1. ## Re: Valaika in Hawaii

I assume you want more range in a SS b/c the 2nd baseman has a shorter throw to the 1st basement, meaning that he can play a little deeper (allowing him to get to more balls than he would at a normal depth) and still throw the runner out at 1st.

3. ## Re: Valaika in Hawaii

Originally Posted by texasdave
This is something that I have asked in the past, but never really felt like it was answered adequately. If the infield of a diamond symmetrical, then why does a shortstop require greater range than a second baseman? I might even argue that since the first baseman is often holding on the runner, a second baseman needs more range. Of course, a shortstop needs a stronger arm. I decided to look up the fielding numbers at www.espn.com and was actually surprised to learn that, using the team fielding numbers, the average second baseman has more total chances than the average shortstop. (SS has around 30 more assists, while 2b has almost 100 more putouts) So, once again, why does a shortstop need greater range than a second baseman?
Maybe part of the reason the difference in assists is so small is because on almost every team, the shortstop has better range. If you were to switch the shortstop and second baseman on each team, perhaps the difference in assists from each respective position would be noticeably greater.

4. ## Re: Valaika in Hawaii

Originally Posted by texasdave
This is something that I have asked in the past, but never really felt like it was answered adequately. If the infield of a diamond symmetrical, then why does a shortstop require greater range than a second baseman? I might even argue that since the first baseman is often holding on the runner, a second baseman needs more range. Of course, a shortstop needs a stronger arm. I decided to look up the fielding numbers at www.espn.com and was actually surprised to learn that, using the team fielding numbers, the average second baseman has more total chances than the average shortstop. (SS has around 30 more assists, while 2b has almost 100 more putouts) So, once again, why does a shortstop need greater range than a second baseman?
More RH hitters.

Shortstops also need to be able to reach the ball quicker than 2Bs because they've got a longer throw.

5. ## Re: Valaika in Hawaii

I may be completly off base but I think part of the reason a 2b gets more chances is that he is able to play deeper in the infield. The throw is shorter so they don't need to be in as far as a 3b or SS. That enables them to play deeper when enables them to get to more balls.

6. ## Re: Valaika in Hawaii

He also needs to be able to turn the double play.(Pitchers best friend). It's a lot different for a SS. The 2b must be quick and accurate.

7. ## Re: Valaika in Hawaii

I think Valiaka will stay at SS longer than Frazier. Cozart plays better defense than both Valaika and Frazier. He just did not hit. It will interesting to see where everybody lands after Spring Training.

8. ## Re: Valaika in Hawaii

Redman, the Reds have Valaika playing 2B in Hawaii so he can learn his new position. I would be very surprised if he played much SS anymore.

9. ## Re: Valaika in Hawaii

Having seen the 3 of them play short, I would rank them like this.
Offensively
1. Frazier
2. Valaika
3. Cozart
Defensively
1.Cozart
2.Valaika
3.Frazier

If you throw Castro and Soto in the mix I would rank them like this.
Offensively
1. Frazier
2. Valaika
3. Soto
4. Castro
5. Cozart.
Defensively
1. Cozart
2. Valaika
3. Castro
4. Frazier
5. Soto
IMO Valaika is the best prospect at SS in this group.

10. ## Re: Valaika in Hawaii

Valaika better than Castro with the glove?

I thought the new Castro had some defensive rep (then again so does the old one and I've never cared for his defense).

11. ## Re: Valaika in Hawaii

Castro had 18 errors on the year to Valaika's 17.

12. ## Re: Valaika in Hawaii

Originally Posted by Redman15
Castro had 18 errors on the year to Valaika's 17.
In 1988 Ozzie Smith committed 22 errors while Steve Jeltz committed 14. Didn't mean Jeltz was a better, or even vaguely equivalent, fielder

I was under the impression that you had eyeballed both of these guys and thought Valaika brought better tools to the position. If your ranking was based on error totals then I'm going to have to pay it no attention.

13. ## Re: Valaika in Hawaii

I have watched Valaika since college in California. He played SS on Team USA. My ranking are based on what I've seen, which I said in my earlier post. I have seen Valaika,Cozart and Frazier. I have not seen Castro or Soto, so I can only base my ratings on stats and other posts relating to them. I will defer to the pros as to who has better tools. Valaika 3rd rd pick. Castro 32 rd pick. I'll go out on a limb here and say Valaika probably has better tools and is a much better prospect IMO.

14. ## Re: Valaika in Hawaii

Originally Posted by Redman15
Valaika 3rd rd pick. Castro 32 rd pick. I'll go out on a limb here and say Valaika probably has better tools and is a much better prospect IMO.
Where they were picked has more to do with their bats than their gloves. Brandon Larson was a 1st round SS pick and he could play defense to save himself.

Though since you've seen Valaika play, do you think he's got the skills to stick at SS? Looks like he's moving to 2B.

15. ## Re: Valaika in Hawaii

I would think that where they were drafted would be based on their tools and overall make up. Most of the 5 tool players drafted are 1st rounders.

16. ## Re: Valaika in Hawaii

Originally Posted by BigRed07
I would think that where they were drafted would be based on their tools and overall make up. Most of the 5 tool players drafted are 1st rounders.
I could run the list of non-1st round five-tooler forever, but I'll note that Eric Davis was an 8th round pick and leave it at that.

I'm still interested in hearing your impressions of Valaika in the field. I haven't seen him play live and I'm curious to hear from someone who has about his relative strengths and weaknesses.

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