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Thread: Rotoworld: 2008 NL Central Prospects

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    Member kheidg-'s Avatar
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    Rotoworld: 2008 NL Central Prospects

    This comes from Rotoworld's NL central prospects column. Sorry if this has been already posted. Thought the ORG is the appropriate place for this being that it is major league contribution specific. Nice to see an outside view of what is expected out of Bailey, etc. which seems to echo many of the views of posters here.

    http://www.rotoworld.com/content/fea...rticleid=29767

    I have cut/paste the Reds related stuff.

    Prospect Contributions for 2008

    Joey Votto, 1B, Cincinnati Reds
    Joey Votto was thought to be the safer bet (due to an open job) of the Reds position players coming into this season, until Cincinnati picked up their option on Scott Hatteberg. Votto will now compete for the first base job come spring training, and considering Hatteberg's poor defense (as evidenced by a .675 RZR rating and only twelve out-of-zone plays) might not be such a bad risk as one might assume considering Votto's so-so glove work.

    Votto has above-average bat speed and strong wrists which allows him to hit for power to all fields. While he doesn't project as a .300 hitter, he also won't become Adam Dunn II, most likely hovering around .280 with extended at bats. He's much more patient at the plate than fellow teammate Jay Bruce, striking out 18.8% of the time while walking 12.8% (compared to Bruce's 23.5% and 7.8%) while also posting a slightly better contact rate (78% versus 74%), which also had been rising at every level. He's not much of an athlete, and while he did do a serviceable job when given time in left field last year, he still projects as somewhat of a defensive liability, meaning his bat has to produce for him to stick. Comparative bat-wise to Hatteberg, however, he's a huge upgrade despite whatever slumps may come.

    While the likelihood of Votto starting the season in Louisville remains high because of the Hatteberg resigning, Wayne Krivsky knows he needs more impact bats in the Cincinnati's line-up if they are to compete. A platoon isn't likely as both players struggle against left-handers, meaning the writing is on the wall for Hatteberg. His bat is essentially empty outside of his high on base percentage, and his negligible speed negates much of that value, while Votto actually possesses solid enough base path instincts to have stolen 17 bags at Louisville last year.

    Long term, Jay Bruce is the much better bet between the two prospects (and is number one in all of the minors in terms of keeper leagues), but for this season the likelihood that Votto eventually wins the first base job outright and gets 100-200 more at bats than Bruce, combined with his more advanced plate coverage and contact rate gains, makes him the top choice. He's a perfect candidate for a late-round flier when you also consider the park he'll call home.

    465 AB, .280 BA, 20 HR, 64 R, 71 RBI, 12 SB
    Jay Bruce, CF/RF, Cincinnati Reds
    The consensus best hitter in the minor leagues last season and Baseball America's Minor League Player of the Year, Bruce heads a class of Cincinnati prospects ready for prime time. He will be as hyped in your coming drafts as Alex Gordon was last year and long-term projects as a perennial all-star and a top 20 player for years to come.

    His similarities to Gordon unfortunately do not end with pedigree and hype, but also with him being drastically overvalued in redraft leagues. Cincinnati picked up Adam Dunn's option, and with all three Reds outfielders returning, it's not clear where Bruce fits in right now. Cincinnati could be content with Bruce delaying his service time and fine-tuning his game in Triple-A for at least the first few months, though he really has little to nothing left to prove in the minors.

    Bruce rates as above average in all five tools, with his bat his calling card (and it's quite the calling card). He has the ability to hit for both a very high batting average (.310+) and power (20 HR), this year. He'll be able to play an average centerfield, but long term projects as a right fielder which will allow his body to fill out. His major problem thus far has been a rather high K rate (23.5% at Triple-A last year), which combined with his lucky BABIP rates (.351, .400, .429 and .359 at his four respective stops, though this could be a developing skill), low contact rate (74%) and high ground ball rate (39%) says he'll have a bit of trouble with more advanced pitching he'll be 21 at season's start after all. This is likely a temporary setback, and Cincinnati has proven time and time again that they'll promote (and stick with) pure power regardless of low average. But for 2008, what his production holds, overall, is still a major question. 204 plate appearances in Triple-A is not the same as a full year in the majors.

