Last edited by Redeyecat; 07-16-2014 at 07:50 AM.
For comparison, he's been compared lately to Jay Bruce. At age 20 in 2007, Bruce also started in A ball before being promoted to AA ball where he hit .333/.405/.652 in 74 PAs. At almost this time of year, around July 12, he was promoted to AAA where he hit .305/.358/.567 in 204 PAs. That made him the #1 prospect in all of baseball going into 2008 by baseballamerica.com and baseballprospectus.com. But he still went back to AAA in 2008 for another 200 PAs where he crushed even better: .364/.393/.630 before getting called to the Show in late May. From there he was decent (great for his age), but certainly nothing spectacular as a ML hitter, especially a corner OF: .254/.314/.453 in 452 PAs for a 97 OPS+. Developmental benefit aside, is a 97 OPS+ enough to be considered a legitimate productive full-time LF for a contending team? For reference Ludwick's OPS+ this year is 104 and he has no shortage of critics.
Could Winker catch up and follow a similar path to Bruce and be ready (to the extent that a 97 OPS+ is ready for fulltime LF) at some point in 2015? Maybe, but I see that as an absolute best case scenario. Right now he's way behind Bruce's age 20 AA numbers in a similar # of PA's and thus I'm guessing not likely to called up to AAA mid July ala Bruce. Even if he adjusts and improves at AA as he very likely will, it's pretty hard to project him as the #1 prospect in baseball by this coming off season again ala Bruce. Of course, need/opportunity are factors as well, but I'm leery of penciling him as a legitimate 2015 LF starter - much less doing it in ink. And as far as Winker being the 2015 Opening Day starter (for those who are thinking along those lines) my doubts are even greater.
There's absolutely no shame in not claiming a starting MLB corner OF job until age 22 as Winker would be on Opening Day and for most of the 2016 season. Heck even if it took to 2017, it would still be quite impressive. It can get easy for us fans to get carried away with unrealistic expectations, but I think we (and perhaps the player too) are usually better served by setting more reasonable ones and occassionally being pleasantly surprised when they are exceeded.
Way OT and it's not a perfect fit, but any "Rectify" fans out there? "Banish expectations! Reinstate wonder!"
Last edited by Redeyecat; 07-16-2014 at 08:28 AM.
I can't refute any of that - good post!
His peripherals are quite good in Pensacola at this point. Very high walk rate, solid strikeout rate, showing some power despite being a lefty in a home ballpark that kills lefty power. One year is an insanely long time when it comes to 20-21 year olds.
I'm not worried at all about Winker but expecting him to become a factor in 2015 for the big club is really crazy. Maybe a September callup but even that is aggressive.
"If this was a court of law, the cross examination would go after the credibility of the witness." Homer Bailey on Latos snarking on the team after his trade
What's your most likely projection for Winker in terms of taking over LF for the Reds? Also I'm curious if you can think of any comps of corner OFs at least somewhat struggling in a small sample in AA into the 2nd half of the season who went on to become a legitimate quality starting ML corner OF the very next year?
Last edited by Redeyecat; 07-16-2014 at 05:22 PM.
I've made my stance and reasoning known clearly and I believe very respectfully. I'm simply asking for your most likely projection of when Winker will be a legitimate starting MLB caliber corner OF (i.e. the Reds everyday LF performing well enough to keep the job) to see how it specifically differs from my "very strange stance". I'm also asking if you happen to have any comps to base your "most likely projection" upon?
Last edited by Redeyecat; 07-16-2014 at 09:10 PM.
Ok, fine, taking fewer than 100 PA at face value and using them to say anything about projecting forward is a mistake. A big one.
Last edited by Redeyecat; 07-16-2014 at 11:35 PM.
As to Winker, his samples in AA are still really small, and while there have been, and will be, adjustments to be made, I don't think it has been enough to alter his personal timetable quite yet. The next six weeks will allow the team to get a much better feel for things going forward. Winker's skillset, while often compared to Bruce, does have some variances that stand out. Such as Bruce had quite a lot more in-game power at this stage, and was on another level defensively, while Winker's approach at the plate is quite a bit stronger for him.
If Winker can find success at AA, there is a case to be made that he may not require time at AAA. Some feel stronger that lessons learned at the AAA level are vary valuable, while some organizations promote straight from AA, when a player shows he is ready. Depending on how the rest of the season plays out, Winker could be ready for LF anytime between next May/June, and the same months in 2016. His approach and polish show in his results to this point, he just has to continue it throughout his time in the minors.
For the record, Doug has said at his site that Winker could be the Reds LF sometime next season, but there are way too many variables to guess at an exact date at this time.
And I think there's a chance, albeit a small one, that he could be ready in April 2015. More realistic? July 2015.