Not literally, but the 2013 version.

Reds’ GM Walt Jocketty revealed in an interview at Redsfest this weekend that the Reds were on the verge of trading for Ben Revere, a player who is hard to distinguish from Taveras.

Revere is a pure slap-hitter. In over 1000 plate appearances, he has only 33 extra-base hits, with no home runs. That’s less power than Taveras. Less power than Willy Taveras. He hits more ground balls and has less power than any other hitter in MLB.

Also like Taveras, Revere is laughably aggressive at the plate. His walk-rate (5.4%) was similar to Taveras (5.1%) and is way below league average (8.2). Not exactly what you’re looking for in a leadoff hitter. As we’ve pointed out many times here, the problem with an OBP that heavily depends on batting average is that AVG fluctuates quite a bit. Taveras hit .320 in 2007 and .240 for the Reds. Walk-rates don’t slump much. Revere’s batting average (.278) was about the same as Taveras (.274). Revere steals bases about as much as Drew Stubbs although he gets caught stealing quite a bit more.

Is Revere an elite defensive centerfielder? Nope. His positive defensive stats come from playing the corner outfield last year while Denard Span played center. He’s fast, but the Twins GM recently admitted publicly that Revere has a below average arm. He is eerily similar to the Willy Taveras the Reds acquired in 2009.

[Shin Soo Choo, the Indians’ lead-off hitter last year who is now on the trade market, has a career OBP of .381, walk-rate of 11.4%, hits 20 HR/year, averages 88 extra base hits every 1000 PA, steals 20 bases/year and plays strong defense. Choo is a lead-off hitter worth pursuing.]

Who were the Reds going to give up to acquire Ben Revere? We can only speculate. But the Twins traded Revere to the Phillies for pitchers Vance Worley and Trevor May. Worley (25) is a serviceable #5 starter and May is the consensus #1 prospect in the Phillies system. Think Leake and Cingrani.

Think about that, did the Reds almost trade Mike Leake and Tony Cingrani for Ben Revere? /smh/

It’s hard to decide whether to feel an immense sense of relief that this calamity was avoided or serious discouragement that it was the Twins, not the Reds, who saved us.

What is clear is that the centerfield/lead-off position continues to be a devastating blind spot for the organization. To their credit, the Reds in recent years have done an excellent job valuing and acquiring big pitching arms and tight defensive players. But to say the Reds are old-school regarding centerfield/lead-off is a disservice to the idea of old-school. The Reds are Paleozoic. They shop for batting average and speed. They ignore the skill of walking, the stat of OBP or the value of hitting with even doubles-power.

And sadly, the evidence is mounting this isn’t just Dusty Baker’s outlook, it’s also Walt Jocketty’s. Jocketty, after all, was the Reds’ GM who signed Willy Taveras.

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 169 Comments

  1. Huh? If you dislike centerfielders who rely on speed rather than power you’re going to have a BIG problem with Billy Hamilton someday.

    • Huh? If you dislike centerfielders who rely on speed rather than power

      If you think that is an accurate summary of the post, you might want to look at it a little closer.

      However, if Billy Hamilton arrives to the Reds with a 5% walk-rate, I’ll have the same concerns. BTW, Hamilton had a 12.2% BB% this year.

  2. Are Juan Pierre, Willy Taveras, Ben Revere, and Billy Hamilton all the same player? They all rely on speed rather than power. They’re not elite in CF. They hit ground balls. They even steal bases. Pierre had some good years leading off for the Marlins and I think it’s premature to write off Ben Revere as a failure – Revere is younger than most of the Reds’ young hitters.

    You’re right, we can only speculate on what the Reds were willing to offer for Ben Revere. All we knows is that it was a less attractive package than Worley and May. For all we know Jocketty offered Kyle Lotzkar and hoped that was enough, and was surprised how much he went for. There’s no indication that Jocketty offered a regrettable trade, or that the Twins saved the Reds from making one (but I suppose assuming the worst supports your argument).

    The main theme seems to be that anybody fast is ‘eerily similar’ to Willy Taveras and they therefore are no fit whatsoever for the Cincinnati Reds. I guess they better trade Billy Hamilton, and fast (no pun intended)!

    • Are Juan Pierre, Willy Taveras, Ben Revere, and Billy Hamilton all the same player?They all rely on speed rather than power.They’re not elite in CF.They hit ground balls.They even steal bases.Pierre had some good years leading off for the Marlins and I think it’s premature to write off Ben Revere as a failure – Revere is younger than most of the Reds’ young hitters.

      You’re right, we can only speculate on what the Reds were willing to offer for Ben Revere.All we knows is that it was a less attractive package than Worley and May.For all we know Jocketty offered Kyle Lotzkar and hoped that was enough, and was surprised how much he went for.There’s no indication that Jocketty offered a regrettable trade, or that the Twins saved the Reds from making one (but I suppose assuming the worst supports your argument).

      The main theme seems to be that anybody fast is ‘eerily similar’ to Willy Taveras and they therefore are no fit whatsoever for the Cincinnati Reds.I guess they better trade Billy Hamilton, and fast (no pun intended)!

      Maybe you can make a more simplistic comparison? Yes, all those players are fast! The fans hate fast players! Or maybe Hamilton has a other tools in his skillset that distinguishes him…

      • Say it ain’t so Walt, say it ain’t so.How can they not look at just a handful of advanced statistics and see that players in the Tavera/Revere mode are worthless?It truly boggles the mind.I actually believed that Walt was smarter than this.At this point I may have to start hoping for the end of the Jocketty/Baker era to end rather soon.

        Wait, so people complain non-stop that the Reds need a leadoff hitter, the Reds talk to another team about a trade for a potential leadoff hitter, and the trade falls apart – the GM needs to be replaced for considering a trade for that player which he didn’t agree to acquire? Yikes. Anyone ever wonder why Jocketty tries to keep everything quiet? I thought it was just to protect the players from distractions.

        Maybe you can make a more simplistic comparison?Yes, all those players are fast!The fans hate fast players!Or maybe Hamilton has a other tools in his skillset that distinguishes him…

        Hopefully Hamilton will walk against MLB pitching. Hopefully he’ll hit. But you know what? We don’t know what he’ll do. Will he lead Ben Revere in OBP in 2014? We have no idea.

  3. Say it ain’t so Walt, say it ain’t so. How can they not look at just a handful of advanced statistics and see that players in the Tavera/Revere mode are worthless? It truly boggles the mind. I actually believed that Walt was smarter than this. At this point I may have to start hoping for the end of the Jocketty/Baker era to end rather soon. 🙄

  4. List some successful leadoff hitters with walk rates as low as Revere has shown so far in his career. Again, it’s nice that Revere is fast. That’s been the Reds’ philosophy for years-put the fastest guy in the leadoff spot. But it hasn’t worked out.

    A leadoff hitter who doesn’t walk is almost entirely dependent on his batting average, which is extremely variable year-to-year. If Ben Reverse hits 0.270 next year, his OBP will be around 0.310. But at least the Reds would have got their leadoff hitter…

    • List some successful leadoff hitters with walk rates as low as Revere has shown so far in his career.Again, it’s nice that Revere is fast.That’s been the Reds’ philosophy for years-put the fastest guy in the leadoff spot.But it hasn’t worked out.

      A leadoff hitter who doesn’t walk is almost entirely dependent on his batting average, which is extremely variable year-to-year.If Ben Reverse hits 0.270 next year, his OBP will be around 0.310.But at least the Reds would have got their leadoff hitter…

      Ben Revere is 24 years old – at his age is there room for improvement or has he reached his peak as far as taking walks and hitting and stealing bases? Usually part of the value of young players is hope that they’ll improve.

      Alright, here’s a crazy name. I guess I mentioned it here already… a few times… Juan Pierre. At the same point in his career he had a comparable walk rate and OBP to Ben Revere. Then he was traded to Florida and entered the best years of his career. That’s what the Reds were hoping for out of Willy Taveras and that’s what they’d be hoping for out of Ben Revere.

      Will Revere’s resemble Taveras’ or Pierre’s? Steve predicts the former, the Philadelphia Phillies seem to predict the later. I think it’s too soon to tell for sure. I think it would have been worth gambling if the Reds could have gotten him for cheap – far less than Leake and Cingrani. Then again, there’s no indication the Reds offered Leake OR Cingrani, aside from speculation of a worst-case scenario. All we know is they offered a worse package than May and Worley.

      • redsfanman: Ben Revere is 24 years old – at his age is there room for improvement or has he reached his peak as far as taking walks and hitting and stealing bases? Usually part of the value of young players is hope that they’ll improve.

        This is a fair point. Revere might improve in BB% and AVG. It should probably be noted that in his brief time in the majors so far, his BB% has regressed.

        But one way in which Revere is very unlikely to improve is hitting with power – either doubles or home runs. Revere is the most severe ground ball hitter in the major leagues. Of the 143 players in the majors who had enough AB to qualify, Revere had the highest GB% (66.9%). The second most was Derek Jeter (62.5%) then the third most was Howie Kendrick (58.6%). The Reds highest GB% was Drew Stubbs (51.4%).

        Revere is a slap hitter. That might be a smart way for him to take advantage of his single skill – speed. But it’s also certainly an indication that he is very unlikely to turn into even a decent power hitter.

  5. I’m trying to figure out how a trade they didn’t make indicates anything other than good judgement. Maybe they were just asking around, seeing who was available. Maybe any talks were wrapped up in the Span talks somehow. Maybe it all stopped at the asking price. Who knows? We’ll probably never know.

    For me, the big concern is the ransom of prospects garnered so far–see Tampa May and Minnesota. That would seem to hurt Cincinnati’s chances of trading for a 1/2 year solution at leadoff. Given the trade market, what can the Indians demand for Choo? Probably more than we are willing to give for a one year player.

  6. The Reds need to pursue Parra, Alex Gordon, Choo, or Fowler to address the leadoff situation. Of course only Parra and Fowler can reasonably be expected to play CF, although Gordon is a GG in LF. So Gordon/Choo may mean moving Bruce to CF, which I’m sure he’s capable of playing. (I mean, hell, Valdez played out there some this year).

    Parra has a career .332 OBP and .400 SLG. But the past two years he posted a .357 and .335 OBP. He’s 1st year Arb Eligible this year, already has one GG, and can play multiple OF positions. He’s just about ready to enter his prime too as he’s entering his year 26 season.

    Gordon has a career .348 OBP and a .439 SLG. But the past two years he posted a .376 and .368 OBP as he is entering his prime with a .502 and .455 SLG in those years. He’s signed through 2015 with a club option for 16. He’d be 32 at the end of the deal.

    Choo was mentioned above.

    Fowler has a career .364 OBP and .427 SLG. Last season he put up .271/.389/.474 line. He’s a Super Two this year, and controlled through 2015.

    These are the options that I think would best suit the Reds. We know they’ve talked about Fowler, and I’ve heard mention that they’ve talked about Choo. We also know that there have been some conversations with the D’backs (although not specifically for Parra). I think the Reds have good options, as always it’s at what price.

  7. According to fangraphs, Revere’s WAR last year was higher than Ludwick, Bruce or any of our other outfielders. He didn’t make one error and he had as many outfield assists as Jay Bruce. I would have loved to have added Revere. Leadoff hitters don’t grow on trees. Not many teams have a good one.

    I’d love to see us give Bourn $15-18 mill for this year. I know it will never happen, but I like to dream,

    • Jmac84: According to fangraphs, Revere’s WAR last year was higher than Ludwick, Bruce or any of our other outfielders. He didn’t make one error and he had as many outfield assists as Jay Bruce. I would have loved to have added Revere. Leadoff hitters don’t grow on trees. Not many teams have a good one.

      I’d love to see us give Bourn $15-18 mill for this year. I know it will never happen, but I like to dream,

      I agree with you on Bourn. He has twice the walk-rate (10% last year) of the Revere/Taveras/Pierre crowd. He also has considerably more power, so he can drive in runs on occasion. He’s an altogether different player than Revere.

      Revere’s WAR last year was entirely because of his defense. It couldn’t have been because of his offense, since he really didn’t have any. No home runs. Very few other extra base hits. His OBP was .333 which, while above average, isn’t anywhere near elite (Choo – .381). And, as I mentioned in the post, Revere played corner OF much of last year. He played about a third of the season in CF and had a NEGATIVE UZR for that time. He piled up great defensive numbers in RF. Would that translate to CF, maybe. But you certainly shouldn’t base a trade on his 2012 WAR.

