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Thread: Is Russell Branyan Blossoming Into A Geuine Hitter?

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  1. #1
    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
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    Originally posted by D-Man


    but Gagne is not exactly a slave to logic




    Glad you're back D-Man, awesome game for you to get a chance to see!!


    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
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  2. #2
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    Between Branyan and Larson, the Reds have a choice to make. I don't think Boone will be SS in 2003, as Larkin and his contract will be the starter. (With good reason, as Larkin is still the bellweather cow to the offensive pasture in Cincinnati.)

    With Pena and Mateo out of options after 2002, the real battle will be between Larson and Branyan as backup corner infielder and OF. That, IMO, is what they are battling for this season.

    If Bowden is able to deal Walker, Casey, or Boone, both guys would be surer bets to stay with the Reds. However, a trade involving Casey is unlikely, a deal involving Boone is almost impossible, and Walker is less likely to be wanted than many other free agent second sackers. (In fact, it could be argued that, because of the new collective bargaining agreement that may take place, Walker's salary could be higher than a better player like Kent or Alfonzo, though that is almost as unlikely as a Boone deal.)

    As it is, I would argue that BBoone and Bowden are in favor of keeping Branyan. He's LH, he's got more pop (as evidenced by his major and minor league numbers), and he has shown the ability to play numerous positions well enough to be a back-up.

    Allen and Lindner would probably side with Larson, as he is cheaper and comes from the Cincinnati farm system. Actually, Larson should be quite a bit cheaper, as Branyan is at least close enough to arbitration to make front office personnel nervous.

    Is Branyan a great hitter? No. But he does produce when given a chance. And that's more than any Reds bench guy since Jeffery Hammonds and Alex Ochoa. In fact, he reminds me a bit of Hammonds in that he is a "failed" uber-prospect that stuck out too much with his former team. If he could play CF... Well, no one's perfect.

    My choice is to go with Branyan, as he has a track record and is more likey to improve as he comes into his prime. Too, I like his LH stick and his speed is a bit better than Larson's. He also seems to come through in the clutch an inordinant number of times. Or at least he has since his trade to Cincinnati.

  3. #3
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    Somtimes, you amaze me, Mal. You question Bowden's move to grab a talented young pitcher by giving up Juan E? Juan E?!?!?! Just for clarification:

    1. You leave Casey off your list. I assume that's permanent. Therefore, not only will he be a $4 million a year pinch hitter/ part-time player, he'll be a part-timer with a horrid contract and no hope of moving him. Casey as a pinch hitter? From a guy who hits .300+ for his career? For Encarnacion?

    2. Larkin is also not in your lineup. That's $13 million on the bench right there, in case you're interested. Leaving the two natural leaders of the Cincinnati franchise on the bench, to boot. That would make for great team chemistry. Especially at this point.

    3. Are we completely ignoring career stats, career norms, and likely contributions from veterans? I agree that Juan is a talented ballplayer, but no way is he more valuable than Casey. Especially in a pennant race. Look at what he's done since the deal. That's called reverting to career norms. That's usually what players do. That's what Juan has done his entire career, though he had a monster 1/2 year in Cincinnati.

    4. With Encarnacion in the lineup, that would mean no deal for pitching, right? Because, according to you and your bretheren, Casey has little value and Larkin is of no value. Is the pitching staff, then, good enough to win? Who do you propose to entice teams willing to deal? Which pitchers are you targeting? WIth which players? Remember, too, not to spend over what you're dealing, so no prospects for Colon deals.

    5. You're taking Boone out of the #2 hole in the lineup. The one spot he has excelled. As in the best offensive 3B in the league while in the #2 hole. For Kearns? Hypothtically, sure, but why would the Reds do this? It's working (and working well) with Boone in the 2 spot and Kearns at #5. Besides, Kearns has power potential Boone does not possess.

    6. Finally, Boone and Branyan on the left side of the infield? Defensively, that's among the worst in the game. You're talking 40 errors a year, at least. With Dunn and Walker around the horn? Ugh. That's the epitome of fantasy baseball.

  4. #4
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    If he continues to OPS at .900 (which I don't think he will), he'll get 600 ABs somewhere.

    There has been a difference in Branyan since he came over. He's not an allstar right now, but he is a very good player for this team. And that's really what is important.

  5. #5
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    Originally posted by westofyou
    Russell is worth something while he is cheap, but he's pretty much the same hitter as before. He's striking out every 3.2 ab and bb every 6.7. His lifetime average prior to being a Red was a K every 2.4 ab and a bb every 8.8 ab.

    HR total before being a Red was 15.8 as of tonight 14.8.

