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Thread: Bats' Stubbs hot on Jay Bruce's heels

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    Bats' Stubbs hot on Jay Bruce's heels

    Bats' Stubbs hot on Jay Bruce's heels

    Another Texan on the fast track


    By Rick Newkirk • rnewkirk@courier-journal.com • August 31, 2008


    Now Jay Bruce has a partner in the Texas two-step.

    In much the same way as Bruce last season, Drew Stubbs has risen through the ranks of the Cincinnati Reds' farm system, jumping from Class A Sarasota to the Triple-A Louisville Bats in a matter of weeks.

    And he's getting better.


    A .261 hitter in Sarasota -- where he was the Florida State League All-Star Game MVP -- he then hit .315 in 26 games with Double-A Chattanooga before getting the call to Louisville to roam center field as Bruce did at the start of the season.
    Stubbs is hitting .313 with eight extra-base hits in two weeks with the Bats.


    "I'm kind of surprised about coming up to Louisville," said Stubbs, the only Sarasota player to advance to Triple-A this season. "My expectation going into the year was to get to Chattanooga. ... (Now I'm) one step away from the major leagues. I've really enjoyed it, and I've learned a lot in a short amount of time."


    His career path seems to be following that of Bruce, who rose from Sarasota to Louisville last season before breaking into the big leagues this year. Both are Texas boys -- Bruce from Beaumont, Stubbs from the Texarkana area and the University of Texas (he still tailgates at the Longhorns' football games). Both were drafted in the first round -- Bruce No. 12 in 2005, Stubbs No. 8 in 2006.


    And both have extraordinary talent.


    "Jay has probably the best natural ability I've ever seen," Bats hitting coach Smokey Garrett said. "And Drew's got the same kind of ability."
    Stubbs was a four-sport athlete at Atlanta High School, playing wideout in football and wing in basketball. He was also a track star, reaching the state meet in the 400- and 1,600-meter relays, 300 hurdles and triple jump.
    He continues to prove his athleticism on the basepaths, stealing 33 bases in 42 tries this year. Now his bat is coming around.


    Garrett said the 23-year-old Stubbs has thrived in the higher levels of minor league baseball thanks in part to pitch selection that is better than Bruce's. In lower classes pitchers spend more time nibbling off the plate.
    Since his promotion from Sarasota, Stubbs has sported a .391 on-base percentage, up from .364 last season at Dayton. He has only himself to thank for that.


    "I really haven't worked with him on much of anything," Garrett said, "because if it's not broke, don't fix it."


    The power stroke is there, too, although that facet of Stubbs' game has yet to take off. In naming him the No. 5 prospect in the Reds' system last year, Baseball America claimed he had "light-tower power" with the potential to be a big league slugger.


    Stubbs has just seven home runs in 129 games this year, but Garrett said he has the potential to hit 25-30 a year in the majors.
    "If pitchers make mistakes, he's got the abilities to turn it around," Garrett said.


    Bats manager Rick Sweet is impressed with Stubbs' right-handed stroke, too -- although not for its power.


    "I think the fact that he drives the ball to all fields is more important to me," Sweet said. " ... But he's too good of a hitter to be just classified as a home run guy."


    Stubbs also has an exemplary glove, but it's one other weapon that could help him take Bruce's place as the Reds' top prospect: an insatiable appetite for improvement.


    "I know my time will come, but I'm not thinking of myself as 'The Guy,' " he said. "I just want to go out there and just improve as a player and put myself in the position where I can be promoted to the next level. I'm not going to worry about the expectations that other people have for me."
    http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/...56/1002/SPORTS

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    Member Spring~Fields's Avatar
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    Re: Bats' Stubbs hot on Jay Bruce's heels

    Quote Originally Posted by redhawk61 View Post
    "Jay has probably the best natural ability I've ever seen," Bats hitting coach Smokey Garrett said. "And Drew's got the same kind of ability."

    Stubbs was a four-sport athlete at Atlanta High School, playing wideout in football and wing in basketball. He was also a track star, reaching the state meet in the 400- and 1,600-meter relays, 300 hurdles and triple jump.
    He continues to prove his athleticism on the basepaths, stealing 33 bases in 42 tries this year. Now his bat is coming around.