    When you combine this with the lack of a clear spot for him to play, you'll be risking an awful lot with the high pick you'll have to use to grab him. Of course, if you're in a keeper league he'll be worth whatever you spend now at some point in the near future, but for those in one-year leagues, he's an extremely risky investment as he'll most likely be gone by the 7th to 10th rounds (and higher in NL-only). If he's there in the twelfth or lower rounds, by all means make the move, but this will be the exception, not the rule. If things change and he does get a starting job out of spring training, you can completely trash these numbers below.

    315 AB's, .285 BA, 11 HR, 42 R, 45 RBI, 5 SB
    Homer Bailey, RHP, Cincinnati Reds
    In the world of prospect projecting, a few bad circumstances sure can tarnish a player's outlook, despite all the gushing and fawning he received only months prior. Homer Bailey is the perfect example of this somewhat unfair devaluation. Less than a year ago I was reading comparisons to Nolan Ryan (how accurate this may be is certainly debatable), and now I'm seeing him valued lower than fellow Reds prospect Johnny Cueto on many expert's lists.

    Bailey flashes a plus curveball that has the ability to absolutely embarrass hitters, mixed with deceptive drag-and-drop delivery and two above average fastballs. His arm slot and delivery both are extremely sustainable. He initially struggled at the major league level because he was attempting to incorporate his full arsenal, losing a bit of the bite on his fastball, and sacrificing his command. All he has to do is refine his command and control to become the true ace that he's been long projected to be. And despite the poor results last season, he's on the correct path.

    Adding to Bailey's problems last year was the fact that he was injured for the majority of his call-up, straining his groin after his seven-inning, two-hit start against Oakland on June 19. He was shutdown shortly thereafter for two months, returning for three somewhat notable starts in September, winning two. The major knock on Bailey has always been his inefficiency; pitching deep into counts and tiring early, which clearly can be seen in his poor k/bb rates (both 13.7% in the majors).

    Barring something miraculous, this is unlikely to change for 2008 (or unfortunately part of 2009). However, he's got a nice repeatable delivery and is a very good athlete, thus the injury tag should not be applied. Still, he's best to be avoided on draft day, as young pitchers usually take years to adjust to the major league level and his repertoire has already been exposed, not to mention pitching in Great American Ballpark. While there is a slight chance it will click for him this season, thus elevating the below numbers, neither he nor Cueto will likely provide substantial value, and staying away from Bailey for another year or so makes the most sense in redraft leagues. Those whom own him in keeper leagues do not have much choice but to hold, and must continue to as the potential payoff still remains quite great.

    130 IP, 7 W, 104 K, 87 BB, 4.65 ERA, 1.43 WHIP
    Johnny Cueto, RHP, Cincinnati Reds
    Small frame but has plus command. Though his stamina lacks, his light weight indicates this shouldn't be a future issue. Has impressive pitch movement which is his key to strike outs. Because he can succeed in a variety of roles, may see bullpen action or spot starts for 2008. Future is bright and has shot up many prospect lists. Do not discount because of size.
    Matt Maloney, RHP, Cincinnati Reds (possible 5th starter/middle reliever)

  2. #2
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Rotoworld: 2008 NL Central Prospects

    I really wonder if people outside of Reds nation know something we don't about the signing (picking up the option) of Hatteberg and what it means for Votto.... he really isn't going to start over Votto is he?

    As for Jay Bruce.... 39% ground balls and 61% flyballs makes him a high ground ball hitter?! For some reason I think someone is a little crazy by saying that.

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    Member kheidg-'s Avatar
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    Re: Rotoworld: 2008 NL Central Prospects

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    I really wonder if people outside of Reds nation know something we don't about the signing (picking up the option) of Hatteberg and what it means for Votto.... he really isn't going to start over Votto is he?
    I'm guessing depending on what happens with Hatteberg before the season starts -- Dusty has a penchant for playing able veterans. Hatteberg is in no means bad, so I see him getting the majority of the playing time at 1B if he is indeed on the team. I think their projection for at bats for Votto is close to right, maybe a little on the high side depending if Hatteberg is here the whole season.

