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Thread: Looking to see who can be centerfield

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    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Looking to see who can be centerfield

    If we're being honest with ourselves, the Reds really don't have a true CF in house at the moment. Ryan Freel's a hard working utility man, not a natural CF. Norris Hopper's a bench player. Josh Hamilton's a corner OF who can hold down CF in a pinch. Chris Dickerson is a true CF, but he doesn't hit well enough to be more than a role player. Jay Bruce, by all accounts, is the second coming of Larry Walker, which means that he'd be an all right CF, but that he could dominate in RF. I say put him where he can dominate.

    That means if the Reds truly want a CF then they're going to have go outside their walls to find one. I'll kick it off here with some names, but there's a lot more guys than the ones I'm going to list and I'm curious to hear what others think about various candidates.

    Free agents

    Andruw Jones - He's one of the younger free agent CFs (30) and he ranks #1 among CFs in RZR (.931, though do not take that as blanket proof that he is the best overall CF out there). Yet he's also having his worst season at the plate in a decade and he'll be ridiculously expensive.

    Torii Hunter - He's 32 with power and still has some range (.897 RZR). He's lost a step around the bases and he's never been all that good about finding 1B. Also stands to be a budget buster.

    Aaron Rowand - His timing is impeccable, OPSing roughly 100 points above his career average in his walk year. Whether he can continue to do that is an open question, but less so in a small park like the GAB. He plays hustle defense, but his RZR is usually on the low side (.854 this season). He might become the "in vogue" selection.

    Mike Cameron - He's been incredibly steady the past nine seasons, great glove (.895 RZR), good wheels, good power, good eye at the plate. His numbers usually aren't eye-popping, but that's largely because he's played in the best pitchers parks in baseball. Put him in a hitter's park and you could get an .850+ OPS player for a couple of seasons. The downside is he's 34, though he keeps himself in tremendous shape. Probably the least expensive of the top free agent CFs.

    Corey Patterson - Patterson's seriously OB challenged and his power comes and goes, but he does have his plusses. He's got primo wheels, he's only 28, he's an average BA guy and he might just be the best defensive CF alive (.903 RZR this season, .949 last year). Patterson might just have himself a prime, especially if someone sticks him in a bandbox. If his BA ticks up to .280-.290 range and his power settles in, then you might be looking at a discount version of Aaron Rowand.

    Trade market

    Rocco Baldelli - B.J. Upton's going to be the D-Rays CF for the forseeable future. Delmon Young's in RF, Carl Crawford's in LF. That leaves Baldelli as a man without a place to play. He's beyond gimpy, but he could hit .300 with power, speed and a very good glove (though he won't be drawing many walks) if he could stay healthy. Tampa Bay needs middle IF and pitching help, perhaps LH power too (e.g. a guy like Jr. to DH). There'd be no point in trading Brandon Phillips for him (same basic guy), but he's a fairly established CF without a job.

    Carlos Gomez - Carlos Beltran may be the best player alive. Then when you add in vets in the OF corners and two other primo OF prospects, the Mets are swimming in OF talent. Does that mean you could pry away Gomez? Don't know, but I'd ask.
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  3. #2
    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: Looking to see who can be centerfield

    I like Patterson as a #7 hitter, but the team would have to find a RH bat *somewhere*.
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    Member paulrichjr's Avatar
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    Re: Looking to see who can be centerfield

    I don't see anything like this happening. I see Jay Bruce or Josh Hamilton out there for at least 2 years and then Stubbs coming up and taking it over.
    Tim McCarver: Baseball Quotes
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    Let's ride BRM's Avatar
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    Re: Looking to see who can be centerfield

    Quote Originally Posted by paulrichjr View Post
    I don't see anything like this happening. I see Jay Bruce or Josh Hamilton out there for at least 2 years and then Stubbs coming up and taking it over.
    You think Krivsky is content with fielding a below average defensive outfield?

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    Re: Looking to see who can be centerfield

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool View Post
    I like Patterson as a #7 hitter, but the team would have to find a RH bat *somewhere*.
    Phillips, Encarnacion, Gonzalez, catcher perhaps. I'm not sure where this LH overload myth came from and I doubt it would be a problem even if it existed.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: Looking to see who can be centerfield

    Quote Originally Posted by paulrichjr View Post
    I don't see anything like this happening. I see Jay Bruce or Josh Hamilton out there for at least 2 years and then Stubbs coming up and taking it over.
    Exactly. The OF is already shaping up to be a logjam of Dunn'Griffey/Kearns/WMP proportions.

    Though dealing Jr and adding Hunter would be phenomenal.

  8. #7
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    Re: Looking to see who can be centerfield

    Quote Originally Posted by paulrichjr View Post
    I don't see anything like this happening. I see Jay Bruce or Josh Hamilton out there for at least 2 years and then Stubbs coming up and taking it over.
    If the Reds lack ambition, and they might, then that's what they'll do. Though, given the way he's hit in professional ball, Stubbs is an awfully poor horse on which to place any bets. Right now, charitably, he looks to be about four years away from being able to come up and not embarrass himself.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

    I'm witchcrafting everybody.

