Reconciling Disappointment, Part 2

Position: Left Field

2011 Innings breakdown: Jonny Gomes - 28%

                                            Chris Heisey - 27%

                                            Fred Lewis - 22%

                                            Dave Sappelt - 13%

                                            Yonder Alonso - 8%

                                            Jeremy Hermida - 2%

                                            Todd Frazier - 1%

2011 Composite batting line (over 650 PA):

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

CS

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

568

75

136

23

0

23

76

9

7

64

150

.239

.322

.404

.726

BABIP

Contact Rate

Walk Rate

Batting Eye

SBO

RC/G

.285

73.7%

9.8%

0.43

10.2%

4.32

2011 Composite NL average left field batting line (over 650 PA):

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

CS

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

583

76

151

30

4

19

75

14

5

56

124

.259

.328

.421

.748

BABIP

Contact Rate

Walk Rate

Batting Eye

SBO

RC/G

.301

78.8%

8.7%

0.45

12.0%

4.63

2012 Contract status:

Gomes - with Washington

Heisey - not yet arbitration eligible

Lewis - free agent (arbitration eligible, 2nd year)

Sappelt - not yet arbitration eligible

Alonso - not yet arbitration eligible

Hermida - with San Diego

Frazier - not yet arbitration eligible

Advanced minor league depth:

Josh Fellhauer - age 23, 738 OPS at A+, AA

David Cook - age 29, 744 OPS at AA, AAA

Relative win increase, 2011 vs. 2010: +0

Brief summary of 2011: On a position-by-position basis, it is arguable that left field presents the greatest relative deficiency for the Reds, as compared to their divisional overlords.  Even the starting pitching, forever a source of regional shame, shows occasional promise from time to time.  Are there any future stars in this motley group?  Perhaps (perhaps) Alonso can one day compete with Matt Holliday or Ryan Braun with the bat, but he is very much the proverbial square peg on defense.  Heisey provides value for the money, ranking 4th in RC/G for those hitters with at least 100 PA, but has a very odd habit of falling apart when the brass appears ready to hand him a full time job.  The recap, then, is a season of turmoil, shaking out to be pretty much the same as it has been.

Way too early knee-jerk outlook for 2012: I'm done, for now, projecting brash moves out of this front office.  The players most likely to be available in LF for 2012 are Chris Heisey and Yonder Alonso.  One hits right-handed, plays strong defense, and is entering his age-27 season.  The other hits left-handed, has an excellent prospect pedigree, and is obviously ready to hit at this level.  There is a chance that one of the two breaks out in an exciting way in 2012.  Playing both at the beginning in some sort of modified platoon maximizes the opportunity for one of them to make the leap, and also adds a small likelihood that both do so together, as some sort of hybrid superhero in the Voltron vein.  There's also some significant chance that the position is badly mismanaged and neither player lives up to his potential in this or future seasons.

Comparable industry: There are upwards of seventeen billion screenplays written and submitted to Hollywood studios every year.  Most of them, naturally, are terrible, and even the ones which do traverse the improbable journey from script to screen are not that good.  Even more disheartening, the ones that make it big and are pretty decent are still rarely without flaw, and thus open to the voluminous flow of bored and bitter movie reviewers.  And yet, these anonymous writers take their shot.  One of these times, the dialogue and action will be just right, and the subsequent immortality and fortune will be instantly unlocked.  One of these times...

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