Season in Review: Yonder Alonso Doug Gray October 19, 2010 46 Comments The former first round pick came into the 2010 season still recovering from a broken hamate bone that occurred in late June of 2009. The injury typically takes a full year to recover, though guys can play after 6-8 weeks from the original injury. Surprisingly, Alonso began his season in Carolina after ending his 2009 season with Louisville in the playoffs. While playing for the Mudcats, he hit .267/.388/.406 over the first 5 weeks of the season with 19 walks and 16 strikeouts. Clearly the power had not shown up over the first 5 weeks. Coming up to Louisville didn’t do much for Alonso as for the rest of May he would go on to hit just .256/.310/.359 over 19 games. He would draw 5 walks and strikeout 11 times, but the power was still missing from his game. When June rolled around, there were more struggles for Alonso who was obviously slumping and pressing. The first baseman hit just .226/.256/.322 on the month, with a very uncharacteristic 5 walks and 24 strikeouts on the month. As July rolled around though, things took a drastic turn for the better as the one year mark of the hamate injury went by. During the month of July, Alonso hit .366/.423/.663 on the month with 10 doubles, a triple and 6 home runs to go along with 10 walks and 18 strikeouts. During the month, Alonso was also sent to the MLB Futures Game, where he stood out among players in terms of his power during batting practice. August was more of the same for Alonso as he continued to tear apart the International League. He hit .330/.419/.527 on the month with 11 doubles, a triple and 3 home runs with 17 walks and 23 strikeouts. The last two months of the season helped Alonso bring his seasonal line to .290/.362/.458 with the most interesting stat in my opinion from the system this season, 13 steals. Alonso was called up to the Reds on September first and was essentially a pinch hitter for the month and he struggled in the role, hitting just .207 with no walks and just 2 doubles in 29 at bats spread out over 22 games. Here is Alonso’s spray chart for the minor leagues only: To Total % Single Double Triple HR AVG SLG IsoP P 10 2% 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 C 0 0% 0 0 0 0 N/A N/A N/A 1B 38 9% 2 0 0 0 .053 .053 .000 2B 67 16% 3 0 0 0 .045 .045 .000 3B 16 4% 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 SS 42 10% 3 0 0 0 .071 .071 .000 LF 84 20% 18 11 0 6 .417 .762 .345 CF 90 22% 30 16 1 5 .578 .944 .367 RF 68 16% 38 9 1 4 .765 1.103 .338 46 Responses Nick October 19, 2010 Alonso showed some good hr power to LF, that’s nice to see. I still think he best way to solve our LF problem is to get Votto to move, but that’s unrealistic. If I were Reds I’d ship Mesoraco, Cueto, and a lower level guy to KC for Greinke. Hold onto Alonso and try to get a LF with him and Maloney. With that package you couldn’t get a top tier (Upton, Kemp) but I might dangle that around. I think Reds could trade Arroyo possibly at trade deadline or before if Chapman proves he’s ready to step into rotation. Doug Gray October 19, 2010 I don’t think you need both Cueto and Mesoraco to get Greinke. I could be wrong though. william October 20, 2010 I would be willing to part with Cueto, but theres no way I’m parting with Mesoraco. A catcher with his potential is hard to find, a solid catcher really solidifies a batting order and up the middle defense. Unfortunately I would be more than willing to part with Alonso. I love the guy’s upside but moving votto would be dumb, he really really improved on the glovework this past year. Tony October 19, 2010 Chapman showed sme immaturity at the end of the season, getting behind in counts and not being able to recover. To, he is going to take longer than a season back in a rotation, build up his stamina and learn to dial it back a bit and gain some control. I hate to say it, but maybe his best role with us is going to be the Feliz route. I don’t trust Cordero at the end of games, but I wouldn’t throw Chapman in that spot at this moment either. Doug Gray October 19, 2010 Chapman needs two years as a starter alone to build up his innings. He should be good for about 155 next year, then 185 the year after. I figure we see him a bit in the Joba role, where he will start for a while, then go to the bullpen to keep his innings down toward the end of the year. As for Cordero…. replace him with Masset. Problem solved. jim t October 19, 2010 Doug, would be interested to see how Massetts numbers would look if he was asked to pitch 3 or 4 days in a row.Many want to replace Coco and I’m not totally against that but a closer has to be able to be effective on multiple days. Don’t know if Massett is up to that. Coco will be with the reds next year. They have no one proven to take his spot and trading his contract will not be easy without eating a certain amount. If Coco starts off having issues I’m sure massett will be given the chance to close but as of now i’m not convinced that coco still isn’t the best