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Thread: Reds looking toward future

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    Reds looking toward future

    Reds looking toward future
    Take talent, not quick fixes
    BY JOHN FAY | ENQUIRER STAFF WRITER

    The Reds weren't looking for immediate help when they picked Drew Stubbs in the first round of Tuesday's amateur draft.

    Stubbs is a center fielder from the University of Texas. The Reds have a guy named Ken Griffey Jr. who's playing pretty well in center field.

    While the philosophy of the Reds has shifted to trying to win immediately, senior scouting director Chris Buckley had no mandate from general manager Wayne Krivsky to fill holes.

    "I've known Wayne for a long time," Buckley said. "We wanted to get the best prospect, they guy who will be the best major leaguer down the road."

    They think that's Stubbs, but he's a long way from Great American Ball Park. If he signs, Stubbs will start at Billings (Mont.), the Reds' rookie ball team.

    In the old Paul Brown tradition, the Reds chose Stubbs because he was the best player available.

    "To us, he was the best athlete in the draft," Buckley said.

    Stubbs, 21, just completed his junior year for the Longhorns. He is similar to last year's top Reds pick, Jay Bruce, in that he combines speed and power. Stubbs is 6 feet 4 and 210 pounds, and Baseball America rated him as the best defensive player, best athlete and second-best baserunner among the college players in the draft.

    "He can really, really run," Buckley said. "He can run like Rocco Baldelli."

    Baldelli, a Tampa Bay outfielder, stole 27 bases in as a rookie in 2003.

    "Speed is probably my best asset," Stubbs said. "A lot of guys don't have that."

    "I have the chance to change the game with my legs," Stubbs added.

    Stubbs, who is from Atlanta, Texas, was drafted in the third round out of high school by the Houston Astros. The Astros tried to sign him to a $900,000 bonus, but the commissioner's office asked the team not to exceed the third-round bonus average by so much and the deal fell apart.

    "It was disappointing," he said. "But when it fell apart, I think it may have been the best thing for me. I wanted to go to college."

    Stubbs seems ready to sign this time. The Reds have money in the budget to get a deal done, and they already have talked to Stubbs' agent, Ryan Ware.

    "The way we've been talking recently, we pretty much came to an agreement that I wouldn't be difficult to sign if I was drafted," Stubbs said. "I'm not sure how quick the actual signing will take place. When it comes to negotiations, I think all that's pretty much ironed out and I won't be a problem to sign at all."

    Stubbs hit .342 with a .439 on-base percentage this year, with 12 home runs, 58 RBI and 26 steals in 231 at-bats. He struck out 60 times.

    "Hopefully, he can cut that down," Buckley said.

    Stubbs is confident he can.

    "I think when I get more at-bats it will cure a lot of those problems," he said. "I don't consider myself a guy that's one of those big power hitters that's either going to hit a home run or strike out. I think I'm more of a balanced hitter that can hit for average. My development over the next few years will cure a lot of those problems."

    The Reds picked 18 players - 13 college players, two junior college players and three high school players - on Tuesday. Buckley said they haven't decided to go more heavily on older players.

    "We tried to balance it," Buckley said. "It wasn't by design."

    Among the Reds' other picks:

    Round 2: Sean Watson, a right-handed pitcher from the University of Tennessee. He was the Vols' closer this year, going 4-3 with a 4.61 ERA and 11 saves. "We thought he was best arm on the board," Buckley said.

    Round 3: Christopher Valaika, a shortstop from the University of California-Santa Barbara. "A good offensive player," Buckley said.

    Round 12; Logan Parker, a first baseman from the University of Cincinnati. "He's a better athlete," Buckley said. "He could also play left or right field."

    E-mail jfay@enquirer.com

    http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.d...606070308/1071
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    Re: Reds looking toward future

    Reds' top pick will make most of 2nd chance

    By Josh Katzowitz
    Post staff reporter

    Deep down, Drew Stubbs says, he wanted to go to college anyway. So when negotiations failed with the Astros after Houston drafted him in the third round of the 2003 draft, he packed his bags for the University of Texas and left professional baseball behind with little regret.

    Three years later, with his college experience - at least on the baseball field - an unqualified success, he's ready for his second chance at pro ball.

    The Reds provided the University of Texas junior center fielder with the opportunity Tuesday, making him their first-round pick (No. 8 overall) in the first-year player draft and ensuring that he'll make much more money than Houston could have given him in 2003.

    Signing him, Stubbs said, shouldn't be a problem.

