Turn Off Ads?
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 20

Thread: Pena dedicated to honing his skills (2/27)

  1. #1
    "Let's Roll" TeamBoone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Cincinnati
    Posts
    12,840

    Pena dedicated to honing his skills (2/27)

    02/27/2006 3:39 PM ET
    Pena dedicated to honing his skills
    Outfielder hoping to improve at the plate, in the field
    By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

    SARASOTA, Fla. -- Wily Mo Pena may have finally made the breakthrough into the Reds' everyday lineup as their left fielder.
    But will Pena finally have the breakout season, too?

    He's working on it.

    "It's the opportunity I've been waiting for," Pena said. "I just have to do my job in Spring Training the best I can and work hard and everything. Having everyday at-bats will be nice."

    Seeing Pena make the most of those at-bats and reaching the potential many have expected, would be even nicer for the Reds.

    "The big thing is focus and being mentally locked in every time you go up there," Reds manager Jerry Narron said. "The fewer at-bats [he] just gives away ... the easier it is to become a good hitter."

    Regular spots in the outfield opened up for Pena and right fielder Austin Kearns this winter, when the Reds dealt first baseman Sean Casey to the Pirates. Adam Dunn was subsequently shifted from left field to first base. Since first baseman Scott Hatteberg signed earlier this month, there has been speculation that Pena or Kearns could be dealt and Dunn moved back to left field before the season opens. Without directly commenting on the situation, general manager Wayne Krivsky indicated no deals were imminent.

    Still just 24 years old, Pena is entering his fifth big league season. The Dominican native was originally signed to a Major League contract as a 17-year-old by the Yankees in 1999. He came to Cincinnati in the 2001 Drew Henson trade. After he debuted as a September callup in 2002, he was out of Minor League options by 2003 and was kept on the Reds' big league roster even though he wasn't ready for the big leagues.

    Since then, the 6-foot-3, 245-pound Pena has made observers, "Ooh and ah," with his imposing raw power and some tape-measure home runs. He has made those same people moan and groan, however, with undisciplined plate appearances and way too many strikeouts. He batted .218 in 80 games during his first full season.

    Last season, while batting .254 with 19 homers and 51 RBIs in 99 games, Pena struck out 116 times while walking just 20. He belted 26 homers in 2004 but struck out 108 times and walked 22. His career on-base percentage is a low .306.

    In the past, some in the organization had taken to comparing Pena to a young Sammy Sosa, who also had brute power but a high amount of strikeouts. Narron and hitting coach Chris Chambliss would prefer to see him emulate another Dominican superstar.

    Albert Pujols of the Cardinals.

    Pujols is a career .330 hitter and has collected over 40 homers the past three seasons. He also draws many more walks than he has strikeouts. Late last season, Chambliss sat Pena down and had him view game tapes of the All-Star hitter's approach.

    "The main reason I showed him that wasn't even about copying Albert or anything," Chambliss said. "It was more the balance part of it. Albert has great balance. His body is not jumping and that means his head is not jumping. When your head is not jumping, you see the ball better."

    The hope is that Pena will make better choices and lay off more pitches out of the strike zone. It should translate to more hits, not just more home runs.

    "I want to get my average up and everything," Pena said. "I want to be more selective at home plate and more confident."

    Chambliss didn't expect Pena to completely eradicate his high-strikeout totals.

    "But if he's able to consistently wait on the ball and see it a little longer and have a shorter stroke to the ball, the strikeouts can be cut down without losing his great power," Chambliss said.

    The transformation of Pena into an everyday player will also require a commitment to defense. The outfielder's poor fielding skills have been often maligned.

    "I think it'll definitely help him to be in one spot and not bouncing around," Narron said. "He'll come to our ballpark every day, he'll know it out there and see the ball come off the bat."

    Narron says he has seen Pena's dedication and desire to improve in the field.

    "I think he's willing to work," Narron said. "I think anybody that says he's not willing to work hasn't been around him enough. I'm sure at times he would get frustrated and wonder, 'What am I working for?' It's not that he's a lazy guy."

    Will all of these efforts yield a more complete ballplayer?

    Again, Pena is working on it.

