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Thread: Looking to see who can be centerfield

  1. #16
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Looking to see who can be centerfield

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    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.
    How much of that is the normal hot/cold flux that comes with every season? How much of that is a function of the better, older pitchers in the MWL getting promoted to high A and beyond while the lesser pitchers stick around to mix with younger guys coming up?

    Supposedly Stubbs' .768 OPS effort in the Pioneer League last season was going to get relegated to fluke status this season. Now he's at .785 this season. It's too early to equate his performance with fate, but a pattern is emerging and it's not pretty. Quite frankly, if Stubbs doesn't take a major step forward next year the chances of him improving as the pitchers do at each level would be somewhere from slim to none.
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  3. #17
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    Re: Looking to see who can be centerfield

    I would try to trade Griffey or Dunn this offseason for whatever pitching they would fetch. I would go Jr. first simply because Dunn may carry more value at the deadline. Either way, if you could get some reasonable pitching in return, I would trade both, and then sign Corey Patterson to a two year deal in the $7-9 MM range.

    I like this logic because it takes advantage of the marketplace. It has been well documented that the free agent pool for pitching is very weak in talent and ridculously overpriced. So acquire your pitching talent through trades (if possible).

    If pitching is overpriced, and the spotlight on centerfielders doesn't really extend beyond Jones, Hunter, and maybe Rowand, Patterson should be available on the cheap.

    Drew Stubbs will not (or at least, should not) be an everyday starter until 2010 at the absolute earliest. And that's if he even makes it that far.
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  4. #18
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Looking to see who can be centerfield

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    How much of that is the normal hot/cold flux that comes with every season? How much of that is a function of the better, older pitchers in the MWL getting promoted to high A and beyond while the lesser pitchers stick around to mix with younger guys coming up?

    Supposedly Stubbs' .768 OPS effort in the Pioneer League last season was going to get relegated to fluke status this season. Now he's at .785 this season. It's too early to equate his performance with fate, but a pattern is emerging and it's not pretty. Quite frankly, if Stubbs doesn't take a major step forward next year the chances of him improving as the pitchers do at each level would be somewhere from slim to none.
    Couldn't tell you how much it has to do with guys getting called up or not, or a hot or cold type thing, but I do know that outside of 1 bad month, Drew had an OPS over .870 the entire rest of the season. Time will tell with Drew, but I think he has shown quite a bit of improvement and we will continue to see it next season.

  5. #19
    Playoffs Cyclone792's Avatar
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    Re: Looking to see who can be centerfield

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    Anyone got some CF suggestions? Anyone?

    I purposefully kept the list short.
    My own ideal center field candidate injured his arm in spring training, then got shipped off to Oakland shortly thereafter. Great defense, good on-base skills, and league minimum cheap. But apparently the Reds thought otherwise, and he's gone.

    I've seen Jay Bruce play exactly one game in center field, and that was last season in Dayton so I'm not really sure how strong his center field defense is at this point. All we've ever heard from the scouts is they believe Bruce is eventually geared for right field eventually, but I'd at least like to see him in center for an extended period myself before going with that take. Right now it would seem that Bruce's center field defense is at least average simply because he's received the bulk of his playing time there. My thinking is if Bruce was below average there, then the Reds would have already committed to moving him to a corner. Then again, this is the Reds we're talking about so that's not a given.

    I would agree that Hamilton's center field defense right now is probably below average, and his best position at this point is likely right field. Hamilton reminds me a lot of Austin Kearns; I think he'd be a good defender in right with a strong throwing arm helping him further, and he's passable in center in the short term but isn't a long term answer there.

    All that being said, the outfield situation I'd be looking at for next season is Dunn in left, Bruce in center, and Hamilton in right. We know what Dunn brings to the table defensively. If Bruce can play at least average defense in center, and if Hamilton provides good defense in right field, then the overall outfield defense shouldn't hurt the Reds. I doubt it'd be spectacular, but I'd have to think overall it'd be somewhat average. That would at least be a decent upgrade over what they're currently fielding.

    Drew Stubbs isn't even anywhere near my radar at this point. When (if) he reaches a point when he's excelling at AA or higher, then I'll consider him a viable option. Until then, the Reds shouldn't wait around on him and hoping he's some sort of answer.

    Also, I'd like to see the Reds acquire (or bring up) a legitimate center field defender as a 4th or 5th outfield backup type. Norris Hopper provides solid defense in the corners as a backup outfielder, but the guy just isn't a center fielder. I've seen enough of him running in four different directions while terribly misreading a fly ball in center field to know that he should never be in center field unless it's an emergency. The shame is right now this team doesn't even have a legitimate center field defender on its roster, neither its starters or backups.

