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Jamz
07-27-2012, 09:21 AM
What kind of future do people think that he has with this organization? He seems to be able to hit for average, but his discipline isn't exactly top notch and he does have a somewhat high K rate for a guy that only walks 6% of the time. He doesn't have power (although he seems to have had a power surge recently at AAA.) I know his glove should play at the position, and he's a lefty, but I just don't see where there's room for him moving forward with who we already have in the organization.

Basically I think he's blocked by Cozart (great glove at the major level, and better bat at every other level except what Didi has been putting up in AAA this year.) If not Cozart then there's Hamilton coming up who is obviously one of the more exciting prospects in baseball.

So what do you guys think? Could he be a player that we are looking to groom and bring up, or is he a decent trade chip?

Scrap Irony
07-27-2012, 10:42 AM
If Hamilton sticks at short (big if there), Gregorius is blocked above and behind.

Unless the Reds are willing to take the gamble that Gregorius' power is real, he's a trade chip or backup middle infielder. In the past, they've been unwilling to do that.

I hope he can OPS 900+ AAA level and 800 at the major league level, but suspect he's no more than a 700 OPS guy riding a hot streak. Hope other teams are looking at his Louisville numbers as the "real" DiDi.

Doc. Scott
07-27-2012, 11:48 AM
If Hamilton sticks at short (big if there), Gregorius is blocked above and behind.

I really don't think that is going to happen. If Didi is as great as it's said he is in the field, Hamilton won't be necessary at SS. If Billy is still playing there when he reaches the big league level, it's a sign the Reds aren't happy with the rest of their SS depth chart.

I personally think Billy's a center fielder from the day they move him out there. Which should be soon. Hopefully. He doesn't have a particularly good arm and his hands are no better than adequate.

dougdirt
07-27-2012, 12:21 PM
Didi DOES have power. In the sense that he could potentially hit you 15 home runs one year. He isn't Norris Hopper up there.

His strikeout rate this year is 14.1%. That is a high rate of contact. Only Brandon Phillips and Ryan Hanigan make more contact on the Reds. His plate discipline is fine.

OesterPoster
07-27-2012, 12:28 PM
Didi DOES have power. In the sense that he could potentially hit you 15 home runs one year. He isn't Norris Hopper up there.

His strikeout rate this year is 14.1%. That is a high rate of contact. Only Brandon Phillips and Ryan Hanigan make more contact on the Reds. His plate discipline is fine.

How is Didi's spray chart? I can't remember Cozart hitting a ball to right field for a hit this year (maybe I missed it), so I was just wondering if Didi uses the entire field. I realize he's only a rookie, but Cozart sure swings at a LOT of pitches, seems to be immune to taking a walk, and he pulls everything. Just seems like he's going to need some adjustments when pitchers throw everything away to him.

dougdirt
07-27-2012, 12:44 PM
How is Didi's spray chart? I can't remember Cozart hitting a ball to right field for a hit this year (maybe I missed it), so I was just wondering if Didi uses the entire field. I realize he's only a rookie, but Cozart sure swings at a LOT of pitches, seems to be immune to taking a walk, and he pulls everything. Just seems like he's going to need some adjustments when pitchers throw everything away to him.

Last year Didi was 13.3%, 15.6%, 20.4% to the outfield (LCR).

Scrap Irony
07-27-2012, 01:13 PM
I really don't think that is going to happen. If Didi is as great as it's said he is in the field, Hamilton won't be necessary at SS. If Billy is still playing there when he reaches the big league level, it's a sign the Reds aren't happy with the rest of their SS depth chart.

I don't think that's necessarily the only way to look at it, Doc. Hamilton, as a SS, is a difference-maker-- a true monster WAR guy at a position of scarcity.

A CF may be, according to the Reds' way of thinking, easier to obtain or develop. Stubbs could finally click offensively. Heisey might prove that last season's power totals and his minor league obp can co-exist. By the time Hamilton arrives, Ryan LaMarre, Bryson Smith, or someone else from the minor leagues could also develop. Or the Reds could deal for a guy (Span, Fowler, et al) or sign a guy they really, really like.

