I hope the kid is good enough to return to Cincinnati on his own merits soon enough:
Stubbs — the Reds’ 2006 first-round pick in the June First-Year Player Draft — and his family were guests of the club at Great American Ball Park on Saturday. The outfielder toured the facility and met several players in the home clubhouse.
On Friday, he took in the game between the Reds and Cubs with his parents, Rick and Katherine, and his grandfather, Bob Allday.
“Everything is very impressive,” Stubbs said. “It’s something to definitely look forward to as a player when I get here.”
Stubbs, who turns 22 on Oct. 4, signed quickly in June and completed his first pro season this summer with rookie-level Billings. The outfielder’s numbers — a .252 average with four homers, 24 RBIs and 19 steals — weren’t eye-popping, but he still considered it a successful first season.
“Rather than going in with a statistical goal or anything like that, I just wanted to go in and realize that this just a start to my pro career and get my feet wet,” said Stubbs, who selected out of the University of Texas. “You’re not going to make the big leagues in your first summer. I just took it for it was worth and enjoyed myself.”
Hal McCoy also mentioned the visit, with some quotes:
“It was a time of adjustment for me,” he said. “Coming out of college, playing three or four games a week, to playing every day. And switching from aluminum bats to wood bats, adjusting to that, that’s what I took away from this season.”
Stubbs, a speedy defensive outfielder, stole 19 bases, hit six homers and drove in 24 runs.
“I was able to cope with my first year of pro ball and took away a lot from that,” he said. “I heard so many stories about pro ball from guys I played with in college, so I had a pretty good idea of what it would be like, and they gave me a pretty accurate description of what it was like.”
Of his first year’s performance, Stubbs said, “I had to adjust to the grind of playing every day. I know the first couple of weeks it was rough, and you could feel the toll being put on your body. But you could feel the adaptation as the year went on.”
Also, note this:
Stubbs was scheduled to leave for Sarasota, Fla., today to attend the instructional league for a month.
“I’ll get more at-bats and work more on my hitting than defense,” he said. “Just a time to get more experience and more at-bats.”
Hope he puts in a lot of time in the instructional league. I’m disappointed in Stubbs’ first pro season, but he has a boatload of talent, and I remain hopeful about his prospects.