05/10/2012

Youkilis anyone?

Saw this ESPNBoston’s site:

The idea of trading Kevin Youkilis to make way for top prospect Will Middlebrooks gained early traction back in April, when Youkilis got off to a slow start and Middlebrooks was tearing it up for Pawtucket, hitting nine home runs and driving in 27 runs in his first 24 games.

That was premature. Youkilis has been a valuable middle-of-the-order presence in the Boston Red Sox’s lineup year after year and figured to regain his batting stroke, while the 23-year-old Middlebrooks had fewer than 200 at-bats in Triple-A. No reason to rush things.

Now, however, that conversation is no longer just fan chatter. With Middlebrooks off to a dazzling start here and the 33-year-old Youkilis on the 15-day disabled list with yet another injury, this time a strained back, general manager Ben Cherington may be faced with his biggest decision yet, even more portentous than converting Daniel Bard to a starter.

What do you think? Would you give the Red Sox a call about Youkilis? He’s talked about wanting to play here…what would you be willing to give up for him?

I’ve been a Reds fan since the late ’60’s, with my luck of being able to attend plenty of games at Riverfront during the BRM era. I was sitting in the Green Seats in the OF when Pete came home in ’84 and was in the Red seats when Glenn Braggs reached over the fence in ’90 to beat the Pirates. I have had many favorites from Jim Maloney to Johnny Bench, Barry Larkin, Adam Dunn, and Jay Bruce.

Join the conversation! 67 Comments

  1. I doubt the Reds can afford him, and don’t know how much of the contract that the Red Sox are willing to eat. He is in a contract year, so that is a positive in my opinion – he has a lot to play for… and I don’t mind renting a player for part of the season, which is basically what we were going to do with Madson for a full season.

    Bottom line, lower tier prospect and the Red Sox have to eat a bunch of the salary due (how much will MLB allow???)

  2. Before we pull the trigger on this one, we might need to consider a couple things.
    1. Where do we play Youk? 1st or 3rd?
    Don’t want to lose Votto. 3rd then.
    2. Do we want to replace Rolen? Also, got Frazier as a back up 3rd baseman.
    3. At 33 Youk is getting up there and seems to be having some health issues.
    4. I think Rolen is a better defensive player than Youk. Rolen can pass a lot of good info to Frazier and to Cozart.
    5. Salary, need I say more?
    All considered, I feel Youk is fine in Boston and we are OK here. Why throw a wrench in the works. If it aint broke dont fix it.:wink:

  3. Youk 3+ years ago? . . . Yes, please . . . Youk now? . . . No thanks.

  4. Another aging veteran with a bad back? I hope you are jesting.

    Bring up David Vidal and make a real change.

  5. How could we not be interested? Youk *is* the Greek God of Walks, after all.

    But seriously, of all the beat up and potentially over the hill veterans potentially available out there, he’s one of my favorites. But I wouldn’t give up much, either in cash or prospects, to make it happen.

    PS – would that make Youk the Greek God of Basecloggers, too?

  6. I’d pass on him as well. I don’t watch a ton of AL baseball so I’m not too familiar with his defensive capabilities, but I’d have to imagine that he’s a tier below Rolen, and probably no better than Frazier. Maybe he could still swing the bat, but I think with his age its not worth the risk.

    What are the Red Sox’s needs right now, anyway? I suppose the Reds could manage to part with either Bailey/Leake from the rotation if needed, but the article you quoted mentioned converting Bard to a starter. Unless we’re willing to move more prospects (and I think we did enough of that in the Latos deal), I don’t see this deal even leaving the gate.

  7. Wow, I’m surprised by all the No’s. I guess I shouldn’t be, baseball fans and investors always want to Buy High, Sell Low. 😯

    There is almost zero risk to a Youklis deal: there would be no elite/near-elite prospects involved, and the only thing the Reds would be risking would be some cash + a mid-tier prospect. Contract-wise, the only thing you worry about is THIS year…if he doesn’t perform well, the Reds simply let him walk or renegotiate his contract.