  8. I’d like for the Reds to start batting Votto first…give him the most ABs possible, and then when he walks all the time, we’ll have a bunch of opportunities to hit him in. Votto to the leadoff spot!

  9. @hermanbates: I’m being 100% serious by the way. That last post may seem like a joke, but it isn’t. I would seriously prefer Votto at the leadoff spot than any other player in the league.

  10. @Jmac84: Base coaches don’t usually send runners against Bruce.

  11. @rewquiop: I know, just using him as an example. They were both just outside of the top 20. It seems like Revere’s arm is probably serviceable. He also had solid OBP numbers in the minors. I think the guy is a pretty good player. Having a greater WAR value than Bruce or Ludwick last year was the thing that surprised me the most when I was reading about him.

  12. The posts on this thread are . . . interesting.

  13. The Reds aren’t going to trade Devin Mesoraco, a team insider tells John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer (Twitter link). The young catcher was rumored to be a target of the Rays, who were trying to involve another club in a three-team trade that would bring Mesoraco to Tampa Bay.
    Read more at http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/cincinnati_reds/index.html#FCbcawXubG8QdcLm.99

    I wonder if this was supposesd to be the foundation of the Revere trade. Mes to the Rays for a pitching prospect and the Rays sending another prospect to the Twins to send Revere onto the Reds. It would have been an awful move but that would make more sense then Jocketty considering a package of Leake and Cingrani for a guy like Revere whose game is built on speed and putting balls in play
    9and not walks as well like Hamilton has shown)

  14. Hmmm…Revere would have been interesting in CF. I don’t know why the Reds would want a young guy in CF with Hamilton in the wings…

    Doesn’t make sense, Walt…unless a Hamilton plus some for Stanton trade was next.

    • I wonder if this was supposesd to be the foundation of the Revere trade.Mes to the Rays for a pitching prospect and the Rays sending another prospect to the Twins to send Revere onto the Reds.It would have been an awful move but that would make more sense then Jocketty considering a package of Leake and Cingrani for a guy like Revere whose game is built on speed and putting balls in play
      9and not walks as well like Hamilton has shown)

      I think rumors of a Mesoraco trade came up days after Revere had been moved. Also, some organization insider (talking to John Fay) and Joey Votto both shot down the possibility of Mesoraco getting traded – if the Twins, who are seeking pitching, wanted Mesoraco the talks sure didn’t get far.

      Again, there’s no indication that Jocketty considered trading Leake and Cingrani. All we know is that that the package he offered was less appealing than Worley and May.

      Hmmm…Revere would have been interesting in CF. I don’t know why the Reds would want a young guy in CF with Hamilton in the wings…

      Doesn’t make sense, Walt…unless a Hamilton plus some for Stanton trade was next.

      Trading for a young CF does NOT mean that that guy has to spend his whole career with the Reds. If the Reds acquire a CF they can trade that guy away when Billy Hamilton is ready in order to fill other needs. Hopefully the CF will do well and his trade value will go up so he can be spun off for even more to another team searching for a leadoff hitter.

  15. @hotto4votto: Alex Gordon and Shin-Shoo Choo are both out as candidates now that the Reds brought back Ryan Ludwick. They are both corner outfielders. If the Reds were inclined to move Jay Bruce to CF they could have done so years ago. For all we know talk with the DBacks may have been about Kubel as a replacement for Ludwick, not Parra.

    Jay Bruce can stand in CF like Wilson Valdez did, but that doesn’t mean he’s good defensively. As mentioned above Ben Revere hasn’t been asked to play CF much because of Denard Span, and his numbers probably benefited as a result – being excellent defensively in a corner, like Jay Bruce, doesn’t imply that the same will be true in CF. Dexter Fowler is supposedly way below average defensively in CF and the effect of Coors Field on his extra base hits totals has been thoroughly discussed. Anybody read the other article about Homer Bailey earlier, about how his big improvement is with a lower batting average on balls in play? Somehow I’m not enthusiastic about Parra’s OBP, but he’s also still young.

    I think Alejandro De Aza, Dexter Fowler, and Gerardo Parra are the top remaining trade candidates. They all offer slightly different things.

  16. @redsfanman: You’re right, we don’t know who the Reds offered for Revere. My speculation on Leake/Cingrani was based on the trade with the Phillies. Maybe the Reds did offer less. But I doubt it was much less.

    Would the trade look better if the Reds only offered Kyle Lotzkar (the name you throw out)? Of course. Whose the one spinning unrealistic hypotheticals to make their case now? If you want to imagine that’s who we offered – and the trade Jocketty felt was going through – feel free if it gives you comfort. It makes a lot more sense to me to assume that the Reds offer was at least similar in structure to the Phillies, otherwise, why would Jocketty have said he thought he had a deal?

    If the Reds had offered *either* Leake or Cingrani it would have been too much, in my opinion, let alone both.

    • Keep in mind trading for Ben Revere, a young guy under team control for years, is different from trading for a soon-to-be free agent like Shin-Shoo Choo and David DeJesus. Revere can be traded away again next winter but those veterans are leaving as free agents.

      This is a fair point. Revere might improve in BB% and AVG. It should probably be noted that in his brief time in the majors so far, his BB% has regressed.

      But one way in which Revere is very unlikely to improve is hitting with power – either doubles or home runs. Revere is the most severe ground ball hitter in the major leagues. Of the 143 players in the majors who had enough AB to qualify, Revere had the highest GB% (66.9%). The second most was Derek Jeter (62.5%) then the third most was Howie Kendrick (58.6%). The Reds highest GB% was Drew Stubbs (51.4%).

      Revere is a slap hitter. That might be a smart way for him to take advantage of his single skill – speed. But it’s also certainly an indication that he is very unlikely to turn into even a decent power hitter.

      Once again, look at Juan Pierre. You don’t need to be a power hitter to be successful. Some guys build long and successful careers by being a slap hitter. As a leadoff hitter Revere’s priority would be to get on base in any way possible. He’ll be defined by his OBP regardless if the numbers come from singles or walks. Stubbs hits homeruns – fans hate him though.

      @redsfanman: You’re right, we don’t know who the Reds offered for Revere. My speculation on Leake/Cingrani was based on the trade with the Phillies. Maybe the Reds did offer less. But I doubt it was much less.

      Would the trade look better if the Reds only offered Kyle Lotzkar (the name you throw out)? Of course. Whose the one spinning unrealistic hypotheticals to make their case now? If you want to imagine that’s who we offered – and the trade Jocketty felt was going through – feel free if it gives you comfort. It makes a lot more sense to me to assume that the Reds offer was at least similar in structure to the Phillies, otherwise, why would Jocketty have said he thought he had a deal?

      If the Reds had offered *either* Leake or Cingrani it would have been too much, in my opinion, let alone both.

      Why would Jocketty have said he thought he had a deal? Maybe he, like you, thought Ben Revere was far less valuable than the Phillies thought. Maybe he thought he had a fair deal worked out. Obviously the Phillies didn’t agree with him about value (like Victorino and Pagan’s new teams over-valued them). It’s silly to hold Jocketty accountable for a potential trade based on what the Phillies ended up paying.

      If the Reds offered Leake for Revere, in my opinion, it would be fair. Revere is a young guy who can hit and get on base. Hopefully he can get on for a decent OBP, play CF, and steal bases. He’s under contract long term and can be traded away again next offseason, maybe for something that fits better with the team’s needs than Mike Leake. He can lead off and force Chapman into the rotation, two problems solved. It would be nice if the Reds got some perfect leadoff hitter but I find that to be unlikely.

      • Revere is a young guy who can hit and get on base.

        This is exactly the Reds’ old-school problem, the casual grouping of these two skills. The skill of getting on base depends on the ability to walk.

        Revere does not have a “get on base” skill that is separate from his hitting skill. In his case, the latter is entirely dependent on the former. I’ll repeat, Willy Taveras hit .320 in 2007 and hit .240 for the Reds. AVG is variable. Revere has exactly one major league season hitting above .267 so how does anyone know “he can hit.” We do know “he can’t hit” for power.

        Regarding Pierre, he had a couple good seasons. He consistently hit above .300 and stole more than 50 bases several times. Those are things Revere hasn’t proven he can do.

        • This is exactly the Reds’ old-school problem, the casual grouping of these two skills. The skill of getting on base depends on the ability to walk.

          Revere does not have a “get on base” skill that is separate from his hitting skill. In his case, the latter is entirely dependent on the former. I’ll repeat, Willy Taveras hit .320 in 2007 and hit .240 for the Reds. AVG is variable. Revere has exactly one major league season hitting above .267 so how does anyone know “he can hit.” We do know “he can’t hit” for power.

          Regarding Pierre, he had a couple good seasons. He consistently hit above .300 and stole more than 50 bases several times. Those are things Revere hasn’t proven he can do.

          As I said, you think Revere’s career is headed the same way as Willy Taveras’, the Phillies (presumably the Reds too) think he’s headed down a path like Juan Pierre’s. Does Revere get the benefit of the doubt because he’s young or is he a failure until proven successful? It’s a gamble you make with young players, including Ben Revere and Billy Hamilton.

          Adam Dunn walked a lot. Add him for leadoff? Stubbs walks but can’t hit for average, I guess he’s your ideal leadoff hitter. Stubbs has walking down, Revere has hitting down, but walking is apparently the priority. I just don’t understand where this is going. I think Revere would be a fine option, but we’ll have to wait and see how he does with the Phillies.

  17. I’m in the camp that believes Hamilton will be ready by midseason. For that reason, I would pursue a stopgap solution in the form of a platoon partner for Stubbs.

    LH hitters with strong splits who can play CF and are cheap include David DeJesus and Skip Schumaker.

    Pairing either with Stubbs would yield at least league average production.

    • I’m beginning to come around to your point of view. At this point, it looks like the Indians and Royals both believe they can win in the AL Central, so the asking price for Choo and Gordon is likely higher. Moreover, I have been very intrigued by the deconstruction of Fowler’s states (home/road splits, defense, etc.). . . . So, perhaps the best we can hope for at this point is a solid platoon situation in CF this year. That is, of course, unless manna falls from heaven in the form of Michael Bourn on a one-year deal.

      I’m in the camp that believes Hamilton will be ready by midseason.For that reason, I would pursue a stopgap solution in the form of a platoon partner for Stubbs.

      LH hitters with strong splits who can play CF and are cheap include David DeJesus and Skip Schumaker.

      Pairing either with Stubbs would yield at least league average production.

  18. @redsfanman: I’m not sure I agree with the notion Jay Bruce cannot play CF well, or that the organization would have moved him years ago if that was an option. He did originally play CF, and the reason (at the time) he was moved was due to an injury that limited his agility. There also is the one, Drew Stubbs, who the club seems to like, obviously, and whose speed the club deems worthy of CF over Jay Bruce. With the way the roster is constructed currently, the best route is to play Bruce in RF and Stubbs/Heisey in CF. That could change though, pending changes to the roster.

    I do not see Bruce as a long-term solution in CF, but if there is a realistic possibility of getting Choo, you have to ask yourself as an organization – will an outfield of Ludwick, Bruce, and Choo produce more runs than they will give up. I would say yes, absolutely that is the case. If the Reds could get Choo for a year to bide the time until BHamilton is ready, I say go for it.

    • Vottomatic84: I do not see Bruce as a long-term solution in CF, but if there is a realistic possibility of getting Choo, you have to ask yourself as an organization – will an outfield of Ludwick, Bruce, and Choo produce more runs than they will give up. I would say yes, absolutely that is the case. If the Reds could get Choo for a year to bide the time until BHamilton is ready, I say go for it.

      Me, too.

  19. Regarding power vs. speed. It’s important to realize the tradeoff imposed by players like Revere/Taveras/Pierre – players who base their production entirely on speed. Not mostly, entirely. Revere has not hit a single home run yet. It would not be unreasonable for him to go another entire season without one. He also doesn’t hit doubles, which can drive in runs from first base. To use a player like that every day is a huge opportunity cost. It’s not just that he doesn’t have power, but playing him prevents another player who might have some power from hitting.

    Between Heisey and Stubbs in CF last year, the Reds got 16 HR. Ben Revere’s 162-game average is ZERO home runs. That lack of power is an enormous price to pay for some speed (especially since he doesn’t steal bases at a greater rate than Stubbs).

    Compare Revere to Dexter Fowler. Revere’s walk-rate (5.4) is less than half that of Fowler (12.2), who is elite in that category. Fowler also projects to 8 HR and 30 doubles in 162 games. Revere, again, is zero home runs and 17 doubles in 162 games.

