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Thread: Norris Hopper or Ryan Freel?

  1. #1
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    Norris Hopper or Ryan Freel?

    When Freel comes back I say Hopper plays more. He seems to be the better all around player. Good contact hitter, more consistent and just as good OF.

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    Re: Hopper or Freel?

    In truth, Hopper probably is the more talented player. You have to love all the hustle and effort (ok, scrappiness) that Freel gives you, but Norris has the better stick. Freel has one advantage in that he can play 3B and 2B on occasion. Both are good bench players when Hamilton gets back and Ryan gets healed.

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    Re: Hopper or Freel?

    Freel has a career OBP of .362. He has struggled mightily this year (.313 OBP), but to assert Hopper is "more talented," or "more consistent" based largely on one hot week is premature.

    They are actually very similar players, though Freel can take a walk. Both are converted infielders whose OF defense suffers due to poor routes to flies and poor first steps reading the ball of the bat, and both players' overall game is based largely on speed. Also, both Freel and Hopper lack pop with the bat. Hopper has exactly 4 career HR in his professional baseball career.

    The Reds' offense has a lot of questions, and a guy whose OBP is BA-driven sitting inthe leadoff hole is not the answer to any of the questions. Freel has been an out machine on the bases and at the bat, but I'll take his track record over a guy whose career minor league OPS is below .700, in particular with a home park that features a small OF, stifling doubles.

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    Re: Hopper or Freel?

    Neither are anything more then a backup player. With Hamilton coming back, Hopper goes back to the bench where he belongs.

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    Re: Hopper or Freel?

    Quote Originally Posted by reds44 View Post
    Neither are anything more then a backup player. With Hamilton coming back, Hopper goes back to the bench where he belongs.
    Word.

    When Hammy is back it should be Dunn, Hamilton, and Griffey a very large majority of the time. I like having Hopper and Freel on the bench but neither are everyday starters.

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    Re: Hopper or Freel?

    Quote Originally Posted by justincredible View Post
    Word.

    When Hammy is back it should be Dunn, Hamilton, and Griffey a very large majority of the time. I like having Hopper and Freel on the bench but neither are everyday starters.
    How much you want to bet Narron gives Hopper Hamilton's starts in CF vs. LHP?

    Btw, Hopper has a career minor league OPS south of .700. He doesn't walk alot, and he doesn't have alot of doubles. He's a PURE singles hitter, and he doesn't play that good of defense. He's a nice little pinch hitter/spot starter/pinch runner off the bench, but he's not very good.

    And don't get me wrong, I like Norris. I just hope the Reds don't expect him to be somethin he is not.

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    Re: Hopper or Freel?

    Narron has an innate ability to mismanage the roster, I agree, reds44. Hamilton is the player who should be getting 500 PA and finding himself in the lineup any way possible, not Hopper. The Reds need to figure out exactly what Hamilton brings to the table over a full season to adequately map out the future roster.

    Hopper is a one trick pony and is useful as speed off the bench. I also find his defense to be woefully lacking.

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    Re: Hopper or Freel?

    Both make very useful backup players, IMO. But it's past time for this organization to set a little higher standard at every position. There is one basic question: is this guy a strong player on a team that seeks to win the pennant every year. We've got to move the players from the minors who can play and put the best eight players on the field as often as possible. Krivsky should be working immediately on an upgrade behind the plate and on trying to get some value for Conine and Hatteberg. IF: Votto, Phillips, Gonzalez, Edwin; Of: Dunn, Hamilton, Griffey. Catcher: Ross/Javy until we can get an upgrade. Bench, after Conine and Hatteberg are gone: Freel, Hopper, Keppinger, Janish, a righty capable of relieving Votto from time to time (Conine until he can be moved).

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    Re: Hopper or Freel?

    Quote Originally Posted by HokieRed View Post
    Both make very useful backup players, IMO. But it's past time for this organization to set a little higher standard at every position. There is one basic question: is this guy a strong player on a team that seeks to win the pennant every year. We've got to move the players from the minors who can play and put the best eight players on the field as often as possible. Krivsky should be working immediately on an upgrade behind the plate and on trying to get some value for Conine and Hatteberg. IF: Votto, Phillips, Gonzalez, Edwin; Of: Dunn, Hamilton, Griffey. Catcher: Ross/Javy until we can get an upgrade. Bench, after Conine and Hatteberg are gone: Freel, Hopper, Keppinger, Janish, a righty capable of relieving Votto from time to time (Conine until he can be moved).
    I think having both Freel and Hopper on the bench is a bit redundant, and I'd like to see some LH-power...like a PH specialist who can play the corner positions. This assumes Votto's lefty-mashing 1B counterpart has power, and the high minors aren't exactly stacked with those types of player.

    I agree totally with your "one basic question" premise. We need to acquire hitters with upside who can't quite make other teams' 40-man rosters and incrementally upgrade our overall roster talent, and get a field manager capable of managing that roster.

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    Re: Hopper or Freel?

    if it's me i play hopper and have freel pinch run or do small things till he's healthy then return him to the super sub role he has excelled in for couple years.

  12. #11
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    Re: Hopper or Freel?

    Quote Originally Posted by captainmorgan07 View Post
    if it's me i play hopper and have freel pinch run or do small things till he's healthy then return him to the super sub role he has excelled in for couple years.
    Yeah last season David Eckstein suffered a concussion and was pretty awful for a couple months afterwards when he came back. It was very apparent he wasn't himself due to the concussion, and with Hopper filling in nicely, there's no reason to necessarily play Freel right when he's able to come off the DL.

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    Re: Hopper or Freel?

    Quote Originally Posted by reds44 View Post
    How much you want to bet Narron gives Hopper Hamilton's starts in CF vs. LHP?

    Btw, Hopper has a career minor league OPS south of .700. He doesn't walk alot, and he doesn't have alot of doubles. He's a PURE singles hitter, and he doesn't play that good of defense. He's a nice little pinch hitter/spot starter/pinch runner off the bench, but he's not very good.

    And don't get me wrong, I like Norris. I just hope the Reds don't expect him to be somethin he is not.
    Yes, but you're also overlooking the fact that Norris had a batting average of .347 in the international league MOST RECENTLY (which was a league best). Players can come around at an older age. Look at Derek Lee. Pre 2005, he was an average 1st basemen at best (actually, probably below average) and he was almost 30 years at that point. Now, I'm not suggesting Hopper's upside is of Derek Lee proportions because it's not, but he has torn it up since he's had regular playing time and I think with regular playing time he can be a starting player, regardless of what his past may suggest. There is no way of knowing unless he gets the ABs over the course of an extended period of time to know. The problem for Hopper is that he has 3 outfielders currently who project better.

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    Re: Hopper or Freel?

    Hopper has played brilliantly, and deserves more time
    But Josh is the CF now....Not sure where Freel fits in
    other than giving days off

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    Re: Hopper or Freel?

    Hopefully neither will start. But if someone gets injured or traded and we needed one in the lineup every day, I would hope it would be whomever is hitting at the moment. Freel has "earned the job", but he's extremely streaky so Hopper would most likely get an opportunity at some point (like he is now). They could take turns winning the starting job from each other; it would be fun. But neither should be considered an everyday player.

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    Re: Hopper or Freel?

    Quote Originally Posted by fearofpopvol1 View Post
    Yes, but you're also overlooking the fact that Norris had a batting average of .347 in the international league MOST RECENTLY (which was a league best).
    But, you're overlooking the fact that much of his BA was the result of luck. His BABIP was high at .372. If it had been at the typical .290, Hopper's BA would have been .271. Eventually that will even out.


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