    You jump all over a deal like this. Injuries or not, he instantly becomes the 2nd or 3rd best hitter on the team.

    David Vidal? 😆 Are we traveling 3 years into the future?

    • Wow, I’m surprised by all the No’s.I guess I shouldn’t be, baseball fans and investors always want to Buy High, Sell Low.

      There is almost zero risk to a Youklis deal: there would be no elite/near-elite prospects involved, and the only thing the Reds would be risking would be some cash + a mid-tier prospect.Contract-wise, the only thing you worry about is THIS year…if he doesn’t perform well, the Reds simply let him walk or renegotiate his contract.

      You jump all over a deal like this.Injuries or not, he instantly becomes the 2nd or 3rd best hitter on the team.

      David Vidal? Are we traveling 3 years into the future?

      Completely agree with CP. I would definitely take a flyer on him.

  8. Thinking a little more about this… Yeah, Youk’s off to a slow start (as are many others) and hurt. But last year’s numbers, in a down year – 17 HR, 80 RBI, .258/.373/.459 in 120 games. Not bad. Maybe between him and Rolen, they’d make a complete third baseman.

    If you move Frazier to the LF rotation, Heisey’s maybe available. Though I’m *not* giving up on Heisey, whose upside IMO is still just as high as Frazier’s. I’m not sure Youkilis at this point is worth a Heisey, but both teams would be selling and buying low…

    I don’t really know what I’d do. It’s an interesting question. But given that we have a veteran 3b under contract for a fair chunk of change, I just don’t see it happening.

    But Dusty did pull Marshall yesterday… strange things happen sometimes.

  9. I agree with those here who point out the upside of this deal if we’re just talking about cash and a medium level prospect. The fact that he’s at the end of a contract limits the risk greatly. He’s a Cincinnati boy.

    If *if* he could regain his health, his bat would be a huge bonus in our lineup. He actually is a hitter who gets on base.

    But the Reds will *never* *ever* make this move, even at virtually no cost, because it essentially means replacing Rolen as the everyday 3B.

  10. NO…I will say it again…NO!..He is owed something like 12 million this year with an option for next year at like 13 million I believe. You then have two old beat up guys arguing over “who” plays third and Neither will want to be bench players on the team.

  11. @dn4192: If it’s 4 million and a Red’s a middle prospect then I like it. It ‘fixes’ the left side potentially by focusing Frazier on left field and letting the vets split time for now.

    It also allows for an assignment of Luddy or Valdez or shopping Heisey to get the middle prospect right back.

    • @dn4192: If it’s 4 million and a Red’s a middle prospect then I like it. It ‘fixes’ the left side potentially by focusing Frazier on left field and letting the vets split time for now. It also allows for an assignment of Luddy or Valdez or shopping Heisey to get the middle prospect right back.

      He could be FREE and a low level prospect and it’s still NO. First, there is no where for him to play. We have a 1st basemen and a 3rd basemen, so his role would be PH off the bench and very limited playing time on Rolen’s day off. Second, no way he is going to be happy with that playing time and no way unless hurt is Rolen going to be removed from the lineup. Third, Frazier is nothing more then a PT player on this team. He is going to play a little here and a little there. Fourth, if you get Youk, whom do you remove from the team?

  12. There’s no way to add Youklis while Scott Rolen is still in uniform. It simply will not happen.

  13. Steve is right. This move wouldn’t happen even if the Sox would eat 2/3rds of his contract and he was 4 years younger. It just wouldn’t. As long as Rolen is under contract, he will play while healthy. That is the simple truth.

    If the Rolen gets hurt, then maybe a move is made, but I wouldn’t even take a flier on Youk. He’s old, he’s hurt, and he can’t do anything Mike Costanzo or Todd Frazier couldn’t do.

