Our friend JD at Red Reporter had a very interesting question and answer session with minor league guru John Sickels this afternoon. Lots of good stuff, so go read it all, but I thought this comment about Joey Votto was notable:

Let’s see….Votto is a strong guy, has good plate discipline, but a somewhat levelish swing….sounds like Sean Casey, doesn’t it?

Take Sean Casey, add a few homers and reduce a bit of batting average due to higher strikeout rate.

Remember Votto is only 21 and still has a lot of development time ahead of him.

by John Sickels on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 01:35:17 PM EST

And then there was this about Ty Howington, Bobby Basham, and Chris Gruler:

Frankly I will be surprised if Howington and Basham ever make it. Gruler still has a fair chance, but even that is iffy. Shoulder stuff is still the kiss of career death far too often.

by John Sickels on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 01:52:10 PM EST

Finally, here’s a note on Felipe Lopez, in response to this question: “What is the fascination with marginal veterans? The red and D-rays do this a lot. Play a bad veteran rather than give their young guy’s a shot. That being said what do you think Lopez’s future holds as far as a hitter and defensively?”

Marginal veterans provide psychological solice (sic) to managers and GMs. Better to slot the proven veteran in, than give the rookie a chance…the thinking is that you know what you’re getting with the vet…”he may be a .260 hitter with marginal skills, but everyone knows that I won’t lose my job for making this decision. But if I play Joe Schmoe from Triple-A, if he goes 1-for-30 everyone will call for my head” thinks the manager.

Lopez…he’s still young enough to improve. It wouldnt’ surprsie me to see him hit .300 one of these years, just in time to earn a big contact, then go back to his .250 ways.

by John Sickels on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 02:27:02 PM EST

Good stuff. Go check out the entire session.