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Benihana
11-28-2011, 04:34 PM
IMO, if he can reasonably play LF and OPS over .840, you have to keep Yonder Alonso and trade other (minor league) chips for a pitcher.

If he will not OPS over .840, he's not worth the trouble in LF and you should trade him for a frontline starter to improve the rotation.

If he cannot play a passable LF, the Reds need to trade him now. I'm not interested in keeping a pinch-hitter/2014 replacement in lieu of trying to win these next two years.

What do you think Yonder Alonso can reasonably OPS in the next two years?

dougdirt
11-28-2011, 05:08 PM
Over .840. He has solid power and excellent plate discipline.

Benihana
11-28-2011, 05:29 PM
Should stress that this question is what he will OPS in the next two years, not what will he OPS eventually/in his prime. I think that is an important distinction.

I still maintain if he can play LF and OPS over .840 we should keep him. If he can't do both of those, then we should deal him.

HokieRed
11-28-2011, 05:47 PM
Maybe .840 or so in the next two years, higher--perhaps much higher--than that eventually. Reds will regret trading him. Period.

MikeS21
11-28-2011, 05:56 PM
Over .840. When the Reds finally allow him to play every day - even in LF - his offensive numbers will be consistently good, and his defense might improve enough to be passable in LF.

As long as Stubbs and Bruce are the other two OF's, the outfield defense will be OK.

dougdirt
11-28-2011, 06:14 PM
The two voters for UNDER .800. Please expand on your opinions here.

mth123
11-28-2011, 08:10 PM
I voted .800 to .840 but for at least the next couple years, it will be closer to .800 than .840.

Look at what some of the touted young 1B bats OPS'ed in 2011

Freddie Freeman .784
Mark Trumbo .768
Justin Smoak .719
Eric Hosmer .799
Mitch Moreland .733
Daric Barton .592
Brandon Allen .616
Brandon Belt .718
Brett Wallace .703
Anthony Rizzo .523
Paul Goldschmidt .808


I'm fairly Bullish on Alonso's bat, but an OPS above .840 is pretty hard to do and .800 even would top most of these guys. I think it would be crazy to plan the team around Alonso doing much more than .800 the first couple of years. GABP will help, but its still a lot to assume.

thatcoolguy_22
11-28-2011, 08:44 PM
Assuming Alonso is going to OPS in the low .800 range in 2012 and have a career path that will lead to the mid to high .800 range would put Alonso to be worth around 25 fWAR over the next 6 years. The only SP I have seen the Reds linked to that they could get similar production out of is Michael Pineda. This is kind of off subject, but after reading the thread I spent a little time looking at the fWAR/OPS leader boards from 2011 and I'm becoming a fan of keeping young Yonder.

marcshoe
11-28-2011, 08:55 PM
Should stress that this question is what he will OPS in the next two years, not what will he OPS eventually/in his prime. I think that is an important distinction.


Yep. I would have voted for .840 plus otherwise. I'd still likely go for around.800-.820 next season, .840 plus the year after.

REDREAD
11-28-2011, 09:23 PM
The two voters for UNDER .800. Please expand on your opinions here.

I misread the question. I thought it was for next year only.
I would not be surprised if he OPSed 800-840. It's certainly possible.
I think he's going to go through the typical learning curve however.

I have him penciled in for around 800 next year, and I hope I am underestimating him. Just a gut feeling, not that it's defensible or a sure thing.

I would love to package him for a starting pitcher. I would consider trading him for a closer as well. The big problem is not Yonder's lack of ability, but playing him in LF is not ideal. I'd rather trade him to a team that needs a DH/1b while the world thinks he's a potential 900 OPS bat (if that perception is indeed true).

IMO, Alonso is basically a first year player. It's hard to OPS 800+ in your first year. Not impossible, but hard.

dougdirt
11-28-2011, 10:01 PM
I voted .800 to .840 but for at least the next couple years, it will be closer to .800 than .840.

Look at what some of the touted young 1B bats OPS'ed in 2011

Freddie Freeman .784 - Much younger than Alonso
Mark Trumbo .768 - No plate discipline at all
Justin Smoak .719 - Plays in Safeco
Eric Hosmer .799 - Much younger than Alonso
Mitch Moreland .733
Daric Barton .592 - Has no power and plays in Oaklands massive stadium
Brandon Allen .616 - Strikes out 35% of the time he steps to the plate
Brandon Belt .718 - Younger than Alonso, struggled to make contact and in SF's large stadium
Brett Wallace .703 - Has no power and struggles to make contact
Anthony Rizzo .523 - Much younger than Alonso
Paul Goldschmidt .808 - Struck out 30% of the time he stepped to the plate


I'm fairly Bullish on Alonso's bat, but an OPS above .840 is pretty hard to do and .800 even would top most of these guys. I think it would be crazy to plan the team around Alonso doing much more than .800 the first couple of years. GABP will help, but its still a lot to assume.

