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Thread: Jesse Winker Article From Mark Sheldon

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    Jesse Winker Article From Mark Sheldon

    http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/...ticle_67504056


    Prospect Winker goes back to basics in offseason
    Young outfielder spends time in Florida working with dad on honing his swing

    CINCINNATI -- Reds outfield prospect Jesse Winker hasn't waited for Minor League camp to get started to begin working towards achieving his goals for 2014.

    A Buffalo, N.Y., native, Winker grew up outside of Orlando, Fla., where his parents, Joe and Karen, run a hitting warehouse that was originally founded by former Reds outfielder Dante Bichette. It was there where Winker first developed his left-handed swing. It's again where he continued to hone it this winter.

    "There's never a day where you can't get better at something," Winker said. "All offseason, I've been working with my dad. We've gone back to basics on how we used to hit back in the cage. We've been talking hitting, watching some video, breaking stuff down together. There a couple of things I want to work on with my load, but besides that, it's really about keeping everything simple and having fun. I don't like to think too much. I just like to get up there and hit."

    "It was a great year in Dayton," Winker said. "It started with the fans. It was fun to be a part of a very electric atmosphere. I'm ready to get this year going and carry it over. Hitting-wise, I had a good approach and a good mindset. I stuck with it all year. Even if I was in a slump, I'd just go back to basics with it."

    Winker showed some discipline at the plate with 63 walks compared to 75 strikeouts.

    "He's really taken to studying the game and trying to perfect his craft," Reds player development director Jeff Graupe said. "For being a 19-year old in the Midwest League last year, he took consistently quality at-bats. You don't see many 19-year-olds with a strikeout-to-walk ratio that successful while still doing damage and having a good slugging percentage. He had a great year."

    "I think he's ready to take the next step of not giving away many at-bats," Graupe said. "He's done a good job of that for such a young guy. I think consistently dialing in and seeing the way the great hitters take that next step by grinding out every pitch, every at-bat. I think that's where Jesse is headed."

    Indications are that Winker will begin this season one level closer to the big leaguers at Class A Advanced Bakersfield. He is expected to play both corner outfield spots after primarily playing left field in Dayton.

    When Reds big league camp opens for Spring Training next week, Winker won't be one of the young players invited to take part. There's certainly a chance he could be on a travel roster for a few exhibition games if the club needs an extra player, with the belief he could, at minimum, hold his own against more experienced pitching.

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    Re: Jesse Winker Article From Mark Sheldon

    Good to hear that they're considering him in right.

    What's a hitting warehouse?
    The widow is gathering nettles for her children's dinner; a perfumed seigneur, delicately lounging in the Oeil de Boeuf, hath an alchemy whereby he will extract the third nettle and call it rent. ~ Carlyle

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    Re: Jesse Winker Article From Mark Sheldon

    Quote Originally Posted by Rojo View Post
    Good to hear that they're considering him in right.
    e?
    Not good news to me. The Reds have a RF. Is it the Reds way to prep for not having that RF about the time of Winker's arrival?

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    Re: Jesse Winker Article From Mark Sheldon

    Quote Originally Posted by klw View Post
    Not good news to me. The Reds have a RF. Is it the Reds way to prep for not having that RF about the time of Winker's arrival?


    I wondered the same thing. I mean the only other reason to do it now would be to increase his trade stock, and if he didn't adjust well to RF, that might do more harm than good.

    It seems fair to think the Reds may be wondering(hoping?) that three of Hamilton/Winker/Ervin/Yorman, and others could be the OF by 2016 or so, allowing them to gauge Bruce's value prior to his 2017 option season.

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    Re: Jesse Winker Article From Mark Sheldon

    Quote Originally Posted by klw View Post
    Not good news to me. The Reds have a RF. Is it the Reds way to prep for not having that RF about the time of Winker's arrival?
    If he doesn't arrive until 2018, he isn't a major league starter anyway. It seems like a plus to me that the Reds feel he might have enough arm to play RF. Considering the proportions of Sam Lynn park, Bakersfield is a good place for that experiment.

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    REDREAD (02-09-2014)

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    Re: Jesse Winker Article From Mark Sheldon

    I think its just to get him experience so if he is ever needed there to fill in it won't be completely new. I'll bet most of his time is in left.
    No - I am not from State Farm!

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    Re: Jesse Winker Article From Mark Sheldon

    Quote Originally Posted by klw View Post
    Not good news to me. The Reds have a RF. Is it the Reds way to prep for not having that RF about the time of Winker's arrival?
    Kid's 19 and just finished A-ball. I doubt they're making Big League roster decisions with Winker in mind.

