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Thread: State of the Farm: Corner Outfielders

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    Member Bourgeois Zee's Avatar
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    State of the Farm: Corner Outfielders

    I think we can all agree that corner outfield is among the weakest areas the Reds are dealing with today. Let's dive in, and see the prospects who might change that calculus. We're focused on those players who are currently playing a corner position, not those who might switch in the future. I come not to praise Noelvi Marte-- at least not yet.

    TLR Version:
    Woof. It's bad, y'all. Hope all those middle infielders are willing to move around because... Woof. It's bad.

    Top 10 Corner OF Prospects

    Ariel Almonte ACL RF
    Get to know him because he might be the best hope the Reds have in developing a quality corner OF. Almonte, only 18, followed up a 137 wRC+ 2021 DSL season with a 142 wRC+ ACL season. He's currently showing patience and a better control of the strike zone than nearly all of his compatriots. Did I mention he's 18? He'll take awhile, but might be worth the wait.

    Hector Rodriguez Low A OF
    And now for something completely different Rodriguez is my type of player-- big-time hit tool, but sacrifices power to hit .350. I get fooled by these guys over and over, largely because the BB totals dry up, and what's left is an empty .280. But there's a reason why I find value here. The Reds need this exact type of bat. Rodriguez has speed for days and showed suprising pop on his way to a seasonal total of .333/ .372/ .536/ .908 over four stops. That alone makes him interesting. That he's 18 and likely to begin next season in Daytona before moving on at the halfway point to Dayton is even better.

    Rece Hinds AA RF
    Let's start with the obvious. There's not a sure thing here. While Hinds has a high floor (due to speed, arm, and power), he well could go all Samone Peters and disappear before ever making it to the big leagues. An 8.4 BB rate isn't ideal and a nearly 40% (!) K rate is horrid. But he had a really good month. That's enough to get him on this weak list.

    Yerlin Confidan Low A RF
    Only 19, last year's ACL MVP was on his way to a solid season when he hurt himself. The resulting long layoff really affected both his development time and his numbers. Still, the kid put up solid wRC+ production-- 127 in Complex Ball and 113 in Low A-- despite a low BA and lots of Ks. At least he walks a lot. His glove needs serious work.

    Austin Hendrick High A RF
    Hendrick was a big swing at the top of the 2020 draft and looks like he might not pan out. That said, he's still only 21-- there's time to be patient. And if you squint, you can see development here. He cut his Ks over the last six weeks of the season from remarkably untenable to merely horrendous. And his power still played. So did his speed-- Hendrick's a toolshed, for real. He desperately needs to develop a better approach, though.

    Allan Cerda AA RF
    He's Yerlin Confidan with better defense (could be a solid to above average CF and profiles to be excellent in RF) and absolutely no hit tool. But he can currently take a walk. 70 power and a 60 plate approach with a 30 hit tool is an odd mix. Might end up intriguing as a defense/ power fifth OF.

    Justin Boyd Low A RF
    Lots of potential. Really questionable whether he ever gets to it.

    TJ Hopkins AAA OF
    He's probably already overplayed his draft potential. Hopkins has arguably had the best season of any Red prospect. He's relatively old for the minor leagues (nearly 26), but he flew through two levels this season after stagnating last year in AA. Not a lot of bone left on that .258/ .333/ .459/ .792 line, but he's useful as a fifth OF. In this august company, that rates higher than it should.

    Alex McGarry AAA LF
    See Hopkins, TJ. Add more power. Subtract some patience and likely some BA. Subtract about half the defensive value. If the power can play, he'll be serviceable. Will it? Hrmm...

    Deivid Alcantara ACL OF
    He's a long, long way away, but he's young and had a good season. Stop me if you've heard this: Alcantara's willing to walk but has K issues. I know, I know. But one of these guys may well pop. Could be him. Who knows, at this point?

    Watch Out For:
    Brian Rey, OF/2B AA
    I'm a sucker for an outlier, and Rey's shown pop and a rare ability to get hit with pitches to boost his OBP in the past. He's also shown he's not above cheating, spending half the season in the doghouse after getting caught. When he came back, he played mostly corner OF. As a four-position backup, I like the tools. He might end up putting up Brandon Dixon numbers.

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  4. #2
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    Re: State of the Farm: Corner Outfielders

    Quote Originally Posted by Bourgeois Zee View Post
    Austin Hendrick High A RF
    Hendrick was a big swing at the top of the 2020 draft and looks like he might not pan out. That said, he's still only 21-- there's time to be patient. And if you squint, you can see development here. He cut his Ks over the last six weeks of the season from remarkably untenable to merely horrendous. And his power still played. So did his speed-- Hendrick's a toolshed, for real. He desperately needs to develop a better approach, though.
    Seriously this dude should pay me to come to the park just to watch him. I know what the overall numbers say, but I swear every time I saw the dragons this year Hendrick homered and then hit the ball hard at least twice more. He has a serious arm on him too. Doesn't always use it well, but it's there.