Your list of comparables aren't really that comparable to Alonso for many reasons. Some guys can't make contact. Some guys are 3-4 years younger than he is. Some guys don't have much power at all. Some suffer from multiple of those issues.

757690
11-28-2011, 10:07 PM
Based on what I saw at the end of last year, no amount of hard work and training could get Alonso to a level of defensive proficiency that I think is required of a major league LF.

To be fair, I thought the same thing of Gomes, and the Reds went to the playoffs with him in LF for most games.

fearofpopvol1
11-29-2011, 02:10 AM
This is tough. If he had 600 PAs next year, I'd be surprised (pleasantly of course) if he OPSed over .850. I think long-term, he may OPS in the .860-.870 range.

mth123
11-29-2011, 03:23 AM
Your list of comparables aren't really that comparable to Alonso for many reasons. Some guys can't make contact. Some guys are 3-4 years younger than he is. Some guys don't have much power at all. Some suffer from multiple of those issues.

My list is a realistic view of guys who are considered valuable young 1B, some of whom have been much more highly touted than Alonso. Fans of these organizations were surely having thoughts of MVP caliber offense dancing in their heads just as we do with Alonso. I have high hopes for Alonso. I think he may one day be a .950 to 1.000 OPS bat, but that is what I'm hoping for. The mistake that I think many make (me included) is that we plan for players to perform as we hope they will. I hope Alonso is an MVP caliber bat on par with Joey Votto, Adrian Gonzalez and Miguel Cabrera. Its a realistic hope IMO, but its not what I'd plan for. For planning purposes, I'll assume an OPS of around .800 and realize that, based on the history of highly touted young can't miss players coming up way short after they've had some time for major league pitchers to face them and adjust to them, even that is a fairly optimistic outcome when all the possibilities are considered.

dougdirt
11-29-2011, 10:18 AM
My list is a realistic view of guys who are considered valuable young 1B, some of whom have been much more highly touted than Alonso. Fans of these organizations were surely having thoughts of MVP caliber offense dancing in their heads just as we do with Alonso. I have high hopes for Alonso. I think he may one day be a .950 to 1.000 OPS bat, but that is what I'm hoping for. The mistake that I think many make (me included) is that we plan for players to perform as we hope they will. I hope Alonso is an MVP caliber bat on par with Joey Votto, Adrian Gonzalez and Miguel Cabrera. Its a realistic hope IMO, but its not what I'd plan for. For planning purposes, I'll assume an OPS of around .800 and realize that, based on the history of highly touted young can't miss players coming up way short after they've had some time for major league pitchers to face them and adjust to them, even that is a fairly optimistic outcome when all the possibilities are considered.

The problem you are having though is that you are not really using good comparables for Alonso. Comparing a 20-22 year old prospect to a guy who will be 25 next year is not a comparable player even if both are highly touted prospects. Comparing him to guys like Daric Barton who has no power or guys like Brandon Allen, Mark Trumbo, Brett Wallace and Paul Goldschmidt who either have plate discipline problems or contact problems isn't really a comparable player either.

If you want to find a list of comparable players to Alonso, you need to find guys with solid power, good walk rates and a contact rate in the 15-18% range who will be in their 24-25 age season. You can't cite history if you aren't using the correct framework.

AtomicDumpling
11-29-2011, 12:03 PM
I think an .840 OPS is reasonable to predict from Yonder Alonso. I wouldn't expect it from him though. We all know what happens to players around here that don't meet expectations -- even if they play well. Reds fans (and Marty) will turn on a player that doesn't play as well as people were told to expect, even if he is one of the best players on the team. Jay Bruce is the most recent example.

I think Alonso will improve enough to play left field at an acceptable level. He should be able to improve his routes and jumps with lots of practice. He looked very unsure of himself last year. He looked foolish on some plays, but most of them were due to poor routes that left him in an awkward position when the ball arrived. It was kind of unfair to him to be thrown out there without much practice to have his inexperience exposed for everyone to see.

