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Thread: More positive reaction on Chapman

  1. #61
    Party like it's 1990 Blitz Dorsey's Avatar
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    Re: More positive reaction on Chapman

    Quote Originally Posted by membengal View Post
    Look, folks, how do you know a player is potentially special? It's the little things. Fay and others have alluded to it, that players stop to watch. Proof? That pic from Jamie Ramsey in the pics thread, and I will try to post it here:



    Just spend a second marveling at the Reds' dugout. Look again. 3rd or 4th inning of pre-season game #3, friends. Not game #3 of the World Series.

    That pic gives me chills as a fan. The good kind of chills.
    Love it. I can't believe I am this excited about the Reds. The good news is that the team is built for the future, so it's not like this year is do-or-die. But there is the chance that this could be a really fun year ... with even bigger things on the horizon.

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  3. #62
    Pitching is the thing WVRedsFan's Avatar
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    Re: More positive reaction on Chapman

    GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- This Aroldis Chapman thing makes no sense. The guy's fastball is a blur. His motion is wonderfully fluent whenever he takes the mound with his lanky frame of 6-foot-4 and 185 pounds. He is left-handed -- and in case you didn't know, baseball folks lose their minds over southpaws who throw hard. Plus, he just turned 22, which means he has years to remain good or even great.

    I mean, here is Chapman, supposedly with the gifts to evolve into the next big thing among pitchers, and the New York Yankees didn't get him.

    Neither did the Boston Red Sox, the New York Mets, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs or any of those teams on the pricey side of baseball's financial universe. In contrast, the Cincinnati Reds join the traditional bargain hunters (as in cheapskates, either by necessity or by choice) on the other side.

    So Chapman went to . . . the Reds?

    While the Reds have nine consecutive losing seasons, the Yankees and the Red Sox have five pennants and two world championships during that stretch. Still, two months ago, the Reds convinced Chapman to sign a six-year contract for $30.25 million. Then, during his Cactus League debut on Monday at Goodyear Ballpark, he used the combination of his pitches and his poise to show that he is more than hype.

    You know, with the Reds.

    "It really does kind of make you wonder if there is some kind or problem here with this kid, because the Yankees, for instance, are a club that would go out and outbid everybody if they felt this guy was going to be a phenom," said George Foster, a blast from Cincinnati's Big Red Machine past. He was in town for the spring game to sign autographs for those visiting at a table beyond the third-base stands.

    Consider that Chapman is scheduled to make more than the total rosters of Foster's 1975 and 1976 Reds teams that captured back-to-back world championships with three Hall of Fame players, a Hall of Fame manager and Pete Rose, baseball's all-time hits leader who also should be in Cooperstown.

    Foster chuckled, adding, "Before, it was like the Reds didn't have any money, and now, all of a sudden, they've got the money. That's strange. And I also think those other clubs want to win right now. They don't want to put that kind of investment into somebody who is going to be in the minor leagues for a four- or five-year period. They want somebody who can help them win immediately."

    The thing is, if you go by Monday, when Chapman kept making Kansas City Royals hitters look silly, the Reds just snookered their peers by grabbing somebody who could be significant right now.

    During Chapman's two innings, he watched the first hitter he faced single, and he allowed a walk. He also had two strikeouts.

    Here's the main thing: In addition to flashes of goodness with his slider and his changeup, his fastballs really were fast. According to the speed gun of one major-league scout, some of Chapman's 26 pitches reached 97, 98 and 100 mph.

    That same scout clocked one at 102 mph.

    When it comes to left-handers, Steve Carlton didn't throw that hard, and neither did Sandy Koufax. Some say Herb Score often reached the 100s during the 1950s, which means Chapman could join a category of two.

    "I wasn't trying to throw any harder or anything like that," said Chapman, shrugging, who doesn't speak English. His translator was fellow native Cuban Tony Fossas, the Reds' Single-A pitching coach who operates as Chapman's unofficial guardian.

    Said Chapman through Fossas, "If I did throw a pitch that fast, it was just one of those things."

