Along the lines of several "sometimes you know" gut-instinct type threads I've seen lately, I'd like to post my own optimistic thoughts on two young players the Reds have at premium defensive positions. To put it simply, I'm excited about Mesoraco and Hamilton, who seem to me to both be brimming with potential for greatness.
Yes, I know the case for naysayers. Rocco hasn't posted a .700+ OPS yet at the major league level. Billy is fast but can't get on base, and only barely crossed .300 OBP at AAA.
But there is an optimistic case for both of these guys too -- a "they are still developing" case.
Seems to me that Rocco has shown the pattern before in the minors, where it takes him a full year of at bats or so before he figures out the level. Since he was limited in usage prior to this year, I think that adaptation period may have been prolonged. Now he's healthy and raking, beginning to show what we all thought he could be -- a middle-of-the-order type catcher with good defensive chops.
Seems to me that Billy had a lot to add to his game last year. He was learning CF and perfecting switch-hitting. And he, like Rocco, also takes some time to adjust, but he has proven to have a quick learning curve. And we've already seen what he can do when he does get on base. FanGraphs is already devoting posts to his potential for "wrecking" traditional baseball metrics.
So yeah. I think one of the things many people are overlooking about the Reds and their young talent is that they still do have two very young guys on the major league roster who have a lot of upside. They just might be the key to this season. They are both exciting to watch. And I'm optimistic.