    It's the danger of the eye test.
    "Even a bad day at the ballpark beats the snot out of most other good days. I'll take my scorecard and pencil and beer and hot dog and rage at the dips and cheer at the highs, but I'm not ever going to stop loving this game and this team and nobody will ever take that away from me." Roy Tucker October 2010

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    Re: State of the Farm: Corner Outfielders

    Hendrick is my candidate for breakout player of the year in 2023. Authentic left handed power always needs to be respected. K rate is obviously way too high and needs to be reduced. Walk rate is very acceptable. Going to come down to what he can do with the K's.

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    Member mth123's Avatar
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    Re: State of the Farm: Corner Outfielders

    I like Cerda with hope he can be Adam Dunn with Defense (and less power), which would be acceptable as long as the OBP holds up. He has ISOd and ISOp going for him. He K's an awful lot, but still gets on base. His BABIP in AA is only .250. If he normalizes that, there is probably a little more there. He's probably my pick from this group, but I think somebody from the IF will end up in RF. Marte seems like a guy who'd make a great RF. Since I'm beginning to think India needs to move to 3B with the shift ending, moving Marte might be the right idea.

    I also have some hope for McGarry, but mostly as a DH, not as a Corner OF.

    Hendrick is the wildcard here. I do think he improved as noted, but it may just be a small sample blip. Time will tell.

    Hinds seems like the guy to trade, but only if some one is enamored with his tools and offers a return with big league potential (or maybe for a solid player with a contract the other team wants to dump).

    Hopkins and Rey seem like bench guys who ride the AAA shuttle. The others are too young and too low in the minors to draw any conclusions about.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

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    Daffy Duck RedTeamGo!'s Avatar
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    Re: State of the Farm: Corner Outfielders

    I had completely given up on Hendrick but he was performing really well down the stretch.
    What would you say.....ya do here?

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    Re: State of the Farm: Corner Outfielders

    Reds need to acquire a veteran corner outfielder with power. This thread demonstrates why. At least someone who can cover a couple of years.

    I’d rely on the top prospects to fill the infield positions, CF. But I see the corner OF and secondary catcher spot as prime for veteran additions.

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    Re: State of the Farm: Corner Outfielders

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    Reds need to acquire a veteran corner outfielder with power. This thread demonstrates why. At least someone who can cover a couple of years.

    I’d rely on the top prospects to fill the infield positions, CF. But I see the corner OF and secondary catcher spot as prime for veteran additions.
    Haniger and Narvaez seem like good Reds targets. Hell even Barnhart for super cheap may be an upgrade.

  12. #8
    Member Bourgeois Zee's Avatar
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    Re: State of the Farm: Corner Outfielders

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    Reds need to acquire a veteran corner outfielder with power. This thread demonstrates why. At least someone who can cover a couple of years.

    I’d rely on the top prospects to fill the infield positions, CF. But I see the corner OF and secondary catcher spot as prime for veteran additions.
    Two veteran corner OFs, even, with Frield and Fairchild in the middle, would be fine.

    Fraley can fill in at both corner spots and DH to get his ABs.

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    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Re: State of the Farm: Corner Outfielders

    There's a good chance I'm in the minority, but I feel like tanking was the right move for this year's team. I also feel like "tanking" is in order for 2023. The Reds don't have as many resources as the Yankees, Dodgers, et al, so I like the idea of pushing all their chips in for "competitive windows." They already have a highly-rated farm system with some key parts to build around. Votto and Moustakas will (likely) be free agents after next year. If I'm in charge, I tell the Reds to use another development year, get some good draft picks, and supplement the team with trades and free agents as needed from 2024-6.

    Keeping that in mind, corner outfield (and first base) might be the biggest targets in that time period.

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    Re: State of the Farm: Corner Outfielders

    Quote Originally Posted by camisadelgolf View Post
    There's a good chance I'm in the minority, but I feel like tanking was the right move for this year's team. I also feel like "tanking" is in order for 2023. The Reds don't have as many resources as the Yankees, Dodgers, et al, so I like the idea of pushing all their chips in for "competitive windows." They already have a highly-rated farm system with some key parts to build around. Votto and Moustakas will (likely) be free agents after next year. If I'm in charge, I tell the Reds to use another development year, get some good draft picks, and supplement the team with trades and free agents as needed from 2024-6.