If I were in charge, instead of left field I would have him working hard at third base. The Reds have a need at 3B, Alonso has experience at 3B and the position would be easier to adapt to for a first baseman. He is not a natural at third base either but it would be a better fit in my opinion. His lack of speed would hurt him less at 3B. His fielding and arm strength are good enough. Moving to a more difficult position takes time but it can be done and has been done by a lot of players in the past. The Reds have plenty of options to fill left field and I don't trust Scott Rolen enough to count on him as a regular starter. I think Yonder Alonso is a better option at 3B than Juan Francisco or Todd Frazier or Miguel Cairo.

Benihana
11-29-2011, 12:19 PM
If I were in charge, instead of left field I would have him working hard at third base. The Reds have a need at 3B, Alonso has experience at 3B and the position would be easier to adapt to for a first baseman. He is not a natural at third base either but it would be a better fit in my opinion. His lack of speed would hurt him less at 3B. His fielding and arm strength are good enough. Moving to a more difficult position takes time but it can be done and has been done by a lot of players in the past. The Reds have plenty of options to fill left field and I don't trust Scott Rolen enough to count on him as a regular starter. I think Yonder Alonso is a better option at 3B than Juan Francisco or Todd Frazier or Miguel Cairo.

I agree with this. If a guy like Kevin Youkilis can do it, there's no reason to think Alonso can't- especially with a wizard like Cozart at SS (not to mention gold-glovers on the other side of the infield).

Let Alonso work all offseason at 3B, and start 60-80 games there this year to spell Rolen. Meanwhile, they could sign a LF like Willingham or Beltran, and trade a boatload of prospects (including Francisco and Frazier) for a pitcher like Garza. Presto, you have a team that can contend!

Also of note in Rosenthal's latest:

Rival GMs consider Yonder Alonso a one-dimensional player, not someone who could be a centerpiece in a trade for a starting pitcher like James Shields or Gio Gonzalez.

MattyHo4Life
11-29-2011, 04:34 PM
The two voters for UNDER .800. Please expand on your opinions here.

I just voted under .800. I am far from an expert on Alonso, so feel free to educated me on why you think his OPS will be so high in his first two years. Anyways, Jay Bruce averaged a higher OPS than Alonso in the minors. Although, in his first two major league seasons, Bruce was lower than .800 in both years. As Redread said, it is very difficult to have an OPS of .840 and higher in your first two seasons. Especially since Alonso hasn't been able to do it consistantly in the minors.

dougdirt
11-29-2011, 05:23 PM
I just voted under .800. I am far from an expert on Alonso, so feel free to educated me on why you think his OPS will be so high in his first two years. Anyways, Jay Bruce averaged a higher OPS than Alonso in the minors. Althoguht, in his first two major league seasons, Bruce was lower than .800 in both years. As Redread said, it is very difficult to have an OPS of .840 and higher in your first two seasons. Especially since Alonso hasn't been able to do it consistantly in the minors.

Jay Bruce at 21-22 isn't comparable to Alonso at 25-26. The age alone is a huge difference. But aside from that, Bruce, at the time, had iffy plate discipline. Bruce, in his final two minor league seasons (though the second one was only about a third of a season) had 59 walks and 180 strikeouts (3.05 K/BB rate). That alone should have suggested there could be a decent adjustment period to where his pure talent would take time to adjust.

With Alonso, looking at his minor league numbers without context of what happened doesn't tell us much. His first season he began in the Florida State League where he hit .303/.383/.497, marks that were all among the league leaders when he was promoted to AA. He spent two weeks there before breaking his hamate bone and missing 6 weeks. We know that a broken hamate bone generally takes a full year to heal and a player to "return to normal". So essentially, we need to look at the entire next season in the context that we weren't seeing the Alonso that was truly there in the numbers. From that one year of his injury mark, until now, Alonso has hit .315/.395/.525 in AAA with 73 walks and 101 strikeouts, while also hitting .299/.354/.479 in the Majors. His plate discipline suggests that he shouldn't face much "adjustment" time, because he knows the strikezone well and can recognize pitches. Top it off with the fact that Louisville generally saps some power and most guys have come up to the Reds from Louisville and shown more power in GABP than they did in Louisville. Throw all of that together and I would be downright shocked to see Alonso with a sub .800 OPS.

dougdirt
11-29-2011, 05:26 PM
Also of note in Rosenthal's latest:

Rival GMs consider Yonder Alonso a one-dimensional player, not someone who could be a centerpiece in a trade for a starting pitcher like James Shields or Gio Gonzalez.