    The point is, not all “fast guys” are the same. You have to pay attention to where their OBP comes from (AVG or BB) and what power – or utter lack of it – they bring to the plate.

  20. @Steve Mancuso: Now trading Leake and Cingrani would be a good starting block for acquiring someone of Choo’s talent for one year. That, I could get on board with.

  21. @Sultan of Swaff:

    I believe that if BHamilton is our starting CF before 09/01/12 we are in trouble

    What I wish is different.

  22. The price for a CF is just ridiculous or Walt would have one already…right?

    Do the Indians really want that much for Choo or did Walt not even give them a call yet? The Yankees are dealing Granderson…well, that’s not possible, but still a thought!

    Someone above mentioned that the teams who have these CF players probably think they can win now. With that, they only want Major League ready talent to replace them. The Reds are lacking in that area to trade.

    I seriously am starting to accept that Stubbs and Heisey might platoon next year…

    • rfay00: I seriously am starting to accept that Stubbs and Heisey might platoon next year…

      The lesson of the Revere trade near-miss is that until the Reds broaden their concept of what a CF/lead-off hitter is, they will continue to overpay or misfire or both. “Fast and fast” is just too narrow of a filter.

      One of the frequent commenters here has mentioned David DeJesus (Cubs) as a possible CF for the Reds. Last year, DeJesus had a 10.5% walk-rate which led to a .350 OBP, which is just below his career number. He had 28 doubles and 9 homers, so decent power.

      I’m not saying the Reds should trade for DeJesus, but he’s exactly the kind of non-traditional (from the Reds’ current perspective) type of CF the Reds should look for if their goal is to find a lead-off hitter who gets on base. Instead, they seem to be looking for someone who will “distract the pitcher.”

      That’s the issue.

      • The lesson of the Revere trade near-miss is that until the Reds broaden their concept of what a CF/lead-off hitter is, they will continue to overpay or misfire or both. “Fast and fast” is just too narrow of a filter.

        One of the frequent commenters here has mentioned David DeJesus (Cubs) as a possible CF for the Reds. Last year, DeJesus had a 10.5% walk-rate which led to a .350 OBP, which is just below his career number. He had 28 doubles and 9 homers, so decent power.

        I’m not saying the Reds should trade for DeJesus, but he’s exactly the kind of non-traditional (from the Reds’ current perspective) type of CF the Reds should look for if their goal is to find a lead-off hitter who gets on base. Instead, they seem to be looking for someone who will “distract the pitcher.”

        That’s the issue.

        I’ve been mentioning David DeJesus here as a trade candidate for months. Unfortunately there’s been no suggestion that he may be available for a trade. The Reds now need to rule out guys who are not available (DeJesus) and guys who play positions that are filled (Gordon, Choo) to focus on guys that fit the Reds’ needs. Unfortunately most of them are fast – De Aza, Fowler, and Parra.

        Speed isn’t the most important trait for a leadoff hitter but you’re trying to spin it as a negative, which seems kinda strange. Broadening the concept of a CF/lead-off hitter shouldn’t mean rulling out fast players. Getting on base is the priority but speed isn’t something to frown on, is it?

    • The price for a CF is just ridiculous or Walt would have one already…right?

      Do the Indians really want that much for Choo or did Walt not even give them a call yet? The Yankees are dealing Granderson…well, that’s not possible, but still a thought!

      Someone above mentioned that the teams who have these CF players probably think they can win now. With that, they only want Major League ready talent to replace them. The Reds are lacking in that area to trade.

      I seriously am starting to accept that Stubbs and Heisey might platoon next year…

      A Stubbs/Heisey platoon is fine with me. Stubbs OBP last yr vs. LHP was .324 and is a career .344 against LHP. I can live with that for one year while Billy Hamilton progresses.

      Let’s keep our excellent pitching depth. As we’ve seen in this offseason especially, there is nothing more coveted than pitching (e.g. Greinke’s contract, the haul Tampa got in return for 2 years of James Shields, etc.).

      Unless Bourn can be had for a silly low price, the remaining payroll should be spent to fill in the bench with some adequate (standards are low here compared to last year’s bench) players, and who knows – maybe we’ll actually have two left handed bats for PH!

      • Let’s keep our excellent pitching depth. As we’ve seen in this offseason especially, there is nothing more coveted than pitching (e.g. Greinke’s contract, the haul Tampa got in return for 2 years of James Shields, etc.).

        I think that’s one of the overall important thoughts implied in this post. If the Reds were to give up some pretty good pitching talent, we’d hope it would go for a skill set that would be more helpful to the team than what someone like Revere offers. Reds can’t afford to waste those bullets.

      • A Stubbs/Heisey platoon is fine with me.Stubbs OBP last yr vs. LHP was .324 and is a career .344 against LHP.I can live with that for one year while Billy Hamilton progresses.

        Let’s keep our excellent pitching depth.As we’ve seen in this offseason especially, there is nothing more coveted than pitching (e.g. Greinke’s contract, the haul Tampa got in return for 2 years of James Shields, etc.).

        Unless Bourn can be had for a silly low price, the remaining payroll should be spent to fill in the bench with some adequate (standards are low here compared to last year’s bench) players, and who knows – maybe we’ll actually have two left handed bats for PH!

        You know Greinke and Shields are in a different class from Mike Leake, right? There’s still a whole list full of free agent starting pitchers in the same class as Mike Leake.

        I doubt a Stubbs/Heisey platoon will go over well with most fans. We’ve heard people complaining for years about the team’s lack of a leadoff hitter and such a decision would only prolong the complaining. I think seeing an extra pitcher, like Leake, would go over far better with fans than constant objections to the CF/leadoff hitter.

  23. @Steve Mancuso: I get what you are saying. DeJesus would be a nice option if the Cubs wouldn’t ask a fortune, which they will.

  24. I think at this point, it’s probably Fowler or bust. He’s a speedy guy who switch hits and can hit for solid average, so he seems to meet the organization’s lead off criteria. He’s not a great base stealer, but he has some pop and good on base skills, which will make the fanbase happy. I think he’s probably the best fit assuming the prospect price isn’t too high.

    As far as moving Bruce goes, I think it’s a solid idea with merit. However, for whatever reason, the organization has shown an unwillingness to move star players around the diamond, so I seriously doubt that moving Bruce to CF is an option regardless of how much sense it might make.

  25. “Brevity is the soul of wit”

    Stubbs/Heisey combo will match Revere in productivity if used properly (they won’t be).

  26. @redsfanman: Can’t tell if you’re willfully misrepresenting what I’ve been saying or just don’t understand. I’ll try again.

    In no sense have I said we should rule out fast people or disparaged the quality of speed. You might note that I’ve defended Stubbs in the past (fast), Dexter Fowler today (fast) and Choo (fast). What I have said, is that on base percentage is a FAR more important quality than the ability to steal a base. I’ve said that a degree of power is an important quality, even for a leadoff hitter.

    By narrowing our lead-off search to players who mostly steal bases, the Reds will end up overpaying (Bourn) or missing (Revere, possibly).

    If the Reds were willing to trade Leake/Cingrani or any anything close to that for Revere, then they are fetishizing speed over OBP and power in a lead-off hitter. And that’s the problem.

    • @redsfanman: Can’t tell if you’re willfully misrepresenting what I’ve been saying or just don’t understand. I’ll try again.

      In no sense have I said we should rule out fast people or disparaged the quality of speed. You might note that I’ve defended Stubbs in the past (fast), Dexter Fowler today (fast) and Choo (fast). What I have said, is that on base percentage is a FAR more important quality than the ability to steal a base. I’ve said that a degree of power is an important quality, even for a leadoff hitter.

      By narrowing our lead-off search to players who mostly steal bases, the Reds will end up overpaying (Bourn) or missing (Revere, possibly).

      If the Reds were willing to trade Leake/Cingrani or any anything close to that for Revere, then they are fetishizing speed over OBP and power in a lead-off hitter. And that’s the problem.

      I agree that the most important skill for a leadoff hitter is the ability to get on base. I don’t care HOW he gets on base – single, walk, hit by pitch, whatever. That is measured by OBP, not the walk rate, slugging percentage, strikeouts, homeruns, or batting average. The ability to steal bases and, more importantly, be a distraction on the base path also seems, to me, like a big plus. I think a degree of power is pretty irrelevant for a leadoff hitter. Look at Juan Pierre.

      The Reds have already narrowed the leadoff hitter search to centerfielders after signing Ryan Ludwick. Most centerfielders are fast runners, that’s why they play CF. Many fast runners try to steal bases. I’m all for acquiring David DeJesus, who doesn’t steal bases, but it seems unlikely – there’s no indication that he’s available for trade. I just think it’s silly that the assumption has been made here that a contact hitter with speed can only head down the path of Willy Taveras rather than Juan Pierre. Ben Revere=Willy Taveras is basically the title of the article. I think “Ben Revere = Juan Pierre or Willy Taveras?” is much more appropriate.

  27. @Matt WI:

    Well said! It’s not really about arguing over if Bruce can play CF, or how valuable Juan Pierre is (who cares?), but rather what we should consider giving up to improve a much-maligned position in our batting order. Considering Hamilton’s timeline and ceiling (and most importantly, excellent BB% rate!), we’re looking at an improvement for a year max and maybe less, as some people optimistically have said.

    Why give up Cingrani, Corcino, or Leake for that matter for another 1-year OBP nightmare who’s defense is poor? Sidenote: the WAR argument in favor of Revere is extremely problematic, considering the deficiencies of WAR on the defensive side. To say that Revere is more valuable than Ludwick b/c of total WAR is far too simplistic and ignores a great deal of specifics that point to the contrary.

  28. @CincyGuy: 2013 is just a year but it’s a full season for the Reds. I don’t expect the Reds to disappear or call off their games until Billy Hamilton is ready.

  29. You gotta be trolling me, bro.

    • List some successful leadoff hitters with walk rates as low as Revere has shown so far in his career.Again, it’s nice that Revere is fast.That’s been the Reds’ philosophy for years-put the fastest guy in the leadoff spot.But it hasn’t worked out.

      A leadoff hitter who doesn’t walk is almost entirely dependent on his batting average, which is extremely variable year-to-year.If Ben Reverse hits 0.270 next year, his OBP will be around 0.310.But at least the Reds would have got their leadoff hitter…

      Ben Revere is 24 years old – at his age is there room for improvement or has he reached his peak as far as taking walks and hitting and stealing bases?Usually part of the value of young players is hope that they’ll improve.

      Alright, here’s a crazy name.I guess I mentioned it here already… a few times… Juan Pierre.At the same point in his career he had a comparable walk rate and OBP to Ben Revere.Then he was traded to Florida and entered the best years of his career.That’s what the Reds were hoping for out of Willy Taveras and that’s what they’d be hoping for out of Ben Revere.

      Will Revere’s resemble Taveras’ or Pierre’s?Steve predicts the former, the Philadelphia Phillies seem to predict the later.I think it’s too soon to tell for sure.I think it would have been worth gambling if the Reds could have gotten him for cheap – far less than Leake and Cingrani.Then again, there’s no indication the Reds offered Leake OR Cingrani, aside from speculation of a worst-case scenario.All we know is they offered a worse package than May and Worley.

      You gotta be trolling me, bro.

      If you call that trolling you are mistaken, that wasn’t my intent. You asked for a successful player with similar skills to Ben Revere who started off his career similarly, so I suggested one. Juan Pierre. If you feel they’re drastically different, say why. It’s a discussion.

      • If you call that trolling you are mistaken, that wasn’t my intent. You asked for a successful player with similar skills to Ben Revere who started off his career similarly, so I suggested one. Juan Pierre.

        Trolling = the nonesense about “I guess Drew Stubbs is your ideal leadoff hitter.”

  30. Seriously. Why troll your own fan site? SMH

  31. Remember, with what the Reds seemingly are committing to (Hamilton is no more than 2 years), we aren’t going to pay for a top of the line All-Star CF for only 2 years, especially now that Ludwick is signed, unless Uncle Bob opens up the old pocketbook. So, anyone we look at is going to have a weakness, including if we keep Stubbs in there or go with Heisey, or platoon either/both of them with Paul.

    Given that, I could understand and have no problem going with Stubbs. I still think we could easily improve CF; i.e. I do believe Fowler would be an overall improvement. What I will state is this, if we go with Stubbs in CF at all, he shouldn’t see the light of day above the 7 hole. I could see Heisey or Paul in the 1-2 holes, but not Stubbs. Until Stubbs proves to me he can simply hit the ball, he doesn’t move out of the bottom third of the lineup.

