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View Full Version : Hitting in Rookie ball - Why Drew Stubbs future looks bleak



jmcclain19
08-27-2006, 02:26 AM
Another thread inspired this idea, so rather than hijack that thread, I decided to start another.
Does hitting in Rookie ball matter to a player’s future success?

Just for fun, here is a link to every Red playing right now, every Red from the last couple of seasons, several AAAA players, and a few top prospects in the Reds system right now. Take a peek at how everyone did in Rookie ball, and how old they were when they went thru that level.


Drew Stubbs - College Player - 21 - .251AVG/.366OBP/.402SLG/.768OPS


David Ross - College Player - Skipped Rookie Ball
Jason LaRue - College Player - 21 - .273AVG/.366OBP/.410SLG/.776OPS
Scott Hatteberg - College Player - Skipped Rookie Ball
Rich Aurilia - College Player - 20 - .337AVG/.453OBP/.465SLG/.918OPS
Ryan Freel - JunCollege Player - Skipped Rookie Ball
Chris Denorfia - College Player - 22 - .340AVG/.425OBP/.405SLG/.830OPS
Sean Casey - College player - Skipped Rookie Ball
Joe Randa - College Player - Skipped Rookie Ball
Dane Sardinha - College Player - Skipped Rookie Ball
Jacob Cruz - College Player - Skipped Rookie Ball
Brandon Larson - College Player - Skipped Rookie Ball
Tim Hummell - College Player - Skipped Rookie Ball
Barry Larkin - College Player - Skipped Rookie Ball
John Vander Wal - College Player - Skipped Rookie Ball
Jermaine Clark - College Player - Skipped Rookie Ball
Corky Miller - College Player - 22 - .271AVG/.455OBP/.450SLG/.905OPS
Brendan Harris - College Player - Skipped Rookie Ball
Jesse Guiterrez - College Player - 23 - .294/AVG.302OBP/.550SLG/.852OPS
Matt Kata - College Player - Skipped Rookie Ball
Andy Abad – College Player – 21 – .248AVG/.326OBP/.317SLG/.643OPS
Aaron Boone – College Player – 21 - .273AVG/.362OBP/.453SLG/.815OPS
Kelly Stinnett – College Player – Skipped Rookie Ball
Steve Smitherman – College Player – 21 - .316AVG/.373OBP/.551SLG/.924OPS
Eric Valent – College Player – Skipped Rookie Ball
Todd Walker – College Player – Skipped Rookie Ball
Brady Clark – College Player – Skipped Rookie Ball


Javier Valentin - HS Player - 17 & 18 - .226AVG/.290OBP/.356SLG/.646OPS
Royce Clayton - HS Player - Skipped Rookie Ball
Brandon Phillips - HS Player - 18 - .290AVG/.352OBP/.408SLG/.760OPS
Edwin Encarnacion - HS Player - 17 & 18 - .284AVG/.333OBP/.384SLG/.717OPS
Adam Dunn - HS Player - 18 - .288AVG/.404OBP/.424SLG/.828
Ken Griffey - HS Player - Skipped Rookie Ball
Joey Votto - HS Player - 18 & 19 - .296AVG/.407OBP/.506SLG/.913OPS
Jay Bruce - HS Player - 18 - .266AVG/.341OBP/.484SLG/.825OPS
Austin Kearns - HS Player - 18 - .315AVG/.433OBP/.426SLG/.859OPS
Felipe Lopez - HS Player - Skipped Rookie Ball
Todd Hollandsworth - HS Player - Skipped Rookie Ball
Jason Romano - HS Player - 18 - .257AVG/.340OBP/.413SLG/.753OPS
Brandon Watson - HS Player - 17 - .303AVG/.365OBP/.319SLG/.684SLG
Norris Hopper - HS Player - 19 & 20 - .279AVG/.350OBP/.314SLG/.664OPS
Cody Ross - HS Player - 18 - .218AVG/.303OBP/.401SLG/.704OPS
Reggie Taylor – HS Player – 18 - .222AVG/.295OBP/.314SLG/.609OPS
Russell Branyon – HS Player – 18 – 211AVG/.316OBP/.357SLG/.673OPS
Dernell Stenson – HS Player – 18 - .216AVG/.332OBP/.330SLG/.662OPS
Gookie Dawkins – HS Player – 18 - .241AVG/.315OBP/.308SLG/.623OPS


