FanPost

Wait... we have good shortstops?

Saw this tidbit at Milb.com

Team: Cincinnati Reds
Location: Sarasota, Fla.
Date: March 27, 2007

Burning Question

How has the "trinity of shortstop prospects" (Paul Janish, Chris Valaika and Milton Loo) shaken out and how will they break camp?

For now, at least, that trinity is a duo, as Loo has yet to report to camp due to family issues at home in Hawaii.

Had all three prospects been present and accounted for, the tentative plan was for Janish to start at Double-A Chattanooga, Valaika at Class A Advanced Sarasota and Loo at Class A Dayton.

That would have meant that Valaika, the club's third-round pick in 2006 out of UC Santa Barbara, would be skipping a level from Class A Short-Season Billings, where he earned Pioneer League MVP honors as he hit .324 with eight home runs and 60 RBIs.

He also fashioned a league-record 32-game hitting streak down the stretch.

Now, with a week remaining in camp, the likelihood is that Valaika will join the bulk of his Mustangs teammates in the move to Dayton, but that is not yet definite. He could still land in Sarasota, since the likely middle infielders there, Adam Rosales and Eric Eymann, are not 100 percent healthy.

"Sarasota is still within the realm of possibility ... because we do have some guys dinged up from the Sarasota roster and it will depend on how they come along," said Terry Reynolds, the Reds' director of player development. "Our goal is to keep the [Billings] kids together at Dayton, but if injuries force us to change that plan we have all the faith in the world that Valaika can go there and play well."

Janish, meanwhile, joins the Lookouts roster, where he finished up a three-level climb in 2006.

The team's fifth-round pick in 2004 out of Rice, Janish missed all of 2005 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. When he returned to the field in '06, he got off to a hot start, hitting .398 at Dayton and spent most of the season at Sarasota. He finished up with a cup of coffee at Chattanooga, combining to hit .304 with 14 home runs and 75 RBIs between the three stops.

Janish wields a live bat and flashes an outstanding glove , projecting to be the likely member of the trio to stick at shortstop (with the popular thinking being that Valaika would eventually shift to second and Loo to either third or the outfield).

Loo has had Reds fans anticipating his arrival for a while as he was drafted twice by the team, first out of high school in Molokai and then out of junior college. The second time around he was drafted in the ninth round of 2005 and signed after finishing a season at Yavapai (Ariz.) Community College as a draft-and-follow.

He hit .372 for their Gulf Coast League team in 14 games last summer before an elbow injury ended his season prematurely.

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