  32. I can understand Steve M’s discussion. We aren’t wanting just a slap hitter but a good hitter up there, I believe. What I will include, though, is for the leadoff hitter, few look for the leadoff hitter to hit with power. The priority for the leadoff hitter is to get on base first, the reason why Pete led off for so many years. He might pop one up the alleys or out of the park every once in a while, but he certainly wasn’t known for his power. He was known for getting on base, obviously.

    Remember, anyone we were to get for CF, they are going to have something wrong with them. Either that, or we go after someone like Bourn and give up on Hamilton. So, I would have had no problem with Pierre or Revere, either one. But, to get something, you would have to give something. Revere for Lotzkar? I believe that would be a laughable one-sided trade in favor of us. It would in fact take more like Leake and Cingrani, like Steve M. said. But, pull the trigger on that? I don’t think I would. I could understand it. Will the Reds’ world fall next season with this trade? Of course not. But, I would just as apt go with what we have and keep Stubbs down in the order if not platooned with Heisey and/or Paul.

    I would rather see an in-season competition like what Baker did last year with Ludwick and Heisey. Heisey and Stubbs for CF. Each gets about a month. Whichever one plays better wins the position. Without that, I say go with Heisey. We’ve seen what Stubbs can do, which is nothing and getting worse. Heisey has maintained his numbers (and, he drastically improved against left handed pitching). I would rather not platoon another position.

  33. @redsfanman: Could you maybe just use the reply button every now and then instead of quoting every other post and laying it back out there? It’s in the lower right hand corner when your cursor over a post. The reply links back to the post you are responding to.

    • @Matt WI:
      Neat, I didn’t realize that. I didn’t click on people’s names before, I assumed it linked you to an account page. I’ve used it sometimes anyways but on certain occasions I want to put the stuff I say in context.

      @steveschoen: I agree that Revere for Lotzkar would be a laughable one-sided trade in favor of us. Leake and Cingrani for Revere would be a laughable one-sided trade in favor of the Twins. I think Leake for Revere would be fair for both teams, something Jocketty might have offered and hoped for the Twins to accept. I think it’s silly to assume that because the Phillies offered more in a trade Jocketty must have matched it.

      I’m wondering if Willy Taveras has permanently eliminated any fan support for slap hitters, and created problems that Billy Hamilton will have to overcome. I agree that anybody the Reds get for CF will be less than perfect.

      • I’m wondering if Willy Taveras has permanently eliminated any fan support for slap hitters, and created problems that Billy Hamilton will have to overcome.

        Not if the slap hitter can show a healthy walk rate and sustainable OBP better than the average. The only problem being mentioned today about slap hitters is that if there isn’t some good walk rate behind their OBP, then they offer little beyond a wildly variable batting average. Nobody suggested that power is an essential ingredient for CF, but it’s nice to offer a few extra base hits to compensate for a lower OBP. I think it’s less ridiculous to look at some of those extra base numbers than to suggest it’s simply more important to have a distracting base runner out there (but only sometimes).

        If Billy Hamilton never hits a homerun but gets on base sustainably at over a .340-.350 clip, nobody is going to care that much. You’re creating problem where there isn’t. If Billy Hamilton gets on base at a .310 clip and rarely hits one into the gap, you’ve got a subpar CF (from the offense side of the equation).

  34. But, someone had said something before that striking out isn’t a wasted out. That’s nothing but a wasted out. Fly out, groundout, anything but a strike out. First off, fly outs and groundouts can still at least advance runners if not score runs; strikeouts probably not. Flyouts and groundouts “make” the defense make a play. The defense has to make the play to get you out, which means errors can still be made and you can still get on base. But, striking out, you rarely if ever get that opportunity (only on the catcher missing the ball, passed ball, wild pitch, on the third strike, so the hitter can still advance to first).

    This was sort of the knock against Dunn. He rarely made contact with the ball. It seemed either HR, walk, or K. He was nothing more than Dave Kingman with a better eye.

    • First off, fly outs and groundouts can still at least advance runners if not score runs; strikeouts probably not. Flyouts and groundouts “make” the defense make a play. The defense has to make the play to get you out, which means errors can still be made and you can still get on base. But, striking out, you rarely if ever get that opportunity (only on the catcher missing the ball, passed ball, wild pitch, on the third strike, so the hitter can still advance to first).

      True. Nothing bad ever happens from hitting ground balls with runners on base.

      The Reds infielders (not P or C) made about 50 errors last year. That counts outfield relays and whatnot. Reds first basemen were involved in 106 double plays. (That should be a rough proxy for infield DPs).

      This is very simplistic, but it tells me that “putting the ball in play” is pretty darn overrated.

  35. @Matt WI:

    It’s different for iPad but not hard yo figure out.

  36. In other news, the Royals just signed the real Willy Taveras:

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/12/royals-sign-willy-taveras.html

    What an off season it has been for KC fans.

  37. I saw Ben Revere in high school quite a bit, so I may be biased.

    But the big difference between Revere and Taveras at the same age is the strikeout rate. Taveras was a whiff king. Revere’s K rate is much closer to Juan Pierre’s. And Taveras was a RH hitter; Revere hits LH with virtually no dropoff v. LHP. Revere also is not built like the wispy Taveras, looking more like a bunched-up sprinter, so I could see where a scout would project him differently than Taveras.

    And, finally, Uncle Walt didn’t make the deal, so who cares? It’s like complaining about a football penalty that was declined.

    • Walt Jocketty failed to sign Willy Taveras, Juan Pierre, or to acquire a guy (Ben Revere) that some people feel resembles either the former or the later. Darn!

      And, finally, Uncle Walt didn’t make the deal, so who cares?It’s like complaining about a football penalty that was declined.

      Great question. Jocketty needs to consider leadoff hitters, but if he considers them we get angry! If he doesn’t consider options he’s not doing his job, but if he considers options he’s doing a bad job.

  38. @steveschoen: I agree with your comment, but it made me look up Pete’s stats. He did hit more than just the occasional double – second all-time. He averaged 47 extra base hits/year. Ben Revere’s 162-game average is 21 extra base hits/year. In his prime, he regularly hit well over .300 and had an OBP of .380-.400. His career walk-rate was 10%.

  39. @AlphaZero: That’s hilarious, given today’s thread. Good find.

  40. Two things:

    1. A Heisey/Stubbs platoon would be the ideal in house option to open the season, but Dusty has said…lots, that he doesn’t like platoons. One guy or the other will be the everyday man, the other will be a super sub.

    2. I would just like to set the record straight on Juan Pierre.

    Here is his fangraphs page.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=443&position=OF

    He has been a barely above average major league player most of his career, due to his baserunning and range in (mostly) CF. For 3 years, he was significantly better than average, the last one being in 2006. He has been an average or above average major league hitter 4 times. Those high water marks were seasons when either his BABIP was high, or his fielding rating was high, or both. His walk rate has been more or less the same every year. The difference with Pierre has always been his BABIP. That is what defined whether he was even an average hitter or not. Pierre was a nice player. A star? No sir. He is and was a serviceable regular as long as he played center or came off of the bench. Personally, I prefer someone who grabs luck on balls in play by the horns, works the count for 5 pitches, then mashes a line drive down it’s throat, but that’s just me.

  41. @redsfanman: You left out an important word there: Walt needs to consider effective leadoff hitters. I like that considering fast Willy T like players is ok, but considering Ryan Hannigan’s OBP machine numbers for leadoff is blasphemy. Or Brandon Phillips, what with that one year that really skewed his numbers and he’s bound to fail and all that.

  42. The whole David Dejesus thing is interesting, and absolutely any and every member of the Cubs over the age of 27 is available, that’s a given. They’re in massive rebuild mode. We never REALLY know what Walt is going to do or pull off. For all we know, Walt is getting a deal together where he moves Billy Hamilton for Austin Jackson! We don’t know what Walt’s doing yet. Speculatively speaking, though, anything is possible.

  43. I think an interesting question that hasn’t really been explored in this thread is, if the roster stays as is and Stubbs/Heisey get most of the starts in CF, who leads off this season?

    I don’t think it makes or breaks our season, partly because I’m a big fan of the Ludwick signing and having Ludwick and Bruce 4-5 protects Votto in the lineup. But I’m curious as to who will/should leadoff

    • I think an interesting question that hasn’t really been explored in this thread is, if the roster stays as is and Stubbs/Heisey get most of the starts in CF, who leads off this season?

      At this point I think it’d start out with Cozart and Phillips hitting first and second. Phillips has hit leadoff but Dusty has seemed reluctant (and rightfully so) to do so. How long that would last is questionable, depending on how Cozart, Phillips, and Stubbs all hit. If Stubbs’ offseason of remodeling his swing after Austin Jackson pays off he could get promoted back to leadoff.

  44. @CincyGuy: At this point, it’s BP, right? BP, Cozy, Votto, Ludy, Bruce. If Hamilton comes up at midseason, plug him in the one, BP two, drop Cozy.

  45. @hermanbates: Yeah, but if BP gets hurt, and the Reds have made no other changes, then we’re probably right back to Stubbs/Cozart or Cozart/Stubbs at the top. Or if Ludwick gets hurt, does Phillips move back to cleanup, and THAT would send Stubbs back to the top of the order? A lot of what-ifs, but I fear that Stubbs’ speed will always make him a top-of-the-order guy in Dusty’s eyes.

  46. @Jared Wynne: To clarify, I never meant to imply that Juan Pierre is currently a good option. He’s old and way past his prime. But he was a very successful leadoff hitter in 2003 and 2004 at roughly the same age, with the same experience, comparable numbers, and comparable tools to Ben Revere. I think the Reds need a leadoff hitter for a year or two, until Billy Hamilton is ready – that can either be a soon to be free agent (like David DeJesus) or somebody who can be traded away (like Ben Revere).

    @Matt WI: I’m wondering how long/big a window Billy Hamilton gets. If he starts off with a mediocre OBP, say around .310, how long until people turn on him? The dude doesn’t have ANY power. He hasn’t yet shown an ability to take lots of walks against MLB pitchers, only in the minors. If he starts off slowly how long until he’s compared to Willy Taveras? A few weeks is my guess.

    @Matt WI: Ryan Hanigan plays part time and benefits from intentional walks while hitting 8th. He’s the slowest runner on the team – massive points against Hanigan. Choosing a leadoff hitter based on OBP rather than speed doesn’t, in my opinion, mean ignoring speed entirely. Even more unusual leadoff hitters like DeJesus and Alex Gordon can run much faster than Hanigan.

    @hermanbates: I think the Cubs have some outfielders *cough*Soriano*cough* who they are a lot more determined to move than David DeJesus. Know how the Reds face concerns about a leadoff hitter? The Cubs (DeJesus), White Sox (De Aza), Royals (Gordon), Rockies (Fowler), Indians (Choo), and Tigers (Jackson) will face a similar mess if they make a trade of their leadoff hitter. The DBacks, with Parra and Adam Eaton, are one of the few teams that is probably hoping to move a guy with a real plan to replace him.

    I think our speculation (the Phillies and Twins saved Jocketty from foolishly trading Leake and Cingrani for Revere in a horribly lopsided and regrettable deal) is a good sign of why Jocketty doesn’t let fans in on anything.

    • I’m wondering how long/big a window Billy Hamilton gets. If he starts off with a mediocre OBP, say around .310, how long until people turn on him? The dude doesn’t have ANY power. He hasn’t yet shown an ability to take lots of walks against MLB pitchers, only in the minors. If he starts off slowly how long until he’s compared to Willy Taveras? A few weeks is my guess.

      Because when Willy T came to the Reds, it was his rookie season right? Fresh off the farm? Of course Hamilton hasn’t proven anything against MLB pitchers, that’s a non starter. There will always be uninformed, knee jerk reaction types. Anybody that doesn’t give Hamilton some time to learn the ropes is silly.

      I think you should work harder on digging your heels into discussion points you believe in. I’m not sure you’re rigid enough. 😀

    • I think our speculation (the Phillies and Twins saved Jocketty from foolishly trading Leake and Cingrani for Revere in a horribly lopsided and regrettable deal) is a good sign of why Jocketty doesn’t let fans in on anything.

      That Jocketty saw Ben Revere as a “solution” to our CF/lead-off problem is the most concerning aspect of this. There’s nothing speculative about that part. The fact that we may have traded away significant pieces for a net-negative player only makes it worse.

