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Thread: Year of the Catcher? Not for the Reds

  1. #31
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Year of the Catcher? Not for the Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    So maybe it would be a good idea to stock the minors with more than one kid who MIGHT be an every day solution. You're making my case for me. A convert or two could rescue the franchise from the have-not syndrome you just described.
    I am not making any case for you. I never said converting a guy or two would be a good or bad idea. All I said is that nearly every team in baseball has catching prospect issues, because well, there are catchers that can hit and catchers that can field, but very few who can do both with anything resembling average on both sides of things. This franchise doesn't neccesarily need a catcher or two in the pipeline. Free agency is always an option. Sure, it would be nice to fill every spot on the roster with your guys, but thats not realistic. Would it be nice to go out and get a top flight catching prospect? Sure. Is it a reasonable possibility? Probably not. If that means we have to go out and sign a FA catcher who can hold his own, then thats what happens. Thats when you are glad you can pay Votto and Bruce a combined $800,000 next year and less than 1.5 million the year after that.

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  3. #32
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    Re: Year of the Catcher? Not for the Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    BA recently discussed Tatum in its Hot List and I believe reported a view that Tatum would be a major league regular. Some catchers develop more slowly at the plate.
    I didn't see that particular list, but I'd put that statement on par with the assertion that Craig Tatum can fly. Seriously, he's got a .674 OPS this season, a .714 career minor league OPS, a sub-.660 overall OPS in the upper minors and he's going to be 26 next year.

    He never had anything at the plate and hasn't developed anything. There's a difference between listing the bodies in the Reds assorted affiliates and the organization actually having some catching prospects worth getting excited about.
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  4. #33
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    Re: Year of the Catcher? Not for the Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    I am not making any case for you. I never said converting a guy or two would be a good or bad idea. All I said is that nearly every team in baseball has catching prospect issues, because well, there are catchers that can hit and catchers that can field, but very few who can do both with anything resembling average on both sides of things. This franchise doesn't neccesarily need a catcher or two in the pipeline. Free agency is always an option. Sure, it would be nice to fill every spot on the roster with your guys, but thats not realistic. Would it be nice to go out and get a top flight catching prospect? Sure. Is it a reasonable possibility? Probably not. If that means we have to go out and sign a FA catcher who can hold his own, then thats what happens. Thats when you are glad you can pay Votto and Bruce a combined $800,000 next year and less than 1.5 million the year after that.
    Yep, there's always free agency, which is constantly swimming in catching talent.

    Sure, you can try to pluck a journeyman and get his career season, but there's a reason for having a feeder system. You're supposed to be trying to develop players to fill future needs. Obviously there's no such thing as perfect success, but you've got to be exceptionally myopic to look at the Reds' system and not recognize the relative lack of quality behind the plate.

    Something should be done.

    Or maybe nothing should be done. After all, part of the lure of finishing 23rd every season is not having to think too hard about things.
    Last edited by M2; 09-09-2008 at 05:55 PM.
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  5. #34
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Year of the Catcher? Not for the Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    Yep, there's always free agency, which is constantly swimming in catching talent.

    Sure, you can try pluck a journeyman and get his career season, but there's a reason for having a feeder system. You're supposed to be trying to develop players to fill future needs. Obviously there's no such thing as perfect success, but you've got to be exceptionally myopic to look at the Reds' system and not recognize the relative lack of quality behind the plate.

    Something should be done.

    Or maybe nothing should be done. After all, part of the lure of finishing 23rd every season is not having to think too hard about things.
    Or we should just shoot for 23rd every year as if its a realistic position to finish. Obviously to win you must have a great catcher.

    There are 7 teams with 80 or more wins in baseball right now. Their main 2 catchers on each team are hitting for these OPS's

    TB - .743
    BOS - .672
    CHI (AL) .731
    ANA - .684
    NYM - .721
    CHI (NL) - .846
    MIL- .687

    Catchers just flat out don't hit. When they do, great job, you are well ahead of the game. But the best of the best in baseball, only 1 team has a catching combo with an OPS out of the catchers spot over .745. Three of them are well under .700.

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    Re: Year of the Catcher? Not for the Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Obviously to win you must have a great catcher..
    It wouldn't hurt.

    I'm for running an organization like you give a damn.
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  7. #36
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Year of the Catcher? Not for the Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    It wouldn't hurt.

    I'm for running an organization like you give a damn.
    So am I, but its also something to note that if you have a catching platoon that can give you an OPS of around .700 you are doing just fine for yourself. I am not against going out and trying to find a catcher in the minors to add to the system, but I am not going to go out and overpay for one either.

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    Re: Year of the Catcher? Not for the Reds

    We still don't know if maybe Hanigan can play out as a regular. All he has ever done is his minor leauge stint is hit for avg, and keep his BB to K about even. I'd take that over Ross, Bako, LaRue and Javier every day of the week. Castillo is only 24 and can hit left handed. If he could keep a .700 OBS that still would be ok in a tandum... and he adds value as a pinch runner / utility guy...
    Last edited by nemesis; 09-09-2008 at 06:07 PM.