    Added Reds manager Dusty Baker, also shrugging, "It's hard to tell how fast he's throwing, because he throws so easy. He doesn't put a lot of effort into it, so it's hard to tell how hard he's throwing, but he threw well."

    Except for that walk, Chapman also threw under control, which was one of his big question marks. The other involved temperament since he has a reputation for becoming agitated by the slightest thing. He was composed on Monday, and he has been so throughout his stay with the Reds so far.This already is a splendid story.

    Chapman pitched for Cuba's national team, and he even was named the top left-handed pitcher for the 2007 Baseball World Cup. But here's the intriguing stuff: Last summer, despite Castro's tight grasp around the team, he slipped away toward freedom when they were playing in the Netherlands. It wasn't without a mighty cost for Chapman, though, since he left behind friends and family members, including a pregnant girlfriend who gave birth to an eight-month-old daughter that he has yet to see.

    It's just that Chapman has this dream of pitching in the big leagues. According to Fossas, he is doing everything mentally and physically to make it happen.

    "First of all, he's very smart. He's very bright, and he already brought pretty solid mechanics with him," Fossas said. "He's a workaholic, and with the technology that we have here, he's only going to get better. We have a video room, and he had never seen himself pitch in that fashion. He's going to use that to his advantage, and as we've seen throughout camp, the issue isn't control anymore.

    "The other thing is, growing up in Cuba under a tough situation, and then going through that defection, hey, that takes a lot of guts. That also takes a lot of a heart leaving your family behind and not knowing what the future is going to bring.

    "I think for him, this is a piece of cake."

    Not good news for opposing hitters.

    Nor for the Yankees and others who let him get away.

  4. #63
    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Re: More positive reaction on Chapman

    Video of Chapman speaking to reporters after the game (from FoxSportsOhio.com):

    http://www.foxsportsohio.com/pages/v...0XJLoibNT5j8Iy
    Last edited by OnBaseMachine; 03-09-2010 at 01:32 AM.

  5. #64
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    Re: More positive reaction on Chapman

    Quote Originally Posted by membengal View Post
    OBM, on the linking stuff, I have written on a blog for about seven years now, and have long since been comfortable that a link with a highlight of what is in the link is fair use. Even with a blog post, if you are not sure if it's okay, give the link and maybe a paragraph and leave it to the reader to click over for the whole thing.
    That'll work. I edited my posts.

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    Re: More positive reaction on Chapman

    I am ecstatic to have this guy!
    Follow me on twitter: http://twitter.com/ShaneHorning

  7. #66
    Member Ron Madden's Avatar
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    Re: More positive reaction on Chapman

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoosier Red View Post
    From Redszone favorite Joe Poz.

    http://joeposnanski.com/JoeBlog/2010...an-cincinnati/
    Player of the Day: Aroldis Chapman, pitcher, Cincinnati.


    GOODYEAR, Az. – We live in a world where there just aren’t many surprises. We know who will win the Academy Awards before they win. We hear about the best college football and basketball players long before they reach college. We hear rumors about the remarkable capabilities of the iPad months before the thing comes out.

    So, no, there just aren’t too many revelations in our lives.

    Maybe that is why the spring training phenom still electrifies us. Here it is, a cool gray day in Arizona. The Cincinnati Reds play the Kansas City Royals. There are a couple thousand people in the stands, maybe. There’s no buzz in the stands. How could there be any buzz? The Reds and Royals playing on a Monday afternoon in a spring training game under gray skies in Arizona?

    And then: Aroldis Chapman steps on the mound. You have probably heard Chapman’s story. He is a 22-year-old left-handed pitcher from Cuba. He tried to defect from Cuba in 2008, was arrested, was given a reprieve and then successfully defected in Amsterdam. He eventually signed with the Cincinnati Reds for more than $30 million, which seems like a startling amount of money for someone who has never pitched in the big leagues.

    And then: You watch Aroldis Chapman pitch.

    “I mean, holy cow,” says longtime Kansas City scout Art Stewart.

