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rdiersin
04-12-2006, 12:32 PM
In this article he discusses some of the best power hitters under the age of 25 and of course mentions Wily Mo. I have copied the Wily Mo part

http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/insider/columns/story?columnist=gillette_gary&id=2399305


Wily Mo Pena, 24, Boston Red Sox

Pena
Pena made his big-league debut at age 20 in 2002, and it seems like he's been around forever because of former Cincy GM Jim Bowden's hot air. But, hype aside, Pena has real power and appears to be coming into his own with 45 home runs in 647 at-bats the past two seasons. The right-handed slugger's career numbers don't look great (.248 BA, .477 slugging, 102 adjusted OPS), primarily because his development was retarded by spending too much time on the big club at a young age and not playing regularly.
One scout said that Pena was "a crude and unrefined talent" -- which is the Reds' fault -- but that "his tools are plentiful. His best days are ahead even though his instincts are questionable." The Red Sox understand what a special talent they have acquired, and Pena's future will not be treated cavalierly in Beantown as it was in the Queen City.

The part that I don't understand is that he says that the fact that he wasn't playing regularly at a young age is the Reds fault and that the Red Sox are going to treat him better. First off, I am not sure how a contract that dictates him being on the major league roster at a young age, that he signed with the Yankees is the Reds fault. The second part, is I could see somewhat him blaming the Reds for not playing him enough last year when there was a perceived log jam in the OF. But to the say that the Red Sox are going to treat him better? Is this being disingenuous considering the Red Sox are going to mainly plattoon him against LHP? If he were to have stayed he would have develop more by playing everyday, but now it seems like a step backward, back to two years ago. How does this help him develop? What am I not seeing here?

registerthis
04-12-2006, 12:36 PM
I suppose Pena's ridiculous contract was also the Reds fault. :rolleyes:

smith288
04-12-2006, 12:47 PM
Pena's growth was retarded because of his own contract, nothing the Reds did or didnt do.

rdiersin
04-12-2006, 12:49 PM
Yea, I agree smith and reg, but the part I found most interesting is that aren't the Red Sox doing the exact same thing with him by platooning him? The whole argument he was making seems to be a contradiction.

KoryMac5
04-12-2006, 12:54 PM
We can always start up an email campaign against misinformation

Gary Gillette, a contributor to MLB insider on ESPN.com, is the editor of the 2005 ESPN ... Gary can be reached via e-mail at GGillette@247Baseball.com.

lollipopcurve
04-12-2006, 02:00 PM
Absolutely classic ESPN(Y) worship of big market team and denigration of small market team, where bias trumps accuracy every time.

pedro
04-12-2006, 02:02 PM
I don't think Gillette was alluding to playing time but to player development and coaching, an area in which we all know the Reds have been suspect.

rdiersin
04-12-2006, 02:09 PM
I don't think Gillette was alluding to playing time but to player development and coaching, an area in which we all know the Reds have been suspect.

But with Wily Mo, was that really the problem? He was never given a chance to develop. Its a interesting question, at the major league level are the Reds bad at development? Because isn't that basically the question with Wily Mo. Could have any team developed ,under his contract restrictions, better than the Reds did?

ochre
04-12-2006, 02:22 PM
It was the Reds fault though. They continued to pretend that they were contendors with gaping holes (predominantly pitching) that precluded them from realistically contending. This combined with consecutive managers that were on the hot seat and knew realistically that playing Pena was going to be painful and probably a detriment to their job security.

If the Reds had either made the decision to run Pena out there [nearly] every day, knowing he wasn't ready, but needed the work, or moved him to a team that was willing to do that, it could be said they did what they could.

They did neither. In the end it has to be yet another indictment against Lindner and Allen, as they were the (relative) constants in the management direction. Bowden and O'Brien deserve some of the blame for not forcing the issue either way though. It's just a repeat of the Reds trying to contend and rebuild at the same time, without doing either effectively.