    On top of everything else, the MLB draft is a few weeks away, and there are two, potentially three third base prospects who could be there, and all of them are expected to move quickly, even the 17 year old Carlos Correa, though he’ll most likely be gone by 14. The other two, Clemson’s Richie Schaffer and Stanford’s Stephen Piscotty both can play 3B or LF. Both have nice power, though Piscotty’s is more potential power, where Schaffer already can mash, and both could be placed at either or. Schaffer has been compared to Ryan Zimmerman, who made it to the Majors the same year he was drafted. These are just things to keep your eye on.

    The draft is the way to go. The Reds take BPA, and then they have yet another trade chip. If they need to, they can go out and make a trade for a better, more useful third basemen or left fielder, depending on what is done with Frazier.

  14. I would also like to raise the complaint why more wasn’t done to get Josh Willingham. He would have owned GABP and is a perfect four hole right handed power bat, no need for a platoon type player. It allows Heisey to be used when Heisey is best, off the Bench and as a defensive replacement. I know it’s easy to say now, seeing as Willingham is having a big year and all, all the while our left field position is black hole that sucks all happiness from the world, but seriously. Did Walt really think that missing out on Willingham and getting Ludwick was the way to go? Even back then that was a dumb idea.

    • I would also like to raise the complaint why more wasn’t done to get Josh Willingham. He would have owned GABP and is a perfect four hole right handed power bat, no need for a platoon type player. It allows Heisey to be used when Heisey is best, off the Bench and as a defensive replacement. I know it’s easy to say now, seeing as Willingham is having a big year and all, all the while our left field position is black hole that sucks all happiness from the world, but seriously. Did Walt really think that missing out on Willingham and getting Ludwick was the way to go? Even back then that was a dumb idea.

      How much did Willingham sign for?

  15. @dn4192: That’s absurd. Youkilis’ worst season is better than Rolen’s 2010. If the Reds’ traded for him, he’d be the starter. Period. You know, WJ’s office is like right down the office from Dusty’s office, right? He wouldn’t pull off a trade for Kevin Youkilis without having a sit down with Dusty & Bob before pulling the trigger. The very idea of Youk being the pinchhitter and Rolen being the starter is absurd.:lol: Put it in context, Youk’s “bad” offensive season in 2011 was better than Rolen’s 2010.

    That said, I don’t think the trade will happen. Youk’s contract is actually pretty favorable to teams so I think he’ll cost a lot more than most here think. The Reds would be outbid, I’m not sure the Reds can handle what’s left of Youk’s contract (say around $6-$8 million in 2012), and Rolen does pose a problem.

    • @dn4192: That’s absurd. Youkilis’ worst season is better than Rolen’s 2010. If the Reds’ traded for him, he’d be the starter. Period. You know, WJ’s office is like right down the office from Dusty’s office, right? He wouldn’t pull off a trade for Kevin Youkilis without having a sit down with Dusty & Bob before pulling the trigger. The very idea of Youk being the pinchhitter and Rolen being the starter is absurd.:lol: Put it in context, Youk’s “bad” offensive season in 2011 was better than Rolen’s 2010. That said, I don’t think the trade will happen. Youk’s contract is actually pretty favorable to teams so I think he’ll cost a lot more than most here think. The Reds would be outbid, I’m not sure the Reds can handle what’s left of Youk’s contract (say around $6-$8 million in 2012), and Rolen does pose a problem.

      Remember it was Bob who got Walt to go get Rolen, so there is zero chance Youk comes here and takes Rolen’s spot. Not a chance happening Rolen is the everyday 3rd basemen for the Reds till he retires, no matter who Walt would get.

  16. @CP: 2nd sentence in their should have been deleted.

  17. First off, we need to stop looking at every trade as to how Dusty would manage it. Dusty’s contract is up this year. Next season, there is likely a new manager, so continuing this charade of wondering how such-and-such and so-and-so would fit into Dusty’s lineup … move past that and think 2013 and whoever manages the team THEN.

    Second, Youkilis doesn’t have a hamstring pull. He has a bad back. I point that out because Rolen has a bad back and we see how he hits now.

