Cincinnati Reds Cactus League: Is Anyone Watching Outfielder Dave Sappelt?

Cliff Eastham@RedsToTheBoneSenior Writer IIMarch 9, 2011

Dave Sappelt
Dave SappeltNorm Hall/Getty Images

Everyone knows the Reds have a vault of young talent.

Everybody knows about Joey Votto, Drew Stubbs, Jay Bruce and Aroldis Chapman. Most have heard about Chris Heisey , Mike Leake, Travis Wood, Devin Mesoraco, Juan Francisco, Yonder Alonso, Todd Frazier and Chris Valaika.

Here comes a serious question: Have you ever heard of center fielder Dave Sappelt?

I had not before this spring training.

He is currently leading the Reds in home runs, RBI, hits and total bases. Among players with more than three at-bats, he also leads in batting average and slugging percentage.

I realize this is just the first couple of weeks of spring training, but I am getting excited about the young man. I was watching FoxSports Ohio the other day and saw his long home run against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Am I saying he is going to beat out Stubbs for his job? No.

He will not even beat out Jonny Gomes for the left field post. It is predestined that he will be a starting outfielder for the Louisville Bats on opening day.

I must say, he certainly is exciting to watch.

In 15 ABs, he has scored four runs and tallied eight hits, two HRs and four RBI with a BA and OBP of .533 and a .933 SLG. It is a microscopic sampling, but it is clearly a man taking advantage of his opportunity.

If he were miraculously to make the squad, he would probably be the sixth outfielder on the depth chart, probably behind Bruce, Stubbs, Gomes, Fred Lewis and Heisey.

It is amazing to see all of the talent that the Reds organization has grown on the farm. They have a super abundance of young talent meshed with veterans like Scott Rolen, Miguel Cairo, Gomes, Ramon Hernandez, Lewis, Bronson Arroyo, Coco Cordero, Brandon Phillips and the newest arrival, Edgar Renteria.

Notice is hereby served to the rest of the National League’s Central Division: The Reds are back with a mission—to REPEAT.