The combination of Hamilton at SS and whatever CF may be a better choice than Hamilton in CF and either Cozart or Gregorius at SS.

Benihana
07-27-2012, 02:27 PM
The question is how he compares to Zack Cozart offensively. DiDi has certainly been great so far in AAA in a very small sample size.

Defensively, my understanding is he is superior to Cozart, who is already pretty good.

I agree with those who have Hamilton pegged for CF.

Still though, I'd be shopping DiDi and H-Rod in a deadline deal for someone like Upton, Choo or Fowler.

Jamz
07-27-2012, 03:06 PM
Maybe discipline was the wrong word -- approach perhaps? He doesn't walk a whole lot (not that Cozart does either.)

Scrap Irony
07-27-2012, 03:09 PM
I'd be shopping DiDi and H-Rod in a deadline deal for someone like Upton, Choo or Fowler.

From your mouth to Jocketty's ear, hopefully.

I like both of their youth and level, but neither is anywhere close to a difference-maker. Fowler, IMO, is just that. Choo may be. Upton definitely is.

dougdirt
07-27-2012, 03:25 PM
Maybe discipline was the wrong word -- approach perhaps? He doesn't walk a whole lot (not that Cozart does either.)

You don't need to walk a whole lot to be successful or even valuable. You just can't also strike out a bunch either. Cozart is striking out 19.6% of the time he steps to the plate this season. That won't work if you aren't hitting for a lot of power or also drawing a decent amount of walks.

Let's just say that Gregorius walks between 6-7% of the time and strikes out 12-14% of the time and hits 10 home runs in a season. Here are the players who have averaged that (I went with 1 HR for every 60 PA) from 2009-Today and their slash line over that time:



Name AVG OBP SLG
Aaron Hill .245 .304 .407
Michael Young .301 .342 .433
Melky Cabrera .303 .347 .449
Kurt Suzuki .234 .291 .354
BrandonPhillips .290 .342 .446
Martin Prado .289 .337 .425


Young, Cabrera and Prado are all in that 50-55 PA's per HR range.

There is a bit of range in the outcomes there as Hill and Suzuki are on the low end, while the other guys are are bunched together for the most part. But it demonstrates that the range of things Didi does certainly can work into an offensive player of value.

Mario-Rijo
07-27-2012, 03:53 PM
Doug can you compare Cozart and Didi mainly defensively and from an overall perspective? Going forward who would be your starting SS if your the Reds?

I know I really like Cozart out there defensively, I don't really see any flaws from him I'd rate him above average or better in every aspect of defense. And offensively he has some tools, his approach just is flawed, that could change over time. But overall I am happy with him being the starter for the next 10 years.

dougdirt
07-27-2012, 03:58 PM
Doug can you compare Cozart and Didi mainly defensively and from an overall perspective? Going forward who would be your starting SS if your the Reds?

Didi is certainly a more toolsy shortstop. Better range, better arm, better glove. With that said, Cozart is more sure handed and still has good range, arm and glove. That is to be expected though, Didi is 22 and Cozart turns 27 in 2 weeks.

With the bat, Cozart has more power. Didi has the better hit tool and contact rates. I want to see Didi season some in AAA before I would choose one or the other, but I think Didi has a decent chance to be a better overall player than Cozart.

herbdizzle
07-27-2012, 04:09 PM
I don't see any reason to trade Didi or H-Rod unless they are being used as trade chips for a true difference maker like Upton, Zobrist, or Fowler. He is still a very young player and the Reds need to be in no rush to hurry him to the big-league roster.

If Cozart continues to develop offensively I don't see a problem with moving him to 3rd, Frazier to LF (once Ludwick leaves), Hamilton in CF and Didi at SS on Opening Day 2014. The Reds still have several viable options for their weaker position player spots and don't need to rush anyone.

Mario-Rijo
07-27-2012, 04:24 PM
Didi is certainly a more toolsy shortstop. Better range, better arm, better glove. With that said, Cozart is more sure handed and still has good range, arm and glove. That is to be expected though, Didi is 22 and Cozart turns 27 in 2 weeks.