    "The way we've been talking recently, we pretty much came to the agreement that I wouldn't be a difficult guy to sign," Stubbs said. "I'm not sure how quickly the signing will take place, but when it comes to negotiations, all that's pretty much ironed out. I'm not going to be a difficult guy to sign."

    That wasn't the case three years ago, though the fact that his deal with Houston fell through wasn't necessarily his fault.

    Before the Astros drafted him, the two parties reportedly had agreed to a $900,000 signing bonus. But after Houston was pressured by baseball commissioner Bud Selig to reduce the bonus, the offer was sliced in half.

    Stubbs, instead, became the Longhorns center fielder. He says he wanted it that way anyway.

    "Honestly, deep down all along, I wanted to go to school," Stubbs said. "I wanted to get the chance to get the college experience. If the money was right for myself and my family, if we got what we were asking for on the table, I would have taken it. When it all fell through and I realized I was going to college, deep down, I was happy about it. I realized this was probably the best thing. I got over it pretty quick."

    He'll reap those benefits pretty soon with the Reds.

    Although Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky downplayed Stubbs' assertion that the two were close to a deal - "We haven't really gotten into it," Krivsky said. "We had a conversation, but we hadn't gotten it done yet" - Stubbs is in line for a nice chunk of money.

    Last year's No. 8 pick, right-hander Wade Townsend, signed with the Devil Rays for $1.5 million - a small bonus for that spot in the draft - and the No. 8 pick in 2003, Pirates left-hander Paul Maholm was rewarded with a $2.2 million bonus.

    Aside from his future earnings, though, Stubbs was excited to be a member of the Reds family. And the Reds were excited to welcome him.

    "We thought he was the best guy," said Chris Buckley, the senior director of scouting. "We had him ranked higher than eighth on our board. We had him ranked over some pitchers that we passed. This is a guy who has special skills. He's a tremendous runner and a great athlete. He's the guy everybody wanted."

    For the Longhorns in 2006, Stubbs hit .342 with 12 home runs, 58 RBIs and 26 stolen bases. The Reds also like his defense and his athleticism.

    One of Stubbs' deficiencies, though, is his inconsistency at making contact. In 205 career games at Texas, he struck out 206 times. Yes, that's a cause for concern.

    "Yeah, there's some," Buckley said. "But every person that went in front of us, I could throw some rocks at them too. There's not many slam-dunks in this stuff. ... You can live with the strikeout. He gets on base, he steals bases, he hits home runs, and he plays tremendous defense."

    For his part, Stubbs seems determined to solve the strikeout quandary.

    "That's something that can be cured with the number of at-bats I get," said Stubbs, who along with Texas outfielder and roommate Carson Kainer (a 14th-round pick for the Reds) led the Longhorns to the NCAA championship last year. "They'll decrease with time. I don't consider myself one of those big power hitters that's either going to hit a home run or strike out. My development over the next few years will cure me of some of these problems."

    UC BEARCAT TAKEN - Senior first baseman Logan Parker, who hit .344 with 11 home runs and 69 RBIs for the University of Cincinnati this season, was drafted in the 12th round (354th overall) by the Reds.

    "He's a very good athlete for a first baseman, a better athlete than you usually get at that position," Buckley said. "I think we had an advantage. All our guys saw him quite a bit locally. He's not a guy that only will be locked into playing first baseman. He could also play left field or right field."

    http://news.cincypost.com/apps/pbcs....606070336/1027
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    Re: Reds looking toward future

    I really hope Stubbs doesnt start in Billings..... what is the point of taking a college guy in the top 10 to start them at the bottom of the totem pole?

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    Re: Reds looking toward future

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt
    I really hope Stubbs doesnt start in Billings..... what is the point of taking a college guy in the top 10 to start them at the bottom of the totem pole?
    That's certainly what I wanted to ask. Is it normal for a 21 yr old college hitter to start in rookie ball?

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    Re: Reds looking toward future

    Yeah BRM, it is normal....just not for first rounders. Last year all the Reds draftees started in Rookie ball. Of course their first two round picks were high school kids, so that is to be expected.

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    Re: Reds looking toward future

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt
    I really hope Stubbs doesnt start in Billings..... what is the point of taking a college guy in the top 10 to start them at the bottom of the totem pole?
    First of all, the GCL Reds are the bottom of the totem pole, not the Billings Mustangs.

