On Tuesday night, I was in the press box with the Bats here in Louisville and I had the chance to talk with Delino DeShields and Jesse Winker.

One of the things I’ve noticed in watching minor league players and talking to people around the organization is that the most interesting players are those who impress the old school and the new school guys. It lets you know that they have several — and varying — positive aspects of their game. I asked DeShields (who wouldn’t shy away from the old-school label) what he’s seen this year that impressed him.

He highlighted three players. The first was Phillip Ervin. Ervin has long had excellent plate discipline, but has dealt with some of the same power-sapping injuries as Jesse Winker. He’ll turn 25 in a few months and is getting long in the tooth for a prospect. However, the power has shown up at the beginning of this year so far and he’s clearly drawing positive reviews from everyone at this point.

Sebastian Elizalde was another player DeShields mentioned. Elizalde was a Mexican League pickup by the Reds several years ago and is a bit of an enigma, but he does seem to be able to hit in the purest sense of the word. His ceiling is probably a 4th outfielder-type.

Tony Renda. Everyone loves Tony Renda. Everyone. He’s jumped out to a .325/.391/.475 line at the start of the AAA season. Of course, he saw some time in Cincy last year and it would be surprising if he didn’t see any MLB time this year. He’s probably the first call up if a bench player is injured.

I also spoke briefly to Jesse Winker about his short stint with the Reds. This was his first game back in Louisville. Here’s some of what he had to say: “It was a great experience for me… I got my first hit out of the way. I got a lot of firsts out of the way… I know by my second at-bat a lot of the butterflies were gone, and now I know when I go back up there, it’s just strictly business.”

Winker does have a reputation for being emotionally steady, which is something that can bother some people, but is probably an asset when faced with your first opportunity to play in the majors.

I’ll try to do these kinds of updates periodically throughout the year. There are certainly people who know more about this stuff than me and we probably ought to listen to them at least sometimes.

6 Responses

  1. sultanofswaff

    Did you get a chance to ask DeShields why Winker and Ervin never bat in the top 3 of the lineup? LOL

    • Jason Linden

      He would say it’s just because in the majors, they’d eventually figure to be 3-4-5 type hitters, which is probably true.

      • Jason Linden

        I think he has a different view of what developing means. Baseball players are human and like it or not, they ascribe different ability sets and different amounts of pressure to different spots in the order. 7th is low pressure, which is why Winker hit there when he was coming back from and injury. 3-5 are “run producer” slots. I don’t necessarily agree with it, but I more thought goes into it than you give him credit for.

      • Nick Carrington

        Unfair to say that Patrick doesn’t think DeShield is giving it thought. Patrick is saying he is thinking about it incorrectly from a developmental standpoint and that’s a reasonable argument. You can disagree and believe that the fewer ABs are offset by some mental preparation and development of batting Winker where DeShields thinks he will bat in the majors. I don’t buy that, but I think that’s the opposing viewpoints as I see them.

  2. Scott Carter

    Maybe Reds need to send Alcantara down to help Louisville with infield.

    • The Duke

      Waive Alcantara and bring either Tony Renda or Juan Perez on the 40 man and call them up. Apparently hitting and defense aren’t among the tools the “toolsy” Alcantara posseses.