    My complaint about Russell is that he is Rob Deer, better fielder, can play infield ect...

    But he hits HR"s mostly not many 2b's (34 in 810 lifetime ab's)

    Pretty much all or nothing with Branyan.

    But after the dogs we've had on the bench over the past few years this year is nice.
    600 AB
    before 188 strikeouts 68 BB 38 HR
    after 250 strikeouts 90 BB 41 HR not to mention a higher batting average now than ever before.

    I'd say a pretty significant improvement.

  6. #6
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    Both Wily Mo Pena and Ruben Mateo are out of options next year so someone will have to be traded. Branyan is arb eligilbe, and I'm guessing JimBo will hope he's put enough polish on him to trade him for more than he gave up to get him.
    "People that frequent Internet forums resemble the cast of One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest!" - C. J. Cregg, The West Wing

  7. #7
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    Maybe ole Russell oughtta be hitting 4th!
    "People that frequent Internet forums resemble the cast of One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest!" - C. J. Cregg, The West Wing

  8. #8
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    Is Russell Branyan Blossoming Into A Geuine Hitter?

    Seems like another reclamation project is paying big dividends for the Reds once again in the name of Russell Branyan.

    Come next year with that short porch in RF, could you Branyan getting a shot of playing everyday by juggling between LF and 3rd base. It is obvious that Larkin will need to rest more with Boone moving to shortstop.

    If Larson and Branyan continue to develop as hitters, maybe the best thing Bowden did was not having the deal for Rolen go through?

    Opinions?

  9. #9
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    The guy is making a believer out of me. 10-10. Now lets win this wild one.

  10. #10
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    Stay tuned.

    With such good looking hitters like Larson, Mateo, Branyan and even Pena, look for Bowden to wheel and deal like the good ole days when Schott was the owner come this offseason.

    With a payroll boast anywhere between 10-15 million, Bowden could move the entire roster if he wanted with the exception of maybe three players. Now young hitters might command a decent return if a small market team was interested.

    Should make an interesting offseason.

  11. #11
    post hype sleeper cincinnati chili's Avatar
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    Regression to the mean

    As some of you remember, I promised to eat a cheese coney through my nostril if Branyan ever blossomed into a great hitter. Then, after his hot couple of weeks, some of you actually offered to drive to my hometown and apply said coney into my nasal pathway yourself. Well, before you drive up here...

    Branyan in August .167 average
    Branyan so far in September .188 average

    Now as a Red, he has a .338 on-base% and a .479 slugging%, in 200 or so plate appearances.

    Neither of these are significantly higher than his career totals.

    However, I have to say that the trade looks good for the Reds so far. Broussard totally choked in the majors, and seems to be sputtering in Buffalo. I almost wonder if he's injured.
    ". . . acquiring J. Blanton from Oakland for, apparently, Bailey/Cueto, Votto and a lesser prospect. I do it in a second . . . The Reds' equation this year is simple: Make Matt Belisle your #3 starter . . . trade for Blanton, win 85 or more, be in the mix all summer." - Paul Daugherty, Feb. 8, 2008

  12. #12
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Russell is worth something while he is cheap, but he's pretty much the same hitter as before. He's striking out every 3.2 ab and bb every 6.7. His lifetime average prior to being a Red was a K every 2.4 ab and a bb every 8.8 ab.

    HR total before being a Red was 15.8 as of tonight 14.8.

    My complaint about Russell is that he is Rob Deer, better fielder, can play infield ect...

    But he hits HR"s mostly not many 2b's (34 in 810 lifetime ab's)

    Pretty much all or nothing with Branyan.

    But after the dogs we've had on the bench over the past few years this year is nice.

  13. #13
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    "I'd say a pretty significant improvement."

    It's an improvment that's for sure.

    But would you say he's more of a pure hitter now?

    I say no, Branyan is what he his a slugger who strikes out alot and is a good xtra IF and OF.

    Which I like.

    That said I don't expect Branyan to ever get 600 AB's in a season with the Reds.

    So Bobby Bonds can relax his K record won't be taken on by Russell.

  14. #14
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Since his 3 HR game Russell has struck out 32 times out of 64 AB's.

    Sidenote.: the most K's in a season that Joe Dimaggio ever had was in his rookie season - 36

  15. #15
    malingered here too long malcontent's Avatar
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    L Walker 2B
    R Kearns LF
    L Dunn 1B
    L Griffey CF
    R Encarnacion RF
    L Branyan 3B
    R Boone SS
    R Miller/LaRue C

    Of course, we wouldn't have Dempster...but #3-6 could have put on a BP display...


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