option. Nick October 19, 2010 Closers are rarely asked to throw 3 days in a row, and never asked to throw 4 days in a row. Coco struggled this year and Dusty wouldn’t try anyone else what makes you think next year will be any different. jim t October 20, 2010 I think you should check your facts. Closers often throw 3 days in a row and i’m certain Coco threw 4 at least twice. Tom October 19, 2010 I don’t think there’s going to be a lot of interest in Alonso this off-season. Granted, pinch-hitting isn’t easy for some veterans — much less a rookie — but Alonso didn’t show me much with his opportunities. To me, he looked like he had a slow bat. Since Alonso is pretty much stuck playing first, I don’t see him as a Red next year at this time. I hope his offense comes around to make him attractive as a mid-season trade option. awa85 October 19, 2010 It seems like Tampa Bay just screams trade partner if Alonso is going to be packaged up. They will need a 1B and have plenty of spare parts that could help the Reds. Alan Horn October 19, 2010 I don’t think Alonso is going to bring that much of a return if there is interest. His max return would be if he is packaged with a good pitcher in a deal. I would be hard pressed to put Mesoraco in any package (at least until we determine what we have in Grandal). Like I mentioned in an earlier thread, our starting pitching is our strongest area. The Reds need offense(that can also play defense). i.e. a power hitting left fielder that isn’t a defensive liability. It makes no sense to trade a bunch of our young and cheap talent for Greinke or Drew. The net gain will be no where near the net pain(talent wise, long term(after a couple of years) and finacially). Let’s target a left fielder(either via trade or free agency). Chad October 19, 2010 Good analysis, Doug. Nice to see the power starting to return, and Alonso clearly got better as the season went along…but I have no real sense of Alonso’s value on the trade market. He’s a former #1 pick, and many of us feel he should still be an elite prospect, but I wonder how he’s viewed by other organizations. Might be a situation where we have to hang onto Alonso for three months and hope he crushes the International League to convince everyone that his earlier struggles were strictly due to the hammate injury. GC October 19, 2010 Don’t you think Alonso already proved he can hit AAA pitching during July & August? New podcast in the oven? Chad October 19, 2010 Yes, very soon. Hopefully by the end of the week. Doug Gray October 19, 2010 I think other teams know his value. Talking to scouts and hearing from others who talked to scouts all year, there wasn’t anyone really down on Alonso at all. They knew about the injury and saw the power even when he wasn’t showing it because of his bat speed and the loft he was able to get on the ball. GC October 19, 2010 Power to all fields, K:BB ratio of less than 2:1 (July & Aug), this is who Reds projected him to be. He had the kind of season you’d expect form a legit prospect; struggled after the promotion, then made adjustments and BOOM! Sucks Alonso can only play 1B. Suprised how little he pulled the ball & still showed + power. Baltimore needs a 1B. I gotta believe Reds have had offers for him by now. So how long can Alonso stay in the Minors? Does he have anything left to prove at AAA? Foxbud October 19, 2010 Yes. He absolutely has things to prove. He has to prove he can hit for power. He has to prove he can play in the field at MLB level. He has one more year in MiLB before anyone considers it unfair. Doug Gray October 19, 2010 Alonso used his second option this season. He has two options left. He has to stick in the major leagues for good (unless he is not optioned at any point during one of the next two seasons) in the 2013 season. As for the proving left in the minors…. depends who you ask. I think he could probably help a major league club in April 2011 as a starting first baseman. Foxred October 19, 2010 I agree he could start for some teams. But when you FINALLY have a deep system of players, there is no need to rush players to the Bigs. The prospects can fine tune their game at AAA so they don’t miss a beat when the get the call. I have no problem with Alonso being at AAA until next Sept. After that we have to play him or trade him. doctor October 20, 2010 I think also it would be good to have Yonder stay at AAA again in 2011. If he is as good as most think, then a big year would help maximize his trade value as its looking more and more that Votto is not going to move to LF. MDRon October 20, 2010 I agree that Baltimore could certainly use him. Unfortunately, all they have of value is young pitching. Not a good trading partner for the Reds. wanderinredsfan October 19, 2010 Folks need not forget what got Cliff Lee to Texas this season. It was a package centered around Smoak, who Alonso compares to favorably, IMO. I think Alonso has a lot of value, simply because other organizations realize that Alonso’s bat will play at the major league level. At a minimum, Alonso is a .270/.320/.420 bat, but he’s more likely a .290/.350/.470 bat. More importantly, he has the ability to be a .310/.380/.500 bat in the middle of a team’s line-up. No matter what position he plays, Alonso has a lot of value to this league. Alonso could very easily be the centerpiece of a significant transaction, especially towards next season’s deadline. MDRon October 20, 2010 Texas benfitted a lot more from trading Texiera. Votto is going to cost about 15 times as much next season as he did this year. Alonso could step in. MK October 19, 2010 I think they keep him at least one more year for 2 reasons. 