THT is doing a series of player profiles for their fantasy department
and here they take a look at Jay Bruce. It does a terrific job of breaking down his '09 season, and says the future is very, very bright for him. To wit:
"While at first glance, Jay Bruce's 2009 season seems like a step back in his development, he actually made a number of significant improvements that will progress his career. He improved quite significantly in his strike zone judgment and selectivity, while also improving his fly ball tendencies. While wrist issues are always problematic for a hitter, he seems to have put these concerns to rest with a strong September. For 2010, expect a very different Jay Bruce, one who finally lives up to his No. 1 prospect billing. A .275-.285 average with 30 home runs doesn't seem out of the question. If he is able to maintain his plate discipline gains, he could post an OPS in the .900s as well, with the high .900s a possibility and 1.000—while a reach—not out of the question."
The Fay says the Reds are talking to Ramon Hernandez about his contract
They hold an $8.5 mil option for next season, which should be declined. They are talking to him about possibly re-working the deal so that he can come back at a reduced rate. I would be ok with him coming back under the right conditions, like if they are paying him $2 mil and he doesnt play more than Ryan Hanigan does. I doubt either of those conditions would be met though. Let us know what you think in the poll below.
The Fay says Nick Masset and Jared Burton are eligible for arbitration this winter as Super-Twos
Jonny Gomes, Laynce Nix, and Corky Miller are also arb eligible. Fay says Masset and Burton are "locks" to be offered arbitration, and Gomes is iffy. Micah Owings just missed Super Two status by a few games.
The Fay has been doing Q's and A's for the past week or so
and they make for good reading. Here's another sample:
"Question, from Ethan: 1) Do you think that the Reds will offer Joey Votto a long-term contract in the up-coming years, or do you think they want to wait and see if his depression/anxiety attacks have cleared up before they offer him the big money? And if they do offer one, How much do you think he would command and for how many years?
A: I think they will try to lock him up once he’s ready for arbitration. The problems seem to be behind him, but we’ll have a better idea after this year. As far as money, I would think it would along the lines of Brandon Phillips’ 4-year, $27 million deal."
Sheldon is fielding questions as well
I wont repeat any here, but they mostly cover who can be traded to make payroll space and the emergence of young players. And Sheldon is against expanded replay for baseball. He must be dumb or something.
FanGraphs takes a look at the new Bill James projections for 2010
and picks out a few intriguing projections for guys who have yet to make their MLB debuts. They spotlight one Todd Frazier, who James projects to hit .278/.336/.471. That .800+ OPS is pretty eye-popping for a rookie infielder. I think it's pretty safe to assume that Frazier will not see much time in the bigs next season though. If (when) Rolen gets injured I think El Nino Destructor Juan Francisco will be his stand-in at 3B. A mid-season trade of Brandon Phillips could work in his favor though.
MiLB.com is doing a series titled "Path to the Pros"
They are retelling the stories of how some of today's stars came up through the minors. They havent done the feature for the Reds yet, but former Red Reporter Favorite Adam Dunn is profiled for the Nationals. It's an incredibly interesting read. Here's a snippet:
"In the years I've managed in Double-A, you can name the guys on one hand who've come to Double-A and taken off," (Phillip) Wellman said. "Even some of the brightest prospects seem to struggle at first and they come out OK, but Dunn was one that never did that. He came from low-A and he didn't miss a beat."
It also says that Dunn was offered the chance to come up to the big league club in '99 in the heat of the playoff race, but he turned it down because he felt he wasnt ready and it would disrespect the players who had been around and put in more time than he had. I had never heard that story before. HT to RLN for this one and the Bruce one.