C. Trent Rosecrans wrote an article over at Baseball America (subscription required) on the development of Juan Duran. I wrote about some improvements that Duran had made during 2013 a month ago, and Rosecrans talks with farm director Jeff Graupe about some of those things. Go give it a read if you are a Baseball America subscriber.
Mike Petriello has up an article today at Fangraphs looking at the Reds outfield. He is concerned with the Reds outfield for 2014 (as most of us are).
Depending on how optimistic you are or aren’t about Hamilton, that’s potentially a three-to-five win gap right there, enough to knock the Reds right out of October.
Petriello also dives into the whole “what will Ryan Ludwick provide” topic in the article and he finishes the article with this, and I think we mostly all agree with it:
No matter what, Jocketty needs to find some creativity. As it currently stands, the Reds outfield has fallen from a plus group to a potential anchor in the span of a year, causing a big enough gap that it might single-handedly keep the Reds out of the playoffs in what’s suddenly a very dangerous NL Central.
The article is a good read from the point of view that there is a lot to consider in just how the Reds outfield could work out, so go give it a read.
Dave Cameron has up a real interesting thought process type of article on Fangraphs today revolving around Japanese superstar Masahito Tanaka, his value and the value of prospects in general. With Tanaka looking like he is going to get somewhere around $100-120M over 6 years, Cameron wonders the value of other elite, top level prospects. While no Reds are mentioned, if Tanaka is worth that kind of money, what does it make a guy like Robert Stephenson worth? $80M? More? Less? The whole concept is rather interesting and one that I haven’t understood about baseball for a while, the paying of players for what they have done in the past versus what they are going to do in the future. Unlike most real world jobs, athletes decline much sooner in their production and by the time they reach free agency in their respective sport, almost all are already at the decline point of their careers.