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View Full Version : Alonso vs. Sappelt



Benihana
04-14-2011, 07:36 PM
A year ago this would be a ridiculous question. But in the last year the game has changed:

Dave Sappelt has arrived, mashing through three levels in 2010, impressing in Spring Training, and continuing his momentum in a hot start so far this year in Louisville.

Chris Heisey has proven he can be one of the league's most capable backups at all three OF positions.

Joey Votto won an MVP and signed a three year extension, cementing his shoes to 1B in Cincinnati for at least the next three years.

Yonder Alonso has improved his OF defense and is playing there regularly in Louisville.

The Reds like every other contending team will have holes to fill come July and given the fact that they will both be major league ready and play the same position, one of these two will be a prime candidate for a trade. So the question is this: Who do you keep, and who is trade bait? Sappelt is a much better OF defender, base runner, and has had more offensive success in the last 12 months. He also could be a prototypical leadoff hitter. But Alonso has the pedigree, the offensive tools, and the projectability to be a force in the middle of the lineup.

dougdirt
04-14-2011, 07:40 PM
I am keeping both for the time being. I think Alonso's ceiling is high enough to let him keep working in left for a while. With that said, I certainly don't have an issue with Sappelt playing for the Reds in the outfield at all. I think that guy can be a good outfielder.

Right now, there isn't a need to move either one of them. The team's current issue that could be addressed is likely the bullpen and I don't think its a good idea to trade either of them for help there.

mdccclxix
04-15-2011, 01:30 PM
Is the question to trade them now or in the future? I'd like to hold on both until June or July. Either one is expendable in the context of this year, as well as the next 2-3 years. Basically, they're injury insurance. Right behind them you have Grandal and Mez who could play 1st in 4 years. Then you have Yorman and Duran who could take over in 3-4 years. Sappelt would have to replace Heisey if Heisey takes Gomes spot next year. Is Gomes signed next year?

Benihana
04-15-2011, 02:46 PM
Is the question to trade them now or in the future? I'd like to hold on both until June or July. Either one is expendable in the context of this year, as well as the next 2-3 years. Basically, they're injury insurance. Right behind them you have Grandal and Mez who could play 1st in 4 years. Then you have Yorman and Duran who could take over in 3-4 years. Sappelt would have to replace Heisey if Heisey takes Gomes spot next year. Is Gomes signed next year?

I certainly don't think there is a need to trade either of them now, but this question is more intended for a couple of months from now.

At this point the vote is quite lopsided. I am curious to hear from more people that voted for Sappelt. Is it because Alonso has a perceived higher trade value? I'm not even sure if he would at this point. Or is it because you just think Sappelt has a brighter future, especially as a LF?

Personally, I'm not entirely convinced at this point that Sappelt is more than a 4th OF/Chris Heisey-type. Heisey was equally unheralded, and had a superb breakout season in 2009. However while he is quite valuable as a 4th OF, it is unclear whether he'll ever hit enough at the big league level to be an everyday starter on a playoff team. Unless Sappelt continues his torrid pace for another full season this year and shows that he can hit consistently at the major league level, I think that he may be a similar case. Either player might be a decent starting CF, but Drew Stubbs has that role locked up for the next several years. Given Sappelt's projection and small stature, I see him as more of a very good 4th OF/fringe starting LF than an above average LF, just like Chris Heisey.

bucksfan2
04-15-2011, 03:20 PM
I certainly don't think there is a need to trade either of them now, but this question is more intended for a couple of months from now.

At this point the vote is quite lopsided. I am curious to hear from more people that voted for Sappelt. Is it because Alonso has a perceived higher trade value? I'm not even sure if he would at this point. Or is it because you just think Sappelt has a brighter future, especially as a LF?

Personally, I'm not entirely convinced at this point that Sappelt is more than a 4th OF/Chris Heisey-type. Heisey was equally unheralded, and had a superb breakout season in 2009. However while he is quite valuable as a 4th OF, it is unclear whether he'll ever hit enough at the big league level to be an everyday starter on a playoff team. Unless Sappelt continues his torrid pace for another full season this year and shows that he can hit consistently at the major league level, I think that he may be a similar case. Either player might be a decent starting CF, but Drew Stubbs has that role locked up for the next several years. Given Sappelt's projection and small stature, I see him as more of a very good 4th OF/fringe starting LF than an above average LF, just like Chris Heisey.

At some point pedigree and draft position have to factor out of the equation. You still need to use projections and predictions based upon what a player can do, but you also have to break it down to results. At some point we have to say "Yonder is what he is." When do we stop saying he has a "high ceiling" or "it was the injury's fault" or "if it weren't for x he would y".