    Roy Oswalt has a bad back and we where he’s pitching. I talked to the indy league manager here yesterday, joked about Roy getting a contract and Greg said “no thanks.”

    Bad backs are what they are for 33-year-old guys who can’t play now.

    Third, the insistence that anything opens anything up for Todd Frazier is naive. Frazier is NOT a regular player. He’s a utility guy who’s hitting right now.

    I mentioned Vidal but clearly the point was that the future of the Reds is not more aging veterans like Ludwick and Harris and Cairo and the whole long list of Valdez people who chew up a million here, there … with a team that’s drawing about 19,000 fans a game.

    • First off, we need to stop looking at every trade as to how Dusty would manage it. Dusty’s contract is up this year. Next season, there is likely a new manager, so continuing this charade of wondering how such-and-such and so-and-so would fit into Dusty’s lineup … move past that and think 2013 and whoever manages the team THEN.Second, Youkilis doesn’t have a hamstring pull. He has a bad back. I point that out because Rolen has a bad back and we see how he hits now.Roy Oswalt has a bad back and we where he’s pitching. I talked to the indy league manager here yesterday, joked about Roy getting a contract and Greg said “no thanks.”Bad backs are what they are for 33-year-old guys who can’t play now.Third, the insistence that anything opens anything up for Todd Frazier is naive. Frazier is NOT a regular player. He’s a utility guy who’s hitting right now.I mentioned Vidal but clearly the point was that the future of the Reds is not more aging veterans like Ludwick and Harris and Cairo and the whole long list of Valdez people who chew up a million here, there … with a team that’s drawing about 19,000 fans a game.

      What leads you to believe Dusty won’t be back? Bob loves him and unless the team totally falls apart I see another 2-3 year deal…

  18. If Rolen retires before the next season begins, I could maybe see the Reds trying to snag Youk for a 1-2 year deal starting in 2013. Not even possibly this year unless Rolen goes on the DL (50/50) or retires mid-season (don’t see that happening). A Frazier/Youk platoon for the next few years, until Vidal is ready, is something I think most of us wouldn’t complain about.

  19. I am not just surprised by all of the no’s that I have read, but more so by the absolute no’s. This trade isn’t a no-brainer for the Reds, but it certainly isn’t one to completely disregard either. Youk would fit in nicely between Votto and Bruce as the RH bat Dusty wants to break up our two prized LH’s. He provides more protection than Phillips could as everyone knows he’s a misfit for the position. Youk hits for a better average in his down year than Phillips’ best years plus will take walks, see pitches and drive in runs more regularly. Ok, so you want to keep Phillips in 4 hole, then put him in right behind Bruce. Imagine Bruce hitting with a little more protection than Rolen (.182, .247, .318), Heisey, Ludwick, Frazier (likely to regress) or Valdez (shutter) would ever be likely to provide. At worse, he lengthens the lineup with another bat who doesn’t rely much on power and HR’s, but more on hitting doubles and getting on base. Both of those regress at a much slower rate than an aging veteran’s power numbers. Admittedly, he is not in Rolen’s league defensively; few are. He could play an average 3B defensively and contribute significantly on offense (directly and indirectly). It would also add another complex layer to the ever-puzzling playing time picture for 3B and LF though and who knows how taking Rolen out of starting lineup (everyday or half-games) would resonate with him and locker room. All that being said, the Reds would be wise to take this deal seriously and look into what the Red Sox would be willing to part with him for as he could certainly make us better if the price is right.

  20. While I agree that it’s incredibly unlikely that the Reds would pursue this, the more I think about it, the more I think it would be an incredibly dumb move on the part of The Sawx. It would be selling ridiculously low on Youk. Despite the lousy start they’ve gotten off to, I’m sure Boston doesn’t consider themselves out of contention and ready to bring up a hot prospect for some low leverage PT. As the trade deadline approaches, if they can get Youk back and somewhat productive, he’d be a very valuable trade chip, certainly worth more than a mid-level prospect and a little bit of salary relief.

