play everyday are no more indicative of his ability than a random period of 200 PA from a guy who is already an everyday player. And over samples of that size, any range of performance can be expected. A true-talent .300/.400/.500 guy could hit .200/.270/.340 or a true-talent .250/.310/.350 guy could hit .320/.360/.500. And chopping up that small sample to try to account for a stretch where he was "hot" or "cold" or playing regularly vs. pinch hitting really doesn't help. That all said, if Heisey continued to hit .254/.324/.433, his defense would make him more valuable than either Gomes or Lewis.

Its really not fair to judge a guy after a partial season, at least in terms of citing his statistics. There very well could be some scouting information which suggests he really is over-matched, has flaws, etc. I guess for me it's that he does have more upside than the other two guys which makes me want to give him plenty of opportunity.

It seems that a lot of ORG members (myself included) aren't sure what to expect of Heisey going forward. I was thinking that maybe the Reds themselves don't quite know what to expect of him. His floor could be a 5th outfielder & his ceiling could be an 800 OPS bat with 20 SBs who plays good defense. The Reds may be hedging in 2011 by not only getting Gomes & Lewis but also by taking a flyer on Hermida. If Heisey is really a 5th outfielder then Gomes/Lewis can be a respectable platoon in left. If Heisey plays well enough to win the everyday job in left then both Gomes & Lewis are valuable bench bats.

lollipopcurve
01-15-2011, 12:44 PM
I think Heisey has every bit the raw power as Brandon or even Stubbs.

Disagree. Stubbs has better raw power.

I was a big Heisey supporter, starting when he was down in high A. I felt he might be the team's leadoff hitter of the future, surpassing Stubbs eventually. But after watching him last year, I could see he's got some limitations. Small sample, but he hit .169 vs. lefties. If that's indicative of a true shortcoming, his value as a platoon guy takes a huge hit. It's possible his value lies purely as a 5th OF who can play all spots, pinch hit and pinch run. It's also possible that you throw out his numbers from last year and give him the 500 ABs that Gomes got, based on the notion that his good defense, speed and flashes of power justify giving him the regular ABs any hitter needs to show what he's truly capable of. Tough to reconcile these two points of view in the abstract. You need some good scouting to forecast him.

Late in the year, he was getting overmatched by breaking stuff/offspeed stuff. He may have been dinged up a little, like with an oblique injury, because his swing looked really awkward. The way I see it, he's not really a "hands hitter" who can use all fields. This means that his timing has to be finely tuned -- he'll struggle making adjustments with his hands when he's fooled -- and when it's not finely tuned he could slump badly. Whatever the reason, he looked pretty bad down the stretch.

If I had to make the call, I'd go with the kind of platoon Jocketty has constructed over giving Heisey the everyday job, especially given the team's status as a true contender. His numbers against lefties are too suspect to put him in the platoon ahead of Gomes. I like him as a 5th OF, but it's tough to know whether he or Hermida is the best guy for that job. It's the kind of decision that should come down to what happens during spring training.

jojo
01-15-2011, 12:58 PM
Having a league average player in a starting role absolutely does not prevent a team from being a very good or even great team. The first objective is to be average at every position with the ultimate goals to be as above average as possible at as many positions as possible.

Homer Bailey
01-15-2011, 01:10 PM
Having a league average player in a starting role absolutely does not prevent a team from being a very good or even great team. The first objective is to be average at every position with the ultimate goals to be as above average as possible at as many positions as possible.

To me, this defines the 2010 Cincinnati Reds. They weren't that much different from teams they put on the field in the few years prior, just little to no black holes.

RedsManRick
01-15-2011, 04:26 PM
If I had to make the call, I'd go with the kind of platoon Jocketty has constructed over giving Heisey the everyday job, especially given the team's status as a true contender. His numbers against lefties are too suspect to put him in the platoon ahead of Gomes. I like him as a 5th OF, but it's tough to know whether he or Hermida is the best guy for that job. It's the kind of decision that should come down to what happens during spring training.

Heisey has 100 PA against lefties in the majors. You simply cannot infer a player's ability to hit against lefties based on 100 PA. Those 100 PA tell us very little.