Sappelt just may be the Jonny come lately. He may be a flash in the pan who had a great couple of months feasting on balls that really didn't break. Or he may be the real deal. The year Votto broke into the majors he was a 50ish prospect. He was considered to have a slow bat because he liked to use the left side of the outfield to hit. Travis Wood was an unhearlded prospect because his fastball didn't have a whole lot of velocity and his stature was a little smallish. Some guys just outperform their projections. Maybe Sappelt is that guy and maybe he isn't that guy. At this point I am willing to hold onto him a little longer to find out.

Is he Heisey? Another good question. Although I seem to think that he would be starting on the majority of the teams out there. His versatility may actually be a hindrance. But I think that having a capable 4th OF is a big asset to have. How often do you see a team stay healthy throughout the entire season? The Reds don't lose much when Heisey takes the field.

As for Alonso I am intrigued to see what he can do in LF. He potentially could have a difference making bat. We have yet to see it but he may possess it. But I also know the reality is he has an uphill battle in LF. He is learning a foreign position and you have to wonder if its a fit for him. If someone overvalued him I wouldn't have a big issue trading him.

Benihana
04-15-2011, 06:05 PM
At some point pedigree and draft position have to factor out of the equation. You still need to use projections and predictions based upon what a player can do, but you also have to break it down to results. At some point we have to say "Yonder is what he is." When do we stop saying he has a "high ceiling" or "it was the injury's fault" or "if it weren't for x he would y".

Interestingly, this was the exact same argument on this board two years ago with Heisey vs. Stubbs. Sappelt is 5'9 and put up a .726 OPS between Dayton and Sarasota in 2009. Yes, he had a phenomenal season last year, but most scouts don't think he can continue to produce (hence no publication ranking him as a Top 5 Reds prospect, even after his great season last year.) Contrast that with Mesoraco, who also had a career-defying season last year, but scouts believe he can continue to achieve success because of his size, tools, and pedigree.


Sappelt just may be the Jonny come lately. He may be a flash in the pan who had a great couple of months feasting on balls that really didn't break. Or he may be the real deal. The year Votto broke into the majors he was a 50ish prospect. He was considered to have a slow bat because he liked to use the left side of the outfield to hit. Travis Wood was an unhearlded prospect because his fastball didn't have a whole lot of velocity and his stature was a little smallish. Some guys just outperform their projections. Maybe Sappelt is that guy and maybe he isn't that guy. At this point I am willing to hold onto him a little longer to find out.

Votto and Wood were both second round picks. I bumped a thread from five years ago where I ranked Wood as a Top 5 Reds prospect- in A ball. Votto was Top 3 on that list while in Double A. That is a pretty significant difference in pedigree. Clearly there are players that outperform their projections and pedigree, but Votto and Wood are bad examples of this. On the Reds, Hanigan would probably be the best example of an unheralded player becoming an impact starter, although technically he still platoons.


Is he Heisey? Another good question. Although I seem to think that he would be starting on the majority of the teams out there. His versatility may actually be a hindrance. But I think that having a capable 4th OF is a big asset to have. How often do you see a team stay healthy throughout the entire season? The Reds don't lose much when Heisey takes the field.
As for Alonso I am intrigued to see what he can do in LF. He potentially could have a difference making bat. We have yet to see it but he may possess it. But I also know the reality is he has an uphill battle in LF. He is learning a foreign position and you have to wonder if its a fit for him. If someone overvalued him I wouldn't have a big issue trading him.

Agree that Heisey is an important asset as a great 4th OF. I think that Sappelt could be that too. I don't think he is worthless at all. I just think that Alonso has a higher ceiling and could be an impact player IF he can learn to play the position adequately. That said, we should know a lot more about Alonso's prospects in a Reds uniform in a couple months. If he doesn't start hitting and/or can't play LF adequately, I'd keep Sappelt and deal him.

mth123
04-15-2011, 07:33 PM
Easy for me. Sappelt is an OF with superb range and some tools and the team has an uncertain future in one OF spot.

Alonso is a 1B/DH who we hope can play OF. If he can be parlayed into something that can be useful instead of losing his value behind the league MVP, then parlay away.

Sappelt with his potentail and ability to get PT at three spots in the line-up plus whatever they can get for Alonso probably has more potential to actually help the Reds win on the field at the major league level than whatever they can get for Sappelt and Alonso who might get PT at only one spot if the experiment works out.

dougdirt
04-15-2011, 07:39 PM
Easy for me. Sappelt is an OF with superb range and some tools and the team has an uncertain future in one OF spot.

Alonso is a 1B/DH who we hope can play OF. If he can be parlayed into something that can be useful instead of losing his value behind the league MVP, then parlay away.

Sappelt with his potentail and ability to get PT at three spots in the line-up plus whatever they can get for Alonso probably has more potential to actually help the Reds win on the field at the major league level than whatever they can get for Sappelt and Alonso who might get PT at only one spot if the experiment works out.