  21. I’m somewhat on the fence about this, but if the price were as reasonable as some here have suggested, I think I’d lean to doing it. … Dusty made the comment of “We had to have this game” when he pulled Marshall yesterday, indicating even HE knew it was a matter of going with the right guy. And we all know how often Dusty pulls his closer typically.

    If Youkilis returns to health, and if left field remains the unproductive sore spot that it currently is, we would need offense from third base. I don’t see the Reds winning consistently with two or three holes in the batting order game in and game out. … I also think, however, that doing so would again send Frazier to the minors. Versatile Valdez is staying put, as is Cairo off the bench. Would the Reds cut Ludwick or try to trade Heisey to keep a spot for Frazier? Doubtful.

    But in about 10 minutes, I’ll probably change my mind again.

  22. My first thought was… he’s immediately better than a Rolen/Frazier tandem. I sure wouldn’t let Todd Frazier’s limited MLB at-bats stop me from making the move. But, it’s the Rolen part of the equation that makes it get stuck. So, yes in theory, no in practice.

  23. Red’s production from 3b in:

    2012 – .164/.234/.310 27th in all of MLB, last in NL
    2012 – .243/.294/.397 17th in all of MLB, 9th in NL

    Youk last year in a terrible year: .258/.373/.459

    last 3 years: .290/.399/.523
    career: .288/.389/.489
    ZIPS (2012): .255/.355/.443

    If the red sox are shopping Youk, Jockety AT LEAST has to call and test the waters.

  24. What leads you to believe Dusty won’t be back? Bob loves him and unless the team totally falls apart I see another 2-3 year deal…

    The question of why I don’t think Dusty will be back — because the Reds are not getting better. I see this team being molded for a different type of manager.

  25. @dn4192: You’re moving the goal posts a little bit on me. If Youk somehow wears a Reds uniform this year, he’s the starter. I don’t think he will be, but they’ll already have made their decision that he is the starter when they initiate the trade.

    Now, Bob may or may not approve the trade, I dunno, I’m not going to pretend that I have some personal relationship with Bob that tells me what he would do in the situation, even though my gut tells me that Bob is both a good businessman and highly competitive person who wants to win. I wouldn’t be shocked if Bob’s loyalty to Rolen only extends so far as to keep him on the 25 man roster, not protecting his starting job. Bob has been pretty hands off in day-to-day issues anyway.

    @dn4192: Fay, like him or hate him, is more plugged in than anyone here. He has tweeted several times that Dusty is gone if the Reds don’t have a good year. Does this mean the Reds have to just make the playoffs (a much lower bar this year than previously), or does it mean the Reds have to actually win a playoff series, or perhaps just be competitive? I’m not sure but, at a minimum, I personally believe the Reds need to at least make the postseason for Dusty to survive.

    • @dn4192: You’re moving the goal posts a little bit on me. If Youk somehow wears a Reds uniform this year, he’s the starter. I don’t think he will be, but they’ll already have made their decision that he is the starter when they initiate the trade. Now, Bob may or may not approve the trade, I dunno, I’m not going to pretend that I have some personal relationship with Bob that tells me what he would do in the situation, even though my gut tells me that Bob is both a good businessman and highly competitive person who wants to win. I wouldn’t be shocked if Bob’s loyalty to Rolen only extends so far as to keep him on the 25 man roster, not protecting his starting job. Bob has been pretty hands off in day-to-day issues anyway. @dn4192: Fay, like him or hate him, is more plugged in than anyone here. He has tweeted several times that Dusty is gone if the Reds don’t have a good year. Does this mean the Reds have to just make the playoffs (a much lower bar this year than previously), or does it mean the Reds have to actually win a playoff series, or perhaps just be competitive? I’m not sure but, at a minimum, I personally believe the Reds need to at least make the postseason for Dusty to survive.