    Second, Stubbs hardly sounds like a polished hitter, his swing needs some work, and he needs to make the adjustment to a wood bat. Why would you want to put him directly into single-A when 99% of the guys he played against in college are going to the short-season leagues? He is going to have plenty of challenges just making adjustments to his swing and dealing with the switch to wood bats. No need to make things any harder on the guy than they already are by skipping him over a level. Sending him straight to the Midwest league is a recipe for disaster.
    Last edited by Steve4192; 06-07-2006 at 10:48 AM.

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    Re: Reds looking toward future

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt
    Yeah BRM, it is normal....just not for first rounders.
    Not true.

    The vast majority of 1st round picks start out in short-season leagues just like the rest of their fellow draftees. The exceptions to that rule are few and far between.

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    Re: Reds looking toward future

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt
    I really hope Stubbs doesnt start in Billings..... what is the point of taking a college guy in the top 10 to start them at the bottom of the totem pole?
    I don't see him as a player on the fast track. If they can get him signed I could see him going to Dayton.
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    Re: Reds looking toward future

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainHook
    Not true.

    The vast majority of 1st round picks start out in short-season leagues just like the rest of their fellow draftees. The exceptions to that rule are few and far between.
    Not College first round picks. Last year for example there were 5 college position players taken in the top 10. Not a single one of them started in rookie level baseball. Actually looking further into it, not a single college player taken in the top 36 started in rookie ball last year. I stopped looking after that.

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    Will post for food BuckeyeRedleg's Avatar
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    Re: Reds looking toward future

    I see him in Dayton as well, playing with his toolsy clone - B.J. Syzmanski and his fellow Texan - Jay Bruce.

    Actually, one or both of those two probably gets promoted to Sarasota soon.

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    Re: Reds looking toward future

    Quote Originally Posted by BuckeyeRedleg
    I see him in Dayton as well, playing with his toolsy clone - B.J. Syzmanski and his fellow Texan - Jay Bruce.

    Actually, one or both of those two probably gets promoted to Sarasota soon.
    neither really has shown enough to get a promotion at this point. Bruce needs to spend the entire year at Dayton and BJ is likely to fall flat on his at High A. BJ is trade bait at this point.
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    Re: Reds looking toward future

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainHook
    First of all, the GCL Reds are the bottom of the totem pole, not the Billings Mustangs.

    Second, Stubbs hardly sounds like a polished hitter, his swing needs some work, and he needs to make the adjustment to a wood bat. Why would you want to put him directly into single-A when 99% of the guys he played against in college are going to the short-season leagues? He is going to have plenty of challenges just making adjustments to his swing and dealing with the switch to wood bats. No need to make things any harder on the guy than they already are by skipping him over a level. Sending him straight to the Midwest league is a recipe for disaster.
    Well, he is better than 99% of the guys he played with, or he was severely overdrafted at #8 overall. That is why. If he cant handle himself in low A ball as a 21 year old, we are in big trouble paying this guy. As for skipping him over a level....he is a college kid, not a high schooler. He can deal with skipping over rookie ball. I mean heck, last year Brandon Roberts played in rookie ball as a 20 year old 7th round pick, then this year skipped right over Dayton and is an all star in the FSL. I think sending Stubbs to rookie ball is just a bad sign that they drafted a guy they doesnt have the talent to play in the Midwest league.

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    Will post for food BuckeyeRedleg's Avatar
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    Re: Reds looking toward future

    Quote Originally Posted by flyer85
    neither really has shown enough to get a promotion at this point. Bruce needs to spend the entire year at Dayton and BJ is likely to fall flat on his at High A. BJ is trade bait at this point.
    For B.J., I think it's a case of sink or swim. I don't think high A is too much of a shove considering he'll be 24 soon.

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    Re: Reds looking toward future

    Quote Originally Posted by BuckeyeRedleg
    For B.J., I think it's a case of sink or swim. I don't think high A is too much of a shove considering he'll be 24 soon.
    he has some trade value at this point. If they send him to Sarasota and he fails miserably (which is likely) he would have no value. 23 is too old for A ball but he hasn't given the Reds a reason to move him up.
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    Re: Reds looking toward future

    Quote Originally Posted by flyer85
    he has some trade value at this point. If they send him to Sarasota and he fails miserably (which is likely) he would have no value.
    Agreed.

    The Yankees have been masters at this shell game for years. They habitually leave their college draftees in the low minors for extended periods of time and rub their hands together in glee as those same players shoot up the prospect rankings. Then, when their prospect status is maxed out, they usually flip those guys for something useful at the MLB level.
    Last edited by Steve4192; 06-07-2006 at 01:09 PM.


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