    Perhaps a guy like Dickerson could fill that void, or perhaps he can't. I've never seen him play, but if his defense is as good as advertised, then he'd be a nice backup outfielder to have for his center field defensive purposes (provided his bat is good enough to justify a roster spot). If his bat isn't good enough, then the team would behoove itself to find some type of excellent center field defender who can provide enough pop to justify a roster spot.
    Last edited by Cyclone792; 09-05-2007 at 01:40 PM.
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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 dougdirt View Post
    Couldn't tell you how much it has to do with guys getting called up or not, or a hot or cold type thing, but I do know that outside of 1 bad month, Drew had an OPS over .870 the entire rest of the season. Time will tell with Drew, but I think he has shown quite a bit of improvement and we will continue to see it next season.
    That's just it. You don't know. I don't know. The Reds don't know. Drew Stubbs doesn't know. Stubbs had a poor April too (.697 OPS).

    What I do know is the promised blip of poor hitting in 2006 turned into a repeat in 2007. I like that Stubbs takes a walk, but his lack of power at his age and level of experience and in the leagues and parks he's played in is disturbing. My take is he's got the muscles to hit the ball over the fence, but not the swing to do it consistently.

    So do you reconstruct his swing or take your chances with what he's got? I'm sure the working plan is to go with the former, but acting like better performance in higher levels is a given strikes me as little more than bravado for bravado's sake.

    My point is the Reds would be foolish to the nth degree if the Reds constructed their major league roster around the great unknown that is Drew Stubbs. That goes for most prospects though. For instance, outside of Jay Bruce, I wouldn't be doing any future slotting with anyone in the Reds' system. Hope for them all to succeed, adjust accordingly when they do, but don't bank on them.
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  7. #21
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    Re: Looking to see who can be centerfield

    Hamilton is solid in center. I think you're selling him short. I think if you have Hamilton in center and Bruce in right, you have a pretty good start to a good defensive outfield.

    As for the too-many-lefties argument. I agree that the problem isn't the lefties. It's the righties. The Reds went into this season counting on Encarnacion as the right-handed bat in the middle of the lineup. He flopped spectacularly. Ross fell off big-time. Gonzalez was OK, but has been out of the lineup for long stretches. One of the reasons for the second-half upswing by the offense was the play of Keppinger and Hopper, who at least gave them some timely hits against left-handers.

    So the solution isn't necessarily subtracting lefties. It's adding righties who can balance the lineup. Only Phillips qualifies. I will say that I think you're discounting the problems against lefties a little too cavalierly. You can use career numbers, but Dunn has been undeniably bad against left-handers this season. Is that just a bad year, or indicative of a bigger problem? I don't know, but I wouldn't want to build a team for next year assuming a big turnaround.

    Finally, let me just say that I hope every available resource this offseason is used to acquire pitching. Center field is the least of my worries.

  8. #22
    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
    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.
    There's a difference between "could stand to improve" and being 26th out of 30 in OPS.

    And I agree that 4 of those guys can only take the field at one time. But where does the talent lie? Dunn, Griffey, Votto, Bruce and Hamilton or Phillips, EdE, Gonzalez and Ross/Valentin?

    It isn't shocking why they struggle vs LHPs.

  9. #23
    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
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    Re: Looking to see who can be centerfield

    GABP is one of the easiest CFs to patrol in all of the majors. I am guessing the Reds like a Hamilton/Hopper platoon heading into 2008.
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    Re: Looking to see who can be centerfield

    Quote Originally Posted by osuceltic View Post
    You can use career numbers, but Dunn has been undeniably bad against left-handers this season. Is that just a bad year, or indicative of a bigger problem?
    why would it be indicative of a bigger problem? Dunn OPSed 900 against LHP in 2006. Jrs numbers have been all over the place against LHP in his career. Generally players are better against the opposite handed pitcher. The Reds problem is a dearth of RH bats.
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  11. #25
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    Re: Looking to see who can be centerfield

    Michael Bourn from the Phillies could be expendable if they decide to keep Rowand as he'd be relegated to 4th OF duty.

    Great fielder, top notch speed, and on base ability. That's a great package to have in centre even if there is zero power to offer. He could be costly, but he may be a realistic target. Plus he's currently injured, deflating his value a little.
    Last edited by Patrick Bateman; 09-05-2007 at 02:04 PM.