With the bat, Cozart has more power. Didi has the better hit tool and contact rates. I want to see Didi season some in AAA before I would choose one or the other, but I think Didi has a decent chance to be a better overall player than Cozart.

Interesting, I certainly feel like if we put Cozart out on the market we could get a pretty good player back. Cozart feels like a better overall SS than alot of teams have right now. So Didi is a legit chip now and possibly even better going forward.

Scrap Irony
07-27-2012, 04:25 PM
Cozart at 3B isn't nearly good enough offensively to offset his (probable) good glove.

The Reds are going to need to make a decision between Cozart and Gregorius within the next year or so. If Hamilton continues to hit like he has the past season and a half, they may need to revisit that decision shortly thereafter.

Mario-Rijo
07-27-2012, 04:31 PM
Cozart at 3B isn't nearly good enough offensively to offset his (probable) good glove.

The Reds are going to need to make a decision between Cozart and Gregorius within the next year or so. If Hamilton continues to hit like he has the past season and a half, they may need to revisit that decision shortly thereafter.

Which is partly why I was against re-signing BP to such an extension. A Didi & Cozart MIF is potentially pretty good and would allow us to pick up a guy like Chase Headley to play 3B going forward.

Vottomatic
07-27-2012, 07:14 PM
Which is partly why I was against re-signing BP to such an extension. A Didi & Cozart MIF is potentially pretty good and would allow us to pick up a guy like Chase Headley to play 3B going forward.

Hmmm. BP is making that extension look pretty good with his recent surge. Dude just continues to get it done. I mean, we are talking about probably one of the top 3 or 4 second basemen in mlb aren't we, with BP?

Wonderful Monds
07-27-2012, 10:23 PM
Hmmm. BP is making that extension look pretty good with his recent surge. Dude just continues to get it done. I mean, we are talking about probably one of the top 3 or 4 second basemen in mlb aren't we, with BP?

Yeah, meanwhile Cozart is falling on his face so far. No way I'm gonna be handwringing about having Brandon Phillips instead of Zack Cozart.

fearofpopvol1
07-28-2012, 12:05 AM
Cozart will probably be worth 2.5 - 3 wins above replacement come the end of his rookie season. That's pretty darned good. He would probably seem even better if he wasn't batting leadoff.

I think it would be very premature at this point to say that Gregorius would be better than Cozart.

dougdirt
07-28-2012, 12:11 AM
Cozart will probably be worth 2.5 - 3 wins above replacement come the end of his rookie season. That's pretty darned good. He would probably seem even better if he wasn't batting leadoff.

I think it would be very premature at this point to say that Gregorius would be better than Cozart.

It is premature. But 2.5 wins isn't a guy you aren't looking to replace with a better option if you can either, and that was the point most are trying to make, I believe. Cozart is a Major Leaguer, but he isn't someone who has earned the right to get leeway of not being replaced either. He isn't that good and probably won't be given that he is going to be 27 in two weeks.

fearofpopvol1
07-28-2012, 12:20 AM
It is premature. But 2.5 wins isn't a guy you aren't looking to replace with a better option if you can either, and that was the point most are trying to make, I believe. Cozart is a Major Leaguer, but he isn't someone who has earned the right to get leeway of not being replaced either. He isn't that good and probably won't be given that he is going to be 27 in two weeks.

Cozart may be a 3 win player in his rookie season. When was the last time the Reds had an everyday SS worth at least 3 wins above replacement? Felipe Lopez in 2005? You really think Didi would top that? And in his rookie year? I don't. The Reds cannot afford to be patient either, as their window is over the next few years.

dougdirt
07-28-2012, 01:10 AM
Cozart may be a 3 win player in his rookie season. When was the last time the Reds had an everyday SS worth at least 3 wins above replacement? Felipe Lopez in 2005? You really think Didi would top that? And in his rookie year? I don't. The Reds cannot afford to be patient either, as their window is over the next few years.

I am not sure what the Reds having someone else do that has to do with looking for a better option.