      It’s interesting that your reaction is that instead of Jocketty coming up with better trade ideas, he should be secretive. Wouldn’t you prefer that he come up with trade concepts (failed or otherwise) that he could talk about freely afterward?

      Again, Revere doesn’t have Juan Pierre’s skill set. He’s never hit above .300 or been on pace to steal 50 or more bases. Not comparable.

      • That Jocketty saw Ben Revere as a “solution” to our CF/lead-off problem is the most concerning aspect of this. There’s nothing speculative about that part. The fact that we may have traded away significant pieces for a net-negative player only makes it worse.

        It’s interesting that your reaction is that instead of coming up with better trade ideas, Jocketty’s solution should be secretive. Wouldn’t you prefer that he come up with trade concepts (failed or otherwise) that he could talk about freely afterward?

        Again, Revere doesn’t have Juan Pierre’s skill set. He’s never hit above .300 or been on pace to steal 50 or more bases. Not comparable.

        Revere, in his third year, hit .294 with a .333 OBP. In Pierre’s third year he hit .287 with a .332 OBP. Pierre stole 50+ bases for the first time in his 4th year, after his OBP improved by ~30 points. Very comparable. Revere is at an earlier stage in his career.

        I recognize that players are people, and it’s probably a distraction if they hear that the team wants to trade them – that’s why some pursue no-trade clauses. I don’t know how you’d feel if your employer was trying to sell you to another city – maybe they’re trying to trade you for a new CEO, a replacement who can do your job better, or a janitor (for arguments sake, not to insult or compliment you personally)- how much is a guy worth? News stories about how somebody is worthless won’t make anyone happy. Hostile environments like that sometimes cause players to want to leave. I wish Jocketty would get a trade done without causing any distractions.

        Jonathan Broxton, Sean Marshall, Mat Latos – all acquired out of the blue. Nobody saw the deals coming. When it was announced it was already done. That’s the way to get a deal done, in my opinion.

        If Jocketty saw Ben Revere as a solution for CF/lead-off he was apparently in agreement with the Philadelphia Phillies, a team with a reasonably credible front office. Clearly the Phillies placed more value on Revere.

      • Again, Revere doesn’t have Juan Pierre’s skill set. He’s never hit above .300 or been on pace to steal 50 or more bases. Not comparable.

        Age 24 season:

        Revere: .294/.333/.342; 40-for-49 SBs (Target Field)
        Pierre: .287/.332/.342; 47-for-59 SBs (Coors Field)

        Facts are stupid things, as Ronald Reagan once said.

        • Big Ed:

          Age 24 season:

          Revere:.294/.333/.342; 40-for-49 SBs
          Pierre:.287/.332/.342; 47-for-59 SBs

          Facts are stupid things, as Ronald Reagan once said.

          You sort of conveniently left out Pierre’s age 23 season, the one before the one you cite to show equivalence with Revere:

          Pierre: .327/.378/.415 and 46 SB.

          So by the age Revere is right now (24), Pierre had already proven he could hit well above .300 for an entire season, and steal nearly 50 bases, twice. That was precisely my point.

          Reagan also said trust, but verify.

  47. @vegastypo: If no moves are made, Stubbs will get another shot, for sure. Apparently he’s been working on his swing this offseason. Given all of the other options at this point, I’m hoping for him to pull an Austin Jackson: come back from the offseason with most of his contact issues magically fixed, and make all of these questions irrelevant.

  48. @redsfanman: HA. Awesome.

  49. The actual lineup doesn’t really matter since it we’re not talking about that many runs over the course of the season.

    Reds top 6 should be any combination of BP, Votto, Ludwick, Frazier, Bruce, and Hanigan/Mesoraco. If the Reds play a proper platoon of Stubbs/Heisey, I guess they can slide into #2, but whatever.

    This offense isn’t going to be very good.

    I’m sure they’ll be about average in runs scored overall, but they can thank GABP for that. Unless someone like Mesoraco becomes an offensive force, or Bruce steps into the elite category, there is a good chance we’re actually looking at a below average offense.

  50. @vegastypo: That is my fear as well. There are multiple scenarios where Stubbs ends up batting leadoff, even if (big if) Dusty shows the wisdom to start Stubbs batting 7th or 8th to start the season.

  51. @Jared Wynne: Well said. Stubbs can pull off a decent walk rate (which is mentioned in this topic as being relevant), which will be artificially boosted if he’s asked to start the season hitting 8th. IF – big if – he makes contact more he could easily settle the discussion and win the leadoff job. Lots of people would complain… but too bad. Spring training should be fun to watch. Make of break season for Drew Stubbs.

  52. New question: Why not let Jay Bruce lead off? Bruce is 7/12 with 4 homeruns hitting leadoff in the past three years. He can get on base, has speed, and it’d get him more ABs. If they put Bruce into the leadoff spot I think he’d pull off a good OBP.

    I remember going to a Reds game a few years ago – Bruce was announced as the leadoff hitter. Geez, what was Dusty thinking? Was he that desperate? After his second homerun of the game it seemed like a smart move. After Bruce’s third homerun of the night it seemed brilliant. Forget about Votto, Hanigan, and Phillips – I think they should consider giving Jay Bruce an opportunity in that role.

  53. @redsfanman: I would say you were trolling, but since it’s obvious that you are just baiting people with absurd topics (Jay Bruce leadoff? lulz), you sir are an amateur. Please just grab the username “cardsfanman” and go hone your trolling skills elsewhere.

  54. @redsfanman: More or less, I think we agree. We both think that Revere for what the Phillies paid was too much. In my opinion, acquiring someone that we hope will become Juan Pierre is not a good use of resources, because Juan Pierre was never really that great. He is difficult to project as a good player because of the random nature of his main skillset. He usually would be useful, but never great. I think you are proposing that a Ben Revere type would be ok, because you don’t expect him to be great, just better than what the Reds currently have. I can get behind that, so long as the Reds don’t regard a Ben Revere type as a long term solution worthy of large contracts or massive overpays via trade.

    I am a fan of Billy Hamilton, but I’ll admit, his lack of power worries me a bit, too. Like I said before, I prefer projectability and predictability. I like that I can write Joey Votto, David DeJesus, Shin-Soo Choo, etc down as players who will work the count and hit their pitches. They have enough power to make a pitcher respect them, and so pitchers do not challenge them in the zone as much. I think Pierre (and Revere and Taveras on and on) became contact hitters because they didn’t have the power to force a pitcher to make borderline pitches. If the pitcher is only throwing strikes at you, it’s really hard to walk. If Billy doesn’t get enough behind his swing to make the pitchers throw him borderline pitches, he’s going to be a fast as all get out Juan Pierre.

  55. On a related note, tavaras just signed a minor league deal with the royals.

  56. @CincyGuy: What about a Stubbs X Paul platoon?

  57. Juan Pierre isn’t great, by any means, but he was certainly serviceable on the right team. I could see where a good scout would think Revere would be more like Pierre than Taveras.

    • Juan Pierre isn’t great, by any means, but he was certainly serviceable on the right team.I could see where a good scout would think Revere would be more like Pierre than Taveras.

      Optimism vs pessimism.

  58. @CincyGuy: Why is Jay Bruce absurd as a leadoff hitter? He’s better at getting on base than Brandon Phillips, Zack Cozart, or Drew Stubbs. He’s a better option than Joey Votto or Ryan Hanigan. If the Reds want to put a quality hitter and tough out hitting leadoff Bruce is as good an option as anyone. I think he deserves a lot more consideration for that role than he gets.

    Want a strong top of the lineup of guys with relatively good speed who can get on base and hit for power? Stock the best hitters at the top of the lineup so they get more ABs? Bruce-Phillips-Votto. I know most people would be opposed to it but I think it’s worth consideration. Some people want a more typical lineup but it’s worth considering the options.

  59. I’m actually a fan of Revere. I was at a game this summer against the Twins and he lit us up. He gt on base 3 or 4 times and stole several bases. I think Choo would make for a good 1 year patch at leadoff. But if you think about it we won the division last year w/o a leadoff hitter. And if Cueto would have stayed healthy October could have been ours. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!

  60. @redsfanman: If it were up to me, I would be getting as many PAs for our above average hitters as possible. Putting Jay in the 1 as opposed to the 5 (or any place in front of Votto) would be just fine with me. I can’t imagine that ever happening for an extended period of time though.

  61. @redsfanman: Why is Jay Bruce absurd as a leadoff hitter? He’s better at getting on base than Brandon Phillips, Zack Cozart, or Drew Stubbs. He’s a better option than Joey Votto or Ryan Hanigan. If the Reds want to put a quality hitter and tough out hitting leadoff Bruce is as good an option as anyone. I think he deserves a lot more consideration for that role than he gets.

    Want a strong top of the lineup of guys with relatively good speed who can get on base and hit for power? Stock the best hitters at the top of the lineup so they get more ABs? Bruce-Phillips-Votto. I know most people would be opposed to it but I think it’s worth consideration. Some people want a more typical lineup but it’s worth considering the options.

    3 words: Solo Home Run

    (continuing to smh)

    • 3 words: Solo Home Run

      Yep, Jay Bruce hit 21 solo homeruns last year, 13 with runners on base. He hits a lot of solo homeruns whether he leads off or hits 5th. Give him more ABs and maybe he’ll hit even more homeruns.

      The Reds’ #8 hitters had a .324 OBP in 2012. Hopefully the bench/pinch hitters will improve production from the 9th spot in the order. Five teams in 2012 got 70+ RBIs out of the leadoff spot. 26 teams got more runs scored out of the leadoff spot than the Reds. I think Jay Bruce would be interesting to watch in that spot.

      • Redsfanman:

        Yep, Jay Bruce hit 21 solo homeruns last year, 13 with runners on base.He hits a lot of solo homeruns whether he leads off or hits 5th.Give him more ABs and maybe he’ll hit even more homeruns.

        The Reds’ #8 hitters had a .324 OBP in 2012.Hopefully the bench/pinch hitters will improve production from the 9th spot in the order.Five teams in 2012 got 70+ RBIs out of the leadoff spot.26 teams got more runs scored out of the leadoff spot than the Reds.I think Jay Bruce would be interesting to watch in that spot.

        The Reds OBP in the 8th spot is due to the terrible placement of Hanigan there. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

        And let me get this straight – Jay Bruce hits a lot of solo home runs…. so let’s put him in leadoff so he can hit even more solo home runs? You do realize that home runs with runners on base score more runs that solo ones, correct?

        I’m not exactly sure how you are defending putting our best home run hitter behind the pitcher, but I’m sure you can come up with some off-the-wall Juan Pierre reference to absurdly defend yourself

        • The Reds OBP in the 8th spot is due to the terrible placement of Hanigan there.Two wrongs don’t make a right.

          And let me get this straight – Jay Bruce hits a lot of solo home runs…. so let’s put him in leadoff so he can hit even more solo home runs?You do realize that home runs with runners on base score more runs that solo ones, correct?

          I’m not exactly sure how you are defending putting our best home run hitter behind the pitcher, but I’m sure you can come up with some off-the-wall Juan Pierre reference to absurdly defend yourself

          Usually Jay Bruce hits 5th. Hitting fifth does NOT mean that people are always on base ahead of him. He had 167 ABs (plus walks) leading off an inning in 2012, 329 ABs with the bases empty, and 231 ABs with runners on. After the first inning I think he’ll have plenty of opportunities to drive in baserunners.

          The Philadelphia Phillies’ leadoff hitters in 2012 had 71 RBIs and 103 runs scored. The Nationals were second with 63 RBIs and 98 runs scored. The Reds were last for RBIs (38) and second to last for runs scored (83). Jay Bruce could change that around with big totals for RBIs and runs scored in the leadoff spot.

          The power hitter would be wasted hitting leadoff, fine. It looks a lot smarter once the team is up 1-0 early on a solo homerun.

          • Redsfanman:

            Usually Jay Bruce hits 5th.Hitting fifth does NOT mean that people are always on base ahead of him.He had 167 ABs (plus walks) leading off an inning in 2012, 329 ABs with the bases empty, and 231 ABs with runners on.After the first inning I think he’ll have plenty of opportunities to drive in baserunners.

            The Philadelphia Phillies’ leadoff hitters in 2012 had 71 RBIs and 103 runs scored.The Nationals were second with 63 RBIs and 98 runs scored.The Reds were last for RBIs (38) and second to last for runs scored (83).Jay Bruce could change that around with big totals for RBIs and runs scored in the leadoff spot.