    Winker's atheleticism has always been my concern. That he can even be considered for RF is heartening on that front.
    The widow is gathering nettles for her children's dinner; a perfumed seigneur, delicately lounging in the Oeil de Boeuf, hath an alchemy whereby he will extract the third nettle and call it rent. ~ Carlyle

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    Re: Jesse Winker Article From Mark Sheldon

    Quote Originally Posted by RedlegJake View Post
    I think its just to get him experience so if he is ever needed there to fill in it won't be completely new.
    Bingo.

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    Re: Jesse Winker Article From Mark Sheldon

    Quote Originally Posted by Rojo View Post
    Kid's 19 and just finished A-ball. I doubt they're making Big League roster decisions with Winker in mind.
    Bingo again. They don't look that far ahead. The player development people have a job of making the kid into a ballplayer. They are not looking at the big league roster.

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    Puffy (02-11-2014)

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    Re: Jesse Winker Article From Mark Sheldon

    Quote Originally Posted by redsof72 View Post
    Bingo again. They don't look that far ahead. The player development people have a job of making the kid into a ballplayer. They are not looking at the big league roster.
    It would be insincere to say it doesn't enter into the process at all however. Otherwise Alonso never would have seen LF in the the minors because Votto had 1B locked down.

    Teams might not look four years down the line, but they sure aren't going to block a top prospect either.

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    Re: Jesse Winker Article From Mark Sheldon

    I'm just happy there isn't any talk of moving him to first. I was a little concerned that's where he would end up.

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    Re: Jesse Winker Article From Mark Sheldon

    Quote Originally Posted by PepperJack View Post
    It would be insincere to say it doesn't enter into the process at all however. Otherwise Alonso never would have seen LF in the the minors because Votto had 1B locked down.

    Teams might not look four years down the line, but they sure aren't going to block a top prospect either.
    Alonso was way further along in the development process. If Winker were knocking on the Majors than you might have something.

    Even then, the big club has a whole in LF.
    The widow is gathering nettles for her children's dinner; a perfumed seigneur, delicately lounging in the Oeil de Boeuf, hath an alchemy whereby he will extract the third nettle and call it rent. ~ Carlyle

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    PepperJack (02-07-2014)

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    Re: Jesse Winker Article From Mark Sheldon

    I have a man-crush on Jesse Winker.

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    Re: Jesse Winker Article From Mark Sheldon

    Quote Originally Posted by PepperJack View Post
    It would be insincere to say it doesn't enter into the process at all however. Otherwise Alonso never would have seen LF in the the minors because Votto had 1B locked down.
    That's correct, but that was a pretty special case. You had a guy who was nearly big league ready as a hitter with no place to play. Yes, you do see it some in the high minors.

    Position changes do require the blessing of a designated person, and in the Reds organization right now, that person is Bill Bavasi. For example, Jose Nieves could not simply decide to start playing Tanner Rahier at second base if he personally thought that was the best place for him. He would have to make that request and get it approved.

    But in general terms, I think fans over-estimate the impact of the current big league situation on player development. Positional changes are almost always made because the organization determines that the player can't play the position he is moving away from (ie: Henry Rodriguez moving from second to third) or to say it in a more positive way, because they felt his skills were better suited at another position. Billy Hamilton certainly was not moved from shortstop to center field because of anything happening in the major leagues.

    But yes, you are correct PepperJack, if you have a player that you feel is on the doorstep and he is blocked, you have to look at your options. In this case, if Alonso had not been moved, the player development process for him was almost over anyway.

    In general terms, the player development people report to work each day to make their 25 players better. That's all they concern themselves with. The pitching coach's job is to make his 13 pitchers better. The roving infield instructor's job is to make the infielders better defensive players. Some of those coaches could not even name the big league roster at their position. They don't care, it is not their job.

    The farm director has more of a big picture perspective, but he is generally going to be left alone by the big league people unless there is some special concern.

    A farm director once told me, and I quote, "we are a lot better off when the big league club is winning because when they are winning, they leave us the heck alone." That is cleaned up slightly.

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    PepperJack (02-07-2014), REDREAD (02-09-2014)

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    Re: Jesse Winker Article From Mark Sheldon

    Thank you for this. I do appreciate the perspective, and insights that you bring.

    I have heard stories of how Bobby Cox fired the coach who said Chipper Jones could stop switch hitting early in his career, that may be an extreme example, but it does show the front office keeping tabs on top prospects closely.

    All in all, I have no problem with the Reds seeing if Winker can handle RF, but the timing, coupled with his development timetable, made me curious.


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