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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.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Young Reds Prospects Pay Attention

Dusty Baker can spot talent.

"I can pretty much see an athlete run or walk and can tell what position he plays," Baker said.

There are athletes every where.

"When you get here( major league camp) everybody's an athlete.  They were all probably the best player on their team, in their neighborhood.  I also look at baseball I.Q."

The Reds traded six young players to get two pitchers this winter.  Yonder Alonso, Yasmani Grandal, Brad Boxberger went to San Diego for Mat Latos.   Travis Wood, Dave Sappelt and Ronald Torreyes were traded for Sean Marshall.

The Reds have youth left that will make Reds fans forget the sacrifice the team made this winter.

Didi Gregorius, Donald Lutz and Neftali Soto are on the fast track.  All were added to the 40-man roster to protect them from the envious eyes of the other teams.

"I've seen a lot of kids with physical skills but Gregorius watches movements, he pays attention.  I see him and Lutz at the end of the bench.  I tell all the players, don't be messing around during the game.  Pay attention, learn, ask questions.  Those two guys more than any other kid, maybe Soto too but he's quieter.  They're talking baseball during games and picking up on things.  Everybody here was a star where they came from but to get to the next level, you have to be smarter or at least have the ability to think on your feet."

Gregorius was born in Amsterdam but grew up in Curacao in the Caribean, a Dutch protectorate island near Venezuela.  Gregorius speaks, English, Spanish, Dutch and Papiamento.  Lutz was born in Watertown, New York but lives in Germany with his mother.  He didn't start playing baseball until he was 15 a scant eight years ago.  Soto, 23,  has been in the Reds system for five seasons.  He is a firstbaseman and was one reason the Reds were willing to trade Alonso.

"You can tell them something and doesn't always have that comeback, or answer," Baker said.

"Lutz and Gregorius hang out together," Baker said.  "I'm really impressed with him. He hasn't played a lot but he's better than some that have played a lot.  He's still raw but he's coming very quickly.  He works hard.  I told him he's got a little bit of love handles.  He told me he's working on that.  He's a lot lighter than he was before.  He's taking care of himself.  He asks good questions.  I gave him a couple things to read and study.  He also speaks a couple languages.

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