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    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: Looking to see who can be centerfield

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    Phillips, Encarnacion, Gonzalez, catcher perhaps. I'm not sure where this LH overload myth came from and I doubt it would be a problem even if it existed.
    Dunn, Griffey, Hamilton, Bruce, Votto.

    Those are 5 bats who are either here now or are knocking on the door who are lefty.

    They are 26th in the majors in OPS vs LHPs this season.

    Cincy's secret weapon vs LHPs is now on the Mets.

    All of that adds up to a problem.

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    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Looking to see who can be centerfield

    Quote Originally Posted by edabbs44 View Post
    Dunn, Griffey, Hamilton, Bruce, Votto.

    Those are 5 bats who are either here now or are knocking on the door who are lefty.

    They are 26th in the majors in OPS vs LHPs this season.

    Cincy's secret weapon vs LHPs is now on the Mets.

    All of that adds up to a problem.
    Yeah, too many LH bats can sink a franchise. Just ask the Yankees. It's been a thorn in their side ever since they got that Babe Ruth guy from the Red Sox.

    Certainly the Reds could stand to improve vs. LHPs, but there are LH hitters who can hit LHPs. Dunn and Jr. have both been solid against LHPs during their careers.

    Also, the five guys you mentioned literally can't all take the field at the same time, so that's four LH hitters on any given day and in no, way, shape or form does half your lineup being LH constitute an overload.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

    I'm witchcrafting everybody.

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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Looking to see who can be centerfield

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    If the Reds lack ambition, and they might, then that's what they'll do. Though, given the way he's hit in professional ball, Stubbs is an awfully poor horse on which to place any bets. Right now, charitably, he looks to be about four years away from being able to come up and not embarrass himself.
    Drew made some big strides the second half of the season at the plate as he hit .308/.394/.517 in his last 250 plate appearances of the season. Give him 2 years and I think we will like what we see.

  12. #11
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    Re: Looking to see who can be centerfield

    Anyone got some CF suggestions? Anyone?

    I purposefully kept the list short.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

    I'm witchcrafting everybody.

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    Re: Looking to see who can be centerfield

    I'm wondering if we aren't giving Josh Hamilton enough credit. No doubt he has the arm and the speed to play better than average CF defense. He seems to pick up the ball fairly well off the bat, and has the range to go into the gap to catch up with and/or cut off a lot of gap shots.

    I have noticed a few MINOR inconsistencies in his play, but I figure with a four year layoff, he has missed out on a LOT of minor league instruction. I might be mistaken, but I can't recall the last Gold Glover to go completely error free for an entire season. The instincts and the tools seem to be there for Hamilton. He just needs a little polish on technique. It may not be saying much, but right now, even without the polish, Hamilton seems to be the best defensive OF the Reds have.

    Perhaps what the Reds really need is a coach who knows the finer techniques of playing CF and can tutor Hamilton a bit next spring training.
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    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Looking to see who can be centerfield

    Quote Originally Posted by BRM View Post
    You think Krivsky is content with fielding a below average defensive outfield?
    Yes he is, as long as they make all the routine plays, which appears to be his number 1 rule for good defense.

    In any case all of these names will cost a lot of money, just go with Bruce or Hamilton.
    Go Gators!

  15. #14
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Looking to see who can be centerfield

    As for going the FA route, Hunter and Jones are likely out of our price range. I have some interest in Patterson if the Reds will use him right and not bat him at the top of the line up, regardless of how fast he actually is.

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Looking to see who can be centerfield

    You really can't make a run at a FA until and unless both Griffey and Dunn are gone. I don't think that's likely to happen during this offseason, but is very possible heading in to 2009.

    I agree that neither Bruce nor Hamilton are optimal in CF. That said, if you have Dunn or Junior in LF, that puts Bruce in CF and Hamilton in RF. If you have Bruce and Hamilton in RF and LF respectively, then you don't quite have the need for a rangy CF like we have right now, because those 2 would both be plus defenders at their positions.

    The problem we have currently is that we have 2 poor range corner guys. Even the best CF can't cover both alleys and we've got an average CF in Hamilton. I would actually prefer a Dunn(or Jr)/Bruce/Hamilton arrangement for the next few years, as getting that sort of offensive production from CF gives you a massive leg up and the defense would still be significantly better than what we have now.

    The real problem area this team has is the lack of plus offense OR defense at SS, 3B, and 1B. Any additional financial investment in position players should be directed there, in my opinion. Hopefully the continued development of Phillips and EE will help the vL problem. What would make everything better is a plus defending SS with a good right-handed stick. So, ARod anybody? :-P
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.


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