My moment of hesitation in talking about guys like Stubbs and Bruce possibly putting up big numbers "soon" based on their perceived ceilings and where their numbers should be expected to fall is you're still looking at awfully young players, whether we're talking literal age, big league experience, or both. So to me, the soon is pretty relative. It could mean within a couple of weeks, it could mean May of 2011. Or one or both could fall well short of their respective ceilings and the entire prediction proves to be completely off base. I'm not saying give up on either one of them. I'm simply saying I'm a Reds fan, and by nature even in a good year I'm skeptical.
It's funny,but I remember a guy named Shawn Abner. I always found some humor in that just because at the time I realized there was a Padres or Mets (whichever, I think he spent time in both organizations) prospect named Shawn Abner I was going to school with a kid named Shawn Abner. I don't know a lot about the player's skill set or numbers in the minors, as I never bothered to look since he had such a dismal career. I want to say he was the number 1 overall pick when he was drafted though, so obviously someone thought his ceiling was plenty high. Then you look at guys like Mike Piazza, who probably wouldn't have even been drafted if Tommy Lasorda wasn't the manager of the Dodgers... or even Hanigan as has been mentioned and their ceilings weren't seen as being too high by anyone. Even if someone thought perhaps one day Hanigan, or even Piazza may possibly be a decent backup catcher in the majors, your typical backup catcher on most teams is a Henry Blanco or even Paul Bako or Corky Miller type... a guy who offers little offensively except for perhaps an occasional home run(if even that) but is a good catch and throw guy and handler of pitchers. Obviously neither description fits the career of Piazza, who was a Hall of Fame caliber hitter and very mediocre defender, or Hanigan, who's a plus defender and handler of pitchers, but a solid batting average/OBP hitter with little power. Now I'm not saying that a backup catcher should always be or even ideally be just a good defender but a weak bat. That's just usually the way most teams seem to do it, or have done it in the past.