    "I just want to do the best I can for me and the team," Pena said. "I work hard all the time. If somebody says something, I don't know why. I do the best I can."

    http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/a...=.jsp&c_id=mlb
    "Enjoy this Reds fans, you are watching a legend grow up before your very eyes" ... DoogMinAmo on Adam Dunn

  2. Turn Off Ads?
  3. #2
    Haunted by walks
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Syracuse
    Posts
    6,525

    Re: Pena dedicated to honing his skills (2/27)

    Quote Originally Posted by TeamBoone
    "The fewer at-bats [he] just gives away ... the easier it is to become a good hitter."
    Somebody should make sure the manager knows this...

  4. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    191

    Re: Pena dedicated to honing his skills (2/27)

    I'm really impressed with Pena. He's probably the hardest working player we've had in a long time. I'm expecting him to really respond to having a job this year.

  5. #4
    You know his story Redsland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    Posts
    7,714

    Re: Pena dedicated to honing his skills (2/27)

    Wait...I thought Paul Wilson was the hardest working player we've had in a long time.
    Makes all the routine posts.

  6. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Cincinnati
    Posts
    4,006

    Re: Pena dedicated to honing his skills (2/27)

    I like the approach, but I'm still in the "I'll believe it when I see it" bandwagon.

  7. #6
    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
    Posts
    34,175

    Re: Pena dedicated to honing his skills (2/27)

    Quote Originally Posted by Redsland
    Wait...I thought Paul Wilson was the hardest working player we've had in a long time.
    And I thought it was Eric Milton.
    The Rally Onion wants 150 fans before Opening Day.

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rally-...24872650873160

  8. #7
    Who Dey!! GridironGrace's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Monticello, Kentucky
    Posts
    2,396

    Re: Pena dedicated to honing his skills (2/27)

    I've been high on Pena since the start of last season. he's really one of my if not The favorite player of mine on the reds.. go back and look at my posts defending him if u think im jumping the bandwagon lol.

    Man if this kid works as hard as lopez did last season you could see alot happening offensively.

    I mean Lopez worked his butt off last season and there were articles about that too... now Pena??? good lord fear our lineup if pena has the same season Lopez did last year and Lopez also improves lol.

    I tell ya what i wanna see most outta all this young talent we have.. Pena,Kearns,Dunn,Lopez,Edwin.

    Those 5 Guys, mainly the 4 besides Dunn but he needs to hear this too.

    If im Narron, what i wanna see most outta those 5 is PATIANCE. I dont know how many pop outs and grounders those guys cut loose of last season on either the 1st 2nd or 3rd pitch of an AB, and be like a 1-1 count or something.

    Patiance guys... Lets get some good looks, and if nothing else make the pitcher go far enough into the AB that you'll know next time what to look for a lil more closly, or set up for the next batter to see what he's gonna get thrown.

    Pataince is the key for these young guys. Lopez showed it last season and they all need to do it this year.

    I wanna see long AB's and battles. Those are what makes you succesful later into a season, REPS.
    Proud Member of "The Bengals Lair"
    http://www.uranking.com/vote.asp?member=45269
    http://www.powerhouserock.net
    Somebody's gotta win and somebody's gotta lose and I believe in letting the other guy lose. - Pete Rose

  9. #8
    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Winton Place
    Posts
    11,040

    Re: Pena dedicated to honing his skills (2/27)

    In his notes, the Dayton Daily News' Hal McCoy adds this tidbit

    It isn't that the Reds feel Wily Mo Pena can be another Albert Pujols, although that would be a wonderful thing. They'd just like him to take the same approach at the plate as the St. Louis Cardinals megastar.

    "Chris Chambliss (hitting coach) showed Wily Mo some tapes of Pujols last year," said Narron. "He wanted him to watch Pujols' approach. Wily Mo had some success after that. The thing for Wily is not to give away at-bats. Guys like Don Mattingly and Wade Boggs, and now Barry Bonds, never give away at-bats."


    A patient Wily Mo would be something to behold.

  10. #9
    "Let's Roll" TeamBoone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Cincinnati
    Posts
    12,840

    Re: Pena dedicated to honing his skills (2/27)

    Those 5 Guys, mainly the 4 besides Dunn but he needs to hear this too.

