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Thread: The five most underappreciated Reds

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    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    The five most underappreciated Reds

    These five Reds got no respect
    HERE'S THE SKINNY

    By Richard Skinner • Enquirer contributor • August 17, 2008

    Now that perennial whipping boy Adam Dunn has been traded, it's a good time to look at other under-appreciated Reds players from the past 50 years. These five were key cogs and statistically brilliant at times, but they always seemed to fly under the radar or draw unwarranted criticism:

    5. Paul O'Neill

    Years with Reds: 1985-92

    Reds statistics:.259 batting average, 96 home runs, 411 RBI, 321 runs

    The Skinny: His underappreciation came mostly from Jim Bowden, who had taken over as the Reds' general manager in 1992.

    O'Neill's success with the Reds can't be measured totally in his statistics, and there's no doubt his best seasons came after he was traded to the New York Yankees following the 1992 season.

    O'Neill was a solid performer in perhaps the best sustained period of success for the team since the Big Red Machine years. The Reds finished second in the National League West in 1988, won the World Series in 1990 and finished second in the NL West again in 1992.

    O'Neill averaged 18 homers and 76 RBI per season from 1988-92 and his play was stellar in right field. He finished 19th in the NL MVP voting in 1991 and was selected to the All-Star team in 1992, then promptly was dealt for the underachieving Roberto Kelly in one of many bad Bowden trades.

    4. Kal Daniels

    Years with Reds: 1986-89

    Reds statistics:.301 batting average, 52 home runs, 160 RBI, 228 runs, 74 stolen bases

    The Skinny: One of the greatest what-should-have-been players perhaps in Reds history. He is largely forgotten because he played here only briefly and because he was so miserable defensively in left field. But the man could hit - both for average and for power.

    In 1987, Daniels had the third-best adjusted on-base plus slugging percentage in team history in the modern era, behind only Joe Morgan in 1976 and Frank Robinson in 1972. That season, Daniels hit .334, had a .617 slugging percentage and had a .429 on-base percentage. The next season, in a career-high 140 games, he hit .291 with a .463 slugging percentage and .397 on-base percentage, scored 95 runs and stole 27 bases while being caught attempting to steal just six times.

    3. Bobby Tolan

    Years with Reds: 1969-73

    Reds statistics:.282 batting average, 54 home runs, 306 RBI, 346 runs, 140 stolen bases

    The Skinny: Whenever the conversation comes around to great five-tool players in Reds history, Tolan should be in the conversation but rarely is. That's thanks in part to some injury issues that cut short his career.

    He appeared headed for superstardom after coming to the Reds from the St. Louis Cardinals before the 1969 season and was part of the first wave of the Big Red Machine. From 1969-71, Tolan hit better than .300 twice and averaged 101 runs, 15 homers, 85 RBI and 42 stolen bases in those three seasons.

    2. Vada Pinson

    Years with Reds: 1958-68

    Reds statistics:.297 batting average, 186 home runs, 814 RBI, 978 runs, 221 stolen bases

    The Skinny: Ask someone to name the top 10 Reds hitters and you'll be hard-pressed to find anyone who will name Pinson, but he should be among the first five mentioned. He was overshadowed at times by teammates Frank Robinson and Pete Rose.

    Pinson is the only player to rank in the top-10 in Reds history in hits (seventh), runs (seventh), doubles (fifth), triples (fifth), homers (10th), RBI (10th) and stolen bases (10th). He was a model of consistency who could be penciled in for a .300 average and about 190 hits, 35 doubles, 10 triples, 20 homers, 90 RBI and 20 stolen bases every year, but he was selected for only two All-Star teams. He also was a great defensive player and won a Gold Glove.

    1. Adam Dunn

    Years with Reds: 2001-2008

    Reds statistics:.247 batting average, 270 home runs, 646 RBI., 676 runs, .380 on-base percentage

    The Skinny: Dunn one day will be remembered as one of the best offensive players in team history, but for now, in the minds of many, he embodies all that has been wrong with the Reds the past few years.

    He is fourth in club history in homers and could have become the all-time leader within four seasons. If he finishes this season with 40 homers and 100 walks, Dunn will become the second player in major-league history to have five straight such seasons (Barry Bonds is the other). Dunn also is one of six players in the majors the last four seasons to drive in at least 90 runs and score 90 runs each year.

    There are more numbers to back up the argument for Dunn, but plenty of folks already made up their mind about him.

    http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs...808170429/1071

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    Re: The five most underappreciated Reds

    it's funny, but I think of Dunn as one of the most overappreciated Reds. must be the company I keep

    in time, appreciation for a ratio guy like Dunn will increase, especially as people who didn't watch him come on the scene. Just as appreciation for Pete Rose decreases, as people who never watched him look at him as a "counting stats" kind of guy as opposed to those who watched him make war on opposing teams

    remember, Babe Ruth's contemporary managers much preferred Ty Cobb. Now, it's all-Babe, by people who never watched either.

