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View Poll Results: Who has the brightest future as a major league 3B?

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  • Edwin Encarnacion

    28 26.92%
  • Juan Francisco

    12 11.54%
  • Todd Frazier

    30 28.85%
  • Neftali Soto

    34 32.69%
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Thread: Who's got the best major league future at 3B?

  1. #16
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Who's got the best major league future at 3B?

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    Much as you want a reckoning on Frazier's position in 09, I think it's too soon. The guy still has to prove the bat -- as the Hawaiian League prospect report today showed, there are still doubts about how well his hitting mechanics will hold up. It's possible he'll need the defensive versatility the organization is building in him in order to have a long major career.

    Fortunately, the organization doesn't have to make this kind of judgment yet.
    There's going to be reckoning on his position one way or another. I'd just prefer it be an active decision rather than a passive one. If he goes to the OF, the Reds won't be bringing him back to the IF. I actually expect the Reds to end up with an OF logjam in the next year or two thanks to a series of path-of-least-resistance decisions.

    As for the bat, Frazier's been hitting since Little League. There's always concerns about every hitter in the minors, particularly until they put in a full big season in the upper minors. Yet I'll echo BA's John Manuel from his chat today, until Frazier's unorthodox stance causes him trouble, I see no reason to worry about it. His mechanics seem to work quite nicely for him.
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  3. #17
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Who's got the best major league future at 3B?

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    Yet I'll echo BA's John Manuel from his chat today, until Frazier's unorthodox stance causes him trouble, I see no reason to worry about it. His mechanics seem to work quite nicely for him.
    Yep. Hunter Pence's swing wasn't supposed to work in the majors either.... as far as his hitting itself goes, he seems to be doing just fine.

  4. #18
    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Re: Who's got the best major league future at 3B?

    I really don't care about how unorthodox Frazier's swing is. It works for him. Plenty of great hitters have had unorthodox swing mechanics. I'm not worried about it at all.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

  5. #19
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    Re: Who's got the best major league future at 3B?

    I'd just prefer it be an active decision rather than a passive one.
    Sure -- they'll promote him once he proves the bat is ready. If he keeps playing multiple positions, it probably means he gets there sooner rather than later. I see no reason to sweat his position, really. Pujols moved from 3B to LF to 1B. Braun has moved already. Josh Fields, Pablo Sandoval, Gary Sheffield, etc., etc., etc. -- all these guys have been to 3B and elsewhere early in their major league careers.

    You seem anxious to devalue Francisco by saying Frazier should be at 3B in Carolina in 08. I think the organization would be unwise to take that approach.
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  6. #20
    BobC, get a legit F.O.! Mario-Rijo's Avatar
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    Re: Who's got the best major league future at 3B?

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    Both Francisco and Soto have higher ceilings than Frazier, I think. Frazier's the safest pick, probably, since we know he's got a solid approach at the plate and solid character. But since I like guys with high ceilings, I'd weather Frazier's departure better than either of the others....
    That's a very interesting take and tells me alot about why we sometimes differ on prospects. But give me a silver nugget (Frazier) over potential fools gold (Francisco) any day. Plus taking everything into consideration I'm not sure Francisco does have a higher ceiling just because he has potentially more power.

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    But, one player and one only, eh?

    At this point in time, I think Frazier is the pick, simply because he's the safest. Still, I would play him in LF and Francisco at 3B in AA, since playing them at those positions sets neither back defensively (they both have experience at those spots). The essential challenge before each is to prove the bat at AA -- if one shoots convincingly ahead of the other during the season, so be it. He gets 3B at Louisville.

    Much as you want a reckoning on Frazier's position in 09, I think it's too soon. The guy still has to prove the bat -- as the Hawaiian League prospect report today showed, there are still doubts about how well his hitting mechanics will hold up. It's possible he'll need the defensive versatility the organization is building in him in order to have a long major career.

    Fortunately, the organization doesn't have to make this kind of judgment yet.
    I didn't read that report like that. I took it to mean he's unorthodox but it works for him.

    On Frazier:

    Fast hands compensate for a high setup. Held his own at shortstop. Has plus raw power and led the league in slugging. The ball jumps off his bat. Will be a frontline hitter. Played all four positions (1B, 3B, SS, LF) well.
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  7. #21
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    Re: Who's got the best major league future at 3B?

