Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Redding/Quintero Trade Analysis and Player Reports

This is a nice little low risk, moderate reward kind of deal. The Astros are really thin at catcher after trading John Buck to the Royals in the Beltran deal. They're still shackling themselves to Brad Ausmus, much to the relief of their division rivals. Meanwhile, the Padres have the very serviceable Ramon Hernandez.

Quintero is more prospecty of the two, so we'll tackle him first.

Humberto Quintero, C, Houston Astros
Signed as an Undrafted Free Agent, 1997, Venezuela
Bats R/Throws R
25 YO, 5'10", 200 lbs

Quintero is a backup catcher straight out of central casting. He's outstanding defensively with great footwork, outstanding hands, good technique, and a howitzer for an arm. He's also a below average bat with the ability to put the ball in play, but rarely hit it with any authority.

2004 Portland: .317/.348/.471, 25 2B, 5 HR, 8 BB, 18 K, 259 AB
2004 San Diego: .250/.295/.375, 3 2B, 2 HR, 5 BB, 16 K, 72 AB
mL Career: .268/.314/.342, 96 2B, 8 3B, 10 HR, 88 BB, 218 K, 1927 AB

He's hit pretty well in the PCL the last couple years, but he still demonstrated very little power and absolutely no ability to draw a walk. At the plate, the vast majority of his value is in batting average, so if he doesn't hit .280, he's a crippling liability to the lineup. Still, the Astros are used to carrying around an offensive millstone at catcher, so they're not likely to really know what they're missing.

In a way, Quintero is to Ausmus as Yadier Molina is to Mike Matheney. Quintero has the same strengths and weaknesses as his veteran counterpart. He's likely to have a similar career, being a baserunner's worst nightmare while posing little threat to opposing pitchers.

ETA: Early 2005
2 1/2 Stars

Tim Redding, RHP, San Diego Padres
Drafted 610th Overall (20th Rd), 1997, Monroe Community College
Bats R/Throws R
27 YO, 6'0", 200 lbs

For analysis purposes, we'll treat Redding like a prospect and do a full report. It's been a long, long time since Redding broke out in 2000.

2004 New Orleans: 6.04 ERA, 26 K, 12 BB, 30 H, 2 HR, 28 IP
2004 Houston: 5.72 ERA, 56 K, 43 BB, 125 H, 15 HR, 100 IP
mL Career: 3.79 ERA, 665 K, 274 BB, 420 H, 8 HR, 554 IP
MLB Career: 4.75 ERA, 290 K, 167 BB, 444 H, 52 HR, 405 IP

He still throws a low 90's fastball with a couple of breaking pitches, and can be very effective when he's on. However, he hasn't been on his game very often of late and he needed a change of scenery in the worst way. His command is completely shot. He isn't missing bats like he once did. And when batters get a hold of one, it goes over the fence pretty regularly.

One thing I don't tend to have the advantage of is conclusive sample sizes. That certainly isn't the case here, with almost 1000 professional innings. Some of those numbers stand out. In particular, there's the difference in home run rates between the minors and with Houston. That's misleading though since Redding has spent an inordinate amount of time in New Orleans, as well as the Florida State League while his time in the big leagues has been exclusively with Houston, who everybody knows plays in a park with cozy dimensions.

Everything about Redding's numbers has shown a steep decline. The last good year he had was his 2003 campaign in Houston, where he posted a strong ERA, but pedestrian peripherals. His walk rate was better than in any other, but his strikeout rate was an anemic 5.93 per 9 innings.

For now, I'm going to come to the conclusion that Redding is a live arm and little else. I don't know if the problems he's experienced are a result of an injury or a mechanical flaw. I also don't know if the Padres will be able to figure it out. If they do, they could end up with a nice pitcher. It's worth a shot when all you're giving up is an all-leather, no-lumber catcher.

2 Stars

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