The Chattanooga Lookouts are throwing out a real strong starting outfield nearly every night. The combination of Shaun Cumberland, Sean Henry and Danny Dorn are leading the Lookouts offense. The three outfielders are all sporting an OPS over .830 with Shaun Cumberland leading them with an .896 OPS.
Shaun Cumberland (right) has split his time in center and in right, but he has the tools to play center field at the next level. He was acquired in the deal with Jorge Cantu late last year from Tampa Bay. He has always been a toolsy type guy but this is the first year he has really put it together. The biggest improvement in his game has been his ability to increase his walk rate dramatically while cutting down his strikeout rate. Last year he walked in less than 8% of his plate appearances while striking out over 17% of the time. This year he is walking in 13.4% of his plate appearances and striking out just 14.4% of the time. He is hitting for average and for power (.174 isolated power – SLG minus Average).
Danny Dorn (left), like Cumberland spent about a month of last year in Chattanooga and is returning this year. He got off to a slow start in April, with an OPS under .700 before heading to the DL with 18 stitches in his leg after a sliding catch led to cutting his leg open. Since his return he has done what he has done since being drafted in 2006, hit. The left fielder is hitting .284/.373/.532 for a .905 OPS since his return from the DL. He does struggle against lefties though, which could lead to him being part of a platoon in the majors.
Sean Henry (right) has spent his time in left field for most of the year, splitting time with Dorn and at the DH spot. He comes in a bit undersized at 5’9″ and 180 pounds but the guy gets the most out of what he has and does a good job at it. He began the season off in Sarasota but made his way to Chattanooga quickly and has hit .300/.368/.464 for the Lookouts. He walks a little less than the other two guys do, but he is a year younger than they are as well. He has surprisingly good power for someone with his size (.164 isolated power) and he has good speed.
With Griffey and Dunn’s status next year in limbo given their contracts, the Reds could really use someone to step in, maybe even two players to step in next year in the outfield from their system. With all due respect to the outfielders in AAA, I think the Reds best chances of having that happen will come from the current crop roaming the outfield grass in Chattanooga.
All photos by Tim Evearitt of The Chattanoogan