    I really don't care about how unorthodox Frazier's swing is. It works for him. Plenty of great hitters have had unorthodox swing mechanics. I'm not worried about it at all.
    I'm not of the mind that a good -- not great -- year in high A and a fine Hawaiian League campaign proves a guy is ready to hit in the majors. I'm optimistic about Frazier, but his numbers remain a far cry from what Bruce was putting up at higher levels, and we all saw the tremendous inconsistency that Bruce had to battle through in the majors last year.

    Frazier's mechanics, which apparently pose the same kind of challenge Eric Davis's did -- having to do with the positioning of the hands -- must be tested against better pitching. Guys who throw harder and who disrupt timing more effectively (there's more to be timed in Frazier getting the bat into the hitting zone) are going to be more plentiful in AA and AAA.
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  8. #22
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    Re: Who's got the best major league future at 3B?

    Here's the 1st sentence in BA's assessment of Frazier's prospect status post-HWL:

    Frazier continues to elicit a strong difference of opinion among scouts due to his unorthodox approach at the plate,
    We heard the exact same stuff when he was drafted. Does this mean his solid performance so far should remove doubts about his mechanics? Or does it mean he has not really honed his mechanics enough to allay doubts about how well his swing will hold up against better pitchers? I am not expert enough to answer that question, and I don't know that anyone is.
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  9. #23
    BobC, get a legit F.O.! Mario-Rijo's Avatar
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    Re: Who's got the best major league future at 3B?

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    I'm not of the mind that a good -- not great -- year in high A and a fine Hawaiian League campaign proves a guy is ready to hit in the majors. I'm optimistic about Frazier, but his numbers remain a far cry from what Bruce was putting up at higher levels, and we all saw the tremendous inconsistency that Bruce had to battle through in the majors last year.

    Frazier's mechanics, which apparently pose the same kind of challenge Eric Davis's did -- having to do with the positioning of the hands -- must be tested against better pitching. Guys who throw harder and who disrupt timing more effectively (there's more to be timed in Frazier getting the bat into the hitting zone) are going to be more plentiful in AA and AAA.
    I'd say that's a fair argument but 2 things. 1 Frazier is a notch or 2 ahead of Bruce when it comes to plate discipline and 2 Bruce is a very special young player. So IDK if that's a fair comparison.
    "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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  10. #24
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Who's got the best major league future at 3B?

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    Sure -- they'll promote him once he proves the bat is ready. If he keeps playing multiple positions, it probably means he gets there sooner rather than later. I see no reason to sweat his position, really. Pujols moved from 3B to LF to 1B. Braun has moved already. Josh Fields, Pablo Sandoval, Gary Sheffield, etc., etc., etc. -- all these guys have been to 3B and elsewhere early in their major league careers.

    You seem anxious to devalue Francisco by saying Frazier should be at 3B in Carolina in 08. I think the organization would be unwise to take that approach.
    I devalue Francisco because I see Tony Batista as his ceiling and I don't bungle up anyone else's progress through the system for a Tony Batista wannabe. That's just common sense.

    And Frazier probably won't be seeing multiple positions in 2009. Figure Alonso, Turner, Valaika and Francisco as the starting IF in Carolina. In the OF you might have Heisey and Stubbs. That sticks Frazier in LF via path of least resistance thinking, and with very little shifting around.

    So now you've got the guy playing at the right-hand side of the defensive spectrum and taking little-to-no reps in the IF as he approaches the majors. That's called lock-in.

    And, yes, those other players did move off of 3B (note that they didn't move to it from 1B or an OF corner). They couldn't hack the position so they slid down the defensive spectrum to less challenging positions. Meanwhile the Reds are looking at Frazier taking the quantum leap from the left-hand side of the spectrum (SS) to the right-hand side (LF) without ever giving him time to settle into a higher defensive value position like 3B or 2B. This isn't some crazy, New Age philosophy I'm pushing here. This is old as the hills. Guys who move off SS go to 2B, 3B or CF. The Reds are ignoring something statheads and seamheads alike agree upon.

    So if Encarnacion finally makes the GM's head explode with his erratic play on the hot corner and Francisco continues to swing at everything and Soto experiences a few hiccups (all fairly reasonable possibilities), who's your 3B?

    It won't be Todd Frazier if the team sticks him in LF and never lets him get his reps at 3B.

    Anyway, my reason for posting this poll isn't nearly as nefarious as you seem to think. I'm actually curious as to who RedsZone thinks the best 3B will be and I'd think it should go without saying that whomever you think is the pick, then that guy ought to be playing 3B in 2009.
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  11. #25
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    Re: Who's got the best major league future at 3B?

    It won't be Todd Frazier if the team sticks him in LF and never lets him get his reps at 3B.
    He's like Pete Rose. A ballplayer. He can move from LF to 3B if need be.