Do I think Didi could top a 3 win season? Yes, I do. Do I think he could do it in his rookie season? Depends on when that season took place. Next year? Probably not, but maybe. 2014? Could be.

fearofpopvol1
07-28-2012, 01:45 AM
I am not sure what the Reds having someone else do that has to do with looking for a better option.

Do I think Didi could top a 3 win season? Yes, I do. Do I think he could do it in his rookie season? Depends on when that season took place. Next year? Probably not, but maybe. 2014? Could be.

The point is that the Reds could not afford to be patient with Didi as he'd likely goes through his rookie pains. There'd be no way of knowing if Didi could outperform Cozart until he's actually called up. I think the Reds (and rightfully so) would go with the surer thing in Cozart. This of course assumes that Cozart remains healthy.

I think it's a huge leap to think that Didi will be better than Cozart at The Show. There are currently only 9 shortstops in all of the majors worth more wins than Cozart in 2012. And he's a rookie.

mth123
07-28-2012, 04:23 AM
Something to consider is that the Reds may need both Didi and Cozart. With Didi being a slick fielder who can hit from the left side, he seems the perfect guy to form a tandem with Cozart and Phillips. They all have glove. Cozart is pretty splitty and would be a better player if he was less exposed to tough RHP. Give him day or two off each week against the right pitchers with Didi playing and the overall production from the position would be improved without any drop defensively. Add that Phillips is heading into his 30s and will probably slow down as well and Didi could see a start or two each week at 2B as well. I don't see any reason why Didi couldn't be a very valuable 300 PA per year player in the MI while making both Cozart and Phillips more effective than they would be other wise. Given Phillips age and the contract that will keep him here, I think the need for a guy like Didi who can provide 300 PAs in he MI will show itself by 2014 when Didi is ready to assume that role. By then, Phillips will be in his age 32 season. After a couple of seasons of that, Cozart will be heading deeper into his arb years and it may be time for Didi to take over full-time at SS with Cozart moving on and the next kid in line assuming the back-up MI role.

Meanwhile, lets hope Hamilton can man CF and be the top of the order presence we all hope. I don't really see it anywhere else in the organization.

11larkin11
07-28-2012, 04:31 AM
How is Didi's spray chart? I can't remember Cozart hitting a ball to right field for a hit this year (maybe I missed it), so I was just wondering if Didi uses the entire field. I realize he's only a rookie, but Cozart sure swings at a LOT of pitches, seems to be immune to taking a walk, and he pulls everything. Just seems like he's going to need some adjustments when pitchers throw everything away to him.

Just wanna mention that about 17% of Cozart's hits are to right and 31% are to center.

UK Reds Fan
07-28-2012, 06:47 AM
Something to consider is that the Reds may need both Didi and Cozart. With Didi being a slick fielder who can hit from the left side, he seems the perfect guy to form a tandem with Cozart and Phillips. They all have glove. Cozart is pretty splitty and would be a better player if he was less exposed to tough RHP. Give him day or two off each week against the right pitchers with Didi playing and the overall production from the position would be improved without any drop defensively. Add that Phillips is heading into his 30s and will probably slow down as well and Didi could see a start or two each week at 2B as well. I don't see any reason why Didi couldn't be a very valuable 300 PA per year player in the MI while making both Cozart and Phillips more effective than they would be other wise. Given Phillips age and the contract that will keep him here, I think the need for a guy like Didi who can provide 300 PAs in he MI will show itself by 2014 when Didi is ready to assume that role. By then, Phillips will be in his age 32 season. After a couple of seasons of that, Cozart will be heading deeper into his arb years and it may be time for Didi to take over full-time at SS with Cozart moving on and the next kid in line assuming the back-up MI role.

Meanwhile, lets hope Hamilton can man CF and be the top of the order presence we all hope. I don't really see it anywhere else in the organization.

I agree totally here. A lefty batting MI is exactly what the Reds need to boost production vs. RHP. I'd love to see him in there vs. guys like Valdez, Willie Harris. If he can make the jump to big league team...he could bolster the bench.

dougdirt
07-28-2012, 09:55 AM
The point is that the Reds could not afford to be patient with Didi as he'd likely goes through his rookie pains. There'd be no way of knowing if Didi could outperform Cozart until he's actually called up. I think the Reds (and rightfully so) would go with the surer thing in Cozart. This of course assumes that Cozart remains healthy.

