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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

    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 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 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 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

    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

    I have a man-crush on Jesse Winker.

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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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    Re: Jesse Winker Article From Mark Sheldon

    Let's not overthink this. Obviously the Reds hope they can keep Bruce long-term (and they already smartly locked him up through 2018 at a very-reasonable price). But looking at the future, there is Hamilton to play CF, Phil Ervin to play CF (if Hamilton doesn't work out) or Ervin could be a corner outfielder if Hamilton does pan out, and then Winker as a corner outfielder as well. It makes sense to give Winker reps at LF and RF just in the event that he's needed at RF in the future. Chances are good Winker will be a LF, but I see no harm in him starting some games at Bakersfield in RF just to see if he can do it.

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    Old school 1983 (02-08-2014)

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    Re: Jesse Winker Article From Mark Sheldon

    Every minor league OF should be prepared to play as many positions out there as he possibly can. You never know what is going to happen during a 162 game season. Even if Bruce is still around when Winker is in the majors, you never when an injury might demand Jesse shift over to cover the other OF corner. The Reds need to know whether he can cover both corner positions. It's better to prepare him for that situation now rather than waiting for an emergency to arise at the major league level.

    Moving him to a more difficult defensive position cannot be construed as anything other than a positive. It means they have no reservations about his ability to handle LF and want to see if he can handle a tougher assignment.


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