    If im Narron, what i wanna see most outta those 5 is PATIANCE. I dont know how many pop outs and grounders those guys cut loose of last season on either the 1st 2nd or 3rd pitch of an AB, and be like a 1-1 count or something.
    Adam Dunn is already very patient at the plate... almost to a fault. He has a very good eye.
    "Enjoy this Reds fans, you are watching a legend grow up before your very eyes" ... DoogMinAmo on Adam Dunn

  11. #10
    Who Dey!! GridironGrace's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Monticello, Kentucky
    Posts
    2,396

    Re: Pena dedicated to honing his skills (2/27)

    Yea but being to patiant at the plate and "good" causing him to strike out a lil much

    He's so tall and wants to let those low ones go a lil much for me..

    All those K's lol, He'll be fine its the others i was really talking too.. would just like to see him wait for that low pitch he gets every AB and drive it the other way for a base hit, instead of watching it go by for a strikeout.
    Proud Member of "The Bengals Lair"
    http://www.uranking.com/vote.asp?member=45269
    http://www.powerhouserock.net
    Somebody's gotta win and somebody's gotta lose and I believe in letting the other guy lose. - Pete Rose

  12. #11
    "Let's Roll" TeamBoone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Cincinnati
    Posts
    12,840

    Re: Pena dedicated to honing his skills (2/27)

    Quote Originally Posted by GridironGrace
    would just like to see him wait for that low pitch he gets every AB and drive it the other way for a base hit, instead of watching it go by for a strikeout.
    You mean the ones at his ankles/shins that always get called strikes by umpires who don't seem to recognize where his strike zone is?
    Last edited by TeamBoone; 02-28-2006 at 08:47 PM.
    "Enjoy this Reds fans, you are watching a legend grow up before your very eyes" ... DoogMinAmo on Adam Dunn

  13. #12
    Who Dey!! GridironGrace's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Monticello, Kentucky
    Posts
    2,396

    Re: Pena dedicated to honing his skills (2/27)

    The ones at the knees yes.
    Proud Member of "The Bengals Lair"
    http://www.uranking.com/vote.asp?member=45269
    http://www.powerhouserock.net
    Somebody's gotta win and somebody's gotta lose and I believe in letting the other guy lose. - Pete Rose

  14. #13
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    West N. Carolina
    Posts
    55,509

    Re: Pena dedicated to honing his skills (2/27)

    Quote Originally Posted by TeamBoone
    Adam Dunn is already very patient at the plate... almost to a fault. He has a very good eye.
    Lets not forget what happend in 03 when he was told to swing more
    Go Gators!

  15. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Newport Beach, CA
    Posts
    8,066

    Re: Pena dedicated to honing his skills (2/27)

    Quote Originally Posted by KronoRed
    Lets not forget what happend in 03 when he was told to swing more
    Just to correct Krono's misconception----Dunn wasn't told to 'swing more', it was suggested that he should swing at the pitches he can drive rather than take them. Dunn has even conceeded that he needs to do that.

    Rem

  16. #15
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    West N. Carolina
    Posts
    55,509

    Re: Pena dedicated to honing his skills (2/27)

    Well it was a complete failure, and to me it says we should let Dunn be Dunn.
    Go Gators!


Turn Off Ads?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Board Moderators may, at their discretion and judgment, delete and/or edit any messages that violate any of the following guidelines: 1. Explicit references to alleged illegal or unlawful acts. 2. Graphic sexual descriptions. 3. Racial or ethnic slurs. 4. Use of edgy language (including masked profanity). 5. Direct personal attacks, flames, fights, trolling, baiting, name-calling, general nuisance, excessive player criticism or anything along those lines. 6. Posting spam. 7. Each person may have only one user account. It is fine to be critical here - that's what this board is for. But let's not beat a subject or a player to death, please.

Thank you, and most importantly, enjoy yourselves!


RedsZone.com is a privately owned website and is not affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds or Major League Baseball


Contact us: Boss | GIK | BCubb2003 | dabvu2498 | Gallen5862 | LexRedsFan | Plus Plus | RedlegJake | redsfan1995 | The Operator | Tommyjohn25