            The power hitter would be wasted hitting leadoff, fine.It looks a lot smarter once the team is up 1-0 early on a solo homerun.

            I’m going to savor dissecting this gem of a post.

            1) To quote you, “Hitting fifth does NOT mean that people are always on base ahead of him.” Obviously, hitting ANY position in the order does not mean that people will be on base ahead of you. In fact, no position in the order will ever guarantee that. Enlightening point, though. 2) Your cherry picked (and utterly random) stats about other organizations and their leadoff RBIs are irrelevant. You want us to increase our leadoff RBIs by putting our power hitter in the leadoff spot? Obviously, that a) decreases his effectiveness and b) results in worse production from the spot he just left. Your point is, shuffling the lineup does, what exactly? And 3) How on Earth does it look smart to get a leadoff homerun and go up 1-0? If it’s from your best power hitter, obviously it looks pretty stupid considering there was no one on base. In fact, the other team is likely smiling because they’re only down 1 and not more.

            Please continue, I’m enjoying this.

          • I’m going to savor dissecting this gem of a post.

            1) To quote you, “Hitting fifth does NOT mean that people are always on base ahead of him.”Obviously, hitting ANY position in the order does not mean that people will be on base ahead of you.In fact, no position in the order will ever guarantee that.Enlightening point, though.2) Your cherry picked (and utterly random) stats about other organizations and their leadoff RBIs are irrelevant.You want us to increase our leadoff RBIs by putting our power hitter in the leadoff spot?Obviously, that a) decreases his effectiveness and b) results in worse production from the spot he just left.Your point is, shuffling the lineup does, what exactly?And 3) How on Earth does it look smart to get a leadoff homerun and go up 1-0? If it’s from your best power hitter, obviously it looks pretty stupid considering there was no one on base.In fact, the other team is likely smiling because they’re only down 1 and not more.

            Please continue, I’m enjoying this.

            Alrighty, I’m glad you’re having fun!
            1. Yep, either a #1 or #5 hitter can lead off an inning or come up with nobody on.
            2. Put a better hitter in the leadoff spot and I expect the runs scored and RBIs from that spot to go up. There in indeed a tradeoff lower in the order, but who cares about that? We’re talking about improving the top of the lineup. The point is the best hitters are at the top of the lineup and the worse hitters are further down. There’s no correct way to build a perfect lineup with this roster; putting the worst OBP guy at the top isn’t perfect either.
            3. If the team is winning fans tend to be happy, and the earlier the better. At least if the fans want the team to win. You see, I like seeing the Cincinnati Reds ahead. I’d rather see them ahead than requiring a comeback. Are Reds fans really going to criticize Jay Bruce because he hit the first pitch of the game out of the park? No.

            The other team is likely smiling because they’re only down 1 and not more? I think that’s a Cincinnati playing from behind mentality alright. We’re behind, but we’re not behind by enough to start worrying! Interesting outlook. In other places fans are unhappy to see their team behind rather than expecting of it. I guess playing from behind helped the San Francisco Giants.

  62. @rewquiop: I like your logic. Stubbs X Paul would be the ideal platoon split-wise. I’m not sure what the defensive metrics are on Paul vs. Heisey, but I’d guess it’s a wash (I’m vividly remembering some of Heisey’s bonehead dives last year). The only question is whether or not Paul can sustain his hitting/OBP as a starter vs. pinch-hitter. My theory is give him a shot, see how it works out. If he’s terrible, replace him with Heisey and sit Paul back on the bench.

    Which brings us back to the bench – we need some serviceable left-handed hitting! (I’m not looking at you, Willie Harris…)

  63. I am probably alone here (except for a little redsfanman analysis on Stubbs last week which I though was spot on) but everyone seems to be in panic about lead off. The team did win 97 games with 3 rookies starting at some time.

    We have Votto and Broxton for a full year. Those are upgrades. seeing Ludwick get more that 400 abs is an upgrade, as is Frazier getting more abs are both upgrades.

    There is no way that Latos only wins 14 games in 2013. The league only hit 230 against him, better than Johnny.

    Broxton can play the Chapman role, not as dominate, but if he blows 5-6 games, that is the same we have gotten for the last few years with Coco.

    Chapman can be 8-9 with a 4.5 era like Leake was last year as the 5th starter. I think he will be much better than that, but let’s face it, he can be at least that. Johnny will still be good. Bronson can win 12-15 games. I think that Homer will be much better again in 2013 as his confidence continues to grow. and as I said, Latos should be great once he has the Price head adjustment. His stuff is great.

    So why is lead off such a need, even at the risk of hurting our defense?

    It is not. Period. These trade rumors are perfect motivation for Stubbs.

    He now needs to take most seriously that he can, and will be replaced if his slide continues. But for the first half of 2013, we are fine to see how he responds. And we do not need to take any hit defensively for the sake of 16 runs. Stubbs scored 75 runs last year. we all want 100 out of lead off, then all this conversation goes away. Cozart scored 72 and BP scored 86. Phillips has scored 100 before

    So can Stubbs score 100 runs in 2013? He scored 92 and 91 in 2010 and 2011 when his OBP was 329 and 321

    again Stubbs has shown that he can do it. We know that defensively, any replacement at this point will hurt our pitching, and we are doing it for 16 runs scored.

    His trade value will be no worse at spring training or the all star break. I firmly believe that he is the turn around player for 2013 and his value will be significantly higher (to the point where we will not want to trade him for 2013).

  64. @Steve Mancuso:

    Yes, Steve, but Pierre did it in Coors Field, where curveballs don’t curve. Revere played in Target Field, which is death on power. Joe Mauer went from 16 HRs at home and a .641 slugging in 2009, to 1 HR and .406 slugging in 2010.

    Look, we get it, you hate Ben Revere as a ballplayer. I’ve never seen such a meltdown on a trade that wasn’t made, without even knowing what the Reds had offered.

    • Big Ed: Yes, Steve, but Pierre did it in Coors Field, where curveballs don’t curve. Revere played in Target Field, which is death on power.

      Pierre hit .321 on the road that year. Revere hits ground balls. It wouldn’t matter where he plays. I don’t hate Ben Revere. I just don’t like players that are so one-dimensional (speed).

  65. This has been said before, but I think it’s more than a little ridiculous to say that Revere is the same player as Taveras when Revere is just 24 years old while Taveras is 31.

    Obviously, scouts who know a lot more than any of us liked what they saw in Revere. They can project his career better than any of us can, and the fact more than one team was interested in him tells me there is a good chance that many agree that he projects to develop into a valuable player.

    Sure, if you want to look at what a player is NOW, then ok you have an argument that Revere is Taveras lite. But it is incredibly short sighted and borderline ignorant to claim that’s all he will be for his entire career. You simply cannot peg an MLB player by their age 24 season. Get back to us when he has 4 more years under his belt.

    • Obviously, scouts who know a lot more than any of us liked what they saw in Revere. They can project his career better than any of us can, and the fact more than one team was interested in him tells me there is a good chance that many agree that he projects to develop into a valuable player.

      The same scouts who sold us Taveras, who was 26 at the time? They don’t always get it right. And the issue really isn’t whether Revere is genuinely good at what he does (run) it’s whether the Reds should even be looking at such one-dimensional players.

      • The same scouts who sold us Taveras, who was 26 at the time? They don’t always get it right. And the issue really isn’t whether Revere is genuinely good at what he does (run) it’s whether the Reds should even be looking at such one-dimensional players.

        The thing is, there is quite a huge developmental gap between your age 24 and age 26 season.

        Case in point: You said Pierre had proved he could hit above .300 before his age 24 season. Well, Taveras proved the same thing when he hit .320 in his age 25 season. So by your logic, he was a good player to take a chance on.

        The fact is, an organization like the Reds has to depend on their scouts to evaluate and bring in young, cheap players with hopes that they will develop into the players they want them to be. To me, Revere seemed like a decent gamble to take since he is so young and could still figure out how to walk.

        If you want a team who stocks their coffers with known commodities who can provide exactly what they know they want, then the Reds are not a team you should follow.

      • Pierre hit .321 on the road that year. Revere hits ground balls. It wouldn’t matter where he plays. I don’t hate Ben Revere. I just don’t like players that are so one-dimensional (speed).

        I don’t mind one-dimensional players if they do a good job, and it’s silly to stereotype or be prejudiced against them all because of Willy Taveras… or somehow hold Ben Revere accountable for Willy Taveras. Once again, the Phillies’ front office apparently projects a career for Revere resembling Juan Pierre’s, you project one resembling Taveras’. At this rate it’s sort of silly to imply that you predicted the future better than the Phillies front office. If this is a battle between Steve and Phillies you’ll just have to wait and see who wins – maybe you outsmarted them.

        The same scouts who sold us Taveras, who was 26 at the time? They don’t always get it right. And the issue really isn’t whether Revere is genuinely good at what he does (run) it’s whether the Reds should even be looking at such one-dimensional players.

        If scouts were wrong about Willy Taveras they must be wrong about all players with a vague similarity to him? Interesting. I’m curious if the Reds fired scouts who now work for the Twins or Phillies.

  66. Just because you buy a girl a drink, doesn’t mean that you want to marry her …

    If you buy into the theory that the front office sees Billy Hamilton as their CF of the future, I don’t see the Reds mortgaging that future with a costly CF acquisition.

    I have to believe that WJ is trying to acquire a stopgap (2 yr. max) CF to bridge the gap to Hamilton. And he’s trying to do so on the cheap.

    Too many bad things can happen during a season to risk it all on an expensive one year rental. I’m fine with an outfield of Jesse Winker, Billy Hamilton, and Bruce for years to come.

    Save your $ for Latos, Bailey, and Chapman.

    • Just because you buy a girl a drink, doesn’t mean that you want to marry her …

      If you buy into the theory that the front office sees Billy Hamilton as their CF of the future, I don’t see the Reds mortgaging that future with a costly CF acquisition.

      I have to believe that WJ is trying to acquire a stopgap (2 yr. max) CF to bridge the gap to Hamilton.And he’s trying to do so on the cheap.

      Too many bad things can happen during a season to risk it all on an expensive one year rental.I’m fine with an outfield of Jesse Winker, Billy Hamilton, and Bruce for years to come.

      Save your $ for Latos, Bailey, and Chapman.

      The problem with that is, if you put all your eggs in one basket, if you drop that basket, you lose all your eggs and don’t get to make your omelette.

      Personally, I think the Reds should get rid of Stubbs and try to bring in Fowler. Then you let Hamilton develop at the right pace, and when he is truly ready, you bring him along slowly since you have that luxury with Fowler already (hopefully) excelling in that role.

      Then IF Hamilton works out, you have another trade chip to fill another need on your team.

      It’s way too risky to put all your hopes on the young shoulders of Billy Hamilton.

      • @CI3J:

        The problem with that is, if you put all your eggs in one basket, if you drop that basket, you lose all your eggs and don’t get to make your omelette. Personally, I think the Reds should get rid of Stubbs and try to bring in Fowler. Then you let Hamilton develop at the right pace, and when he is truly ready, you bring him along slowly since you have that luxury with Fowler already (hopefully) excelling in that role. Then IF Hamilton works out, you have another trade chip to fill another need on your team.It’s way too risky to put all your hopes on the young shoulders of Billy Hamilton.

        You could still make your omlette, but sunny side fried eggs would be out of the question.

        I don’t see it as putting all your hopes on Billy Hamilton. He’s a top 5 prospect but he is (imo) at least a year away, if not longer. I hope that WJ is just trying to give the Reds two “somewhat” decent options in CF for 2013. A cheap (in terms of $ and talent given away in trade), better than mediocre CF, to compete with Stubbs (who might prove to be better than what they can acquire cheaply). I’m not ready to give up on Stubbs, but I’ll concede that another season like 2012 will make me more than ready.

        Stubbs was, I believe, a class Valadictorian (sp?). He’s no dummy and knows that his career as a starter is on the line.

        I think that it is far more risky to acquire a player like Choo for one year, with little or no hope of being able to re-sign him. He gets hurt, or another key player or two gets hurt (starting pitchers in particular) and you would have mortgaged the future on one throw of the dice.

        Find a cheap alternative to Stubbs, and keep the core of the team, and the budget, intact in order to compete for years to come.

        • I think that it is far more risky to acquire a player like Choo for one year, with little or no hope of being able to re-sign him. He gets hurt, or another key player or two gets hurt (starting pitchers in particular) and you would have mortgaged the future on one throw of the dice.

