Sunday, February 11, 2001

Outfield outlook




        This might be a fascinating group to watch. Everybody's good, yet it would behoove everybody to get better.

        Center fielder Ken Griffey Jr.'s performance was relatively subpar last year, though his numbers would have made most players envious. His spring objective is to propel himself toward what many expect will be a huge season. Not having to experience the media circus that he endured last year should help.

        Dmitri Young is the left fielder, though Reds decision-makers might get second thoughts if he lags and Michael Tucker and Alex Ochoa excel. Close to elevating himself into a higher echelon of hitters and aware of his teammates' talent, Young isn't likely to get stale.

        Manager Bob Boone said he doesn't want the Tucker-Ochoa derby in right field to become a platoon. If Boone sticks to that, this will be the most spirited competition in camp.

        Michael Coleman, who came from Boston in the Chris Stynes trade, appears to have the edge for the fifth and final outfield spot, though Brady Clark will mount a serious challenge.

       



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- Outfield outlook
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