Chip R
04-12-2006, 02:25 PM
The part that I don't understand is that he says that the fact that he wasn't playing regularly at a young age is the Reds fault and that the Red Sox are going to treat him better. First off, I am not sure how a contract that dictates him being on the major league roster at a young age, that he signed with the Yankees is the Reds fault. The second part, is I could see somewhat him blaming the Reds for not playing him enough last year when there was a perceived log jam in the OF. But to the say that the Red Sox are going to treat him better? Is this being disingenuous considering the Red Sox are going to mainly plattoon him against LHP? If he were to have stayed he would have develop more by playing everyday, but now it seems like a step backward, back to two years ago. How does this help him develop? What am I not seeing here?

The Reds could have played him a lot more than they did. They had 3 different managers and 3 different GMs during his tenure here. That couldn't have helped much either. I don't know if he would have developed into a quality all around MLB player if he would have played more and I don't know if he ever will even if he plays on a regular basis in BOS. I see one of two things in WMP's future in BOS. He will either be trade bait or Manny's successor because Manny could flip out at any time.

rdiersin
04-12-2006, 02:42 PM
The Reds could have played him a lot more than they did. They had 3 different managers and 3 different GMs during his tenure here. That couldn't have helped much either. I don't know if he would have developed into a quality all around MLB player if he would have played more and I don't know if he ever will even if he plays on a regular basis in BOS. I see one of two things in WMP's future in BOS. He will either be trade bait or Manny's successor because Manny could flip out at any time.

I agree with you that the Reds could (and should have) played him more than they did. I do agree with that. But accepting that, how can one say the Reds failed and the Red Sox are doing him right by essentially playing him the same(maybe less) than the Reds did.

Ochre, I agree with you to a point, but honestly how many teams would have been willing to play him when he first got here? I don't think there are too many. I'm not saying that the Reds did the greatest job in the world, but to say they failed is off basis, IMO. If they failed he would have never developed. But he did, in spite of the hardships put on mainly because of his contract. I know its hard to say the Reds management did something right and saying they failed is much more fun, but I can't honestly see how they failed. At worst they did average considering the circumstances, IMO.

ochre
04-12-2006, 02:52 PM
I agree with you that the Reds could (and should have) played him more than they did. I do agree with that. But accepting that, how can one say the Reds failed and the Red Sox are doing him right by essentially playing him the same(maybe less) than the Reds did.

Ochre, I agree with you to a point, but honestly how many teams would have been willing to play him when he first got here? I don't think there are too many. I'm not saying that the Reds did the greatest job in the world, but to say they failed is off basis, IMO. If they failed he would have never developed. But he did, in spite of the hardships put on mainly because of his contract. I know its hard to say the Reds management did something right and saying they failed is much more fun, but I can't honestly see how they failed. At worst they did average considering the circumstances, IMO.
I don't consider him developed at this stage. To me the equation is quite simple. It was on the Reds, and only the Reds, to do whatever they could to get value out of Pena. His contract was not a surprise. Bowden knew what he was getting. Pena spent as much time in the minors as Dunn. Neither one of them are necessarily what one might consider 'polished'. Once it became mandatory that Pena be on the 25 man roster something needed to be done. If they weren't willing to play him nearly every day, why keep him? He wasn't going to develop by hitting batting practice pitching 500ft. It really makes/made little to no sense for a resource poor organization like the Reds to keep a Ferrari on blocks because they were afraid of door dings.

rdiersin
04-12-2006, 03:00 PM
I don't consider him developed at this stage. To me the equation is quite simple. It was on the Reds, and only the Reds, to do whatever they could to get value out of Pena. His contract was not a surprise. Bowden knew what he was getting. Pena spent as much time in the minors as Dunn. Neither one of them are necessarily what one might consider 'polished'. Once it became mandatory that Pena be on the 25 man roster something needed to be done. If they weren't willing to play him nearly every day, why keep him? He wasn't going to develop by hitting batting practice pitching 500ft. It really makes/made little to no sense for a resource poor organization like the Reds to keep a Ferrari on blocks because they were afraid of door dings.

