Sunday, January 15, 2012

Day Four: The All-Region Reds Team


Today marks day four of our series highlighting current MLBers who hail from hometowns located in (or near) Reds country. As we continue our quest to assemble the best 25-man roster possible, we now turn out attention toward the infield.

In case you missed the first few posts in the series, here is some info to help better detail what we're trying to accomplish here:

The main goal in making this squad is to only choose players who come from within the geographical reach of Cincinnati, but without crossing too much into the regions of other MLB franchises (sincere apologies to the Indians, Cardinals, Pirates, Orioles, or Braves if I did).

The following is the general criteria I used when assembling the roster:
**The player(s) must currently be active in the MLB ranks
**The player(s) must have either been born, raised, attended high school or attended a university in any of the following states: Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia, Virginia, or Tennessee.
**The player(s) must demonstrate excellence at their respective position
**The player(s)' age and potential were also taken into consideration

So, without further ado here is what the (somewhat) homegrown Reds infield would look like:

1B

Kevin Youkilis INF Boston Red Sox
Hometown: Cincinnati, OH
College: University of Cincinnati
2011 stats: .258 BA, .373 OBP, 17 HR, 80 RBIs, 120 GP
Career stats (8 years): .289 BA, .391 OBP, .883 OPS, 550 RBIs
*3-time All-Star (2008-09, '11)
*Gold Glove Award (2007)
*3rd in AL MVP voting (2008)
*6th in AL MVP voting (2009)

SS

Clint Barmes INF Pittsburgh Pirates
Hometown: Vincennes, IN
College: Indiana State University
2011 stats: .244 BA, 12 HR, .698 OPS, 39 RBIs
Career stats (9 years): .252 BA, 73 HR, 324 RBIs, .975 FLD%
*8th in NL ROY voting (2005)

2B

Dan Uggla INF Atlanta Braves
Hometown: Louisville, KY
College: University of Memphis
2011 stats: .233 BA, 36 HR, 82 RBIs, .343 OBP
Career stats (6 years): .258 BA, .824 OPS, 190 HR, 547 RBIs
*3-time All-Star (2006, '08, '10)
*3rd in NL ROY voting (2006)
*Silver Slugger Award (2010)

3B

David Wright INF New York Mets
Hometown: Norfolk, VA
2011 stats: .254 BA, .345 OBP, 61 RBIs, 23 2Bs, 102 GP
Career stats (8 years): .300 BA, .887 OPS, 183 HR, 725 RBIs, 151 SBs
*5-time All-Star (2006-10)
*2-time Gold Glover (2007-08)
*2-time Silver Slugger (2007-08)
*4th in NL MVP voting (2007)
*7th in NL MVP voting (2008)

Reserve INF

Todd Helton 1B Colorado Rockies
Hometown: Knoxville, TN
College: University of Tennessee
2011 stats: .302 BA, .385 OBP, 69 RBIs, 27 2Bs
Career stats (15 years): .323 BA, .421 OBP, .971 OPS, 2,363 hits
*5-time All-Star (2000-04)
*2nd in NL ROY voting (1998)
*3-time Gold Glover (2001-02, '04)
*5th in NL MVP voting (2000)
*6-time Top 20 MVP voting finishes

Honorable mentions go to: Detroit's Brandon Inge (Lynchburg, VA), Arizona's Mark Reynolds (Pikeville, KY), Cincinnati's Scott Rolen (Evansville, IN), and Milwaukee's Craig Counsell (South Bend, IN).

This is a pretty impressive infield, no doubt. It features the ability to get on-base and drive in runs with Youkilis, power with Uggla, all-around balance with Wright, a decent-offensive shortstop in Barmes and a future Hall of Famer in Helton on the bench. Plus, Youkilis has the ability to alternate between first and third base if needed.

Group grade: A-

Only more post remains in the All-Region Reds Team series, and that comes tomorrow:

Day One: Starting Rotation
Day Two: Bullpen

Day Three: Outfield
Day Four: Infield
Day Five: Catchers

As always, I'd love to hear your reactions, feedback and/or thoughts on the series, or today's post in particular.

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