The Arizona Fall League Rising Stars game can be seen here
If you are like me and dont get MLB Network, this is your chance to catch Chris Heisey, Yonder Alonso, and Mike Leake tear it up against their elite prospect peers. Thanks to Sharks for the heads-up in the FanShots.
The Crawfish Boxes takes a look at the GMs of the NL Central
Here's what they say about our own Walt Jocketty:
"The interesting thing about Jocketty is he went from a winning team to one that is continually frustrated by not being able to get over the hump. He also went to a team that walked away from a more progressive-thinking GM in former Twins assistant Wayne Krivsky for the more traditional Jocketty. Of course, Jocketty also followed Tony LaRussa from Oakland to St. Louis, so it's unclear how much of his philosophy is tied to LaRussa's.
The Reds haven't exactly been dramatic in making over the club, but Jocketty has shown a willingness to be aggressive with the team's prospects and not trade off valuable assets for overhyped players (I'm looking at you, Jim Bowden). Still, Jocketty hasn't shown the same level of success as at his previous two stops. It will take a little more time to see whether his player evaluation method transfers to the Reds scouting department. If Jocketty can hit a few home runs in the draft, the rest of his record in the Queen City will be moot."
Check out the full article to see how Jocko compares to the other GMs in the NL Central.
Fay Q and A
"Q, from Ice82: John, I have a question about Zack Cozart as he does not appear to be on the radar right now. I could not help but notice that he was on the Redsfest roster which was a little surprising. After watching him for an entire season at Carolina, he seemingly has good range. He also showed some pop in his bat with 10 homers at a stadium in Zebulon that is a big home run park. With the questions marks surrounding Janish, is Cozart going to get a good look during spring training? Are the Reds content to potentially limp through 2010 to get to Cozart?
A: I think he’ll be in the mix if the Reds don’t add a shortstop. He’s hitting well in the Arizona Fall League (.340/.393/.560). I think Janish is the favorite now. But Cozart could play his way into the picture with a good spring. The Reds think he has more potential as a hitter. The Redsfest invitation doesn’t mean anything. A lot of minor leaguers are there every year."
Cozart skipped Sarasota and went straight from Dayton to Carolina this past season and he didnt disappoint. He put up a .750 OPS and played above average SS. I'm sure the Reds will look at him in Spring Training, but there is really no way he starts the year as the Reds' starting SS. That might be asking a bit too much.
Redleg Nation Radio talks with Reds' 4th round draft choice Mark Fleury
I thought Fleury was an inspired pick back in June, but his debut was very unlucky. He managed a .676 OPS in 128 ABs at Billings, but his BABIP was a putrid .222. Adjusting for luck, his OPS would be over .900. Look for him to turn some heads in Dayton next season.
The Florida State League approved the sale of the Sarasota team
The Pirates bought the team and are moving it up the street a piece to Bradenton. Thus ends the Reds affiliation with the city of Sarasota, where they had trained since 1998.
Project Prospect continues their top 15 lists with corner outfielders
and the Reds' Chris Heisey shows up at #9 on the list. I'm a bit surprised, as I think of him as more of a CF. Either way, PP says he was "born to hit line drives", which sounds good to me. He blasted AFL pitching, tuning them in to 1.180 OPS on his radio dial. Classic rock alllllllllll day. Thanks to Doug for pointing these out.
Shawn over at the Reds FanHuddle blog has been doing '09 reviews for every Reds' player
Be sure to check them all out if your looking for a good overview. Here's a snippet of his latest installment, Willy Taveras:
"Taveras was signed by Cincinnati to a two-year deal for $2.5 million in 2009 and $4 million in 2010. Taveras was promoted as the centerpiece of the Reds’ switch from a plodding power team lead by Griffey and Dunn to a speedy, defense-oriented outfit. The dash of Taveras at the top of the order, plus his running down balls in center field, would be the key to the new-look Cincinnati club. Taveras promised lots of bunting for base hits and a run at 100 steals.
The reality was something less spectacular. Taveras got off to a slow start, had a hot streak from the end of April to the middle of May, collapsed again, and spent much of the second half on the disabled list. By the end of the season, the center field job had been handed to rookie Drew Stubbs. The future of Taveras in Cincinnati is very much in doubt."
The Reds are going to need a catcher next year to pair with Ryan Hanigan
but Jack Moore at FanGraphs says their just aint much out there. He says Gregg Zaun.com could be the best available, and relatively cheaply.