I don't consider him completely developed, no, but he has developed from what he was. So do you think he could have gotten a pitcher like Arroyo when he first came up? They waited, he got better, they got a better return.

Adam Dunn performed well enough to earn his advancement to the majors, Wily Mo did not. He never had and OPS above .800 before he made the majors, Dunn didn't have an OPS below 0.820 in the minors. Big difference.

lollipopcurve
04-12-2006, 03:11 PM
Taking Wily Mo from a very green teenage prospect who had absolutely no guarantee of major league success to a player that in trade brings a solid starter on a cheap 3-year deal is not a development failure by any stretch of the imagination.

ochre
04-12-2006, 03:25 PM
I'm not talking about what they ended up getting out of him. I'm talking about the 3-4 years of... well... whatever that was.

No prospect is guaranteed major league success. That's the nature of any prospect. Holding on to him while he might, or might not, have an epiphany as to how to play major league baseball from the bench sure shouldn't be marked in the annals as a development coup.

Who knows what type of pitching prospect Pena might have netted 3-4 years ago. Arroyo was available on the waiver wire back then...

The Reds ended up wasting 3-4 years of whatevermight have been for erratic, intermittent glimpses of what Pena might, or might never, be. Throw in the fact that Pena wasn't the only prospect being jerked around and devalued during that time and I think a clear picture of developmental ineptitude appears.

KearnsyEars
04-12-2006, 07:54 PM
did the article mention grady sizemore?

Caveat Emperor
04-12-2006, 10:54 PM
If the Reds had either made the decision to run Pena out there [nearly] every day, knowing he wasn't ready, but needed the work, or moved him to a team that was willing to do that, it could be said they did what they could.

So, the Reds two choices were to put an absolutely AWFUL player on the field, or just deal him for a PTBNL because it's the right thing to do for Wily Mo's career? Nice, but even more inept than any way they handled the situation.

People quickly forget that there aren't ratings low enough to represent how bad a ballplayer Wily Mo Pena was back 3 years ago when he had to come up to the major leagues. He was all but completely confused in the outfield, had trouble hitting FASTBALLS that had good movement on them -- putting Wily Mo out there when he first came up was basically admitting to having a no-field, .200 hitting, .250-.275 OBP player out there every day of the week.

I'm racking my brain, but I can't think of a single team I can ever remember seeing running a player like that out willingly for a full season. And, of course, the only justification for doing so is the thought that him playing every day at the ML level was going to make him better -- an argument akin to saying that if you toss a 4th grader into a Calculus class, he'll be confused as hell, but eventually start picking it up after a couple months. The fact of the matter is that Wily Mo's abbreviated time in the minors never allowed him to develop the type of skill set that is required for him to become the monster player so many think he can/could be -- such as selectivity, pitch recognition, and a good swing to drive balls in the air.

The Reds took a player severely deficient in major baseball skills and turned his raw talent into a starting pitcher. Given the situation, they did a phenomenol job in getting value out of him and they did a phenomenol getting him to become even the player he is right now.

ochre
04-12-2006, 11:07 PM
So, the Reds two choices were to put an absolutely AWFUL player on the field, or just deal him for a PTBNL because it's the right thing to do for Wily Mo's career? Nice, but even more inept than any way they handled the situation.

People quickly forget that there aren't ratings low enough to represent how bad a ballplayer Wily Mo Pena was back 3 years ago when he had to come up to the major leagues. He was all but completely confused in the outfield, had trouble hitting FASTBALLS that had good movement on them -- putting Wily Mo out there when he first came up was basically admitting to having a no-field, .200 hitting, .250-.275 OBP player out there every day of the week.

