Walt Jocketty was out in Arizona and took in some Arizona Fall League action and got a good look at outfielder Jesse Winker. Winker, the teams top position prospect is crushing the ball in the AFL. He’s currently 2nd in average, 2nd in on-base percentage and leading the league in both slugging and in OPS (he has a 70 point lead of the player in second). He has nearly as many walks as he has strikeouts and is pretty much just doing everything you can ask for from an hitter.

So, what did the Reds general manager have to say about the top positional prospect in the organization? Well, we only have one quote from the article, but here it is:

(He) is quite a ways away.

It seems that despite us talking about possibly just going with Winker to start the 2015 season instead of signing a free agent to a multiple year deal and possibly blocking several outfield prospects that they do have in the upper minor leagues, that Walt Jocketty isn’t even considering it. While I can understand that perspective given his lack of Triple-A experience or much Double-A experience, but if we combine his Double-A time with his AFL time he has 166 plate appearancesĀ  above that Advanced-A level.

Perhaps Walt and I have a different idea of what “a ways away” is. To me, if I say that, I am talking two years or more. I’d be flat out shocked if it took Winker that long to be ready for the big leagues. I think at worst, barring an injury, he would be ready to be an average big league bat by July. He just does everything at the plate that you want to see a hitter do. He doesn’t expand the zone, swings at strikes, uses the entire field, hits for power. He’s the complete package at the plate.

Maybe this is just “GM talk” to keep potential free agent signings from not wanting to come in because the team has plans soon for a top prospect. Or perhaps it is just a situation where “a ways away” means something different to me, you and Walt Jocketty.

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