Re: Your pick for 2012 breakout player of the year
2012 or 2011?
If it's next season, my pick goes to Cody Puckett. If he again OPSes somewhere between 850 and 900 while playing a passable 2B, he'll take Phillips' spot sooner rather than later, perhaps as early as 2012. The kid will be in AA at age 24 and could post a 280/350/500 line with 25 homers from a 2B. (Think Dan Uggla with a few less K's.)
I also like Soto to blossom as a 1B/DH/C in AA this season. His power is apparently for real, as he could hit 25 homers in the majors. He's also young enough to play enough catcher to be a real asset in that spot. (A catcher who can go 240/300/450 is pretty valuable, as long as he doesn't make much cash. That's Soto's floor, IMO.)
As far as pitching, I like Lotzkar to stay healthy and really put up dominant numbers. I expect he'll start in Dayton (Bakersfield just isn't a place I'd want to put anyone to start the year, especially if you're challenging them.) If so, I could see him make a two or three level jump. Really, the only thing holding him back is his brittle arm. He's got TOR stuff.
I also like Jacob Johnson to really put up good numbers in 2011. I suspect the Reds will keep him in Dayton to start the season, then move him to Bakersfield at the All Star break. (Same thing I expect to happen with Lotzkar.) A 20-year-old repeating half a season in low A isn't bad at all and dominating a league would be better for him (and the Reds) than moving him aggressively. (No reason to do it, as there are good young pitchers already in Cincinnati and AAA.)
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