    What I find even more interesting is their projections for Bailey, Cueto, and Maloney. If their projections are close to what the FO is expection and the Reds want to contend this season, I am beginning to think that they will bring someone with experience on. Not sure as to why they haven't included Volquez in this -- I was sure he'd be listed, maybe they either wrote this article before the trade or simply don't consider him a prospect any longer.

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    Member klw's Avatar
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    Re: Rotoworld: 2008 NL Central Prospects

    Interesting read. Thank you for posting this

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    Re: Rotoworld: 2008 NL Central Prospects

    The Gordon comparison reminds us not to project a .310 30HR season for Bruce this year. He could easily struggle and cause a mass exodus from his large bandwagon.

    You have to be realistic and expect adjustment.

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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Rotoworld: 2008 NL Central Prospects

    Quote Originally Posted by CaiGuy View Post
    The Gordon comparison reminds us not to project a .310 30HR season for Bruce this year. He could easily struggle and cause a mass exodus from his large bandwagon.

    You have to be realistic and expect adjustment.
    While I think there were several things that toyed with Gordon last year, lets also remember that he didn't have any at bats above AA in 2006, which could have played into his adjustment as well. While I think .310/30 is pretty crazy to throw out for JB, I don't think .275/20-25 is far from reality if he starts from day 1.

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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Rotoworld: 2008 NL Central Prospects

    The projections for Bailey is interesting. They expect his walk rate to go up by nearly a walk this season, but expect his hit rate to be nearly the same as his walk rate, about 6.5. Even pitching injured last year Bailey didn't post a walk rate nearly as bad as they project for him next year.

    As for Volquez, its probably because he isn't ROY eligible and therefore not a prospect.

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    Member red-in-la's Avatar
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    Re: Rotoworld: 2008 NL Central Prospects

    I think Hatteberg is a LH pinch hitter until July where he will be a deadline trade.
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    Re: Rotoworld: 2008 NL Central Prospects

    130 IP, 7 W, 104 K, 87 BB, 4.65 ERA, 1.43 WHIP
    If we get a 4.65 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 7.2 K/9 and more K than BB from Bailey in 2008, then the cosmos will be in perfect harmony.

    This is one of the better/more realistic projections I've seen about Bailey.

    The fact that the article suggests Votto has to win the job from Hatteberg greatly disturbs me.

    may see bullpen action or spot starts for 2008
    This is exactly what I want to see from Cueto in 2008. Let him get his MLB feet wet out of the pen, and put him in a rotation with Bailey and Maloney for the 5th SP spot so they all get a controlled taste of the show.

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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Rotoworld: 2008 NL Central Prospects

    Quote Originally Posted by Highlifeman21 View Post
    If we get a 4.65 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 7.2 K/9 and more K than BB from Bailey in 2008, then the cosmos will be in perfect harmony.

    This is one of the better/more realistic projections I've seen about Bailey.
    I agree to a point. I think the ERA is within the range I would go with (although I am thinking more 4.25-4.50) but the walk rate doesn't jive so well and frankly neither does the hit rate. A 1.43 WHIP with those innings and those walks means he would project Bailey to allow 99 hits in 130 innings. I think the WHIP is roughly in line, but with more hits and fewer walks over that time.

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Rotoworld: 2008 NL Central Prospects

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    I agree to a point. I think the ERA is within the range I would go with (although I am thinking more 4.25-4.50) but the walk rate doesn't jive so well and frankly neither does the hit rate. A 1.43 WHIP with those innings and those walks means he would project Bailey to allow 99 hits in 130 innings. I think the WHIP is roughly in line, but with more hits and fewer walks over that time.
    I agree Doug. I think the projection is very close to what my gut projection would look like. But I'd swap out about 20-25 walks for hits and maybe bump up the ERA to the 4.90 range.
    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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    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Rotoworld: 2008 NL Central Prospects

    I'm curious to see if trading Hatteberg could net as much as trading Jeff Conine. I still can't figure out why the Mets were willing to give up Jose Castro and Sean Henry.
    Last edited by camisadelgolf; 01-02-2008 at 03:33 PM. Reason: I accidentally inserted an unnecessary space--to save bandwith, I went back and deleted it.


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