          I don’t think the asking price for 1 year of Choo will be “mortgaging the future” – and if it is, then yeah, walk away.

          Sadly, I pretty much agree with those who think the Choo train blew town the second Luddy signed – I don’t see them even un-seriously considering Bruce in CF. Sad to see the same pattern repeat over and over – we don’t go after a Choo, we go after a Revere. Pleh.

          Sure, a young fellow like Revere might develop a more dicerning eye at the plate. But not in Cincinnati. Such things not valued here.

  67. The top of the Reds batting order WAS broken last year. The pitching helped overcome it, but that doesn’t mean it was all hunky dory.

    The smoking gun of brokenness (what a tourtured metaphor!) was JV’s RBI numbers. He was 3rd on the team until he had that insane streak, when he finally passed Phillips and tied Bruce. (I don’t remember if he actually passed Bruce at any point.) Then the knee happened. *Maybe* Votto would have wound up leading the team in RBIs had he not gotten hurt. But not by much.

    That’s the difference between having no one on in front of you and having an elite OBP (or even a “decent” one)in front of you. That’s the sound of Votto’s potential output being whizzed down your leg.

    Re: Revere – I’ve said this mutiple times before, but I do not care if our leadoff hitter steals a single base all season. Speed enough to consistently take two bases on a single is sufficient. I also don’t care if our leadoff hitter hits a single home run – *maybe* even a single extra base hit.

    But if you’re a total slap hitter, you’d better have an elite OBP. And as a slap hitter, you *really* should have an elite walk rate, too – pitch recognition and a quick swing are part of the package, right?

    So Ben Revere is just the kind of leadoff guy this organization seems to value, given past experience. Which is what bugs me so much about reading this. We certainly do have a type.

  68. @reaganspad: I pretty much agree with your comment. No need to panic over the lead-off spot. Maybe Stubbs bounces back. Maybe Baker gets more creative and tries Bruce or Frazier leading off. Maybe we can live with Phillips there.

    That said, if the Reds could make a move for an impact player like Shin Soo Choo, they should.

    You point out a lot of areas where the Reds could be better, but they ignore some downside risks, too. Can we expect the starting rotation to stay healthy all year? Will Ludwick revert to his previous form? What if there’s an injury to Bruce or Phillips or Cozart or Frazier? No obvious backups there. Can we expect Votto to be fully healthy?

    Choo might just be a one-year signing, but he’d be a gigantic, enormous (trying to avoid using the clichéd ‘game changer’) upgrade. Power, speed, defense, OBP, experience leading off.

    And the bottom line is he can’t be that expensive because he’s just a one-year rental. I hope Walt is kicking the tires in Cleveland.

    • @reaganspad:Maybe Baker gets more creative and tries Bruce or Frazier leading off.

      Never thought I would see “Baker” and “creative” in the same sentence…

  69. @reaganspad: Thanks for the mention of some support for some aspect of what I said about Stubbs. I agree that the trade rumors have helped to set up a make or break season for Stubbs, as does optimism about Billy Hamilton – and with his trade value at rock bottom it can seemingly only go up from here. I think he’s a safer gamble than some guys the Reds could trade for to replace him.

    I think there are still a bunch of question marks. Joey Votto is optimistic about his knee but during Redsfest it seems like he’s stilllllll rehabbing it. Broxton is only an upgrade to the bullpen if Chapman returns to the closer role; otherwise he’s a downgrade. It’s unrealistic to expect the starters to all stay healthy, especially considering Cueto and Bailey’s history of injuries.

    I want the season to start already. Winter is boriiiiing. I saw a snowflake yesterday. Boring.

  70. Hmmmm…I can’t help but wonder whether the Reds would make their money back offering THE Hamilton one year at 27mil. How’s that for a “pillow” contract. Yep…I’d do that for a year and have faith I’d sell at least 10 mil worth in jerseys. I’ll bet he’s just looking for an excuse to leave Texas for another winner…ahhh…love dreaming in the offseason.

  71. @CP: The offense isn’t going to be very good? I don’t know, that seems like a stretch. There aren’t that many teams that can say they have 7 guys that they expect to hit 15 HRs or more.

    Phillips (15), Cozart (15), Stubbs (15), Frazier (20), Ludwick (25), Votto (30), Bruce (35).

    Having the two worst hitters on the team bat leadoff all year last year, I think it made people think that the offense is worse than it really was.

  72. @redsfanman: If you’re going to put a power hitter leadoff on this team, why wouldn’t it be Votto?

    Bruce’s strength really comes from the HR. It’s great if your leadoff guy hits a HR, but when you have a guy and that’s his primary weapon, you should put him in a place where more people are going to be on base.

    Votto had a .474 OBP last year, and that alone is enough to say he should leadoff. His power is also more doubles power than HR power, which requires people to knock you in.

    I think there are very good arguments for Votto to lead off. It will never happen with Dusty, and hitting him 3rd is fine. I really don’t get Bruce leading off though.

    • @redsfanman: If you’re going to put a power hitter leadoff on this team, why wouldn’t it be Votto?

      Bruce’s strength really comes from the HR. It’s great if your leadoff guy hits a HR, but when you have a guy and that’s his primary weapon, you should put him in a place where more people are going to be on base.

      Votto had a .474 OBP last year, and that alone is enough to say he should leadoff.His power is also more doubles power than HR power, which requires people to knock you in.

      I think there are very good arguments for Votto to lead off. It will never happen with Dusty, and hitting him 3rd is fine. I really don’t get Bruce leading off though.

      I think Votto is best used hitting third where he has an opportunity to knock runners in, guys who can’t bring themselves in otherwise. Votto hits lots of doubles and Bruce has plenty of speed (even though he doesn’t use it to steal bases) to score from first base (unlike Votto, especially with knee concerns, and Hanigan).

      Jay Bruce hits for a similar average and hits homeruns whether guys are on base or not. I think he’d do a good job of getting on base, scoring runs, putting the Reds ahead early, and driving in slower runners (the 8 and 9 hitters). He’s a big independent threat at the top of the lineup, unlike Billy Hamilton (or Juan Pierre, Ben Revere, or Willy Taveras) who doesn’t rely on following hitters to score a run. I just think it’s worth a chance. Don’t like Dusty Baker going with the proto-typical leadoff hitter? I think Jay Bruce is the solution to that.

  73. @Steve Mancuso: By the way, I didn’t mean for that post to sound so condescending, I just think Ben Revere deserves a fair chance to see what he can do in Philadelphia without prematurely being labeled as a failure. The Phillies have a credible office and they obviously see something positive in Revere even if you don’t.

  74. Every player on a major league team must be good because they are on a major league team. Hmm.

    Just because I don’t want the Reds to go after players like Ben Revere doesn’t mean that (a) I hate Ben Revere, (b) think Ben Revere shouldn’t get a fair chance on someone else’s club, (c) think there is nothing positive that Ben Revere offers, (d) think that it’s impossible for Ben Revere to get better. Sheesh.

    You guys are personalizing this argument too much. My point isn’t about Willy Taveras or Ben Revere per se. It’s not that they stink, stunk or will stink. It’s that even at their best, they are what they are. One-dimensional slap hitters.

    It’s not them in particular, it’s the kind of player they are.

    When I said in the headline that the Reds were trying to sign Willy Taveras again, I didn’t mean that Ben Revere was literally Willy Taveras, only that they are very similar type players.

    Ben Revere is what he is. He is fast. He hits ground balls and beats them out. When he’s lucky the ball goes between the infielders. No one – not the Phillies, not the Reds, not Dusty Baker, not Walt Jocketty – thinks that Ben Revere is going to hit for even the tiniest bit of power. No one thinks he’ll start walking at league average all of a sudden.

    The question is whether you want someone like that leading off on your team.

    Some people in baseball, who know way more than I do, value players like him. My claim is nothing more than that view is out-of-date. Players like Willy Taveras, Juan Pierre and Ben Revere don’t contribute enough to a team to pursue.

    If at the end of all these arguments they get reduced to “well, they know more than you do” then baseball blogs like this will be pretty sterile and pointless places. Don’t bother criticizing Dusty Baker because he knows more. Same with Walt Jocketty. No doubt.

    But where’s the fun in that? 🙂

    • Some people in baseball, who know way more than I do, value players like him. My claim is nothing more than that view is out-of-date. Players like Willy Taveras, Juan Pierre and Ben Revere don’t contribute enough to a team to pursue.

      I think what set most people off is you are seeming to group Revere with Taveras and say that that is the kind of player he is going to be for his career.

      Again, we are talking about a 24 year old MLB player who hits for a decently high average and seems to have lots of room for improvement. This is a player the Reds, and indeed, a lot of teams should express interest in. Young? Check. Great defense? Check. Improving average every year in the league? Check. High ceiling? Check.

      It is good that the Reds were looking at players like this. There is room for them to develop, and then you can lock them up long term for a cheap price if all goes well. If not, you get rid of them and move on. (What SHOULD happen with Stubbs)

  75. @earmbrister:

    I’m not on board with the Choo signing. I wanted the Reds to get Span or I would be happy with Fowler as well. Revere would have been a decent pickup as well. I’m not on board with any one year rentals; if the Reds get someone, it better be for a fair price and multi years.

  76. @Steve Mancuso: I think it goes back to the Five Tool Player=good, One-Dimensional Players=bad. We’ve seen that five tool players can be bad and one-dimensional players can, on occasion, be alright. It seems strange to classify them by a group and associate them with a worst case scenario, especially for a young player.

    I think there’s a difference between guessing what Walt Jocketty may have offered in a trade for Ben Revere and implying that the Twins saved him from making a foolish, regrettable, and lopsided deal like you did earlier… when there’s no evidence of what he offered. You didn’t want Ben Revere and Jocketty didn’t trade for him, seems like you’d be happy. He’s innocent until proven guilty. Now with your article the Blog has spun from Dusty and Stubbs-bashing to Walt Jocketty bashing, and the implication that he’s part of the problem. If a third party read this would they realize that the Reds finished in first place?

    • If a third party read this would they realize that the Reds finished in first place?

      They would if the read carefully.

      From the OP: “To their credit, the Reds in recent years have done an excellent job valuing and acquiring big pitching arms and tight defensive players.”

      I don’t think it’s unfair to criticize the Reds organization for not sufficiently valuing on-base-percentage. Do you?

  77. @CI3J: High ceiling? I just don’t think a player who can’t hit a home run (or many doubles for that matter) has a high ceiling. Maybe in the category of stolen bases. At the very best he’s Juan Pierre.

    And the great defense claim has yet to be proven. He ran up his positive UZR in the corner OF spot last year. He was actually rated negative in CF. But all those numbers are way too small to be reliable. Still, I personally heard the Twins GM say this week that Revere has a noted liability of having a weak arm.

    Revere is going to be that KIND of player all his career. He may turn out to be great at it – Vince Coleman great – but he’s not going to be anything other than a Willy Taveras KIND of player. The risk with “if not, you get rid of them” is giving up Mike Leake or Tony Cingrani or both for him.

  78. rfay00, how did this work? I did not post this.

    “@reaganspad:Maybe Baker gets more creative and tries Bruce or Frazier leading off.”

    redsfanman, there is so little difference between Coco, Chapman and Broxton as far as results are concerned. How many did you save and how many did you blow?

    all are capable of saving 40 and blowing 5-6. Coco did it with less flare, a lot of walks and moxie, but he was a team leader. Chapman was the sleek version. Broxton will not be accused of that.

    As far as injuries or having a down year, could happen. Dusty could have another heart problem and the team could be sold and the NASD could reach 5,000. will those things happen, probably not.

    So I choose to look at things based on trends and outliers. Johnny’s and Homer’s continued progress as starters are trends. Rolen’s 2012 was a trend Stubbs 2012 is an outlier.

    Frazier, Cozart, Mesaraco? too small of a sample but you have to like what they bring to the table

  79. wow, now the reds are going after choo? http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/blog/danny-knobler/21363341/reds-in-talks-to-acquire-choo-from-indians

    this is awesome news to me, and makes the most sense. get a high OBP guy in center for 1 year, and then hand it off to hamilton.

    and the reported deal would be for didi and stubbs. i would do that in a heartbeat. this is the kind of trade that will make me very happy.

  80. @RC: i don’t know, report i just posted said the reds are deep in trade talks for choo, would use him in center field, and would have him lead off.

