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Will the Reds have room for Alonso and Votto?

Mar 1, 2010, 12:48 PM EDT

Yonder Alonso was the seventh overall pick in the 2008 draft and has since emerged as Cincinnati’s best prospect by hitting .293/.378/.459 in the minors, but now that he’s nearing the majors the Reds are starting to wonder where they’ll eventually play him.
Alonso has been exclusively a first baseman in the minors, but the Reds already have 26-year-old Joey Votto there and he just hit .312 with 25 homers and a .981 OPS last season. They could move Votto to left field, where he saw some sporadic action in the minors, but his glove figures to be mediocre at best out there compared to very good at first base.
“Joey is going to be at first base for a long time,” general manager Walt Jocketty told Mark Sheldon of MLB.com. “I don’t see moving Joey.” Instead the Reds are toying with the idea of having Alonso switch positions, giving him reps in left field and right field in addition to third base and even catcher.
“I’m doing everything and they’re trying everything so I can go up there,” Alonso said. “It doesn’t matter where I play as long as I play.” He definitely has the right attitude, but probably doesn’t have the necessarily skills to make it a reality, as Baseball America‘s latest scouting report says Alonso’s “limited range would be a liability” away from first base.
It doesn’t make much sense for the Reds to move their best player away from a position he thrives at and so far at least Alonso’s production at the plate hasn’t stood out nearly enough to warrant making him a defensive liability at a new position in order to get his bat into the lineup. All of which seemingly adds up to a trade, but with Alonso likely ticketed for Double-A and Triple-A this year the Reds have a bit more time to sort things out.

  1. Phil - Mar 1, 2010 at 1:16 PM

    It seems the Reds are pretty good identifying future DH types (see Dunn, Adam) but are not so good at flipping them to the AL for something useful for an NL team. I hope Walt means what he says about Joey, because I can see him becoming the most valuable 1B in the NL after that guy in St Louis. The problem is that they might not be able to get maximum value for Alonso unless he gets some significant playing time with the big club. (OTOH, that’s a two-edged sword. If he gets that time in Cincy and doesn’t produce, he just becomes a PTBNL.)

  2. Thenaturalmevs - Mar 1, 2010 at 1:26 PM

    This is silly as of now, and guys like Jocketty know that. Alonso would have to be a bonafide big league stud to have them think about moving Joey Votto, who is a legitimate producer at the ML level already.
    Alonso should be able to flat out rake enough to put up insane numbers at the ML level but you never know how a guy translates until he does.
    If the Reds get into a pennant race in the next two years, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them deal a guy like Alonso for the best arm available to try and put their run over the top.

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