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Thread: Article on Chris Valaika from Reds website

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    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Article on Chris Valaika from Reds website

    Valaika part of Reds' farm depth
    Hot bat could be eventual ticket to job in the Majors

    CINCINNATI -- Wherever shortstop Chris Valaika goes within the Reds' farm system, he hits.

    That has been the case since his first professional season in 2006 with Billings. Valaika hit .338 that season and set a Pioneer League record with a 32-game hitting streak. The 23-year-old just completed his third year in the Reds' organization, split between Class A Sarasota and Double-A Chattanooga, and batted a combined .317 with 18 home runs and 81 RBIs.

    Valaika, a .306 career hitter in the Minors, is one of eight up-and-coming Reds currently playing in the Arizona Fall League. In five games with the Peoria Javelinas, he is 4-for-18 (.222).

    "He is one of our better infield prospects, for sure," Reds Minor League director Terry Reynolds said.

    Cincinnati's third-round pick in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft, Valaika batted .363 with a .393 on-base percentage in 32 games with Sarasota this season. After moving up to Chattanooga, he batted .301 with a .352 OBP. He also played for the U.S. squad in the 2008 Futures Game during the All-Star break.

    "He's been a very solid player for us since the day he signed," Reynolds said. "He adapted to the Southern League very well."

    Judging by his 89 career walks compared to 277 strikeouts, Valaika likes trying to put the ball in play. He cut down his strikeout total somewhat this season to 102, compared to 114 in 2007.

    It's likely that Valaika's bat will be his ticket to the Majors, but it wouldn't hurt him to cut down on his errors. He committed 25 errors in 123 games this season and 24 errors last season. The Reds have used Valaika exclusively at shortstop but would like to expand his abilities with some time at second base in the future.

    The organization has started to sprout with some depth at shortstop with Valaika and Todd Frazier, who reached Sarasota this season but is becoming more versatile around the field. Paul Janish and Adam Rosales got tastes of the Majors this seasons. Injury-plagued veteran Alex Gonzalez, who missed all of this season with knee fracture surgery, is headed into the final year of his contract. That could open the door for someone like Valaika to make a move up by either late 2009 or 2010.

    "I'm certainly not going to say he can't," Reynolds said. "He can make adjustments quickly. Everyone hopes Gonzalez is ready and he's our guy. But that being said, Valaika could follow that timetable. Everyone's preference is for him to get a full season in the Minors next year."

    Valaika is expected to begin next season at either Double-A Carolina or Triple-A Louisville.

    "We're comfortable that either way, he would hit," Reynolds said.

    http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/...=.jsp&c_id=cin
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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    Re: Article on Chris Valaika from Reds website

    So we have depth of guys that don't project to stick at ss because of range? Or the only one that has legit range is Janish and he can't hit a lick.
    "When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail"

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    Re: Article on Chris Valaika from Reds website

    Quote Originally Posted by bubbachunk View Post
    So we have depth of guys that don't project to stick at ss because of range? Or the only one that has legit range is Janish and he can't hit a lick.
    Except you are completely forgetting about Zach Cozart who is a better shortstop than Janish is.

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    Re: Article on Chris Valaika from Reds website

    they have a review of the reds system on the milb site right now, someone should post it. They did a decent job, although there was no mention of Horst or Lotzkar.

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    Re: Article on Chris Valaika from Reds website

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Except you are completely forgetting about Zach Cozart who is a better shortstop than Janish is.
    Doh . How far off is he though from realistically contributing?
    "When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail"

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    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Article on Chris Valaika from Reds website

    Quote Originally Posted by bubbachunk View Post
    Doh . How far off is he though from realistically contributing?
    He could get hot and rocket through the minors, but I'd expect to see him in Cincinnati in 2011.

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    Re: Article on Chris Valaika from Reds website

    Next year will tell a lot about Zach. He has the glove - if he can keep similar numbers in Sarasota at the plate the Reds have something. I agree with Camisadelgolf, though, I think it'll be 2011 before he's a candidate for the full time SS job. Likely see him in the second half or September of 2010 if he continues to progress. Low A however is still a long long way away unless a guy pops eyes there. Zach made a big step, though, just quieting some of the doubters who felt he'd never hit at any level. He and Mesaraco should arrive about the same time.

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    Re: Article on Chris Valaika from Reds website

    Quote Originally Posted by bubbachunk View Post
    So we have depth of guys that don't project to stick at ss because of range? Or the only one that has legit range is Janish and he can't hit a lick.
    Is Valaika range "Challenged", or is the problem fielding and/or throwing errors? I watched him in Dayton quite a bit, I never got the impression he had limited mobility or range. And, un-like Janish, he can flat out Hit!

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    Re: Article on Chris Valaika from Reds website

    Quote Originally Posted by gedred69 View Post
    Is Valaika range "Challenged", or is the problem fielding and/or throwing errors? I watched him in Dayton quite a bit, I never got the impression he had limited mobility or range. And, un-like Janish, he can flat out Hit!
    Valaika's problem is fielding and throwing errors. 24 in 2007, 21 last year. His range factor is above average for a SS. Don't know if you can compare the minors to the majors, but Valaika had a RF of 4.40 at AA, and the league average at MLB for a SS was 3.95. Keppinger by comparison had a RF of 3.62.

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    Re: Article on Chris Valaika from Reds website

    Quote Originally Posted by gedred69 View Post
    Is Valaika range "Challenged", or is the problem fielding and/or throwing errors? I watched him in Dayton quite a bit, I never got the impression he had limited mobility or range. And, un-like Janish, he can flat out Hit!
    My prediction:

    Valaika will play 2B in the bigs. Either he or Phillips will be traded soon.
    .

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    BobC, get a legit F.O.! Mario-Rijo's Avatar
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    Re: Article on Chris Valaika from Reds website

    Quote Originally Posted by AmarilloRed View Post
    Valaika's problem is fielding and throwing errors. 24 in 2007, 21 last year. His range factor is above average for a SS. Don't know if you can compare the minors to the majors, but Valaika had a RF of 4.40 at AA, and the league average at MLB for a SS was 3.95. Keppinger by comparison had a RF of 3.62.
    Regardless of the #'s what I saw at Dayton was a guy who could play it but did indeed have range problems. Not that he is Keppinger but he's not much better IMO. Of course when I think great range I think Ozzie, Larkin etc. Michael Young is passable although not much better than Keppinger and that is who I liken Valaika too. His arm is a bit short IMO as well just like Kepp.
    "You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."

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    Re: Article on Chris Valaika from Reds website

    Vailkia could be a Jeff Kent type guy ?
    2006 Redzone mock Draftee's- 1(st) Daniel Bard(redsox), 1(st sup)( Jordan Walden (Angels), 2(nd) rd.- Zach Britton(Orioles), 3(rd) Blair Erickson(Cardinals), 3(rd) Tim Norton( Yankees),(cuz its a Tim Hortons thing

    Pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory... lasts forever.

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    Re: Article on Chris Valaika from Reds website

    Quote Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
    Vailkia could be a Jeff Kent type guy ?
    Jeff Treadway?

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    Re: Article on Chris Valaika from Reds website

    Quote Originally Posted by princeton View Post
    Jeff Treadway?
    Quote Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
    Vailkia could be a Jeff Kent type guy ?
    Well there you have the basement and the ceiling.

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    Re: Article on Chris Valaika from Reds website

    Quote Originally Posted by RedlegJake View Post
    Well there you have the basement and the ceiling.
    you don't want to know what the basement is.


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