Say this for Jason LaRue, the Reds' catcher of the future: He sets an inviting target for pitchers. In 35 games last season he caught three one-hitters and four shutouts. A fifth-round draft pick of Cincinnati's in 1995, the 26-year-old defensive whiz will get more playing time this season, even though starter Eddie Taubensee had a career year in 1999 (.311 average and 21 home runs). "Eddie had a good year last year because we didn't overwork him," says Jack McKeon, who nonetheless is concerned by Taubensee's 14.9% success rate at throwing out base stealers in 1999. By contrast, LaRue gunned down 43.5% of the runners attempting to steal. Though LaRue only hit .211 in 90 at bats with Cincinnati, the Reds believe the batting title he won in the Double A Southern League two years ago is a better indicator of his potential at the plate. Says McKeon, "In time he'll be a Number I guy."