I'm not suggesting there isn't an argument to be made for Gomes vL over Heisey, but Heisey's numbers are from such a small sample as to provide very little, if any, predictive value.

lollipopcurve
01-15-2011, 06:20 PM
Heisey has 100 PA against lefties in the majors. You simply cannot infer a player's ability to hit against lefties based on 100 PA. Those 100 PA tell us very little.

I'm not suggesting there isn't an argument to be made for Gomes vL over Heisey, but Heisey's numbers are from such a small sample as to provide very little, if any, predictive value.

Fair enough -- but keep in mind that when you platoon, you want someone whose splits show he can thrive, not just survive. Heisey's got a long way to go to turn those 100 PAs of poor performance into something resembling plus performance. If his minor league numbers vs. lefties do not show that he can produce nicely against them, it would lend credence to the idea that his 2010 performance was meaningful. We know that Gomes eats lefties for lunch, so bird in hand for me right now.

edabbs44
01-15-2011, 06:24 PM
Fair enough -- but keep in mind that when you platoon, you want someone whose splits show he can thrive, not just survive. Heisey's got a long way to go to turn those 100 PAs of poor performance into something resembling plus performance. If his minor league numbers vs. lefties do not show that he can produce nicely against them, it would lend credence to the idea that his 2010 performance was meaningful. We know that Gomes eats lefties for lunch, so bird in hand for me right now.

For me, I think it is fair to see a Lewis/Gomes platoon to start this season. If Heisey wants to get time, he can give Bruce a break vs a tough LHP, Stubbs a break every now and again and maybe Lewis vs RHPs, when he needs a blow.

He can also be a late inning double switch guy for the LFers. He'll get enough time.

Show some improvement in those situations and make a statement and he has the edge going into 2012.

mth123
01-15-2011, 06:53 PM
Not sure what to think of this. I'm from the school that wants power in the corners simply because its hard to find guys who are good enough defenders up the middle with power too. If you stock the corners with no power types, it hamstrings the team.

That said, Stubbs and Phillips provide some decent power up the middle and hopefully the Reds will get some power from Mesoraco behind the plate at some point. I saw enough of Gomes last year to realize that his power is a nice bottom of the order threat, but not enough to really fill the middle of the order role I'm thinking of when calling for a bopper in LF. It seems to me that the Reds have two primary needs on offense: 1) a top of the order consistent tablesetter and 2) a middle of the line-up stud to go with Votto and Bruce. I think Gomes has shown he doesn't really qualify as either of those guys, so I'd probably lean toward filling my top of the order need from the LF spot.

I'd probably start out with a Lewis/Heisey platoon in LF (Heisey's splits in the minors showed him to be much better against LHP in spite of his poor limited sample size performance in 2010) leading off and if Heisey crashes and burns by Memorial Day, might think about giving Sappelt a look as the RH half.

I'd probably rather ship Gomes off at this point and use that roster spot for a lefty bat that can spell Rolen 45 to 50 times in 2011. Keeping Rolen fresh is probably more likely to fill the middle of the order need than keeping Gomes around. I'd go with 4 OF and give that spot to the lefty hitting IF with pop who can play 3b who either is acquired in spring or is simply Juan Francisco. Gomes pop is simply not adding much when the team already has other complementary power types like Phillips, Stubbs and Rolen already on board to provide similar middling RH Power.

Scrap Irony
01-15-2011, 07:08 PM
If Gomes hits only against LH, he's the big bopper you need/ crave. So, too, is Phillips.

Against RH, Lewis becomes the leadoff hitter the team needs. Votto and Bruce are your big boppers.

While not perfect by any means, the platoon has enough good stuff to work. It's not likely going to be as bad as it was last season (where it really wasn't that bad). SS, too, looks to be improved, as Janish is a year older and wiser and Renteria should have a better bat than Cabrera (I think).

mth123
01-15-2011, 07:42 PM
If Gomes hits only against LH, he's the big bopper you need/ crave. So, too, is Phillips.

