Saturday, January 14, 2012

Day Three: The Reds All-Region Team



Today marks day three 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 the guys who roam the vast, green pasture known as the outfield.

In case you missed the first two days of 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 outfield would look like:


LF


Corey Hart OF Milwaukee Brewers
Hometown: Bowling Green, KY
2011 stats: .285 BA, .356 OBP, 26 HR, 80 RS, 63 RBIs
Career stats (8 years): .277 BA, .821 OPS, 124 HR, 78 SBs, 425 RBIs
*2-time All-Star (2008, '10)

CF

Nick Swisher OF New York Yankees
Hometown: Columbus, OH
College: Ohio State University
2011 stats: .260 BA, .374 OBP, 23 HR, 85 RBIs
Career stats (8 years): .254 BA, .826 OPS, 185 HR, 580 RBIs
*All-Star (2010)
*6th in AL ROY voting (2005)

RF

Justin Upton OF Arizona Diamondbacks
Hometown: Norfolk, VA
2011 stats: .289 BA, .369 OBP, 31 HR, 88 RBIs, 21 SBs, 39 2Bs
Career stats (5 years): .277 BA, .845 OPS, 91 HR, 296 RBIs, .357 OBP
*2-time All-Star (2009, '11)
*Silver Slugger Award (2011)
*4th in NL MVP voting (2011)

Reserve OF

Michael Cuddyer OF Colorado Rockies
Hometown: Norfolk, VA
2011 stats: .284 BA, .356 OBP, 20 HR, 70 RBIs, 70 RS
Career stats (11 years): .272 BA, .794 OPS, 141 HR, 580 RBIs
*All-Star (2011)


Honorable mentions go to: Tampa Bay's B.J. Upton (Norfolk, VA), San Francisco's Aubrey Huff (Marion, OH), and Toronto's Adam Lind (Anderson, IN).

While this would certainly be an outstanding outfield group by any measure, it lacks boasting that elite superstar -- at least right now. With that said, Upton could very well emerge as a superstar among the league within the next couple years, while the likes of Hart, Swisher and Cuddyer all represent All-Star caliber players themselves. Collectively, they would likely rank among the top three outfields in MLB.

Group grade: B+

Here's the remaining schedule for the All-Region Reds Team series:

Day One: Starting Rotation
Day Two: Bullpen

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

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