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Thread: Baseball America's Top Ten Reds prospects

  1. #76
    Member Superdude's Avatar
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    Re: Baseball America's Top Ten Reds prospects

    Soto looks like a really athletic from the few videos I've seen of him. It seems odd that he's as pathetically slow as everyone says he is.

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  3. #77
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    Re: Baseball America's Top Ten Reds prospects

    I do think he will add more weight. He is listed at 6'2 180 and looks like he could add 20 pounds to his frame. He is rather slender as a 19 year old. I do not think he has the speed to play the outfield. That much we agree on. But I don't recall ever saying anything to indicate that I think there are any question marks as to whether he can play third longterm. I did say last season that he was not as good defensively as Waring, but Waring was the best defensive third baseman in the league and Soto was playing the position for the first time. I have seen nothing to indicate to me that Soto can't be a solid defensive third baseman.

    Lastly, I will say this. When I say that I don't think Soto could play left field, I am saying he would be a defensive liability there on a team contending for a championship. Could he play out there? Probably. There are slow outfielders and always have been. Javier Valentin probably could have played out there last season for the Reds if you stuck him out there. But you would not put together a contending team with the idea of having guys at positions where they are defensive liabilities.

  4. #78
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    Re: Baseball America's Top Ten Reds prospects

    Superdude, I would not describe him as pathetically slow. I would say he has below average speed now and when he adds bulk, he will get slower. Note that last season with Dayton, in 52 games, he batted .326 and had one stolen base. If we are giving an impression of somebody with the speed of a 34 year old Jason Larue, then we are giving the wrong impression.

  5. #79
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    Re: Baseball America's Top Ten Reds prospects

    Quote Originally Posted by redsof72 View Post
    But you would not put together a contending team with the idea of having guys at positions where they are defensive liabilities.
    I really respect your posts and opinions, redsof72, but I gotta disagree here. Last year The Fielding Bible had Pat Burrell as 2nd worst in all of baseball for LFers at -20 on their +/- scale. Yet we all know who just won the World Series. The year before that, TFB had Manny Ramirez as the worst LFer at -38 on their scale. Yet the Red Sox won it all that year.

    While I'm certainly not saying Soto will become the next Manny Ramirez or even Pat Burrell, the point is that you can have a guy playing out of position or be a defensive liability and still be a championship caliber ball club. It just depends on how strong the player in question's bat is. If Soto's bat looks mighty enough and the only spot open is LF, then so be it. It won't necessarily prevent the Reds from being a contending team (assuming he isn't, gulp, Javier Valentin "running" around out there).

  6. #80
    BobC, get a legit F.O.! Mario-Rijo's Avatar
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    Re: Baseball America's Top Ten Reds prospects

    Sounds to me like Soto could be Carlos Lee in LF which is bad but if he has a Lee-Esque bat is certainly doable.

    C - Mesoraco
    1B - Votto/Alonso/Soto/Francisco (?)
    2B - Bucholz/Valaika/Henry
    SS - Valaika/Cozart
    3B - Frazier/Francisco/Soto
    LF - Soto/Votto/Francisco/Duran
    CF - Stubbs/Dickerson/Heisey/Henry/Yorman
    RF - Bruce/Duran

    One thing is sure we have corner guys to trade for potential up the middle guys. C/SS/CF/2B are all far more questionable than 1B/3B/LF/RF.
    "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: Baseball America's Top Ten Reds prospects

    Yes, there are lots of examples of teams that had to try to "hide" a weak glove somewhere to get his bat in the lineup. There have always been Willie Horton/Hal McRae type players. You make good points on Burrell and Ramirez. But I think for the most part, you are playing with fire. You are talking about a lot of should-be fly outs that are going to be singles and doubles and triples. If you put Soto in left, he needs to be all over the offensive leader boards to make up for that. A weak fielder who is just a pretty good hitter has a Todd Walker type career--he finds teams that will take him for a year but usually not on a contender.

    I don't think it will matter with Soto. He'll be a good infielder, something Burrell or Ramirez is not. If Burrell could play a solid third base, he would be playing there for somebody, not playing a bad left field. It's funny we got this far into the conversation and never mentioned Adam Dunn, whom I thought killed the Reds at times in left but offset that with a ton of homers. Again, if Dunn could have played a good third base, he would not have been picking balls up off the warning track in left.

    I was just watching the 1990 World Series highlights the other day and forgot that LaRussa benched Canseco, who was an absolute superstar at that time, in game four after watching him stumble around in right field for three games as Billy Hatcher and others legged out extra base hits. And wouldn't you know, in game four, there was Jack Buck saying after a nice running catch in right, "Canseco would never have gotten to that ball". Didn't help them in the end though.

    Interesting topic. Time will tell.

  8. #82
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    Re: Baseball America's Top Ten Reds prospects

    Soto reminds me somewhat of Miguel Cabrera. A high average hitter with plenty of power, and like Cabrera, he'll never be mistaken for a speed demon. If Soto can start drawing a few more walks (and I think he will), then this kid will explode as a hitter, IMO.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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    Re: Baseball America's Top Ten Reds prospects

    Interesting list, Mario-Rijo. The shortstop position is very interesting. I have not seen much of Valaika. I have seen a lot of Cozart and he's a great defensive shortstop but his development as a hitter will decide his future. I am not sure if Cozart projects as an everyday major leaguer. He might be more of a Janish type. I wish I had seen more of Valaika at short. One manager in the Reds organization told me last year that he saw Valaika as a major league utility infielder. But of course, Valaika certainly will get the opportunity to prove otherwise and maybe he will.

