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Tiny Sample Size Reflections on AAA Baseball

Not for use in drawing any conclusions.


I had the chance to catch two Louisville Bats games last week - exactly half of their four-game tilt against the Pawtuckett Red Sox at McCoy Stadium. I got to see Billy Hamilton, Derrick Robinson and Daniel Corcino. And also Xander Bogaerts, Alan Webster and former Reds Drew Sutton and David Ross. I tried to take some pictures, but I'm no BubbaFan. I'm not even an owner of a decent camera. The "zoom" on the phone camera made the action look like 16-bit baseball. Baseball Tonight for Sega CD, at best.

I did, however, take some mental pictures. I'll dump some of those here, in case you need them.

Billy Hamilton
Billy had a great night Thursday, smacking two triples, and also had a pretty good series (5-18, BB, SB). I arrived too late to see his lead-off triple, but caught the encore. It's been said many times, many ways, but he can really motor around the bases. I went with a friend who had never watched any video of him and was only peripherally aware that he was fast. And he was pretty blown away by his ability to turn a routine gap double into an easy triple. I can confirm, with the naked eye, that he's using "game-changing speed" out there.

In that same game, he flashed his range in CF and made a strong, if off-line, throw to third. I don't see any reason to think that he's not already an above-average CF, though I didn't witness him making any really difficult plays.

Billy went 0-5 the second night and it's worth remembering that his bat is still a big question mark. Alan Webster, who came over from the Dodgers in that big contract-liberating trade last season, was the starter for the PawSox. He's still a pretty legitimate prospect and was hitting 96-7 on the stadium gun. Even though Billy was 0-fer on the night, I didn't see him getting the "bat knocked out of his hands." He made some solid contact on two liners that happened to be right at some guys.

Daniel Corcino
Corcino was pretty bad on Friday night, much like he's been all season. He went 5 innings, with a walk and an earned run for each inning pitched. He didn't seem to have anywhere near the command of his fastball he seemed to have in 2011 and I didn't see any 96s or 97s on the gun. But he did strike out seven and threw some really nice off-speed stuff, including some change-ups that had a few PawSox all turned around

Corcino throws across his body and lands off to the side, not unlike old-school Johnny Cueto. I'm sure this is not an original thought at all, but I'd be hopeful Bryan Price can smooth out his delivery a little bit without losing too much velocity. Like Cueto, a pitcher his size might benefit from more movement and deception, rather than putting so much effort into getting an extra MPH or two. In any case, his fastball looked very hittable. And he's obviously been hittable all season. But, at the very least, saw what the fuss has been about.

Xander Bogaerts
Let's go get him

Stray observations:

  • Derrick Robinson looked good, on both sides of the ball. That doesn't mean a whole lot at 25, but I think we've got enough of a file on him to say he could hold down CF for a few months, as stopgap. I think he spotted my Reds hat.
  • Denis Phipps has a really good arm. And Felix Perez has the "good body," in scout argot. But a pretty hitchy swing.
  • David Ross, wearing a salt and pepper beard, was there on a concussion rehab assignment, as a reminder that we're all a little bit older. It's been over 7 years since his fantastic 2006 season with the Reds.
  • Drew Sutton has spent his career being not-quite-good-enough to stick anywhere, but everytime I happen to tune in, he's coming up big. His 2010 line with the Reds is one of my favorites in recent history: 3 PAs, 1 Grandslam.
  • Mike Hessman is very tall and I would definitely take any advice he'd be willing to give me.