I'm racking my brain, but I can't think of a single team I can ever remember seeing running a player like that out willingly for a full season. And, of course, the only justification for doing so is the thought that him playing every day at the ML level was going to make him better -- an argument akin to saying that if you toss a 4th grader into a Calculus class, he'll be confused as hell, but eventually start picking it up after a couple months. The fact of the matter is that Wily Mo's abbreviated time in the minors never allowed him to develop the type of skill set that is required for him to become the monster player so many think he can/could be -- such as selectivity, pitch recognition, and a good swing to drive balls in the air.

The Reds took a player severely deficient in major baseball skills and turned his raw talent into a starting pitcher. Given the situation, they did a phenomenol job in getting value out of him and they did a phenomenol getting him to become even the player he is right now.
So you are saying he had no value at the time? His profile hasn't really changed much. Again, I'm not talking about what they ended up getting for him. The 4th grader in calculus class is way out there. Not even ballpark. You are talking about a guy that has immense physical ability. If he's not capable of handling it, how is he going to learn to without playing? The point was that the Reds didn't have the resources to have a player like Pena holding a roster spot 3-4 years ago if they weren't willing to play him.

He's been able to hit lefthanders for quite some time; you know the 4th grader that gets differential equations, but can't quite grasp the integral stuff. That's the reason Boston went after him. Arroyo was expendable for them. It worked for both teams at the time. Flipping him for a major league pitcher is no developmental feat. He is still what he's been all along.

Caveat Emperor
04-12-2006, 11:33 PM
So you are saying he had no value at the time? His profile hasn't really changed much. Again, I'm not talking about what they ended up getting for him. The 4th grader in calculus class is way out there. Not even ballpark. You are talking about a guy that has immense physical ability. If he's not capable of handling it, how is he going to learn to without playing? The point was that the Reds didn't have the resources to have a player like Pena holding a roster spot 3-4 years ago if they weren't willing to play him.

He's been able to hit lefthanders for quite some time; you know the 4th grader that gets differential equations, but can't quite grasp the integral stuff. That's the reason Boston went after him. Arroyo was expendable for them. It worked for both teams at the time. Flipping him for a major league pitcher is no developmental feat. He is still what he's been all along.

I'd argue that he hasn't figured out Calculus, but did manage to pick up Algebra. That's no less an amazing feat, but he still never came up to the level he needed to be because he wasn't ready, developmentally or mentally, to be in the big leagues when he had to be.

And, I grant in my original post that Wily Mo Pena is an amazing raw talent -- enough to make most mortals feel like total genetic disasters. However, his lack of time in the minor leagues (among other things) led to him never developing important skills -- walk rate, plate discipline, good hitting form, ability to hit a breaking ptich, and defensive positioning to name a few. Without these important skills, you could throw him out there for 600 PAs per year from age 21 in the major leagues and he'd never end up any better than he did, because the major leagues aren't the place you learn those kinds of things, much as Calculus is a poor place to pick up long division. He'd do what he ended up doing anyway -- skate forward on raw talent and feast on pitchers stupid enough to throw him fastballs in the zone.

The Reds handled him just about as best they could, given the contract situation. I don't foresee that there's anything they could've done differently to make Pena any a better player than he ended up being. They could've cut him and let him go someplace else, but that new team would have been hamstrung the same way the Reds were: holding a player that had to be in the majors without the required skills to be there.

ochre
04-13-2006, 02:15 AM
I don't think we are all that far off from each other on this. My analysis is mostly a hindsight type thing. The Reds needed to either be serious about contending, or serious about rebuilding. They did both poorly. As a side effect Pena was jerked around. Had they been truly rebuilding, Pena should have played regularly. Had they truly been contending, they didn't have room for Pena, as he contributed very little as unreliable as he is/was in the field and at the plate.

Pena spent as much time in the minors as Dunn. Not everyone has the attributes to be proficient in calculus, regardless of whatever gifts they might possess. Pena's fielding and ability handle offspeed/breaking balls (particularly from righties) are pretty much as bad as they were in Dayton 5 years ago, or so.