GOODYEAR GREETINGS ON A MONDAY

Between the weather and the schedule, it’s been touch-and-go lately as far as blog posts.  For that, I apologize.  I promise to keep BOR purring like a kitten from here on out.

Today is an off day for the Major League team.  Everyone except for Mike Leake and Aroldis Chapman is enjoying some R-n-R.  Leake and Chapman were on one of the back fields at the Reds complex this morning participating in a Pensacola vs. Louisville game.  Each threw 3.0 scoreless innings (47 pitches for Chapman, 46 pitches for Leake).

Here are some photos…

Obviously, the Chapman topic has been a hot one this spring and lends itself to an  interesting “debate.”

I think what gets lost in the argument is that, one way or the other, Chapman is only going to help make this team a formidable contender.

Oh how far this organization has come…

I remember some Springs when the Reds knew who’d be their #1 starter (usually a #5 on most teams) and then throw darts to choose who’d fill out the rotation.  Now we’re discussing whether one of the best arms in the game will crack the rotation or slam the door in the 9th.  Please excuse my toothy grin.

…..

While watching the Reds/White Sox game in Glendale on Sunday, I saw Todd Frazier square it up 3 times against Major League pitching.  He hit a rocket to center in his first at-bat then followed it up by belting a straight-away home run in his second time up.  In his third at-bat, Frazier yanked one down the line for a double.  The baseball must have looked like a pumpkin to him in Glendale because he was putting some very good swings on the ball.

I think something that gets lost in the Frazier scouting report is how much power he has; I’d go as far as to say it’s “no-doubt power.”

Following yesterday’s game in Glendale, I returned to my hotel to watch some of the World Baseball Classic game between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

Our old friend Edwin Encarnacion was playing for the Dominican team and he made me think of Frazier.  Even though Encarnacion had 325 big league games in by the time he was 25, whereas Frazier was just getting started, I see a lot of similarities between the two.

Both were highly touted players who needed a little extra time in putting their Major League careers in gear.  Both don’t seem to have the most orthodox swings in the game and both have spent a long time finding their position on the field.  Not a whole lot of science in that comparison, I know – it’s just based on my perception of the two players.

Encaranacion, for one reason or another, played in just 181 games between 2009 and 2010.  In 2011, at the age of 28, he played in 134 games with the Blue Jays and amassed a .272avg/.334obp/.453slg stat line, with 17 homers and 55 RBI.  Frazier’s stat line last year, at the age of 26 was .273avg/.331obp/.498slg with 19 homers and 67 RBI.

In 2012, Encarnacion exploded with 42 homers and 110 RBIs while hitting .280 with a .384 on-base pct and a .557 slugging mark.  That’s extraordinary, and not something I would expect Frazier to duplicate.  However, as Encarnacion has showed, it’s not impossible, especially taking Frazier’s power into consideration.

I, like the rest of you, would love to see the ToddFather have a 2013 like EE had last season.

…..

That’s all I’ve got for now.  I’ll have more in a bit.

Expect good news!

Jamie

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