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I am a freelance writer. I've covered the Cincinnati Reds, Bengals and others since 1992. I have a background in sales as well. I've sold consumer electronics, advertising and consumer package goods for companies ranging from the now defunct Circuit City to Procter&Gamble. I have worked as a stats operator for Xavier University, the University of Cincinnati, the College of Mount St. Joe and Colerain High School.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Young Players Impress Baker in Camp

Didi Gregorius, Donald Lutz and Henry Rodriguez have been impressive in spring training this season.  None of the aforementioned will make the club out of spring training but as Dusty Baker likes to say, "They are knocking on the door."

Lutz, who played hockey in Germany until he was 15, has hit well....318 with two home runs and eight RBI, tied with Todd Frazier for the most in camp. Lutz made two very nice plays against Colorado Friday night.  He robbed Carlos Gonzalez with a leaping catch and threw Chad Tracy out at home plate to end the game."

"Not only did he make a nice throw but he made a couple nice plays out there.  He's a kid right out of A ball.  He's been working his butt off," Baker said.  "

"Didi and Henry Rodriguez have been impressive too.  They've been playing a lot.  We want to see what they can do," Baker said.

Gregorius, who speaks four languages, has a very strong arm.  He has come up with some exceptional plays in the field.  He has speed and surprising power.  Gregorius is hitting .250 with a double and a triple.

"He pays attention and asks good questions," Baker said.

Barry Larkin has been working with Gregorius for three years.  "He has a very high baseball IQ," Larkin said.

Henry Rodriguez has played secondbase al lot late in games.  He has been perfect in the field.  The 22-year old undrafted free agent has been in the Reds system for five years.  Rodriguez spent his first two season in the Venezuelan Rookie League and Dominican Rookie League.  He hit .322 with the Gulf Coast League Reds in 2009.  At Dayton in 2010 he hit .307 with 14 home runs and 78 RBI.  The Reds sent him to Lynchburg at the end of the season.  He hit .340 with eight home runs for Lynchburg last season, then .302 with five home runs for Carolina after a mid season promotion.

"We want them to go where they're going with confidence," Baker said. "I've done this ever since I've been manager. You hope they don't get big league-itis and start acting different, which I've warned them not to do."

"This is a great opportunity for these young guys plus they're saving my veterans," Baker said.

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