    Keeping that in mind, corner outfield (and first base) might be the biggest targets in that time period.
    I'm in general agreement with you about what they did in the offseason but I wouldn't call it tanking. Maybe it was all driven by Castellini's greed, but I think it can be explained very easily as a response to the obvious problems of the 2021 team. 2021 was a mediocre team despite performances that anyone could see were unrepeatable: 5.9 bWar out of Miley, a sensational 37 year old year out of Votto, a probable career effort out of Mahle. (About 15 bWar out of those three) So they used the offseason and the deadline trades to do the only thing they could do: try to build a critical mass of prospects arriving at roughly the same time to give them a core that hopefully they can add to effectively in the next couple of years. Next year's a transition year, IMO. They're going to be bad at the outset but maybe fairly decent by the second half. I think they can be fairly decent in one corner with Fraley and a right-handed platoon bat (not Aquino and probably not Fairchild). I'd talk to Pinder and Grossman. Question is how much to spend, in FA money or prospects, on the other corner and how to fill that position without blocking the guys you want to be integral to late 2023 and beyond: DE La Cruz, CES, Marte, McClain, Steer as the first wave.

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    Member Bourgeois Zee's Avatar
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    Re: State of the Farm: Corner Outfielders

    Quote Originally Posted by camisadelgolf View Post
    There's a good chance I'm in the minority, but I feel like tanking was the right move for this year's team. I also feel like "tanking" is in order for 2023. The Reds don't have as many resources as the Yankees, Dodgers, et al, so I like the idea of pushing all their chips in for "competitive windows." They already have a highly-rated farm system with some key parts to build around. Votto and Moustakas will (likely) be free agents after next year. If I'm in charge, I tell the Reds to use another development year, get some good draft picks, and supplement the team with trades and free agents as needed from 2024-6.

    Keeping that in mind, corner outfield (and first base) might be the biggest targets in that time period.
    I think the Reds' next move largely depends on what happens with the ping pong balls in December and trade and free agency this off-season.

    Should the Reds get lucky enough to nab RF Dylan Crews or SP Chase Dollander, they might choose to be more aggressive with free agency in order to bolster a team of (very) young and (extremely) cheap players who might be really, really good as early as 2024. They have weaknesses at the corners, catcher, and (IMO) CF. They could always use pitching too. CF Enrique Bradfield and LF Wyatt Langford are consolation prizes that may push the Reds to go the same route, fwiw, but with less certainty.

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    he/him *BaseClogger*'s Avatar
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    Re: State of the Farm: Corner Outfielders

    Quote Originally Posted by Bourgeois Zee View Post
    I think the Reds' next move largely depends on what happens with the ping pong balls in December and trade and free agency this off-season.

    Should the Reds get lucky enough to nab RF Dylan Crews or SP Chase Dollander, they might choose to be more aggressive with free agency in order to bolster a team of (very) young and (extremely) cheap players who might be really, really good as early as 2024. They have weaknesses at the corners, catcher, and (IMO) CF. They could always use pitching too. CF Enrique Bradfield and LF Wyatt Langford are consolation prizes that may push the Reds to go the same route, fwiw, but with less certainty.
    I think it would be rather foolish to make any medium-term strategy decisions regarding the MLB roster based on draft positioning. The draft board will shakeup considerably between now and next year's draft and it's a crapshoot to begin with...

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    Re: State of the Farm: Corner Outfielders

    Quote Originally Posted by *BaseClogger* View Post
    I think it would be rather foolish to make any medium-term strategy decisions regarding the MLB roster based on draft positioning. The draft board will shakeup considerably between now and next year's draft and it's a crapshoot to begin with...
    If you've got the first pick, you're in a unique spot. That is enough to change your strategy.

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    Re: State of the Farm: Corner Outfielders

    Quote Originally Posted by camisadelgolf View Post
    There's a good chance I'm in the minority, but I feel like tanking was the right move for this year's team. I also feel like "tanking" is in order for 2023. The Reds don't have as many resources as the Yankees, Dodgers, et al, so I like the idea of pushing all their chips in for "competitive windows." They already have a highly-rated farm system with some key parts to build around. Votto and Moustakas will (likely) be free agents after next year. If I'm in charge, I tell the Reds to use another development year, get some good draft picks, and supplement the team with trades and free agents as needed from 2024-6.

    Keeping that in mind, corner outfield (and first base) might be the biggest targets in that time period.
    You won't get an argument from me. Rebooting was the prudent choice. Further, if they do it right, they should have a long competitive window. The lower minors have talent. I expect them to trade Lodolo, Greene, and Ashcraft in their fifth year. Signing pitchers long term is a poor strategy for a small market team. Continuous renewal is better. I think the success of their strategy hinges on an ability to develop pitchers. They drafted a bunch this year. Now let's see if any of them pan out.

    For next year, I expect them to use a platoon strategy with some players seeing action at multiple positions. The pitching is likely to improve. Williamson and Stoudt should see action in the rotation. If I were to invest, it would be the pen which continues to become more important in the age of 6 inning starters. They might compete for a playoff spot next year. 2024 should begin their competitive window.

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