Sunday, September 29, 2002

Sizing up Reds prospects for 2003




        Five players to watch

        • Ken Griffey Jr.: If he's the healthy, 40-homer, 100-RBI, Gold Glove Griffey, the Reds can contend. If he's not, all you have to do is look at the last two years to get the answer.

        • Sean Casey: He clearly was not himself this year. If he returns to driving the ball and hitting in the clutch, it will do wonders for the offense.

        • Danny Graves: The little taste of starting he got at the end of the season showed how good he can be. If he can win 12 to 15 games, he'll solidify the rotation.

        • Scott Williamson: Pitchers coming off Tommy John surgery usually take two years to return to form. If he gets better than he was the second half, he'll be scary good.

        • Adam Dunn: The jury is still out on Dunn. He made the All-Star Game this year, then hit .196 with only 16 RBI the second half.

        Five areas the Reds must improve

        • Clutch hitting: The Reds hit .232 with runners in scoring position. That's awful - dead last in the majors. Need we say more?

        • Fundamentals: The Reds didn't bunt well. Didn't hit and run. And made a ton of base-running mistakes. Little mistakes lead to big losses.

        • Converting saves: Erstwhile closer Danny Graves blew seven saves. He was near the bottom of the NL in that category. Blown saves equal heartbreaking losses.

        • Leadoff: The Reds' projected starting eight doesn't include a prototypical leadoff man. Todd Walker's on-base percentage is up to .350-plus, but he has stolen only eight bases.

        • Beat the good teams: The Reds went 26-52 against the teams with .500-plus records. They were over .500 against only one .500-plus team, taking four of six from Los Angeles.

        Five reasons to be optimistic

        • Austin Kearns: The kid showed he's a terrific hitter and a good defensive player. He should only get better.

        • The minor leagues: The Reds' farm system gave us Scott Williamson in 1999, John Riedling in 2000, Adam Dunn in 2001 and Kearns in 2002. It should produce someone in 2003. Who?

        • The division: The NL Central isn't the AL West. Things drop off significantly after the Cardinals and Astros. The Cubs, Brewers and Pirates make for an easy schedule.

        • Ryan Dempster: The much-maligned trade started looking good after the last three starts. This guy eats innings and has good stuff.

        • Law of averages: The spate of bad luck with injuries has to change eventually, doesn't it? For a second, it sounded like we were talking about Bengals quarterbacks.

       



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- Sizing up Reds prospects for 2003
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Bengals-Bucs by the Numbers
Bengal fans petition for help
Searching store aisles for a QB
Johnson cousins engage in family spat
Levi Jones' Rookie Journal
Mark Curnutte's NFL picks
Miami 48, Akron 31
Ohio State 45, Indiana 17
Florida 41, Kentucky 34
Kalamazoo 27, Mount St. Joseph 13
Wittenberg 31, Thomas More 6
College Football Scores
College Update: From senior stars to freshman hopefuls
Enquirer Power Rankings
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Football scores & game reports
How Enquirer poll teams fared
Ohio Football Scores
Kentucky Football Scores
Indiana Football Scores
Beechwood 24, Simon Kenton 20
CCD 42, Summit Country Day 7
Conner 22, Holmes 18
Edgewood 47, Fenwick 13
Newport 21, Garrard County 18
Purcell Marian 21, Badin 7
Scott 38, Campbell County 13
Woodward 20, Dayton Meadowdale 16
Public league's progress slow but steady
Ryle trying to match Elder with nation's No. 1
Holmes shows no Mercy to Oak Hills
Prep Spotlight on John Dixon
Boys cross country results
Boys golf results
Boys soccer results
Girls cross country results
Girls soccer results
Girls tennis results
Girls volleyball results


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