  9. #38
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    Re: Year of the Catcher? Not for the Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    So am I, but its also something to note that if you have a catching platoon that can give you an OPS of around .700 you are doing just fine for yourself. I am not against going out and trying to find a catcher in the minors to add to the system, but I am not going to go out and overpay for one either.
    That really depends on your team. Yeah, if you've got Johan Santana leading your pitching staff and three guys in the middle of your lineup with 100+ RBIs, and the 4th-best DER in MLB, then Brian Schneider and his .702 OPS are just fine and dandy.

    However, if your team isn't near the top of every league leader list, you might find that a .700 OPS catcher is a bit of an anchor, another feckless bat in a lineup populated by too many feckless bats.

    And if you're not against converting a guy or trading for a minor leaguer, then what exactly is your bloody point in this thread? I mean, if you agree with the premise (namely that the Reds could use an organizational upgrade at this position) and you don't actually think a good catcher is a meaningless accessory (and you don't), what exactly are you typing about here? Is this just some elaborate method of covering that you've got no actual ideas when it comes to improving the catching situation?
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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  10. #39
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    Re: Year of the Catcher? Not for the Reds

    Juan Francisco and Justin Turner should BOTH be tried at catcher. How do you like THEM apples?!

    Seriously though, take a look at their respective positional depths within the organization:

    Francisco has Encarnacion, Frazier, Waring, Soto, and possibly even Valaika all angling for the hot corner. Offensively, Francisco is clearly behind all of those guys with the possible exception of Waring. Defensively, I would guess Francisco is on par with Waring, trailing Frazier and Valaika defensively. Part of his defensive strength however is a cannon arm. And his biggest holdup offensively is his plate discipline, which needs to be refined before he can advance to AA. I would have him work at catcher in the Dominican winter league and spring training next year, and assuming he reacts positively start him behind the plate in Sarasota. Mesoraco IMO could use another couple months in Dayton at least.

    Turner trails Phillips and Valaika in the organizational pecking order at 2B. While he has hit well at every level, most scouts project him to be a utility man/backup at the major league level at best. With an all-star firmly entrenched at the major league level and one of the Reds' top prospects in Valaika more highly thought of, Turner could benefit from a positional switch. Give him reps behind the dish over the offseason and in spring training, and if he responds well he could be catching for Chattanooga come April.

    Realistically, at least one if not both of these guys will not pan out as a catcher. Francisco's plate discipline or Justin Turner's arm strength may not allow them to advance through the system. However I maintain the Reds don't have much to lose by trying this method. As of right now, neither player projects to be an impact player for the Reds in the next two seasons, if ever. Geovany Soto, Russell Martin, and Terry Steinbach were all All-Star catchers at the major league level who came up through their respective systems as infielders. Let's give it a whirl.
    Last edited by Benihana; 09-09-2008 at 06:27 PM.
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  11. #40
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Year of the Catcher? Not for the Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    That really depends on your team. Yeah, if you've got Johan Santana leading your pitching staff and three guys in the middle of your lineup with 100+ RBIs, and the 4th-best DER in MLB, then Brian Schneider and his .702 OPS are just fine and dandy.

    However, if your team isn't near the top of every league leader list, you might find that a .700 OPS catcher is a bit of an anchor, another feckless bat in a lineup populated by too many feckless bats.

    And if you're not against converting a guy or trading for a minor leaguer, then what exactly is your bloody point in this thread? I mean, if you agree with the premise (namely that the Reds could use an organizational upgrade at this position) and you don't actually think a good catcher is a meaningless accessory (and you don't), what exactly are you typing about here? Is this just some elaborate method of covering that you've got no actual ideas when it comes to improving the catching situation?
    That the Reds don't realistically need to upgrade their minor league catching options in order to improve their major league catching future. I would much rather upgrade the other positions of need and just grab a guy who can give me a .700 OPS at the catchers position.

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    Re: Year of the Catcher? Not for the Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    That the Reds don't realistically need to upgrade their minor league catching options in order to improve their major league catching future. I would much rather upgrade the other positions of need and just grab a guy who can give me a .700 OPS at the catchers position.
    So you're just fine with aiming for something slightly below the league catching OPS average of .715? And for taking the ostrich approach on the current lack of quality/upside when it comes to the catching situation?

    I must say, the Reds are definitely the organization for you. It will give you everything you want - nothing.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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  13. #42
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Year of the Catcher? Not for the Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    So you're just fine with aiming for something slightly below the league catching OPS average of .715? And for taking the ostrich approach on the current lack of quality/upside when it comes to the catching situation?

    I must say, the Reds are definitely the organization for you. It will give you everything you want - nothing.
    If it comes down to a .700 OPS catcher or way overpaying for a catcher who isn't likely to make a big difference, I am willing to aim for something slightly below the league average and hope a draftee is ready sometime. That said, I think Hanigan could give us league average offense at catcher right now. If I can not overpay for close to league average at catcher but acquire a shortstop or power bat for LF, then I would absolutely make that trade off.