I think it's a huge leap to think that Didi will be better than Cozart at The Show. There are currently only 9 shortstops in all of the majors worth more wins than Cozart in 2012. And he's a rookie.

Cozart is going to be in his prime season next year. It isn't like he is 23. He probably isn't going to be any better than he is right now. I don't really find it to be a huge leap to suggest that Didi can be a 3-4 win player at some point in his career. Plus defense, good contact rates, 10-15 home runs.

Scrap Irony
07-28-2012, 10:32 AM
Cozart is going to be in his prime season next year. It isn't like he is 23. He probably isn't going to be any better than he is right now. I don't really find it to be a huge leap to suggest that Didi can be a 3-4 win player at some point in his career. Plus defense, good contact rates, 10-15 home runs.

fop isn't saying a nebulous "some time," doug. He's talking about the window of competitiveness over the next three years or so. (And especially next season.) His opinion is that Jocketty and company won't want to trust a rookie SS to possibly outperform a 3.0 WAR player. He'd have to have a monster Spring Training AND Cozart would have to struggle big time for that to happen.

dougdirt
07-28-2012, 10:37 AM
From Baseball America yesterday (http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/prospect-hot-sheet/2012/2613789.html):

With Zack Cozart playing a solid shortstop for the first-place Reds, there's no need for DiDi Gregorius any time soon, but the 22-year-old ought to make Cincinnati's decision interesting when he's ready.

rgslone
07-28-2012, 11:02 AM
Right now it seems pretty evident that Didi is going to be a MLB player. He has all the tools and he's developing them. I think the only question is: will he be a good (and cheap) middle infield bench guy or will he be good enough to be a starter?

If Didi continues progressing on his current track and is able to carry that over to the majors, then he's a starter - that defense/hitting package at SS is too good to make him a part-time player. If he develops to that point (and I think he probably will), then I think the Reds have to trade him or Cozart (a la Larkin vs. Stillwell).

You generally platoon players who have been given a chance but have shown they have a glaring defect (i.e., they've proven to be pretty bad against either LH or RH pitching). To just platoon two players because one hits from the left side and the other hits from the right side stunts the growth of both. And, in my opinion, is a huge waste of a valuable asset. Remember, the Reds got Danny Jackson for Stillwell (Ted Power and another player from the Royals were in that deal too, but Jackson and Stillwell were the key pieces).

Mario-Rijo
07-28-2012, 04:06 PM
Hmmm. BP is making that extension look pretty good with his recent surge. Dude just continues to get it done. I mean, we are talking about probably one of the top 3 or 4 second basemen in mlb aren't we, with BP?

Brandon Phillips just turned 31 in june and still in his prime though in the latter stages of it. And yeah he is getting it done right now. I'm just looking ahead when in 2 years (2014) he is likely to take a precipitous drop in production at age 33 (or perhaps even sooner) but will have another 3+ seasons (thru 2017) of big money on his deal. Just look at his contemporary Orlando Hudson who was virtually the same player up until sometime in his age 31 season (the same age BP is now) and then started to fall of a cliff, age 32 season was still productive but much less so than years past. Age 33 season O-Dog became a player who between his bat and glove was replacement level at best, since then he has become virtually useless and if this were BP's contract he'd still have 2+ years on it.

Yeah love Brandon now but when it all comes down just remember you were for the deal, live with his contract keeping us from going forward. When there is a better than average chance we could have had Didi at SS and Cozart @ 2B on the cheap, not lose much on defense if at all and have some offensive upside, not to mention another LH bat in the lineup. The other good news is even if Didi doesn't work out then you still have Hamilton who maybe you just stick at 2B instead. We had too many alternatives to be backed into that deal with Brandon.

But sorry for getting this conversation off track. If you want to debate BP more just PM me.