    Isn't it nice to actually have prospects to debate, rather than the years and years of the Bowden time when the Chattanooga and Indianapolis/Louisville rosters were filled with six year free agents? Did redszone.com debate Mark Schramek and Dane Sardinha a few years back? Oh, that had to be grueling.

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    Re: Baseball America's Top Ten Reds prospects

    Quote Originally Posted by redsof72 View Post
    Did redszone.com debate Mark Schramek and Dane Sardinha a few years back? Oh, that had to be grueling.
    I'm not sure on that one, I'd guess they were probably talking about how pitchers often come back stronger after Tommy John surgery.

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    Re: Baseball America's Top Ten Reds prospects

    OBM, I don't know if you ever will see Soto draw many walks. He just doesn't go deep into counts before he puts the ball in play. One thing he figured out last year was that in A-ball, the first pitch of the at-bat is usually a fastball that the opposing pitcher wants to throw for a strike and that is often the best pitch to hit in the whole at-bat, so there would be games where he might put the first pitch in play three times. He will have to get over that because pitchers will eventually stop throwing meat balls on that first pitch.

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    Re: Baseball America's Top Ten Reds prospects

    summerplight, you made me laugh. Yes, there were a lot of Howingtons, Grulers, and Bashams.

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    Re: Baseball America's Top Ten Reds prospects

    Quote Originally Posted by redsof72 View Post
    OBM, I don't know if you ever will see Soto draw many walks. He just doesn't go deep into counts before he puts the ball in play. One thing he figured out last year was that in A-ball, the first pitch of the at-bat is usually a fastball that the opposing pitcher wants to throw for a strike and that is often the best pitch to hit in the whole at-bat, so there would be games where he might put the first pitch in play three times. He will have to get over that because pitchers will eventually stop throwing meat balls on that first pitch.
    I agree that he probably won't ever be a huge walker. But it's the last part of your post that gives me some hope. Like you said, pitchers will eventually stop throwing first pitch fastballs which will lead to less contact on the first pitch and will allow him to work deeper counts. With his contact skills, 55-60 walks a year would be very acceptable. That, along with pitchers beginning to fear him and pitching around him should lead to more walks, IMO. I agree with you though, he'll never be a guy that walks 100 times ... and that's OK. With his skills, he doesn't have to be that type of player.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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    Re: Baseball America's Top Ten Reds prospects

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine View Post
    I agree that he probably won't ever be a huge walker. But it's the last part of your post that gives me some hope. Like you said, pitchers will eventually stop throwing first pitch fastballs which will lead to less contact on the first pitch and will allow him to work deeper counts. With his contact skills, 55-60 walks a year would be very acceptable. That, along with pitchers beginning to fear him and pitching around him should lead to more walks, IMO. I agree with you though, he'll never be a guy that walks 100 times ... and that's OK. With his skills, he doesn't have to be that type of player.
    I agree with this but will caution that walking 55-60 times isn't easy for most in itself. However I think the thing about Soto we should remember is just because he hasn't had to show this skill yet doesn't mean he doesn't have it.
    "You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."

    --Woody Hayes

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    Re: Baseball America's Top Ten Reds prospects

    Make no mistake about it, Soto is a free swinger. I am sure at some point he will make an effort to lay off some "pitcher's pitches" that he is currently chasing. We'll see how that works.

    I am not as big a fan of the walks theme as some when you talk about a middle of the order guy. Your lead-off hitter and your number two hitter...yes, on base percentage is everything. For your money guys, you want them driving in runs. That's why I don't like OPS, because it measures on base percentage and slugging percentage as totally equal, regardless of the role the player plays in the offense.

    I used to be someone who liked to see a lot of walks but for your run producers, I would make the statement that it is as big a sin to take a fat pitch that you should have hit off the fence as it is to chase a bad ball. Pitchers THROW bad pitches that should be winding up as doubles and triples and homers. A good hitter should be converting those pitches into extra base hits, not waiting for a walk (unless, again, he is in a role as a table setter).

    Hate that "take a strike" deal unless you are batting in the 9th with the tying run still waiting to come to the plate. The pitch he just took might have been the best pitch he had to hit all day, and he let it go by. Now he has to do something with a tougher pitch.
    Last edited by redsof72; 02-01-2009 at 06:12 PM.

  16. #90
    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: Baseball America's Top Ten Reds prospects

    Quote Originally Posted by redsof72 View Post
    Make no mistake about it, Soto is a free swinger. I am sure at some point he will make an effort to lay off some "pitcher's pitches" that he is currently chasing. We'll see how that works.

    I am not as big a fan of the walks theme as some when you talk about a middle of the order guy. Your lead-off hitter and your number two hitter...yes, on base percentage is everything. For your money guys, you want them driving in runs. That's why I don't like OPS, because it measures on base percentage and slugging percentage as totally equal, regardless of the role the player plays in the offense.

    I used to be someone who liked to see a lot of walks but for your run producers, I would make the statement that it is as big a sin to take a fat pitch that you should have hit off the fence as it is to chase a bad ball. Pitchers THROW bad pitches that should be winding up as doubles and triples and homers. A good hitter should be converting those pitches into extra base hits, not waiting for a walk (unless, again, he is in a role as a table setter).

    Hate that "take a strike" deal unless you are batting in the 9th with the tying run still waiting to come to the plate. The pitch he just took might have been the best pitch he had to hit all day, and he let it go by. Now he has to do something with a tougher pitch.
    I think you nailed it on the head with my philosophy of baseball. Very well said!

    This guy has hit and has hit well everywhere he has been. It will be interesting to see how he adapts to better pitchers as he progresses. I would hope they start in him A+ but I foresee him starting in Dayton. I have heard people who have seen him describe how when he hits a ball it sounds different than other players. He is probably the one current prospect that I am excited to see him advance through the minors.


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