    You don't seem to grasp what I am saying though. Would I love to have an .800 OPS catcher? Of course. Its not very doable though. Acquiring a shortstop or solid left fielder is a lot easier to accomplish though and will make a much larger impact on the offense.

  14. #43
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    Re: Year of the Catcher? Not for the Reds

    I would absolutely overpay for a legitimate offensive and defensive minded catcher, in terms of cash or prospects.

    I like the idea of taking a guy like Francisco and turning him into a catcher, it's a damn near perfect idea for a guy like him. I wonder if he has the intangibles to play the position mentally but he certainly has enough physical tools. Turner IDK his arm is nothing special and I'm not so sure he hits well enough to be an everyday major leaguer, he would be lucky to be a Hanigan clone (offensively speaking).

    Another guy though who maybe could fit there and is far enough away to convert is Alex Bucholz. He may have enough arm, savvy and his bat would definitely play there well. I don't think his future is at SS, 3B or even say CF and 2B are a dime a dozen as are LF's. He may be a nearly perfect fit with the exception of having a cannon as his isn't but still may be adequate. He was also drafted at 6 foot and 185 so he should eventually have the size to play that position just fine.

    SCOUTING REPORT (3/1): Buchholz has had two high-profile seasons at Delaware, batting .378-18-64 as a freshman and .387-11-63 as a sophomore. He didn’t hit quite to that level last summer in the Cal Ripken Sr. League (.270-1-21), but he nonetheless led Youse’s Maryland Orioles to its fifth straight All-American Amateur Baseball Association title. He impressed scouts with his bat speed and power to all fields. While he spent most of his first two college seasons at second base, Buchholz played third base last summer and displayed the best infield arm in the Cal Ripken Sr. League. He was expected to continue to play third base his junior year at Delaware, but began the 2008 season on familiar ground at second base. He has the power numbers to profile at the hot corner, though they may be enhanced somewhat since Delaware plays in a bandbox.—ALLAN SIMPSON

    UPDATE (5/15): Buchholz played the bulk of the 2008 season at shortstop for Delaware—more on team need than design, but he may have enhanced his profile as a potential utility player in the process. He has good hands and graceful actions in the middle, but his arm was a little short from the hole though is very playable at second, his best position. He showed a quick, aggressive, compact stroke but had an inclination to be too home-run happy this spring as he pressed to hit the long ball more consistently like he did his first two seasons. He hit just five long balls this year, while batting.319. Despite a pronounced dip in offensive production, scouts have little doubt Buchholz will hit.—AS
    Last edited by Mario-Rijo; 09-09-2008 at 06:58 PM.
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    Re: Year of the Catcher? Not for the Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    If it comes down to a .700 OPS catcher or way overpaying for a catcher who isn't likely to make a big difference, I am willing to aim for something slightly below the league average and hope a draftee is ready sometime. That said, I think Hanigan could give us league average offense at catcher right now. If I can not overpay for close to league average at catcher but acquire a shortstop or power bat for LF, then I would absolutely make that trade off.

    You don't seem to grasp what I am saying though. Would I love to have an .800 OPS catcher? Of course. Its not very doable though. Acquiring a shortstop or solid left fielder is a lot easier to accomplish though and will make a much larger impact on the offense.
    What's WAY overpaying? I'm talking about converting guys to grow what you pretty much can't buy in the marketplace (no matter how much you pay). BTW, you're the one who typed this - "Free agency is always an option. Sure, it would be nice to fill every spot on the roster with your guys, but thats not realistic. Would it be nice to go out and get a top flight catching prospect? Sure. Is it a reasonable possibility? Probably not. If that means we have to go out and sign a FA catcher who can hold his own, then thats what happens. Thats when you are glad you can pay Votto and Bruce a combined $800,000 next year and less than 1.5 million the year after that."

    Now you don't want to overpay? Fine. I'm not talking about what the Reds should do for catching next year. If I were, this thread would be in the ORG. I'm talking about systematically addressing the overall lack of catching talent so we're not forever speculating which tremendously unexciting oldish minor leaguers might be able to squeak out a .715 OPS. The mere thought of that makes me want to claw my brain out.

    And I grasp what you're saying. It's hard, so let's not try.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

    I'm witchcrafting everybody.

  16. #45
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Year of the Catcher? Not for the Reds

    I would much rather overpay money to go get a catcher capable of being average than overpaying talent to get the same guy. I don't think I have said anything about cnoverting guys to catcher. Even still, the odds that anyone you convert is ready to catch in the major leagues before 2012 is very unlikely.

    And no, you don't full grasp what I am saying. I am saying don't overpay for a catcher just because you don't have one ready to take over from your system simply for the reason that you don't have one. Free agency is always an option to fill that role at the major league level. Continue drafting catchers and hope one or more pans out. Convert a guy or two into catchers and hope something clicks. I am just not into overpaying for a catcher in the minor leagues simply because we lack catchers in the system.


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