Originally Posted by lollipopcurve
Loo has a few dozen ABs in the GCL, playing against younger competition. His elbow has been problematic for over a year -- he may have played a game or two in the field. Otherwise, he DHd. Valaika was a 3rd round pick who missed a lot of time 2 years ago because of a serious knee injury, so, like Loo, he comes with about 2 years of post high school experience -- and he goes out and wins the Pioneed League MYP playing SS. Just because a guy is pegged by Baseball America uts as a utility guy doesn't mean he can't end up a starter. Someone, I don't remember who, posted some stats showing line drive % for several of the Billings hitters -- Valaika's LD% was so much higher than others that I was shocked, and it went a long way to solidyifying for me his staus as a bona fide prospect. I like that they signed Loo, but he's going to have to show something playing against his age group, including sustained health, before I put him in Valaika's neighborhood.
We normally see eye to eye on things LPC, but I'm not sure how you can give a huge exception to Valaika.
And I dont base my opinion soley on baseball america.. nor do I believe that just becuase thats what he's pegged as, thats what he's destined to be - i.e.. a utility infielder. Scouts get it wrong all the time, often overestimate a players prospects(greg jeffries), and often underestimate a players prospects(albert pujols). But there seems to be a pretty general consensus that Valaika wont stick at SS.
And perhaps I'm just conservative when discussing Reds prospects, as I hate to let homerism get in the way of how i evaluate - so I often try to be more harsh on our own farm - but I still contend Valaika only did what he should have done against inferior competition.
Loo has only played at the JuCo level before, not near the competition Valaika had faced, and therefore I think its apples and oranges when comparing their ability to adjust to their level of play. Again, Valaika did what he should of done - which is good. I just want to see him do it again, before I am completely sold. Loo, on the other hand, while relegated to DH duties, stung the ball to the tune of .372/.413/.581 - even with elbow trouble. Thats pretty impressive to me, and I could argue that Loo perhaps hadn't faced that level of competition regularly before and did better than expected, where as Valaika had.
I don't know, I've made my point... Again, I appreciate everyone's insight, and different perspective - its nice to have some good prospect talk about Reds prospects. I respectfully disagree, but thats what makes the game of following the kids on up the ladder fun.