1. A monster year at AAA, including power, maximizes his value. 2. Who is the alternative to Votto? An inside fastball off of the wrist means Cairo, or a Cairo-like player, for 4 to 6 weeks. Alonso is needed for depth at 1st base. Nick October 19, 2010 No team has depth that can fill in for MVP’s much-less a small market team. You can’t just keep Alonso in aaa as a backup to Votto “in case he takes a fb off the wrist” that’s just stupid. Small market teams have a small window of time to compete for championships. I think Alonso and Cueto combined with a lower level prospect could be plenty to get Greinke, simply no other team can offer a young starter with 2+ seasons of good stats at the major league level and a top prospect. If they want Mesoraco then I’d still pull the trigger on that we drafted a college catcher who is advanced and should be on the fast-track. Re-sign Hernandez and try to get Grandal ready for 2012. As for having a backup for Votto Dorn should make the team as a bench player and platooner in LF with Heisey. MK October 19, 2010 First don’t forget my first point. His value could and probably will be better after 2011. The fact that they sent him home after the regular season rather than sending him to Arizona like the other potential, roster fill-ins tells you what the team thought at this point in 2010. As far as the wrist goes it could be any injury or illness. All I heard last winter was that they needed an a back up plan at shortstop in case Janish couldn’t cut it or was injured. In came Cabrera and Janish became the back-up plan. There is no big league ready back-up plan at 1st base without Alonso. And, please do not say Danny Dorn. He has no big league at bats and the organizations lack of respect for him tells you he isn’t in their plans. Grenke will make $10 million more than the guy he would replace in the rotation and he isn’t $10 million better than the guy he will replace nor does that fit into the Reds Payroll scheme. mauired October 19, 2010 i’m with awa85, i think if carlos pena leaves the rays, they would love to take alonso, a florida product, as his replacement. maybe they would trade the reds b.j. upton who had two bad years and is getting a raise. Upton could slide over to left and the reds have the best young outfield in the big leagues. It’d be fun to speculate who would steal more bases between stubbs and upton. Nick October 19, 2010 Do we really want BJ Upton?? He’s been pretty miserable the last two years. Alan Horn October 20, 2010 I agree. Nick October 19, 2010 Justin Smoak was hitting under .200 at the time he was traded as the main piece of the Cliff Lee deal. Alonso is still highly regarded as a prospect, and I’d rather trade him now with the names that are possibly on the block then keep him as a backup for Votto. The Reds not sending him to Arizona really means nothing about what they think about him. The SS issue has little relevance to keeping Alonso as a backup to Votto. A back up plan for Votto should be the last thing Jocketty thinks about this off-season. Greinke at $13.5 at 27 and 28 is a bargain. Alan Horn October 19, 2010 MK, I agree about Greinke. That last paragraph is an understatement(especially for only 2 years of service). I understood Greinke makes $13 million a year. Just straight up there is no where near that amount of difference in Cueto and Greinke(much less if you include Mesoraco). I think the Reds would be insane to include Mesoraco in any deal right now. Again, what we need is a left fielder. We could probably get by bringing Gomes back along with Heisey and whoever, but it isn’t what I think we need to do. Although the Reds led the league in hitting, I’m still not sold on our overall hitting attack just yet. Stubbs and Bruce have to step it up. Rolen probably won’t produce anywhere near the same numbers. The LF position may not either(and it could stand improvement). I could live with Cozart/Janish at SS and the catching combo we had this season. A upgrade in LF along with Stubbs and Bruce putting up better numbers(which I think they will) would suffice team hitting wise in my opinion. Nick October 19, 2010 There is a pretty big gap between Greinke and Cueto. I don’t know if you can put a monetary value on it, but Cueto will likely get $3mil this year I’d pay the $10mil extra to get Greinke, imagine what he could do in the NL. Alan Horn October 19, 2010 