From the Louisville Courier Journal:
- Ã¢â‚¬Å“It’s going to be fun,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Sweet, who guided the team to 84 victories last year and 88 in 2008. Ã¢â‚¬Å“In the six years I’ve been here this will probably be the youngest club but it also will be the most talented. Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ Scouts around baseball all they care about is how fast they can run, how hard they can throw. We’re going to have a scout’s dream this year. We’re going to have tremendous players.Ã¢â‚¬Â
This is going to be the youngest and most talented team in Louisville since the Reds moved their AAA team there, IMO.
- One of those talented players could eventually be Aroldis Chapman, the $30-million man. Shockingly, Cincinnati won a bidding war for the services of the hard-throwing, left-handed Cuban. Even Sweet said he was stunned. He expects Chapman to start in Double-A Carolina, but the 21-year-old could move through the system quickly. That would mean a stop in Louisville this summer.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We don’t know where he’s going to start,Ã¢â‚¬Â Sweet said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We’ll get him into spring training and see where he’s at. He could start anywhere from A ball to Triple A. He could come into camp and start blowing them away and start in the big leagues. It will all be determined by how many strikes he throws.Ã¢â‚¬Â
If it were me, I’d start Chapman in High A, let him have a month or 6 weeks of success there, then move him to AA. That could get him to AAA (if he fast tracks) by the end of the season.
- The Bats should have a strong lineup with top prospects like Yonder Alonso, Juan Francisco, Chris Heisey, Todd Frazier and Chris Valaika. Two players to watch could be Alonso and Francisco, who both joined the team late last year. Alonso played only in the first round of the playoffs; Francisco played in 22 games.
Francisco had five home runs and 22 RBIs with 55 total bases in those games. Injuries limited Alonso to 84 games while playing for Single-A Sarasota (.303 batting average with seven home runs and 38 RBIs in 49 games) and Carolina (.287, two home runs and 14 RBIs in 29 games). He also played six rehabilitation games in the Gulf Coast League because of a broken bone in his right hand. Much is expected from the 2008 first-round draft choice.
There could be some position changes. Sweet said Frazier and Francisco might move to the outfield and Valaika could switch from shortstop to second base. Sweet said these changes are necessary in order to give the prospects the best opportunity to play in the majors.
My guess at the Bats lineup? C – Corky Miller 1B – Dorn, Frazier AlonsoÃ‚Â 2B – Valaika SS – Cozart 3B – Frazier, Francisco LF – Frazier, Francisco CF – Heisey RF – J. Anderson Dorn
But this depends…that RF spot could be Nix or Gomes or someone that falls from the Reds roster. Looks like a lineup that can put up some runs though.