Sunday, December 10, 2000

Reds move Espinoza to 2B

By Chris Haft
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        DALLAS — Reflecting the Reds' pleasant glut of skilled shortstops, No.1 draft choice David Espinosa has switched to second base.

        Farm director Tim Naehring said Espinosa, who once chirped happily about his dreams of succeeding Barry Larkin, “actually looked very comfortable” at second base during the instructional league. Some experts even claimed before the draft Espinosa, 19, might be better off professionally as a second baseman or center fielder.

        Common sense dictated the Reds' decision. Larkin is signed through 2003. Gookie Dawkins, another possible heir apparent, is only 21. Two-time Gold Glove second baseman Pokey Reese might actually be better at shortstop. Wilmy Caceres and Ranier Olmedo, who sparkled this year at Double-A Chattanooga and Single-A Dayton, respectively, happen to be shortstops.

        “We all feel like second base is going to be an adjustment for him,” Naehring said. “But he's young. He might as well start now. At first, he questioned why, but once he found out that it was to help his progress through our minor-league system, he was fine with it.”


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