Oct 9, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds right fielder Jay Bruce (32) hits a single in the first inning against the San Francisco Giants in game three of the 2012 NLDS at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Reds Three Up -- Week of 1/20/13


Leading up to and during the upcoming MLB season, I will be posting a weekly “Reds Three Up” and “Three Down” segments. This stock-watch of sorts will detail three Reds with rising stock and three Reds with declining stock. It will be a nice way to measure what Reds are hot, and which are not.

So, without further ado, here’s the Reds Three Up for the Week of January 20th, 2013

City of Cincinnati

The biggest piece of news from the week was the announcement that Great American Ballpark will host the 2015 MLB All-Star festivities. This will presumably include the Futures game, the Home Run Derby, and, of course, the All-Star game. This will of course mean great things for the city, as you can rest assured that the local economics will see a boost during the influx of visitors. You can bet that I’ll be attempting (and most probably failing) to obtain a ticket to the Home Run Derby. Imagine how many home runs the next guy on the list could hit out in that thing…

Jay Bruce

To me, Jay Bruce represents someone who has yet to have a breakout year. Despite being a 35-homer guy so far in his career, I still think our friendly neighborhood Right Fielder is set to have a breakout season.

Taking a bit of a break from the baseball news world for a bit, I sat down at my parents house last night and flipped on the television. And, in a stroke of luck, Jay Bruce was the first face I saw. As Steve pointed out yesterday, the left handed slugger made his way onto the MLB Network’s “Top Ten Right Fielders Right Now” program. He was listed in “The Shredder’s” list as the number ten Right Fielder in the big leagues right now.

I’d agree with that. Based on his past statistics, he definitely deserves a top spot. However, as I said earlier, I truly believe he’s not had a breakout season just yet. And, likely stealing some of my brain waves, baseball statistical genius Bill James listed Bruce as his number 4 Right Fielder, behind only Jose Bautista, Ben Zobrist, and Jason Heyward.

Now, that’s more like it! A lot of teams choose to focus their efforts on Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips when heading into a series with our Reds. However, they’d be fools to not take note that a true soon-to-be super star is roaming Right Field.

Billy Hamilton

Ah, yes. It seems that Billy Hamilton’s stock will continue to rise until proven otherwise. This week Walt Jocketty announced that the Reds system’s number one prospect will start the season in triple-A Louisville. Hamilton fans hopeful to see him in with the big league club in 2013 are likely jumping for joy right about now. But, not so fast. We’ve seen time and time again that prospects such as Hamilton are only hurt by being rushed through the system too quickly. In fact, if someone in the Reds outfield were to unfortunately go down for an extended period of time, I don’t even think Hamilton will be the first to get the nod to come up. At least, if I were the GM, I wouldn’t be even thinking about calling up the speedster until 2014. But, that’s just my opinion. Only one thing is for certain – the kid can fly. How well that speed will translate into the big leagues is still up in the air. Remember, you’ve got to get to first in order to steal second (and third, in Hamilton’s case).

Check back tomorrow to see what Reds I believe belong on the “Three Down” list.

Tags: Baseball Billy Hamilton Cincinnati Reds Jay Bruce MLB