  12. #26
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    Re: Looking to see who can be centerfield

    Quote Originally Posted by osuceltic View Post
    Hamilton is solid in center. I think you're selling him short. I think if you have Hamilton in center and Bruce in right, you have a pretty good start to a good defensive outfield.

    As for the too-many-lefties argument. I agree that the problem isn't the lefties. It's the righties. The Reds went into this season counting on Encarnacion as the right-handed bat in the middle of the lineup. He flopped spectacularly. Ross fell off big-time. Gonzalez was OK, but has been out of the lineup for long stretches. One of the reasons for the second-half upswing by the offense was the play of Keppinger and Hopper, who at least gave them some timely hits against left-handers.

    So the solution isn't necessarily subtracting lefties. It's adding righties who can balance the lineup. Only Phillips qualifies. I will say that I think you're discounting the problems against lefties a little too cavalierly. You can use career numbers, but Dunn has been undeniably bad against left-handers this season. Is that just a bad year, or indicative of a bigger problem? I don't know, but I wouldn't want to build a team for next year assuming a big turnaround.

    Finally, let me just say that I hope every available resource this offseason is used to acquire pitching. Center field is the least of my worries.
    Hamilton is center field given the current reds outfield. He wouldn't be on most other teams. Basically Hamilton is a center fielder only because the other two starters in the Reds outfield are two of the worst defenders in baseball.

    Cyclone hit the nail on the head....in his brief debut, Hamilton looks like he could be what a lot of Reds fans thought Kearns would become.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

  13. #27
    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: Looking to see who can be centerfield

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    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.
    Here is where I disagree with you doug. If they wanted to get a FA CF the could go out and pay one. I don't see it happening but the financial means are there. I get sick and tired of hearing that excuse. However the problem with the FA market is the type of contract given. You don't want to go out and give Hunter a 6 year deal when in his most profitable years 4,5,6 he is going to be on the downside of his career. I don't forsee Jones leaving the Braves but I would love to see him patrolling CF for the reds. The reds could go after Jones and give him a 5-6 year deal but that would signify not only the end of Dunn as a red but Jr would also have to be moved. But if you ask me I would much rather have an outfield of Bruce in LF, Jones in CF, and Hamilton in RF.

  14. #28
    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
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    Re: Looking to see who can be centerfield

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    Here is where I disagree with you doug. If they wanted to get a FA CF the could go out and pay one. I don't see it happening but the financial means are there. I get sick and tired of hearing that excuse. However the problem with the FA market is the type of contract given. You don't want to go out and give Hunter a 6 year deal when in his most profitable years 4,5,6 he is going to be on the downside of his career. I don't forsee Jones leaving the Braves but I would love to see him patrolling CF for the reds. The reds could go after Jones and give him a 5-6 year deal but that would signify not only the end of Dunn as a red but Jr would also have to be moved. But if you ask me I would much rather have an outfield of Bruce in LF, Jones in CF, and Hamilton in RF.
    you can sign one, as long as you realize you are highly likely to overpay and are just as likely to get little to no production in the outyears.

    CF is a really small problem in the Reds scheme of things. Pitching and catching look to be much more pressing issues.
    Last edited by flyer85; 09-05-2007 at 02:09 PM.
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    Re: Looking to see who can be centerfield

    Quote Originally Posted by edabbs44 View Post
    There's a difference between "could stand to improve" and being 26th out of 30 in OPS.
    The Reds were 2nd in MLB vs. LHPs last season with pretty much the same group of characters. Freel getting hurt and Aurilia heading off to SF were certainly blows to that number, but supposedly Cantu's here to be the new Aurilia and Freel's still around to perhaps platoon with Hamilton next season. Dunn and Encarnacion have been picking up their numbers against LHPs as the season's progressed. It wouldn't be shocking to see them wind up in the high .700s or low .800s by the end of the season (all it would take is a big game or two).

    So the current .730 mark could very well rise 50 points next year without any changes, which would make the Reds better than average vs. southpaws.
    Last edited by M2; 09-05-2007 at 02:21 PM.
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  16. #30
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    Re: Looking to see who can be centerfield

    Quote Originally Posted by Austin Kearns View Post
    Michael Bourn from the Phillies could be expendable if they decide to keep Rowand as he'd be relegated to 4th OF duty.

    Great fielder, top notch speed, and on base ability. That's a great package to have in centre even if there is zero power to offer. He could be costly, but he may be a realistic target. Plus he's currently injured, deflating his value a little.
    25 posts and finally we get another name. How Philly handles Rowand will be interesting. He's scrappy so the locals love him.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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