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Thread: Reds related questions from a Baseball Prospectus chat today

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    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Reds related questions from a Baseball Prospectus chat today

    Alan (N.C.): Hi Joe, What are your thoughts on Micah Owings and Clay Buchholz (for a keeper league)? Thanks! Alan

    Joe Sheehan: There's a big gap between the two. Owings is a midrotation guy, maybe slightly less, who can hit well enough to make that a real part of his value. Buchholz is a #2 starter in the making, someone who's going to win 150 games.


    Mister Redlegs (Athens, GA): Who's the best option for the Reds to sign or trade for in left field: Milton Bradley, Jermaine Dye, Willie Harris, Delmon Young, or someone else?

    Joe Sheehan: I have a thing somewhere half-written...five FAs I wouldn't sign...Bradley's on the list. He's not durable, doesn't/can't really play the OF any longer, coming off a peak season. He was a good player at bouncing-around prices; at some 3/35 price, I'd pass. What about moving Encarnacion out there and getting a third baseman instead? Edwin's defense is that bad, no?


    KerryFam4 (Atlanta): Where do you see Jay Bruce winding up defensively? Can he do an adequate job in CF or will he shift to RF as soon as the Reds get a CF? For career value, would you rather have Bruce or David Price? Thanks.

    Joe Sheehan: My natural antipathy towards pitchers will always make me answer "Bruce," although Price is the guy who gives me pause in that. I see Bruce as a right fielder who can and will play center until the better option emerges. He's not going to hurt the Reds out there, but he would be a plus right fielder, maybe win some awards.


    Lincoln (Dallas): Which team(s) can put themselves into playoff contention with a few shrewd moves this winter meetings/offseason?

    Joe Sheehan: The Reds are my stock answer to this. The talent base is good and their needs dovetail reasonably well with what's on the market. Maybe also the Mariners.


    Brandon (Charleston): Is Chris Dickerson capable of OPSing .800 in 2009?

    Joe Sheehan: I don't think so, but I should mention that my friend Jason Grey over at ESPN.com gave me a very long list of reasons why he thinks he could, and Jason's more familiar with him than I am.

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/ch...php?chatId=553
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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    Start the Reactor! *BaseClogger*'s Avatar
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    Re: Reds related questions from a Baseball Prospectus chat today

    Maybe also the Mariners.
    And there goes the esteem of that opinion...
    "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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    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Reds related questions from a Baseball Prospectus chat today

    Is anyone here an ESPN insider? Maybe you could sum up what Jason Grey said about Chris Dickerson.

    http://insider.espn.go.com/fantasy/b...lipboard080915

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    Re: Reds related questions from a Baseball Prospectus chat today

    Brandon (Charleston): Do you Reds fans finally have reason for optimism with a solid young core of Jay Bruce, Joey Votto, Edwin Encarnacion, Brandon Phillips, Chris Dickerson, Johnny Cueto, and Edinson Volquez?

    Jay Jaffe: Absolutely, there's reason for optimism so long as Dusty Baker doesn't mangle those arms.

    I had the Reds as my sleeper team last year and while they didn't get there, most of the guys you mentioned are fascinating, with a ton of upside. The series I watched most closely all year long was when the Reds came to Yankee Stadium in late June.

    I don't see the Reds with a shot at the 2009 NL Central but I think third place is a possibility with the right moves this winter. One of which might be taking out a restraining order against Baker from coming to the ballpark.


    Brandon (Charleston): What kind of numbers do you expect from Johnny Cueto in 2009?

    Jay Jaffe: The first thing I do to start my winter work for BP and the Fantasy Baseball Index (where I write pitcher capsules) is create something I call the DIPSheet, which uses a variety of means to evaluate pitcher performance - DIPS, QERA and a couple of others. Cueto looks to me to have performed at about a league-average level last year, and I'm bullish that he can improve, but I'd like to see him develop a pitch to keep the ball on the ground and save a bit of wear and tear on his arm - like the cut fastball Chad Billingsley picked up a couple years ago.

    Without an advance, I think he's in the 4.25 ERA range give or take a quarter, probably around 180 innings.

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/ch...php?chatId=550

    I'd be thrilled with a 4.25 ERA from Cueto in 2009. With his great stuff, I think that's very reasonable expectation.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Reds related questions from a Baseball Prospectus chat today

    Quote Originally Posted by camisadelgolf View Post
    Is anyone here an ESPN insider? Maybe you could sum up what Jason Grey said about Chris Dickerson.

    http://insider.espn.go.com/fantasy/b...lipboard080915
    I managed to magically come across the article (thank you again to the person responsible), so I'll go ahead and sum it up.

    Jason Grey said that one of the things he wanted to figure out when he scouted the Reds this year was how much he believed in Chris Dickerson. He had seen him in last year's Arizona Fall League, and he wanted to know if there had been improvements since then. In the AFL, Grey had graded Dickerson as a 45 on the 20-80 scouting scale, which translates to a backup outfielder. This was based almost purely on Dickerson's raw athletic skills. Partly due to the high number of strikeouts, Grey was skeptical of Dickerson's ability to break out into an everyday left fielder. The big problem was that Dickerson's bat didn't stay in the zone very long at all. He would often 'hitch out', which made it difficult for Dickerson to make consistent contact, and therefore, his power couldn't develop as much as it should have. After watching Dickerson in September, Grey said that Dickerson's swing appeared to be smoother, cleaner, and more consistent.

    When Dickerson was asked about it, he said that he didn't feel the difference was night and day--just that he figured out how to keep the bat all the way through the zone so that if he's late to getting to the ball, he won't miss the ball and possibly hit a line drive to the opposite field.

    After the AFL, Dickerson put in a lot of time and effort to remaking his swing. Grey says that Dickerson is hitching out noticeably less, but it took time for Dickerson to get adjusted to his new swing because he struggled initially in AAA. Dickerson said that he did a lot of drills to correct his path to the baseball and work on his muscle memory. He also said that the most effective drill was the high-tee drill, in which he sets the ball up on the tee as high as it will go and work on hitting high line drives. He said it even helped with handling pitches inside because he's not hooking them nor getting on top of them as much anymore, and as a result, he's seeing more backspin on the balls he hits.

    Because of Dickerson's progress, he seems to be seeing a lot more breaking balls. Grey used Brandon Webb as an example, who refused to throw a fastball to Dickerson. Grey said that Dickerson will still rack up plenty of strikeouts, but it's not a big problem as long as he can compensate for it in other areas. Because of Dickerson's improvements, Grey upgraded Dickerson's rating to a 50, which is a starting outfielder.

    Dickerson noted that pitchers are trying to get him to chase balls out of his zone, but he said that he's going to stick with his approach and try not to get teased.

    Grey once claimed that you can never really count on players just for being good athletes. For example, there are a lot of players like Charlton Jimerson and Reggie Abercrombie, but every once in a while there's a Fred Lewis, a player who eventually sees things start to click, even if it takes a while to happen. He thinks that might be what's happening in Dickerson's case, which would make him an intriguing option for fantasy baseball.

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    Re: Reds related questions from a Baseball Prospectus chat today

    Quote Originally Posted by *BaseClogger* View Post
    And there goes the esteem of that opinion...
    Agreed. This guy shoots painfully from the hip. I tune out when I read his name.


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