    Holy cow. There was a time in baseball when baseball phenoms would just show up, when blazing fast and switch-hitting sluggers would wander out of the Oklahoma mines and 17-year-old pitchers throwing 100 mph would walk off of farms in Iowa. But now – you can follow baseball prospects through high school, through college, through the minor leagues, you can see film on them on the Internet, you can hear scouts talk about them, you can find prospect lists that go all the way to No. 2,000.

    And then here comes Chapman. He’s tall and lean – he looks taller than the 6-foot-4 that is listed in the media guide. He picks up the baseball to warm up, and he throws so easy, like he’s skipping a rock on a lake. The ball popped hard into the glove. The next one popped harder. Kansas City manager Trey Hillman was only half joking when he used that old line about how Chapman’s pitches “sounded good.” They really did sound good.

    But the amazing part was the ease … there was no grunting, no straining, no laboring. You hear that line all the time about athletes who look as if they were born to do something. Chapman struck out David DeJesus on a hard-sweeping slider that seemed to break two feet. He struck out Chris Getz on a 100-mph fastball that sliced the outside corner – anyway Stewart clocked the pitch at 100 mph. Another scout clocked it at 102. Another got it at 98. Chris Getz’s speed approximation: “It was moving.”

    Two batters later Chapman struck out Rick Ankiel on a slider that Ankiel missed by so much he had to be rebooked on a later flight.
    Watching Ankiel trying to hit Chapman was somewhere between comedy and tragedy; you got the sense that if Ankiel faced Chapman 100 times, he would strike out 100 times.

    The Ankiel at-bat was especially poignant because there was a time, not long ago, when Ankiel was that left-handed pitching phenom, the 19-year-old kid who had struck out 416 batters in just 298 minor league innings. No, you never know exactly how the phenom’s story will play out.

    On a day like this, really, anything seems possible.

    “I would say Chapman has the best young left-handed arm I’ve seen since Herb Score,” Art Stewart says, and here he is referring back to one of my heroes, Score, who as a 22 and 23-year-old for the Cleveland Indians led the American League in strikeouts. That was in 1955 and 1956. Score seemed to be on his way to becoming one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history – Sandy Koufax before Sandy Koufax – when he got hit in the eye on a line drive by Gil McDougald.

    But, Art Stewart concedes, even the Herb Score comparison isn’t quite right because Score had a famously violent motion. Chapman makes you think he could throw 115 mph if he was really trying.

    Chapman has already made his goals known: He wants to be the best pitcher in the world. So, sure, he was thoroughly unimpressed by his two-inning, one hit, three strikeout game in Goodyear where he may or may not have hit 100 mph on the radar gun.

    “I wasn’t worried about how hard I threw,” he said. “But I did (throw 100), it’s just one of those things.”

    It’s a funny thing: Every year, there are a couple of teams that are hot preseason choices, and this year’s teams seem to be Seattle and Cincinnati. The Reds have a good and fairly young middle of the lineup – Jay Bruce, Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips – some promising young pitchers like Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey and a couple of proven veterans like Scott Rolen and Aaron Harang.

    The Reds, like most teams trying to break through after a long dry spell, could use something amazing to happen. And here’s Aroldis Chapman, a pitcher longtime Reds announcer Marty Brennaman calls the best arm he has seen come through in 30 years. Here’s a left-handed pitcher with a 100 mph fastball and a desire to be the best ever. Here’s a real live phenom, out of nowhere, the kind baseball used to have.

    “Well, hey, they did spend $30 million on him,” Art Stewart says. “But I would say they got their money’s worth.”


    That's what I call a very well written article. Thanks for sharing it with us.


  8. #67
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    Re: More positive reaction on Chapman

    Great article from Joe Poz. A new era in Reds baseball is dawning.
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

  9. #68
    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: More positive reaction on Chapman

    Here's the link to the Kansas City's paper regarding yesterday's game. Apparently their catcher Brayan Pena was who was called to catch Chapman when he was auditioning for clubs.

    http://www.kansascity.com/2010/03/08...k-at-reds.html
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  10. #69
    Member cumberlandreds's Avatar
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    Re: More positive reaction on Chapman

    You really have to pinch yourself and say "Is this guy really a Red?" It's going to be fun to follow his progress in the spring to see if he goes back to Cincy with the big club. I'm betting that he does.
    Reds Fan Since 1971

  11. #70
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    Re: More positive reaction on Chapman

    How's this for a comp for Chapman?