      If the Reds didn’t want Rolen to play there they already have equal to if not better options in house. At minimum they could reduce his playing time with a combo of him and Cairo or him and Frazier, which they have not done. As long as he is healthy he plays no matter whom is on this team. Rolen is looked at as the “captain/leader” of this franchise and you don’t remove or reduce the playing time of a player of that status.

      As for Dusty’s future, if left up soly to Walt, he won’t be back, but as with the signing of both Votto and Phillips, Walt didn’t have final says on those, both deals where spear headed by Bob and soley Bob and with Dusty it will be the same.

  26. By survive, I mean, get a new contract for 2013. I don’t believe he’ll be fired unless the team implodes. I can’t see this happening with the way their pitching + defense.

  27. Sorry CP, you had a great argument, but I’m still inclined to pass.

  28. I say we trade for youkilis. We put him into the rotation at 3rd with rolen. We then move frazier into the rotation in left field with ludwick. Then we trade heisey and bailey for a #4 hitter.

    • Then we trade heisey and bailey for a #4 hitter.

      Right now you couldn’t trade those two for a bag of old, worn, brown baseballs.

    • I say we trade for youkilis. We put him into the rotation at 3rd with rolen.We then move frazier into the rotation in left field with ludwick.Then we trade heisey and bailey for a #4 hitter.

      If they trade Heisey, who backs up Stubbs in CF? He can’t play every single inning of every single game.

      I’d love to add Youkilis’ bat to the lineup, but I don’t see the Reds supplanting Rolen with another old, injury-prone guy who doesn’t field as well — even if he’s a much better hitter. Not for the cost in cash and/or prospects. This just isn’t a good fit for the Reds at this time. Next year, in free agency, you never know.

  29. @TC: It’s all about price. I’m not saying Reds SHOULD or SHOULD NOT trade for Youkilis. I’m saying the Reds should explore the option. I don’t think WJ would be doing his job without looking at a trade.

    I don’t know how anyone can accept the deal or pass on a deal without framing it in “if Players A, B, & C are traded for Youkilis…”

  30. Having lived in Boston for a long time, I love Youk, and hate the grief he’s gotten there. I hope they do trade him and I’d love to see him in Cincy.

    That said, the only way that it happens is if Rolen hits the 60 day DL. If the Reds are going to trade for a bench player, it will be a lefty (which they should do).

    If Rolen just continues to suck, the most I can see the Reds doing is playing Frazier more. And probably not a whole lot more.

  31. I would love to have Youkilis in the lineup if he didn’t have a bad back. If Rolen didn’t have a bad back, we wouldn’t even be discussing this.

  32. I would think Youkilis Cincy ties would have him on the radar. Red Sox are kind of a mess and I think wanting to make changes. I think if he can play, he might be a nice pickup as it might not take much to get him.

    I’d think if Jim Thome can stick around baseball for a while not an everyday player, Rolen might accept it too. Splitting time between a couple vets might work ok for them both if egos allow.

  33. @Johnu1: I think people are giving Rolen too much credit with these comments. He said all spring that he felt healthier now than he had in years.

    Rolen doesn’t have a back injury, he has an oldness issue. He’s 37 years old and this is his 17th major league season. He may be able to rebound some, but why people think that he’s just magically going to turn back the clock I’ll never understand.

    Youk is 4 years younger, and much more likely to return to some semblance of big league form.

  34. @Johnu1: Rolen has a bad back, plus a bad shoulder, plus a couple more years of wear and tear. It would certainly be a concern, though. Still, the brain trust has taken some risks this year…

  35. Wait a month until after they axe Bobby Valentine.

  36. I would have gambled on Youkilis a year ago or at worst last summer when Rolen went down. I think sucking up more salary for another old veteran will only set the team back another year.

    So whatever injuries Rolen has, Youkilis has a bad back.