Against RH, Lewis becomes the leadoff hitter the team needs. Votto and Bruce are your big boppers.

While not perfect by any means, the platoon has enough good stuff to work. It's not likely going to be as bad as it was last season (where it really wasn't that bad). SS, too, looks to be improved, as Janish is a year older and wiser and Renteria should have a better bat than Cabrera (I think).

I get that, and it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, but if the choice is between Heisey and Gomes, Heisey provides somethng the team doesn't have much of. RH bat capable of leading off and playing good defense in the OF. Gomes on the other hand provides one thing - a power bat against LHP. That is a skill that the Reds would seem to have in abundance with Philips, Stubbs, Rolen even Votto and Bruce, maybe Heisey and at some point in 2011 possibly Mesoraco and Frazier.

lollipopcurve
01-15-2011, 08:07 PM
(Heisey's splits in the minors showed him to be much better against LHP in spite of his poor limited sample size performance in 2010)

Interesting. What are the numbers, and where are they available?

RedsManRick
01-15-2011, 08:29 PM
Fair enough -- but keep in mind that when you platoon, you want someone whose splits show he can thrive, not just survive. Heisey's got a long way to go to turn those 100 PAs of poor performance into something resembling plus performance. If his minor league numbers vs. lefties do not show that he can produce nicely against them, it would lend credence to the idea that his 2010 performance was meaningful. We know that Gomes eats lefties for lunch, so bird in hand for me right now.

I'm not aware of his minor league splits and those would certainly add to the argument. I don't suppose you have them handy. That said, the thing with 100 PA is that they can pretty easily be changed. A .750 OPS guy could just as easily OPS .950 in his next 100 PA after going .550 in the first 100. It's not that hard to find a stretch like that.

Heck, just ask the aforementioned Jonny Gomes. In May he had a 1.056 OPS in 100 PA. In July he put up a .674 in 104. Those kind of "streaks" aren't rare.

However, I am curious how much you think Hesiey would need to hit for his massive defensive advantage to make up the difference. Gomes has a .878 career OPS vL. What would Heisey need to hit? For reference, 200 points of OPS over 200 plate appearances is worth about 10 runs.

mth123
01-15-2011, 09:02 PM
Interesting. What are the numbers, and where are they available?

Minor league splits isn't on-line anymore, but looking through some old files, I found these from Heisey's big 2009 season in the minors,

VS RHP .304/.364/.510/.874
VS LHP .362/.454/.567/1.021

Will M
01-15-2011, 09:15 PM
IMO the Reds have a bit of a problem. If both Gomes & Heisey are on the team then we only have three left handed bats (Votto, Bruce & Lewis). When we face a right handed starter the team has no left handed bat on the bench to pinch hit in a key situation. This problem could be fixed & Heisey is key. As mth123 pointed out if Gomes was shipped off the team could add another left handed bat in his place.

In an ideal world...
Heisey has a good spring. the team feels confident in him & trades Gomes.
Heisey then rewards that confidence by playing well. Lewis/Heisey is the leadoff hitter the team has wanted for a while. This frees up a roster spot for a left handed bat. Francisco makes the team & gets 50 starts at 3B when Rolen rests & pinch hits in other games. (Hermida is another possibility as the left handed bench bat). Since Heisey can play all three outfield positions & Cairo can be an emergency left fielder the team could go with four outfielders.

I actually don't expect this to happen. I expect that both Francisco & Hermida start in AAA & Heisey to make the team as a 5th outfielder. This is a more conservative approach because if the team trades Gomes & then Heisey falters the Reds are hurting.

Homer Bailey
01-16-2011, 02:27 PM
Interesting. What are the numbers, and where are they available?

I've posted it before, and I think these numbers are right (but they are straight off memory).

vs LHP: .921 OPS
vs RHP: .799 OPS

HokieRed
01-16-2011, 04:54 PM
I've posted it before, and I think these numbers are right (but they are straight off memory).

vs LHP: .921 OPS
vs RHP: .799 OPS

Anybody ever done a study (I'm sure someone has) of how projectable minor league splits are? Don't mean to get us off track; I just ask for interest sake.