Yonder Alonso is a promising young hitter and the top-rated prospect in the Cincinnati Reds organization. The problem is he doesn’t really have a good spot to play.
Alonso, a first baseman by trade, is blocked by Reds All-Star Joey Votto, who is the reigning NL MVP and at 27, only three years older than Alonso.
So what do the Reds do with Alonso? They’ve tried him in left field, and things haven’t been all that stellar.
They’ve also given him reps at third, and while he claims that third base “was my position growing up,” it seems unlikely to be a legitimate option if he can’t even play the outfield.
One other possibility is to have Votto switch positions, and while the Reds have not asked their star about playing the outfield, John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer asked him what he thought about the idea. Here’s his response:
“I think I’m a pretty good first baseman,” Votto said. “And I think one the best attributes as a team is infield defense. We have four very good — and obviously at second and third — great defenders.”
So apparently Votto isn’t excited about the idea, and I can’t say that I blame him. Frankly, I’m a little bit surprised the Reds didn’t deal Alonso to a light-hitting, pitching-heavy team like Seattle or Oakland before the trade deadline, and I imagine they would have had they not faded in the NL Central in the last couple weeks of July.
We still might see a trade in the offseason, though. Who knows, with the cries of financial woes in Cincinnati, perhaps it will be Votto – not Alonso – who is sent packing.