Re: 2008 Reds ZiPS Projections
Dan Szymborski saying "*They project BOTH Jeff Keppinger AND Jorge Cantu to have a higher 2008 OPS than Brandon Phillips" is laughable. Keppinger is the ultimate utility guy and not likely at all to produce like he did in 2007. Cantu won't even be around so Szymborski isn't comparing apples to apples b/c whereever Cantu lands, it won't be the same pitchers at the same time that Brandon Phillips will be seeing them.
Szymborski also noted: "...if Keppinger's for real, it would be a great time to extract top dollar for Phillips." I would like to know what Szym' thinks "top dollar" would be for Brandon Phillips? Phillips has always been known as a player with enormous potential going back to his Montreal Expos days, but that talent wasn't fully shown until BP came to Cincinnati, felt relaxed and relieved (of the Cleveland Indians) and will be just fine as the Reds 2nd baseman for the next decade. I don't trade this rare talent unless his name is Johann Santana.
If you look at/critique the Reds minor league system, you'll find the Outfield positions to be in good hands with Bruce, Dickerson and Stubbs soon to be patrolling GABP . The infield also looks great for years to come with Votto, Phillips, Valaika, Frazier and even 1st baseman Adam Rosales looks to be very intriguing. Catching will be manned by Mesoroco, hopefully sometime in the late 2009 season or beginning in 2010. The starting pitching is blooming big-time now for the Reds with Bailey, Cueto, Maloney and now add in Edinson Volquez to vie with Belisle, Livingston, Shearn and to lend support to the #1 and #2 guys: Harang and Arroyo. The relief corps will soon add Tyler Pelland. Pelland of the 3.04 ERA and 1.01WHIP, albeit in just 23 innings last season (Louisville) seems to offer a high level of promise. Danny Herrera helps turn our troubled 2007 bullpen, hopefully, into respectability with Francisco Cordero, Weathers, Burton, Bray, McBeth, Coutlangus, Majewski and those other two guys (Coffey and Stanton) that I hope will be pitching elsewhere at the beginning on the '08 season.
Overall, more talent, than what I just mentioned, is on the radar and giving our Reds more hope of sustained +.500 years of baseball and as the team gels (I think beginning in 2009) the Reds should be a viable post-season team for years to come, year in and year out.
Add to all of this a key free agent here and there, beginning with the 2008 off-season, and it will elevate the Reds to the Upper Class in MLB and not having "The Reds (...) be another one of the NL's huge middle class" as Dan Szymborski sees our club.
Let's hope that Wayne Krivsky holds on to the entire wealth of talent heading for Cincinnati starting in April!!! Man, I am so excited to see baseball start up again!!! I believe 3rd place is in order for 2008 but with a little luck 2nd place could happen. 2009, ahhhhhhh, the fun begins....again!!!