Todd Frazier mashes baseballs, as you're all well aware. Todd Frazier recently started swiping bags at a rather prolific rate, too, and if you're like August Fagerstrom, you may not have been aware of just how noteworthy that pairing is in today's game. Over at FanGraphs, Fagerstrom takes a pretty in-depth look at Frazier's breakout 2014 season, freely admitting that he didn't have reason to take notice until he saw the Toddfather's rather impressive power/speed number, one that has him ranked nearly at the top in all of baseball. Frazier's versatility (when used) is something we're pretty adamant about exploiting here at RR, and it's pretty well known that he came up as a SS after being drafted out of Rutgers, but it isn't too often that a guy gets to Frazier's age before finally getting a shot to let his sleds run freely on the bases. Speed, y'know, is usually something that peaks early and tails off, yet Frazier busted out his steals game for the first real time in 2014 at age 28. I highly doubt he repeats his 20/20 feat in 2015 due to other teams taking similar notice of his prior season, but that doesn't mean I expect him to tone down his approach much under run-happy manager Bryan Price. If anything, it'll at least become a distraction to opposing pitchers, and that's always a good thing.
The Cincinnati Reds have their complete Spring Training schedule out, so if you're planning on heading to the Land of the Endless Strip Mall to catch some of the action this March, here's the guide you'll need to maximize your baseball watching. There's still no concrete word on whether Red Reporter Spring Break 2015 will or will not happen, but if you're aiming to make the trek to 'zona, let us know down yonder in the
alonso comment section and we'll try our best to give you what tips we can manage to remember from previous ventures.
Curt Schilling thinks he's not yet a Hall of Famer since he's a Republican. Oh boy.
In case you had your prospect filter on earlier, Baseball America released their iteration of the Reds' Top 10 prospects list this morning, which had most of the expected names included along with the still far-off (yet toolsy and talented) Aristides Aquino. Phil Ervin dropped completely out of the Top 10 (from 3rd last year), and I was minorly surprised to see neither the newly acquired Jonathon Crawford nor last year's breakout draftee Alex Blandino on the list anywhere, though I'm sure they just missed the cut. For more on BA's rankings, C. Trent Rosecrans of the Enquirer caught up with list-maker (and fellow UGA grad) J.J. Cooper for some solid insight.
Speaking of Top 10 caliber prospects, Amir Garrett keeps popping up on many lists thanks to his electric left arm and new-found 100% commitment to playing just baseball in 2015. Reds.com scribe Mark Sheldon has a bit more on the former St. John's hoopster and his decision to focus solely on hurling baseballs like Aroldis Chapman lite, so do that clicky thing and go check that out.
Also from mlb.com/reds comes former scout Bernie Pleskoff's analysis of the Reds' prospects most likely to be decent enough to make an impact at the big league level in 2015. Just read, re-read, and re-re-read that bit on Daniel Corcino, since all y'all keep trying to forget about Cuetito.
Finalmente, if you've got 10 to 15 minutes, here's an excellent post by Kansas City Royals scribe-extraordinaire Rany Jazayerli looking back on the James Shields for Wil Myers [et al] trade from just a few seasons ago. It's not only a fantastic analysis (and generous apology), but it's also a great example of how we all too often judge trades and transactions with an eye on the present that may not fully see the same things as the in-the-know decision makers. That's not to say that moves shouldn't be criticized and evaluated at the time that they're made - they absolutely should - merely it's to say that just because we all have access to most every bit of numerical data available, that doesn't mean we should all expect to have the same exact opinions of what it means. A .900 OPS in AA is a .900 OPS in AA, sure, but exactly what you know to project that farther down the road is ultimately what matters, and in the case of the Myers/Shields/Davis/etc. trade, there's a dang decent chance that Dayton Moore knew just a tad bit more about what he was doing that many - Rany included - gave him credit for. Also important, of course, is noting that Moore probably had wildly different goals in the trade than the ones listed as important by the critics of his move, namely that he was supremely focused on 2014 as a year the Royals could finally break their postseason curse. Regardless of what Myers evolves into, that mission was firmly accomplished, winning at least that corner of the trade 100%. With as much moving and shaking as the Reds have done (and will continue to do), it's worth reading this and keeping it in the back of your minds going forward.