  37. Since when is it a bad thing to add talent? If it is a low-level prospect, then why would you not pull the trigger? Too many capable offensive options is not detrimental by any stretch of the imagination. He could give Votto a blow every once and again, give Rolen a blow every now and then, and get plenty of ABs… essentially, he would be used in a role similar to Cairo. Assuming the club can pull off the right kind of deal, there is no reason NOT to add him for this season. A low- mid-level prospect is not a steep price to pay (assuming that would be the price) to add a guy who has consistently put up solid OBP and OPS. The age doesn’t mean so much when its a rent-a-player type deal. It’s not like the club would be making the deal in hopes he would produce more as he ages, were talking about adding a productive offensive option with big game experience.

    Call me crazy, but I would feel more comfortable with Youk in the lineup down the stretch than I would with Cairo or Frazier (if it came down to it).

  38. @SpankDaddy: You are asking the Reds to add Youk as a reserve, an experienced version of Todd Frazier. Nice work if you can get it. This wouldn’t exactly be a waiver wire claim, like Willie Bloomquist.

  39. In regards to Rolen being the starter as long as he is here, if Rolen is still hitting .188 a month from now he will NOT be the starter.

  40. @Truman48: It took Taveras a long long time to lose his starting job. I did mention Corey, didn’t I?

  41. @SpankDaddy: IF the Reds do add Youk, he would be the starting 3b for the rest of the year, or until he got hurt.

  42. “Scotty, you will start one or two games a week and be our number one pinch hitter off the bench and stay in as a defensive replacement. Youk, you will start at third most days and give Joey a rest once in a while. With both of you here we are in much better shape for a playoff run and both your careers will be extended. Let’s play ball.”

  43. @preach: Youkilis is on the DL with a bad back. He isn’t healthy enough to play.

  44. I’d like to think that Scott Rolen is enough of a professional that he’ll know when to pull the plug on the career. When that time comes, and I expect it will be soon, the last thing in the world that this team needs is another half-healthy veteran winding his career down at the GABP hot corner. Youklis would likely benefit from a change of scenery, (that’s got to be the most poisonous clubhouse atmosphere in the majors,) but he’s been injured enough of late that I’d be wary of taking a chance on him.

  45. Youk?

    No, that is incredibly stupid and anyone that would suggest it doesn’t know or understand baseball.

    A 33 year old oft injured 3rd baseman who even before the injury wasn’t that great defensively? And he has BACK issues? Who is showing signs of rapid and irreversible decline?

    Again, no, that is incredibly stupid and anyone that would suggest it doesn’t know or understand baseball.

    • Youk?

      No, that is incredibly stupid and anyone that would suggest it doesn’t know or understand baseball.

      A 33 year old oft injured 3rd baseman who even before the injury wasn’t that great defensively? And he has BACK issues? Who is showing signs of rapid and irreversible decline?

      Again, no, that is incredibly stupid and anyone that would suggest it doesn’t know or understand baseball.

      I guess I dont’ know anything about baseball. How could he be worse than our 37 year old oft injured 3rd baseman that can’t catch up to a 90 MPH fastball?

    • Youk?
      No, that is incredibly stupid and anyone that would suggest it doesn’t know or understand baseball.

      I like you, too.

  46. If Rolen goes on the DL I say we look for Youk. I think that it will probably happen next year anyways. I was also thinking that eventually Cozart may need to move to 3rd base to make room for Billy Hamilton. I know it would be rushing, but why don’t we bring him up. Mike Trout is 20, and Harper is 19 and they’re in the big leagues. Hamilton is getting up there in years at 22(sarcasm). He’s a switch hitter so that give you versatility off the bench. Let’s at least get him up to AAA. Then you let Heisey and Frazier be your outfield replacements.

  47. @myers2042: I’m all for giving Billy a shot in left, to be honest.

  48. @myers2042: Why is Hamilton still in Bakersfield.

    Is the Organization waiting for a Kayak alert that has a ticket back east priced under $400?

    The kid should jump to AA and push Gregorious to AAA at least until Janish is off the DL.

