So I guess I’m curious, were does the Reds draw the line on having patience with young developing players? Kearns seems to have found his stroke as quick as Pena has lost his:

Pena AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
April 43 9 14 6 0 5 11 2 13 0 0 .326 .370 .814 1.184
June 70 9 17 4 0 3 10 4 27 1 0 .243 .284 .429 .712
Total 118 19 32 10 0 9 22 6 43 1 0 .271 .312 .585 .897

Kearns AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
April 63 11 15 3 0 3 10 10 22 0 0 .238 .347 .429 .775
May 89 9 20 7 0 2 14 8 23 0 0 .225 .293 .371 .664
June 18 2 3 1 0 1 1 0 5 0 0 .167 .211 .389 .599
Total 170 22 38 11 0 6 25 18 50 0 0 .224 .306 .394 .700
AAA 49 9 15 9 0 1 9 6 12 0 0 .306 .393 .551 .944

So if your playing the hot hand, it looks to be Austin now. He also is at least solid in the field when he slumps. I’m thinking it may be time to change the guard again. I will be watching with great interest to see if the Reds make any moves in July to free up a spot for both of these young sluggers.

Later,
Tom

Join the conversation! 9 Comments

  1. I’ll admit I’m surprised by Pena’s recent slump, especially considering he came back from his injury in such strong fashion.

    Re: Kearns — Hate to say it, but you have to take his AAA stats with a grain of salt. Yes, he’s doing remarkably well and it looks like he’s doing everything the Reds have asked of him. But you also have to remember that Brandon Larson used to come down here and smack the crap out of the ball as well.

    Does Kearns deserve another shot, without question, yes he does. Just don’t expect his Bats stats to carry over up I-71.

  2. I’ll admit I’m surprised by Pena’s recent slump, especially considering he came back from his injury in such strong fashion.

    The amount of beating Dunn gets here and folks are surprised by Pena’s slump?

    Pena is a way worse hitter than Dunn with RISP, and historically. He has no plate awareness, K’s as much as Dunn but can’t buy a walk, has never hit over .270 at any level and looks like a fool on soft stuff away.

    When struggling the guy is a bigger chore to watch than any recent Red in memory.

    His .720 OPS in June of last year and .754 in August show the other end of the spectrum with WMP, streaky sickness and streaky power.

  3. Keep in mind, we’re talking about a 23 year old who should have had a couple more years of minor league ball under his belt. His learning curve is going to be different than Kearns and Dunn.

    BTW, don’t know if I can post, but ESPN Insider is reporting that Joe Randa may be Minnestoa bound. Can’t access the story (subscription-based), but I’m guessing with Minnesota pitching depth (team has a below 1.2 WHIP) we’ll be getting an outfielder in return. 😀

  4. His learning curve is going to be different than Kearns and Dunn.

    So is his career if he doesn’t learn to take a walk.

    2 years difference in age, 1 year less in pro ball.

    His agent made the contract, the contract has made what we have now… the monkey paw of player development.

  5. I’m guessing with Minnesota pitching depth (team has a below 1.2 WHIP) we’ll be getting an outfielder in return. 😀

    Ha – but why take an outfielder when we could get Juan Castro back?

    I will be extremely interested to see what the Reds can get for Randa, if he is indeed traded. Maybe we can finally see what O’Brien can do in a trade of a player with value. Last year’s trades to Philadelphia (Todd Jones, and later Cory Lidle) were a mixed bag, though only because getting anything at all for Lidle was considered to be a stunning success.

  6. AAA stats are not the same as MLB stats. They don’t compare. There are many, all too many guys who tear up AAA but can’t do anything at the MLB level.
    Having said all that. I am very much for bringing Kearns back to Cincy as soon as possible, if for no other reason that was stated above. When Pena slumps in goes Kearns. When Kearns gets in a funk in comes Pena. My problem with this whole situation is that neither player has shown that he can handle a full season. Hence, when one guy gets hot, the other doesn’t play. The best thing that could happen is that one or the two emerges as a clear winner in the RF competition. So far that hasn’t happened.

  7. That last line should read one of the two, not one or the two. Proof read…proof read!

  8. In fact, AAA stats DO compare to Major League stats. So do AA and A stats. It is fairly easy, at this point, to equate performance at one level to another.

    This doesn’t mean that a player who hits XXX at AAA will always hit XXX-YYY at the MLB level, but there has been a LOT of progress in this area, and when it comes to predicting major league performance, minor league stats are essentially of the same value as MLB stats (of the same sample size, etc.).

    In other words: You can look at a guy’s 2002-04 MLB stats and knowing his age and assuming no injuries, make a decent educated guess as to his 2005 MLB performance. I hope everyone agrees to this GENERAL principle.

    Now assume that this player, instead of playing for the Reds from 2002-04, played at a combination of Chatt (AA) and L’Ville (AAA). The interesting thing is that because we know the ballpark and league factors for those levels, we can do essentially the same thing we did by looking at MLB stats, with roughly the same degree of certainty.

    There are always cases of players who excel at AAA but can’t convert their successes to MLB (Brandon Larson), but there are also guys who unexpectedly fall off a cliff at the MLB level (Eric Milton).

    There IS a difference between AAA and MLB, but we know what it is, on the average. (I will concede that some guys, possibly due to an inability to handle the psychological pressue of the big leauges – but also likely due a lack of steady, sustained MLB playing time, seem to be “AAAA players.”)

  9. Do you think that the Reds players may actually be reading this blog. We bad mouthed Aurilla and he started hitting again. We bad mouthed Pena and the same thing happened. Who can we get on to next?

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