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    No half measures, Walter RedEye's Avatar
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    Re: The five most underappreciated Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by princeton View Post
    it's funny, but I think of Dunn as one of the most overappreciated Reds. must be the company I keep

    in time, appreciation for a ratio guy like Dunn will increase, especially as people who didn't watch him come on the scene. Just as appreciation for Pete Rose decreases, as people who never watched him look at him as a "counting stats" kind of guy as opposed to those who watched him make war on opposing teams

    remember, Babe Ruth's contemporary managers much preferred Ty Cobb. Now, it's all-Babe, by people who never watched either.
    I think appreciation of Pete Rose decreases due to stuff unrelated to what he did on the field.
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    Re: The five most underappreciated Reds

    Bobby Tolan? That list is top heavy in OF's.. typical Cincinnati POV of the Reds history.

    Shoot, I'll name 5 Red infielders who had better careers as a Red that most fans never heard of or gave a second thought.

    Heine Grohl

    Frank McCormick

    Hughie Critz

    Roy McMillan

    Miller Huggins

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    I thought you'd be bigger OldXOhio's Avatar
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    Re: The five most underappreciated Reds

    Surprised ED wasn't on that list.
    Originally Posted by nate
    Chapman can be downright pornographic at times.

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    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: The five most underappreciated Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    Bobby Tolan? That list is top heavy in OF's.. typical Cincinnati POV of the Reds history.

    Shoot, I'll name 5 Red infielders who had better careers as a Red that most fans never heard of or gave a second thought.

    Heine Groh

    Frank McCormick

    Hughie Critz

    Roy McMillan

    Miller Huggins
    Just correcting the spelling on Heinie Groh for you.
    “In the same way that a baseball season never really begins, it never really ends either.” - Lonnie Wheeler, "Bleachers, A Summer in Wrigley Field"

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    Mon chou Choo vaticanplum's Avatar
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    Re: The five most underappreciated Reds

    Was't Kal Daniels once put on the DL for an injured eyelash?
    There is no such thing as a pitching prospect.

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    Re: The five most underappreciated Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by redsmetz View Post
    Just correcting the spelling on Heinie Groh for you.
    I wouldn't mess with another man's Heine like that

    might make it groh

  10. #9
    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: The five most underappreciated Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by princeton View Post
    I wouldn't mess with another man's Heine like that

    might make it groh
    What can I say, now I feel like such an a**.
    “In the same way that a baseball season never really begins, it never really ends either.” - Lonnie Wheeler, "Bleachers, A Summer in Wrigley Field"

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    Member Sea Ray's Avatar
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    Re: The five most underappreciated Reds

    I disagree with labeling Bobby Tolan a 5 tool player. I've never considered him a power hitter. He, like O'Neill played only a few years in Cincinnati. What kind of love does Skinner expect them to get?

    As for Dunn, he was very appreciated here. Outside of Griffey, his jersey is the one you'd most often see in the stands during home games. I don't understand what else Skinner wanted the fans to do for Dunn.

  12. #11
    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: The five most underappreciated Reds

    I do not understand why Skinner referenced Bobby Tolan's hitting stats during 1969-71, referring to "those three seasons." Toaln never appeared in even a single game in 1971, after rupturing his achilles tendon in the offseason. He was a terrific player in 1969 and 1970, and, yes, he could be called a five tool player I guess. He hit 21 and 16 HRs those two seasons. Really, his medicore throwing arm was probably a greater weakness than any lack of power. In 1970 he lead the NL with 57 stolen bases, the last Red to ever lead the league in steals. Although he did have a decent season in 1972, he never really was the same player after the achilles injury.
    I don't know that I would list Vada Pinson as being one the top five hitters in Reds history. I would list, in no particular order, Frank Robinson, Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Barry Larkin, Johnny Bench, Tony Perez, Ted Kluzewski and George Foster ahead of Pinson, and I haven't even considered anyone before WWII.
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    Re: The five most underappreciated Reds

    I think that Eddie Taubansee will go down as a very underappreciated Red. He meant so much to that team in 1999, producing big hit after big hit, and did a great job of leading that pitching staff, even if he wasn't a great defensive catcher. Larkin and Vaughn got a lot of praise for the leadership of that team, and rightfully so. But I feel as the years go by, that season, and his career, get more and more overlooked.

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    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: The five most underappreciated Reds

    Watching Eddie Taubensee behind the plate offended me almost as much as watching David Ross behind the plate or Ken Griffey Jr in the OF. Jeff Keppinger at SS is approaching that level.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS

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    Member chicoruiz's Avatar
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    Re: The five most underappreciated Reds

    Whenever this topic comes up, I always say Leo Cardenas, and I'm sayin' it agaon...
    "In baseball, you don't know nothin'"...Yogi Berra

  16. #15
    Member cincrazy's Avatar
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    Re: The five most underappreciated Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    Watching Eddie Taubensee behind the plate offended me almost as much as watching David Ross behind the plate or Ken Griffey Jr in the OF. Jeff Keppinger at SS is approaching that level.
    He certainly wasn't a good defensive catcher, but without him, that 99 team has a heck of a time duplicating the success they had with him.


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