    Vida Blue
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vida_Blue

    Blue was a southpaw power pitcher. He possessed a breaking curveball that he threw on occasion and an above average change-up, but his signature pitch was a blistering fastball that dialed up to nearly 100 miles per hour.[5] In The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers, all-time hits leader Pete Rose stated that Blue 'threw as hard as anyone' he had ever faced,[6] and baseball historian Bill James cited Blue as the hardest-throwing lefty, and the second hardest thrower of his era, to only Nolan Ryan.[7]
    Obviously he doesn't have the curve yet but does the slider.
    Maybe Steve Carlton as another comp.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/print...135&type=story
    Steve Carlton went 27-10 with a terrible team one year in there, throwing high fastballs (the slider didn't become his best pitch until two years later). We have quotes about Steve Carlton when he first came up, comparing him to Sandy Koufax-but, since he is Carlton, those kind of quotes don't even make the file for him, because there is so much other stuff. Which is better evidence about the quality of his fastball: 27 wins, 300 strikeouts, or some guy thirty years later talking about what an awesome fastball David Clyde threw that one afternoon?
    Not putting the bar high or anything.
    Last edited by klw; 03-09-2010 at 08:25 AM.

  12. #71
    Member icehole3's Avatar
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    Re: More positive reaction on Chapman

    Quote Originally Posted by Blitz Dorsey View Post
    That, sir, is a good prediction.

    But what's the big deal? Don't we always have a 6-foot-4, 22-year-old lefty in camp that can throw 100 MPH every spring training? No? Oh, alright, never mind. Now I see what all the fuss is about.
    thx, my next prediction is Walt puts him in the starting rotation opening day

  13. #72
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    Re: More positive reaction on Chapman

    Quote Originally Posted by icehole3 View Post
    thx, my next prediction is Walt puts him in the starting rotation opening day
    Too bad they've already given the Opening Day envelope to Harang.

  14. #73
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    Re: More positive reaction on Chapman

    Keith Law filed his report after yesterday here:

    http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/blog?...ith&id=4978560

    You have to be insider to get it, but if you are, enjoy. If not, a brief snippet:

    There are big-league starters who look like they're playing catch when they pitch, like Livan Hernandez; there are almost no big-league pitchers who look like they're playing catch at 96 or 98 mph. But Chapman does. His arm is loose and quick, and he makes a relatively easy thrower like Steven Strasburg look high-effort by comparison.

    In terms of mechanics, Chapman takes an enormous stride towards the plate and pronates his arm reasonably early; the arm path isn't long and there's no violence or other major red flags in the delivery. If he stays healthy, he's a number-one starter, and should be able to come north with the Reds in some role this year if they want him on the big-league roster.
    He described the slider as absolutely toxic, with a sharp break and sitting at 87-90, or what a normal left-hander sends plateward for a fastball. He raved in general about the ease of the delivery.

  15. #74
    Member cumberlandreds's Avatar
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    Re: More positive reaction on Chapman

    Quote Originally Posted by BCubb2003 View Post
    Too bad they've already given the Opening Day envelope to Harang.
    Opening Day is a guaranteed sell out no matter who starts. Pitch Chapman day two or three and pack the house for a 2nd time.
    Reds Fan Since 1971

  16. #75
    High five! nate's Avatar
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    Re: More positive reaction on Chapman

    Quote Originally Posted by membengal View Post
    Look, folks, how do you know a player is potentially special? It's the little things. Fay and others have alluded to it, that players stop to watch. Proof? That pic from Jamie Ramsey in the pics thread, and I will try to post it here:



    Just spend a second marveling at the Reds' dugout. Look again. 3rd or 4th inning of pre-season game #3, friends. Not game #3 of the World Series.

    That pic gives me chills as a fan. The good kind of chills.
    Nice observation.

    Although maybe somebody cut one in the dugout.

    "Bring on Rod Stupid!"


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