Half good, half bad. I want no part of Gio Gonzalez for Yonder Alonso. None. I wouldn't mind getting Shields for a deal around Alonso.

mdccclxix
12-06-2011, 10:34 AM
.293 / .370 / .466 / .837, 148bb, 203k, Alonso 21-24 minors
.302/ .392 / .485 / .877, 246bb, 244k, Gaby Sanchez 21-25 minors

Sanchez hasn't OPS'd .800 yet in the majors and his k:bb ratio took a hit: 133bb, 203k. His home road split is .838 at home, a pitchers park, and .734 everywhere else. Anything could happen with Alonso as well. I think we would all be a bit disappointed with .775 OPS from Alonso with the way he's being valued. Nonetheless, I predict that Dusty will find the right matchups for Alonso, if he stays, and he does go over .800 in a part time role.

dougdirt
12-06-2011, 04:45 PM
.293 / .370 / .466 / .837, 148bb, 203k, Alonso 21-24 minors
.302/ .392 / .485 / .877, 246bb, 244k, Gaby Sanchez 21-25 minors

Sanchez hasn't OPS'd .800 yet in the majors and his k:bb ratio took a hit: 133bb, 203k. His home road split is .838 at home, a pitchers park, and .734 everywhere else. Anything could happen with Alonso as well. I think we would all be a bit disappointed with .775 OPS from Alonso with the way he's being valued. Nonetheless, I predict that Dusty will find the right matchups for Alonso, if he stays, and he does go over .800 in a part time role.

Again, using Alonso's minor league numbers at face value isn't ideal because of the injury. When the guy has been healthy, he has been a .310/.390/.515 hitter in the minor leagues.

bucksfan2
12-06-2011, 04:48 PM
I just voted under .800. I am far from an expert on Alonso, so feel free to educated me on why you think his OPS will be so high in his first two years. Anyways, Jay Bruce averaged a higher OPS than Alonso in the minors. Although, in his first two major league seasons, Bruce was lower than .800 in both years. As Redread said, it is very difficult to have an OPS of .840 and higher in your first two seasons. Especially since Alonso hasn't been able to do it consistantly in the minors.

From what I have seen of Alonso he is a better pure hitter than Bruce. He may not have the HR numbers that Bruce does but I think you will see a better avg as well as obp. From the little I have seen of him he looked like a mature big league hitter.

mdccclxix
12-06-2011, 05:59 PM
Again, using Alonso's minor league numbers at face value isn't ideal because of the injury. When the guy has been healthy, he has been a .310/.390/.515 hitter in the minor leagues.

I don't have his splits from late 2010, but his 2011 season was healthy and he was an .860 OPS guy in a pitchers park. I mean, the point is he's approximate to Gaby Sanchez, who had great peripherals and similar slashes to Alonso in the minors and he flat out struggles against major league pitching at times. I do not think it's even fair to expect Alonso to start sailing along at .840+ OPS.

dougdirt
12-06-2011, 07:16 PM
I don't have his splits from late 2010, but his 2011 season was healthy and he was an .860 OPS guy in a pitchers park. I mean, the point is he's approximate to Gaby Sanchez, who had great peripherals and similar slashes to Alonso in the minors and he flat out struggles against major league pitching at times. I do not think it's even fair to expect Alonso to start sailing along at .840+ OPS.

Gaby Sanchez, at age 25, OPS'd .840 in the Pacific Coast League, a notorious hitters paradise. At age 23, in the Florida State League, he had an .803 OPS. Alonso, at age 22, in the Florida State League had an .880 OPS.

Sanchez has had one big season outside of a hitters park, and it came at age 24 in AA Carolina. Unfortunately, while Alonso also played in Carolina, it was a year younger and also the entire time he was recovering from his wrist injury.

As for how evaluators saw them, it wasn't ever really close. Alonso has been a Top 50 prospect for his entire career. Gaby Sanchez never cracked the Baseball America Top 100. There is probably a reason for that.

757690
12-06-2011, 10:31 PM
I don't have his splits from late 2010, but his 2011 season was healthy and he was an .860 OPS guy in a pitchers park. I mean, the point is he's approximate to Gaby Sanchez, who had great peripherals and similar slashes to Alonso in the minors and he flat out struggles against major league pitching at times. I do not think it's even fair to expect Alonso to start sailing along at .840+ OPS.

I agree it's asking a lot of Alonso to put up such a high OPS in his first full season.

However, without getting into any stats at all, and based simply on watching them both hit, I have much more confidence in Alonso being an elite hitter than Sanchez.

Alonso has one of the best looking swings and approaches to hitting that I've seen in awhile. It might not mean much, but he looks like a guy you should be scared to pitch to.

I have no idea what he will OPS next season, but I'm convinced he's a middle of the lineup bat.