With a promotion to the major leagues today, Drew Stubbs is in an enviable win/win position.
If he performs well, he almost certainly sees his gig evolve into a full time one. On the other hand, if he bombs, he still possess more upside than the terrible Willy Taveras of which he replaces.
The 24-year-old from the University of Texas was ranked as the Reds third best prospect by Baseball America prior to the season. In Triple-A this year he hit .268/.353/.360, the lowest slugging percentage of his minors career. The scouting reports on Stubbs are pretty upfront. He needs to cut down on his strikeouts, even if it means taking away some power which should reemerge later, and use his speed to his advantage more often.
Stubbs has seemingly improved on the strikeouts facet. This is the same player who struck our nearly a third of the time in rookie ball fresh out of college, now he’s striking out a quarter of the time in Triple-A. Obviously that’s still quite a bit, but assuming his power comes back more so than it has during this season, he should be fine. The good news is that Stubbs is more than willing to draw a walk as well. In fact, Stubbs has 51 walks this season; Taveras has 54 over the past two seasons.
Defensively Stubbs has spent most of his time in center and figures to man the eight-hole for Cincy as well. Stubbs’ arm and range are above average, so he’s more than just a bat.
Taveras is one of the worst players in baseball this year, so Stubbs should be an upgrade even if he chooses to bat left-handed and stand backwards in center, but the real test will be upon Taveras’ return from the disabled list. Hopefully for Reds fans, Stubbs forces his way into sticking.