  81. Is one year of Choo worth giving up Didi?

  82. I would dearly love to be wrong about that, and will happily wear the donkey mask!

  83. @Steve Mancuso: I think it’s fair to be skeptical of guys the Reds’ pick up but I don’t think it’s fair to predict a worse case scenario for guys they consider. Willy Taveras isn’t the only guy to enter the Reds’ organization in the past decade. The Reds definitely have trouble finding good OBP guy but that doesn’t mean that anyone they consider will be a failure.

    @Steve Mancuso: As I said in my first post, if you think somebody needs to hit for power to do well – to have a high ceiling – you won’t like Billy Hamilton. I’m willing to give Hamilton a fair opportunity to perform well rather than define or limit him by what skill he lacks.

    @reaganspad: I never had a problem with Francisco Cordero and I doubt I will with Jonathan Broxton but they are both worse than Chapman. Call it what you want – moxie, energy, whatever – the whole outlook for the 9th inning changes with Broxton.

  84. Stubbs and Didi Gregorius for Shin-Shoo Choo? I’ll believe it when I see it. I suppose that’s fine with me – I’ve been pretty adamant about Gregorius being overrated and hoping he gets traded before other teams find out.

    Hopefully Stubbs could do well in Cleveland.

  85. @al:

    I’d still rather them get Fowler. Younger, and longer team control. I don’t think it makes sense for the Reds to trade anything away for a one year rental.

    If they could somehow lock Choo up long term, ok I’m on board. He could slide to left in 2 years after Ludwick is gone, then hopefully Hamilton excells in MLB. But Choo is a Scott Boras client, so that’s not likely.

  86. I like Choo, but Didi and stubbs is a lot.

    But I like Choo

    but it is a lot

    But I like Choo better than Fowler et al

    That is really gambling that Hamilton is ready in 2014

    But I like Choo. This is one of those baseball trades that could happen because I like Stubbs and Didi also

  87. @redsfanman: it might be the best the indians can get for him. from their perspective, it’s 6 years of didi and 3 years of stubbs.

    then they trade asdrubal cabrera for a haul of prospects, and they would have turned 3 years of expensive team control (2 cabrera, 1 choo) into many years of cheap team control.

    i think didi will probably be as good as cozart. not that that’s great, but there aren’t that many elite offensive shortstops these days.

  88. According to the article, the Reds would get a second player back.

    The thing that really strikes me about this report is the detail about Stubbs and Gregorius. It sounds to me like this deal is very close to happening and not just one of those “could be a match” rumors like we saw with Bailey and Fowler.

    Three years of Stubbs and six years of Gregorius for one year of Choo. Wow. That’s a big trade if it happens.

  89. @al: I think this is the first trade for a leadoff hitter that we’ve heard about that doesn’t involve giving up young pitching. I’m curious who would play CF – Choo or Bruce? Neither has done it with any regularity in years.

    If this gets done:
    1. Sorry to everyone who said Choo (or Alex Gordon) was still an option after Ludwick was signed!
    2. Good job to Jocketty for adding a better leadoff hitter than Fowler or Revere without giving up young pitching.
    3. Congratulations to Dusty Baker, I have a feeling that his lineups will have become much smarter. Suddenly he’ll know how to choose a leadoff hitter.

  90. It sounds like we could get Choo without giving up any pitching. That’s a big plus. Unlike the Fowler deal, where Homer Bailey was mentioned. Fowler’s home-away splits kind of bother me. Choo is a much, much better player than Fowler.

  91. @CI3J: i think the deal would be that they’re banking on hamilton next year, one way or another. this would be for a one year run with choo.

    stubbs was terrible last year, but he’s got lots of potential. it would be hard to let him go, especially selling low.

    gregorious makes more sense for them than us. he doesn’t have a particularly high ceiling, he’s never going to be great. he probably will be decent though.

    but we already have cozart, who is all those things already. trading one of the two of them makes sense.

  92. @redsfanman: The article says Choo would play CF. I think they’d have to give Bruce a look there, too.

    Wow, all the details of this (Choo playing CF, the exact players on the Reds side, the term “deep in talks”) really make me think this is pretty close.

    Holding my breath.

  93. reports indicate this could happen tonight. there goes any chance of me being productive

  94. @Steve Mancuso: i agree, choo is a much better player than fowler. and to me, going after fowler didn’t make much sense if they reds are committed to hamilton.

    choo and then hamilton makes a lot of sense to me.

    @redsfanman: for what it’s worth, the report says choo would play center and notes that he hasn’t since 2009. but says that the reds feel they would improve on net. down on defense, up more on offense.

  95. @reaganspad: Is Didi Gregorius and Stubbs really a lot? Stubbs would be demoted to 4th outfielder and Gregorius is blocked long term by Cozart. Two extra pieces traded for a leadoff hitter? I’d do that.

    I definitely don’t think the Reds have a chance to sign Choo to an extension – this would be an all-in one year acquisition. Fine with me. Choo Choo, full speed ahead towards the World Series. HA. Lame.

  96. One year of a player who will be trying to make a case for a huge contract next year? A one year demonstration of the importance of getting on base to an organization who doesn’t see it?

    For a failed CF and a blocked SS?

    Man, I hope this happens.

  97. I would rather trade Stubbs and someone like Stephenson to get Fowler than trade Stubbs and Didi to get Choo.

    • I would rather trade Stubbs and someone like Stephenson to get Fowler than trade Stubbs and Didi to get Choo.

      What are you expecting from Didi Gregorius? Is he likely to take Cozart’s job anytime soon… or outperform Cozart ever? I think Didi’s trade value is at an all time high – move him while they can, like Juan Francisco last year.

      @al: As far as playing CF, regardless of what the article says about who (Bruce or Choo) plays CF for the Reds… the decision is up to Dusty Baker. If that’s the big question in spring training – which outfielder goes to CF and which to right – it should be an easy spring.

      • What are you expecting from Didi Gregorius?Is he likely to take Cozart’s job anytime soon… or outperform Cozart ever?I think Didi’s trade value is at an all time high – move him while they can, like Juan Francisco last year.

        Actually, I was one of those guys who was on board when that report came out that the Reds were considering trading Cozart. HE’S the one with the high value, and you could get a lot for him and stick Didi in there for more years of control, a slightly younger player, better defense, and a possible development on offense. Either way, you could get more for COzart than Didi while not hurting the club much, why not do that?

        • Actually, I was one of those guys who was on board when that report came out that the Reds were considering trading Cozart. HE’S the one with the high value, and you could get a lot for him and stick Didi in there for more years of control, a slightly younger player, better defense, and a possible development on offense. Either way, you could get more for COzart than Didi while not hurting the club much, why not do that?

          The Reds aren’t a serious player in the post season with DD at SS this year. Maybe in one or two more years but Coz is the guy who fits the Reds ‘window of opportunity’ and he is proven.

  98. Just saw this. Ugh, if it’s true, I’ll feel like we could have gotten so much more than just a one year rental:

    Choo may be Cincy-bound: CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Danny Knobler reports that the Indians are close to finalizing a deal that would send Shin-Soo Choo to the Reds. Choo and a second player would go to Cincinnati in exchange for outfielder Drew Stubbs and shortstop Didi Gregorius. Should the deal be completed, the Reds would use Choo as their center fielder and leadoff hitter.
    (Updated 12/11/12)

  99. @CI3J: what do you do with fowler next year when hamilton is ready?

    so then next year, you’ve lost one of your best pitching prospects, and you have another of your best prospect playing in AAA for the second time.

    if they were going to trade for a CF with years of control, the thing to do would have been to trade hamilton for a corner outfield bat.

    getting ludwick showed that they were committed to keeping hamilton, and if that’s the case, a one year player is perfect.

    • @CI3J: what do you do with fowler next year when hamilton is ready?

      so then next year, you’ve lost one of your best pitching prospects, and you have another of your best prospect playing in AAA for the second time.

      if they were going to trade for a CF with years of control, the thing to do would have been to trade hamilton for a corner outfield bat.

      getting ludwick showed that they were committed to keeping hamilton, and if that’s the case, a one year player is perfect.

      What if Hamilton doesn’t pan out? What if he needs more seasoning? What’s wrong with bringing him along slowly in the majors with Fowler and he sharing time in CF initially instead of just handing him the reins right from the start? What’s wrong with trading Fowler later if Hamilton DOES pan out? What’s wrong with sliding Fowler over to left when Ludwick is done and having a 1-2 punch of Hamilton/Fowler at the top of your order?

      • @CI3J:

        What if Hamilton doesn’t pan out? What if he needs more seasoning?

        Well, that’s clearly a gamble. The Reds obviously think that he will.

        What’s wrong with bringing him along slowly in the majors with Fowler and he sharing time in CF initially instead of just handing him the reins right from the start?

        IF you’ve followed the Reds, you know that Dusty doesn’t like doing this. Also, do you really want a guy as young as Hamilton on the bench? That seems like having 2 good pieces for one spot, which isn’t ideal.

        What’s wrong with trading Fowler later if Hamilton DOES pan out?

        More transaction costs. Who knows what the market will be like then, what you’ll be able to get. They want to win now, and Choo is just better.

        What’s wrong with sliding Fowler over to left when Ludwick is done and having a 1-2 punch of Hamilton/Fowler at the top of your order?

        I believe they would only have Fowler for 3 years, and Ludwick may be around for all of those. At best you could do that in 2015 for one year.

        There’s no way around it. Getting Fowler blocks Hamilton for 2014. You can say that your opinion is that Hamilton won’t be ready for 2014, but that’s just a guess. The Reds clearly guess differently.

        • @CI3J:

          What if Hamilton doesn’t pan out? What if he needs more seasoning?

          Well, that’s clearly a gamble.The Reds obviously think that he will.

          What’s wrong with bringing him along slowly in the majors with Fowler and he sharing time in CF initially instead of just handing him the reins right from the start?

          IF you’ve followed the Reds, you know that Dusty doesn’t like doing this.Also, do you really want a guy as young as Hamilton on the bench? That seems like having 2 good pieces for one spot, which isn’t ideal.

          What’s wrong with trading Fowler later if Hamilton DOES pan out?

          More transaction costs. Who knows what the market will be like then, what you’ll be able to get.They want to win now, and Choo is just better.

          What’s wrong with sliding Fowler over to left when Ludwick is done and having a 1-2 punch of Hamilton/Fowler at the top of your order?

          I believe they would only have Fowler for 3 years, and Ludwick may be around for all of those. At best you could do that in 2015 for one year.

          There’s no way around it.Getting Fowler blocks Hamilton for 2014.You can say that your opinion is that Hamilton won’t be ready for 2014, but that’s just a guess.The Reds clearly guess differently.

          Some rules of thumb that I am glad the Reds refused to break in the pursuit of Fowler
          1. Don’t trade young pitching unless it’s for pitching.
          2. Don’t trade SP under team control if you can help it.
          3. Target based on needs, not wants.

          Fowler is a want, he would have cost pitching and there is far more a question of how his splits translate beyond Coors whereas Choo is almost guaranteed to improve his power numbers with this move. Bottom line: The Reds made the playoffs last year because of pitching, the starting rotation (Sam Lecure said as much on 700 the other day). The Reds needed a lead off hitter and they preserved all their pitching (rotation and prospects) and got the best one available for a year. That is a huge win in my book.

  100. If this goes down as advertised, it really works for both teams. The Indians get two solid pieces to build around for a few years. They aren’t close to winning anything as is.

    The Reds, on the other hand, would be cashing in 2-for-1 to make a huge push for 2013. This isn’t a “make the playoffs” move, it’s a “win the World Series” move.

    • If this goes down as advertised, it really works for both teams. The Indians get two solid pieces to build around for a few years. They aren’t close to winning anything as is.

      The Reds, on the other hand, would be cashing in 2-for-1 to make a huge push for 2013. This isn’t a “make the playoffs” move, it’s a “win the World Series” move.

      If this goes down as advertised, it really works for both teams. The Indians get two solid pieces to build around for a few years. They aren’t close to winning anything as is.

      The Reds, on the other hand, would be cashing in 2-for-1 to make a huge push for 2013. This isn’t a “make the playoffs” move, it’s a “win the World Series” move.

      Well said. I completely agree. The Reds are going all-in, this move makes them the favorite in the NL Central (if there wasn’t any question before – they fixed their main problem without harming the pitching staff (present or future). Didi Gregorius, like Yonder Alonso, is a blocked prospect rather than part of the team’s future.

      So many lame jokes that can come out of his name. The Reds will Choo Choo Choose him. Choo choo, full speed ahead to the World Series.

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About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

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2013 Reds, Willy Taveras OBP Watch

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