We would probably only have him for 2 years plus we would probably lose Mesoraco or Alonso in the deal and still not have an acceptable LF upgrade. Wouldn’t we also be able to retain Cueto longer and at a much cheaper price? Nick October 19, 2010 Yah but it’s acceptable because we have Grandal. Trust me I can’t wait to have Mesoraco and would love to see him hitting between Bruce and Votto, but Greinke could be our Lincecum, Lee, or Halladay. In the playoffs having a guy like that is extremely important. Cueto long term scares me. Out of all the pitchers he strikes me as the one most likely to be injured. Guys 5’10 throwing 95+ with violent arm action tend to have arm problems. Doug Gray October 19, 2010 Mesoraco = ready in June 2011. Grandal = We have no idea at all. Simply having Grandal doesn’t make Mesoraco acceptable to trade. Mesoraco might be the best catching prospect in all of baseball (not counting two guys who might be considered better prospects but aren’t expected to actually stay at catcher). That guy isn’t an “acceptable” trade piece because we have another catcher who might be good one day. Nick October 20, 2010 Here’s a crazy idea: trade Grandal and Cueto+ a lower level prospect. KC was obviously interested heavily in Grandal before the draft and they get him for less then they would have paid him had they drafted him 4th. Doug Gray October 20, 2010 You can’t trade Grandal for a year from the signing. Alan Horn October 20, 2010 Plus, Grandal haven’t established any real trade value. I’m not saying he won’t, but you have to play and play at higher levels in order to do so. Alan Horn October 20, 2010 Should be hasn’t. It’s early. wanderinredsfan October 19, 2010 I disagree that small-market teams have a smaller window of time to compete. Small market teams need to be more efficient, but there market size has nothing to do with long-term success or failure. jim t October 19, 2010 Doug, This maybe a question for your all questions answered all day but here is my stab at the 2011 opening day roster. stubbs cf BP 2b Votto 1b Bruce RF especially after his improvement against Lefties Rolen 3rd Heisey LF Hannigan C Janish SS Starting Pitching Arroyo,Cueto,Volquez, Wood and Bailey There will certainly be comp from Chapman and Leake but I think they both start out at Louisville unless they just kill in spring training and one of the others slide. Pen Coco,Massett,Bray,Rhoades,Ondrusek, and a combo of Burton,Accevedo,Smith and Lecure for the final 2 spots. Bench Cozart,Cairo,Nix,Gomes and Hernandez. redsfannorth October 19, 2010 I don’t think we will see that much inactivity in the offseason. At least you don’t have OCab coming back. I don’t think we will see Gomes AND Nix, maybe 1 but not both. I really think that WJ will make some moves. As the discussion have unfolded here over the past month, my priorities have shifted for acquisitions. 1. LF 2. LF 3. LF 4. SS 5. SP Maybe if we all concentrate REALLY HARD, we can brainwash Crawford into signing? Ready? 1,2,3..GO!!! I know I know the Yankees Doug the Yankees. Bah Humbug! Heisey as the 4th OF would make me really happy. jim t October 20, 2010 Much like the twins the reds will never outbid the big markets. Crawford isn’t comming to cincy. We will grow our own. Both Nix and Gomes will return unless as you perdict a trade for a LF is made. SS will belong to Janish or Cozart. Best case senario for reds is Heisey or Frazier step up and produce in the bigs and Stubbs and Bruce take another step forward. I think to start the season we go with the young guys and if needed a hole will be filled at deadline. Much like Texas did with Lee. AS constructed the reds have enough to win the central. Walt will need to make a move at deadline to try and win the series and right now that looks like a no.1 startwe unless someome else steps up. Alan Horn October 20, 2010 That is probably what will actually happen(which isn’t a bad thing). We get a left fielder if the opportunity arises, otherwise I think things will go pretty much as you say. We have to have patience with the other young players(Heisey, Frazier etc) much like we did with Bruce and Stubbs. doctor October 20, 2010 If the Yankees really do sign Crawford, you would think they might move Gardner or even possibly Swisher. Either one would fill a need (leadoff or #4 hitter). Plus Swisher has some 1B experience for those days Votto gets a breather. With a speedy Gardner lineup, some thing like this: Gardner, Phillips, Votto, Rolen/Frazier, Bruce, Stubbs, C, SS (or more radical, slide Stubbs to #4, he seems to have best RH power on the team) With Swisher, lineup may look like: Phillips, Stubbs, Votto, Swisher, Bruce, Rolen/Frazier, C, SS. Stubbs batting 2nd in front of Votto I would think help him get good pitches to hit. More than likely not going to happen but nice to speculate. doctor October 20, 2010 As a follow-up, per Cot’s site, Swisher has only 1 year left on his deal at $9M, plus an option for $10.25M/2012, as well as a limited no trade clause to 6 clubs.