    This is much wringing of hands unnecessarily.
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  12. #26
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Who's got the best major league future at 3B?

    I am not sure that Valaika starts in AA next year though. Stubbs won't be starting in AA for sure. The guy had success in AAA last year, even in limited time, he is going to start in AAA.

    I do have to ask though, if you think Frazier can play 3B now, why couldn't he likely handle 3B in a year or two down the road after playing some LF? Playing left field isn't going to make him fat or slow.

    Still, I see him playing SS in AA at the start of the year and splitting time other places (1B, 3B and LF) with others as they shuffle DH's throughout the year.

  13. #27
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    Re: Who's got the best major league future at 3B?

    I'm actually curious as to who RedsZone thinks the best 3B will be and I'd think it should go without saying that whomever you think is the pick, then that guy ought to be playing 3B in 2009.
    Disagree. Build the value of both Frazier and Francisco, not just one of them. That's common sense.
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  14. #28
    BobC, get a legit F.O.! Mario-Rijo's Avatar
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    Re: Who's got the best major league future at 3B?

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    I devalue Francisco because I see Tony Batista as his ceiling and I don't bungle up anyone else's progress through the system for a Tony Batista wannabe. That's just common sense.

    And Frazier probably won't be seeing multiple positions in 2009. Figure Alonso, Turner, Valaika and Francisco as the starting IF in Carolina. In the OF you might have Heisey and Stubbs. That sticks Frazier in LF via path of least resistance thinking, and with very little shifting around.

    So now you've got the guy playing at the right-hand side of the defensive spectrum and taking little-to-no reps in the IF as he approaches the majors. That's called lock-in.

    And, yes, those other players did move off of 3B (note that they didn't move to it from 1B or an OF corner). They couldn't hack the position so they slid down the defensive spectrum to less challenging positions. Meanwhile the Reds are looking at Frazier taking the quantum leap from the left-hand side of the spectrum (SS) to the right-hand side (LF) without ever giving him time to settle into a higher defensive value position like 3B or 2B. This isn't some crazy, New Age philosophy I'm pushing here. This is old as the hills. Guys who move off SS go to 2B, 3B or CF. The Reds are ignoring something statheads and seamheads alike agree upon.

    So if Encarnacion finally makes the GM's head explode with his erratic play on the hot corner and Francisco continues to swing at everything and Soto experiences a few hiccups (all fairly reasonable possibilities), who's your 3B?

    It won't be Todd Frazier if the team sticks him in LF and never lets him get his reps at 3B.

    Anyway, my reason for posting this poll isn't nearly as nefarious as you seem to think. I'm actually curious as to who RedsZone thinks the best 3B will be and I'd think it should go without saying that whomever you think is the pick, then that guy ought to be playing 3B in 2009.
    I don't see Francisco's ultimate ceiling as Batista, but I do think it's his realistic ceiling an act of god notwithstanding. In fact I honestly would be surprised to see him reach Batista-esque status. But I agree wit your view/points.
    "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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  15. #29
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Who's got the best major league future at 3B?

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    I'm not of the mind that a good -- not great -- year in high A and a fine Hawaiian League campaign proves a guy is ready to hit in the majors. I'm optimistic about Frazier, but his numbers remain a far cry from what Bruce was putting up at higher levels, and we all saw the tremendous inconsistency that Bruce had to battle through in the majors last year.

    Frazier's mechanics, which apparently pose the same kind of challenge Eric Davis's did -- having to do with the positioning of the hands -- must be tested against better pitching. Guys who throw harder and who disrupt timing more effectively (there's more to be timed in Frazier getting the bat into the hitting zone) are going to be more plentiful in AA and AAA.
    I appreciate the skepticism and completely agree that he's got things to prove in the upper minors. That said, everyone's got something to prove. Alonso's got to prove he can hit breaking balls and southpaws. Bruce had to prove his five tools were for real and not just some lazy, inaccurate designation.

    Yet where should Frazier be playing while he proves out his bat? Because if his bat proves itself, then you're going to want to find a place find a place for him in the majors in fairly short order.

    One thing about Frazier that, IMO, argues for him at 3B is head for the game. He hasn't been playing SS because of his defensive tools, but his game sense has allowed him to stick there. One of the things that a lot of good defensive 3Bs seem to share is that they play above their tools.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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  16. #30
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    Re: Who's got the best major league future at 3B?



    How can you not take the guy already playing 3B in MLB over A-ballers!?
    "On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage," Baker said. "Clogging up the bases isn't that great to me."


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