    Garrett said the 23-year-old Stubbs has thrived in the higher levels of minor league baseball thanks in part to pitch selection that is better than Bruce's. In lower classes pitchers spend more time nibbling off the plate.
    Since his promotion from Sarasota, Stubbs has sported a .391 on-base percentage, up from .364 last season at Dayton. He has only himself to thank for that.


    "I really haven't worked with him on much of anything," Garrett said, "because if it's not broke, don't fix it."


    Interesting

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    Member paulrichjr's Avatar
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    Re: Bats' Stubbs hot on Jay Bruce's heels

    We all told Dougdirt to just watch and Stubbs would be fine. I just wonder if Doug has finally been convinced how right we all were?
    Tim McCarver: Baseball Quotes
    I remember one time going out to the mound to talk with Bob Gibson. He told me to get back behind the batter, that the only thing I knew about pitching was that it was hard to hit.

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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Bats' Stubbs hot on Jay Bruce's heels

    Quote Originally Posted by paulrichjr View Post
    We all told Dougdirt to just watch and Stubbs would be fine. I just wonder if Doug has finally been convinced how right we all were?
    I need to see more of it. He can't play defense and hasn't shown he can adjust his offensive game at all.... :

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    Vavasor TRF's Avatar
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    Re: Bats' Stubbs hot on Jay Bruce's heels

    5 for his last 21, with 2 walks.

    sample size works both ways.
    Suck it up cupcake.

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    Member icehole3's Avatar
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    Re: Bats' Stubbs hot on Jay Bruce's heels

    the doubters are on standby, I see

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    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Bats' Stubbs hot on Jay Bruce's heels

    Quote Originally Posted by TRF View Post
    5 for his last 21, with 2 walks.

    sample size works both ways.
    If he keeps that up, he will suck. But even when he's sucking, he has an OPS higher than Jay Bruce's as a Red.

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    Re: Bats' Stubbs hot on Jay Bruce's heels

    Quote Originally Posted by camisadelgolf View Post
    If he keeps that up, he will suck. But even when he's sucking, he has an OPS higher than Jay Bruce's as a Red.
    Yeah but he has a better hitting instructor.

    "because if it's not broke, don't fix it."

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    Re: Bats' Stubbs hot on Jay Bruce's heels

    Quote Originally Posted by camisadelgolf View Post
    If he keeps that up, he will suck. But even when he's sucking, he has an OPS higher than Jay Bruce's as a Red.
    3 years older, 1 level lower.
    Suck it up cupcake.

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    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Bats' Stubbs hot on Jay Bruce's heels

    Quote Originally Posted by TRF View Post
    3 years older, 1 level lower.
    Ryan Howard was still in AAA when he was 25 years old. If you want to judge a prospect based on his age at a level, Drew Stubbs is a better prospect than Ryan Howard was.

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Bats' Stubbs hot on Jay Bruce's heels

    I think the phrase skeptically optimistic sums it up for me.
    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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    Re: Bats' Stubbs hot on Jay Bruce's heels

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    I think the phrase skeptically optimistic sums it up for me.
    Yep. Same here.

    I'm usually on the boat with stats analysis but it can break down for minor-leaguers because the minor leagues are for development and the players are not finished products. PECOTA and its siblings are excellent tools but they're not foolproof. They're best-fit lines on a very scattered graph. It's not always good enough to say a prospect is what his performance record says he was.

    That doesn't mean Stubbs' improvement is necessarily real and permanent, either. But every now and then, a toolsy guy does have the light come on. I hope it did, anyway.
    Not all who wander are lost

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    Re: Bats' Stubbs hot on Jay Bruce's heels

    Stubbs finished at .293/.354/.480 - .834 at Louisville and .277/.371/.417 - .788 with 33 stolen bases between Sarasota, Chattanooga, and Louisville.

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    Re: Bats' Stubbs hot on Jay Bruce's heels

    Quote Originally Posted by camisadelgolf View Post
    Ryan Howard was still in AAA when he was 25 years old. If you want to judge a prospect based on his age at a level, Drew Stubbs is a better prospect than Ryan Howard was.
    The Phillies had Thome about that time period though if I'm correct
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    Re: Bats' Stubbs hot on Jay Bruce's heels

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    I think the phrase skeptically optimistic sums it up for me.
    Me 3. I don't think anyone can argue that he "regressed" this year. He certainly improved, but just how that would translate to the major league level is the million dollar question.

    Anyone think he'll get the call to the Reds? I actually wouldn't be surprised if it happens, though I'm not necessarily sure I'd call him up.


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