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This blog was born out of a Dynasty Rankings thread originally begun in October, 2006 at the Footballguys.com message boards. The rankings in that thread and the ensuing wall-to-wall discussion of player values and dynasty league strategy took on a life of its own at over 275 pages and 700,000 page views. The result is what you see in the sidebar under "Updated Positional Rankings": a comprehensive ranking of dynasty league fantasy football players by position on a tiered, weighted scale. In the tradition of the original footballguys.com Dynasty Rankings thread, intelligent debate is welcome and encouraged.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Baseball | Gammons: Youth Gives Reds Hope

Reds hype now going national. Brand spankin' new article from Peter Gammons (subscription required) on the Reds' young talent:

Youth gives Reds hope in '08

Think about where the Reds were two years ago in terms of pitching, and now they have Aaron Harang and his 32 wins and 434 strikeouts the last two years, as well as Bronson Arroyo. But one of the best storylines in western Florida has been the springs of Johnny Cueto and Edinson Volquez.

"We're at the point where we could have two of the better young power arms in baseball in Cueto and Volquez," says Dusty Baker. "Cueto is special -- three or four pitches, a real presence, great stuff. Volquez [acquired for Josh Hamilton] is really good, too. And in his last couple of outings, Homer Bailey has started throwing a lot better. By going out and getting [Francisco] Cordero, we've got the makings of a pretty good staff. With our offense, we can be dangerous."

Cincinnati has been the consensus sleeper in the NL Central behind favorites Chicago and Milwaukee. The Cubs are still trying to address center field and Brian Roberts issues. After losing Chris Capuano to Tommy John surgery, the Brewers' depth isn't what it appeared to be, and scouts say Eric Gagne has yet to throw as well as he did last season.

"At least now we have some depth in our rotation," says Reds GM Wayne Krivsky.

There are still decisions to be made. The first is between Joey Votto and Scott Hatteberg at first base. The second is in center field, between Corey Patterson, Norris Hopper and Ryan Freel.

Baker has already struggled managing Patterson and his career .298 on-base percentage, but wants his defense between Junior Griffey and Adam Dunn. But Dusty sees Patterson maturing as a player.

"Corey seems to be better taking some pitches, trying to get on base, and he's starting to bunt and go the other way," says Baker. Hot prospect Jay Bruce isn't coming through that door for awhile, so maybe they got Patterson at the right time.

Krivsky was hired as GM right before spring training two years ago, but has done an outstanding, underappreciated job with scouting and development. If Cueto, Volquez and even Bailey -- who had fallen in the eyes of many baseball people -- all come on this season, the Reds will be in the best position they've enjoyed in years.


mark said...

If Volquez doesn't win 10 games this year, then he will be considered a bust. Since he was so highly thought after to trade away the "Natural" for him. So what was the Reds thought process in this trade? I mean to say you had the phenom of Jay Bruce ready to step in and fill his shoes, was sort of an understatement since he will not even be on the opening day roster. We will have to wait and see though, since the Reds may have lucked into an everyday starting centerfielder who may finally live up to the high expectations that lingered over his head in his early years.

Chris Wesseling said...

Is this Mark Kahny?

Check out my original article from the Hamilton/Volquez trade. It has a lot of background on Reds' thinking, evaluation of Volquez, etc.


Jay Bruce is almost certainly going to be a long-term RF in the pros, but he might get some time early in his career in CF. I think one of the prime reasons the Reds traded Hamilton was b/c they didn't see him as a true CF . . . at least not one who could stay healthy while covering that much ground and giving up his body. Time will tell on that one.

I take it your last sentence was about Corey Patterson? If so, you're right that he was once arguably the best prospect in baseball and still has all the tools. He's cut down on his K's the last couple of years, but he's also lost a lot of power and remains one of the worst lead-off candidates around as far as getting on base goes. Maybe he'll finally put it all together for a year. We can hope.