I don't think Sappelt is ever going to get playing time in right field. His arm simply doesn't play well enough there. Routine doubles would likely be triples once the league figured out that his arm is limited out there.

mth123
04-15-2011, 07:41 PM
I don't think Sappelt is ever going to get playing time in right field. His arm simply doesn't play well enough there. Routine doubles would likely be triples once the league figured out that his arm is limited out there.

I know about the knocks on his arm, but thought that was injury related and he was past that. Still not strong enough?

Benihana
04-15-2011, 07:49 PM
Easy for me. Sappelt is an OF with superb range and some tools and the team has an uncertain future in one OF spot.

Alonso is a 1B/DH who we hope can play OF. If he can be parlayed into something that can be useful instead of losing his value behind the league MVP, then parlay away.

Sappelt with his potentail and ability to get PT at three spots in the line-up plus whatever they can get for Alonso probably has more potential to actually help the Reds win on the field at the major league level than whatever they can get for Sappelt and Alonso who might get PT at only one spot if the experiment works out.

Fair enough. But it's interesting you bring up team makeup, because I might counter that Alonso could POTENTIALLY bring something to this team that it does not currently have- a LF with a plus bat. Is there anything that Sappelt could offer that Heisey doesn't already provide?

Keep in mind we also have LaMarre, who will likely eventually offer another similar skillset to Heisey and Sappelt.

dougdirt
04-15-2011, 07:56 PM
I know about the knocks on his arm, but thought that was injury related and he was past that. Still not strong enough?

His arm was likely injured while he was in Dayton and it is better than it was... but its still a below average arm.

mth123
04-15-2011, 08:11 PM
Fair enough. But it's interesting you bring up team makeup, because I might counter that Alonso could POTENTIALLY bring something to this team that it does not currently have- a LF with a plus bat. Is there anything that Sappelt could offer that Heisey doesn't already provide?

Keep in mind we also have LaMarre, who will likely eventually offer another similar skillset to Heisey and Sappelt.

They won't get anything from Lamarre in the next couple years. Agree that there may be a redundancy with Heisey and Sappelt, but I just think they'll get more out of whoever they get for Alonso than from Alonso himself. Alonso probably wastes away in Cincy and as his 1st round pedigree fades farther into the past, his value keeps dropping IMO. If he has a super year this year, his value at the deadline will be high. If he doesn't, he's likely a suspect until he establishes himself in the big leagues. Lots of 1B who hit in AAA and can't make the jump and if it takes another year, he falls onto the Pettigine catgory when he hits down the road and even if he can he's not going to play 1B in Cincy and its a longshot IMO that he'll play well enough in the OF to get more than spot duty there.

Heck, if the Reds could get an impact player, I'd deal two of Alonso, Sappelt and Heisey along with somebody like Leake and lesser parts. I still like your Justin Upton idea.

TheNext44
04-15-2011, 08:13 PM
Not sure what Sappelt would bring in a trade, and I think Alonso will be an important middle of the order bat in the future.

Now if Alonso could bring a true #1 starter back at the teed deadline, I would do it in a heartbeat. He definitely could, but it all depends on whose available and their team's needs and wants.

But I don't think the Reds need to trade one of them at this point.

Benihana
04-15-2011, 08:37 PM
Obviously no one knows for sure what anyone's trade value is, but I doubt that either Alonso or Sappelt could bring back a big impact player in a trade at this point. If they mash in the next few months, things could change. Regardless, I wouldn't hesitate to deal either or both for an impact player now (with Leake/LeCure for Justin Upton?) or at the deadline.

However for the purposes of this thread, which player do you think will have a bigger impact on the Reds?

mth123
04-15-2011, 08:45 PM
Obviously no one knows for sure what anyone's trade value is, but I doubt that either Alonso or Sappelt could bring back a big impact player in a trade at this point. If they mash in the next few months, things could change. Regardless, I wouldn't hesitate to deal either or both for an impact player now (with Leake/LeCure for Justin Upton?) or at the deadline.

However for the purposes of this thread, which player do you think will have a bigger impact on the Reds?

Sappelt will have a bigger impasct for PT reasons.

LoganBuck
04-15-2011, 11:08 PM
I don't like Sappelt as a prospect. In my mind he is the next version of Chris Heisey, a better Chris Denorfia, Brady Clark, etc,etc. The arm thing bothers me. I know he can run, but if he can't throw a lick, singles always bring the guy from second to home. Give me the pedigree, and potential from Yonder Alonso.

nemesis
04-16-2011, 12:09 AM
I look at it as what do the Reds need in their line-up. Alonso wouldn't hit higher than 7th with the way Dusty makes out his lineups based on L R matchups. They absolutely need a lead off hitter. Sappelt fills that need. As far as his ARM strength goes, ill take a poor ARM over a poor glove any day. Doesn't matter how ok Alonso can throw is the ball is rolling past him in the gap.