Vottomatic
07-28-2012, 05:49 PM
Brandon Phillips just turned 31 in june and still in his prime though in the latter stages of it. And yeah he is getting it done right now. I'm just looking ahead when in 2 years (2014) he is likely to take a precipitous drop in production at age 33 (or perhaps even sooner) but will have another 3+ seasons (thru 2017) of big money on his deal. Just look at his contemporary Orlando Hudson who was virtually the same player up until sometime in his age 31 season (the same age BP is now) and then started to fall of a cliff, age 32 season was still productive but much less so than years past. Age 33 season O-Dog became a player who between his bat and glove was replacement level at best, since then he has become virtually useless and if this were BP's contract he'd still have 2+ years on it.

Yeah love Brandon now but when it all comes down just remember you were for the deal, live with his contract keeping us from going forward. When there is a better than average chance we could have had Didi at SS and Cozart @ 2B on the cheap, not lose much on defense if at all and have some offensive upside, not to mention another LH bat in the lineup. The other good news is even if Didi doesn't work out then you still have Hamilton who maybe you just stick at 2B instead. We had too many alternatives to be backed into that deal with Brandon.

But sorry for getting this conversation off track. If you want to debate BP more just PM me.

That is the risk with these type of contracts. I've pondered, many times, what will happen in 3 to 5 years when these guys who signed these long term contracts will be on the downside of their careers. Trust me on that one.

rgslone
07-28-2012, 07:11 PM
Brandon Phillips just turned 31 in june and still in his prime though in the latter stages of it. And yeah he is getting it done right now. I'm just looking ahead when in 2 years (2014) he is likely to take a precipitous drop in production at age 33 (or perhaps even sooner) but will have another 3+ seasons (thru 2017) of big money on his deal. Just look at his contemporary Orlando Hudson who was virtually the same player up until sometime in his age 31 season (the same age BP is now) and then started to fall of a cliff, age 32 season was still productive but much less so than years past. Age 33 season O-Dog became a player who between his bat and glove was replacement level at best, since then he has become virtually useless and if this were BP's contract he'd still have 2+ years on it.

Yeah love Brandon now but when it all comes down just remember you were for the deal, live with his contract keeping us from going forward. When there is a better than average chance we could have had Didi at SS and Cozart @ 2B on the cheap, not lose much on defense if at all and have some offensive upside, not to mention another LH bat in the lineup. The other good news is even if Didi doesn't work out then you still have Hamilton who maybe you just stick at 2B instead. We had too many alternatives to be backed into that deal with Brandon.

But sorry for getting this conversation off track. If you want to debate BP more just PM me.

I understand the concern about BP on the back end of the contract. Of course, that's the same concern one would generally have about any long-term contract.

I still maintain, however, that putting Cozart or Didi at 2B would be a mistake, maybe even a pretty big mistake. Perhaps HRod or even Hamilton would be good future 2B replacements for BP given their offensive potential, but if that move makes sense then it will rear its head within the next year or two while BP will likely still have good trade value.

fearofpopvol1
07-30-2012, 03:43 AM
fop isn't saying a nebulous "some time," doug. He's talking about the window of competitiveness over the next three years or so. (And especially next season.) His opinion is that Jocketty and company won't want to trust a rookie SS to possibly outperform a 3.0 WAR player. He'd have to have a monster Spring Training AND Cozart would have to struggle big time for that to happen.

This is exactly it. If Cozart is a 3 win player this year, that means DiDi would need to be a 4 win player for the Reds to get good value by replacing Cozart. I just don't see that in his rookie season, as good as he's been this year. And because the Reds are in their "window," they can't afford to be patient at The Show with DiDi. But if he continues to kill it at Louisville and forces the Reds hand, I'm all for competition.

Also, I think Cozart can continue to improve, especially his OBP skills. His career minor league OBP was 50 points higher than it has been at The Show. And his OBP averaged over .342 for his last 3 seasons in the minors.

Edd Roush
07-30-2012, 11:23 AM
Doug, should any of us be concerned at this point with DiDi's 2.6% walk rate in AAA or can we simply chalk up to small sample size?

dougdirt
07-30-2012, 11:51 AM
Doug, should any of us be concerned at this point with DiDi's 2.6% walk rate in AAA or can we simply chalk up to small sample size?

He isn't much of a walk guy, but small sample size.