Re: AAA All Star Game
Quick observations from the game:
Votto: Smooth at 1B. Should be defensive upgrade from Conine/Hatteberg. Has a longer swing than I had imagined, so he could struggle to maintain his high OBP with the Reds, especially initially. Might want to platoon him with Conine or another righty. Still, has power and solid line-drive cut that should land him his share of extra base hits.
Dumatrait: Hard to say. Only pitched to two batters before being lifted. Handcuffed them both, showing strong command of his pitches if not a ton of speed.
Best offensive player of the game: Admittedly small sample size, but Adam Jones of Tacoma looked to be the cream of the crop. He has it all: Power, speed, contact hitter, good defensive instincts, rifle of an arm. I'd trade the farm for him (at least Griffey), although it does look like the parent Seattle Mariners have declared Jones an untouchable as far as deals go. I can see why. We could sure use someone like him patrolling CF.
Best Pitcher: Manny Acosta from the Braves system dealt the filthiest stuff. Cory Doyne from the Orioles system also could be a mean closer/setup guy, but he needs a fashion makeover. Those are some wacky glasses he wears.
Other asides: The Detroit Tigers not only have put together a dominant MLB club, I like how they have stacked talent like Timo Perez and Mike Hessman with the Toledo Mudhens. Either of those quasi-veteran players could have represented a serious improvement over most of our '07 bench players. Krivsky should wise up on bench construction. Just because you're looking for role players doesn't mean they have to be offensive patsies.
Fan Favorites: Hessman and Valentin Pascucci from the Marlins system. These are both big guys with big hearts. Each hit a home run during the game, and many more outside the game by signing autographs for adoring kids.
Catching prospect: I have weighed in elsewhere supporting us acquiring LH catcher Jeff Clement from the Mariners system as a possible platoon mate for David Ross. Another guy who could fill the bill: Jose Morales, a switch-hitting catcher, from the Twins system. For a catcher, he sure has a fast bat and blazing speed on the basepaths.