  49. @myers2042: You do realize that last year, as a 20 year old, Hamilton only put up a .700 OPS in A ball right? He’s hitting better this year in high A, but there is no way he’ll be ready for the majors till at least mid-2013.

    Trout and Harper are likely once in a decade (or generation maybe) type of talents. Hamilton is fast.

    • You do realize that last year, as a 20 year old, Hamilton only put up a .700 OPS in A ball right? He’s hitting better this year in high A, but there is no way he’ll be ready for the majors till at least mid-2013.

      And that’s if you’re still projecting him as an infielder [cough two more errors at short last night cough]. If the decision is made to move him to the outfield, that’s going to add considerably to his development (marination?) time…

  50. @hokieneer: Good call. I think the newer empahsis on draft picks and the success of a few have skewed expectations for how quickly somebody should be ready, or what the wash-out rate of even first and second rounders can be.

    • And that’s if you’re still projecting him as an infielder [cough two more errors at short last night cough].If the decision is made to move him to the outfield, that’s going to add considerably to his development (marination?) time…

      Yeah I didn’t even mention his error rate at SS. This year 11 E in 127 chances over 27 games. Last year 39 E in 574 chances over 132 games. Those are awful numbers. Does anyone know how those errors break down, fielding/throwing? No doubt that guy has great range, so is he getting to a lot of balls and throwing them away? Or is his hands that bad?

      @hokieneer: Good call. I think the newer empahsis on draft picks and the success of a few have skewed expectations for how quickly somebody should be ready, or what the wash-out rate of even first and second rounders can be.

      I don’t have any research to back this up, but I think overall the wash-out rate of high round draft picks has been improving over the last 10-20 years. Just a gut feeling, I have no idea if this is true. But even with that said, a LOT of high draft picks fail and most of the other ones take 3-5+ years (depending on college v HS) to make it to the majors. Even Jay Bruce, who played 100 major league games at 21, still accumulated over 350 minor league games. Hamilton is only at 277 and is no where near the talent of Bruce.

  51. @hokieneer: Hamilton’s fielding issues are throwing-related. He has a good arm, he’s just inaccurate. Most scouts believe he would transition much faster to MLB if he was moved to CF.

    If you are twitter users, Kevin Goldstein at baseball prospectus is an excellent guy to follow. He regularly answers questions from followers about players. Hamilton comes up a lot.

  52. Also, for the people questioning why Hamilton is still in +A ball: scouts are saying he swing is still “unbalanced” and “lungy.” He apparently has a ways to go. The scouting reports basically think he’ll struggle significantly at AA because the pitchers can actually throw breaking balls for strikes there. He’s still a work-in-progress.

    I am a little curious if they’re holding him back so he can work with Griffey Sr. This is obviously pure speculation, but Griffey has some street cred in that department.

  53. @hokieneer: I’d guess some of the increased “success” rate of draft picks is the fact that due to the economic structure, teams became more willing to allow the younger guys a shot. I think that’s a good thing, but it doesn’t necessarily follow like the NFL or NBA where early draft picks are more or less counted on to contribute. Patience is still a virtue in a culture where prospects are valued so dearly.

  54. Hamilton has great range, which helps him stop a lot of balls on the infield, but he has terrible mechanics throwing to first. Some of that, he can fix, but not enough to turn him into anything resembling Starlin Castro.

    He’s likely a 2B if he stays on the infield.

    As a hitter, he can’t switch, but they’ve tried it. He has zippo power but intimidates defenses and pitchers. If he makes contact, he’s got a 40 percent OBP.

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About Bill Lack

I've been a Reds fan since the late '60's, with my luck of being able to attend plenty of games at Riverfront during the BRM era. I was sitting in the Green Seats in the OF when Pete came home in '84 and was in the Red seats when Glenn Braggs reached over the fence in '90 to beat the Pirates. I have had many favorites from Jim Maloney to Johnny Bench, Barry Larkin, Adam Dunn, and Jay Bruce.

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