Anderson Machado - FA Player - 17 & 18 - .226AVG/.318OBP/.296SLG/.614OPS
Miguel Perez - FA Player - 17 & 18 - .345AVG/.406OBP/.406SLG/.812OPS
Juan Castro - FA Player - 19 - .276AVG/.375OBP/.327SLG/.702OPS
Wily Mo Pena - FA Player - 17 - .247AVG/.303OBP/.446SLG/.749OPS
Ray Olmedo - FA Player - 18 - .236AVG/.286OBP/.323SLG/.609OPS
D'Angelo Jiminez - FA Player - 17 - .280AVG/.354OBP/.449SLG/.803OPS
Ruben Mateo – FA Player – 17 - .301AVG/.376OBP/.455SLG/.831OPS
Jose Guillen – FA Player – 18 - .264AVG/.313OBP/.427SLG/.740OPS

And here are the players from the 2002, 2003 & 2004 Billings teams who did not post at least an .800 OPS


2002
Brad Correll
Daniel Mateo
Walter Olmstead
Alan Moye
Steve Booth
Troy Cairns
Manuel Paula
Rafael Motooka
Jarrod Schmidt
Ryan Fry
Jared Humphries
Yinner Colina
Jeremy Ison
2003
Chris Dickerson
Rusty Beale
Rusty Beale
Phil Gentry
Robert Mosby
Troy Cairns
Juan Acevedo
Will Hudson
Chad Ziemendorf
Kyle Smith
Clay Cleveland
Manuel Paula
Jeff Urgelles
Ivan Reyes
Tonys Gutierrez
Rafael Motooka
2004
Bradley Key
Trevor Lawhorn
Paul Janish
Drew Anderson
Travis Kaats
Craig Tatum
Drew Phillips
Elvin Beltre
B.J. Szymanski
Jason Ellis
Tiago Campos
J.D. Roberts
Jordan Belcher
Matt Levering
Reynaldo Gonzalez

So there are your comparables. Only Jason LaRue and Andy Abad of the group of college players who didn’t skip Rookie ball had a below .800OPS. LaRue spent the next two seasons after rookie ball in Low A, while it took Abad four years of cycling between A & AA before he could stick at AAA, which is about his proper level. The rest were deemed good enough to place higher. The HS players and FA signings are a big mish mash of results, but because of the young age, all had years to develop before moving up to the higher levels. You'll notice the 2002-2004 list littered with washouts and failures, not a single real prospect on that list.

Does Stubbs still have a chance? Sure, the game of baseball has lots of quirky ways about it. But it does not look promising.

mth123
08-27-2006, 07:00 AM
Looks like Stephen Smitherman and Corky Miller should be our 3 and 4 hitters right now.:)

I agree that the data doesn't look good for Stubbs. Thanks for digging this up. Guys like me who like to post opinions and learn from this sort of stuff but are too lazy to dig up the stats appreciate it.

NC Reds
08-27-2006, 09:32 AM
Informative post. Thanks.

By no means have I given up on Stubbs. He is a great athlete and his OBP shows he has a pretty good eye.

I would have taken Tim Lincecum first. Here is the link for his early numbers. He has 28 strikeouts in 17 innings in high A ball. Oddly he has given up three homers. Bailey-Cueto-Lincecum would have represented perhaps the best triumverate of high potential arms in minor league baseball. I still haven't figured out why we took a college outfielder first.

http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/app/milb/stats/stats.jsp?n=Tim%20Lincecum&pos=P&sid=milb&t=p_pbp&pid=453311

RedlegJake
08-27-2006, 09:51 AM
The puzzling thing to me is that Stubbs only real question mark was whether he could hit. You make a #1 pick of a guy scouts really doubt can hit? BUT he has all the tools - shades of JB!

Betterread
08-27-2006, 10:46 AM
The season isn't over. If Drew Stubbs raises his OPS .032 to .800, does that mean you reverse your position?
I am well aware that Stubbs' performance in Billings is not indicative of a top 10 draft pick, especially one of a college junior. As it does with you, it reduces my expectations of his future success. But I still wish to know what Rookie league performances mean (some baseball people say they are meaningless, so there is always that option). Does the success of the college seniors (Turner, Dorn) mean they are legitimate prospects? For every Chris Denorfia, who surprised people with his performance, there is a Steve Smitherman, who couldn't duplicate his success at AAA and Cincinnati.
In the last few years, #1 picks have surprised us. in 2003, Ryan Wagner showed great stuff in his debut (2003) and went all the way to Cincinnati. Many people proclaimed him the next closer and the 2003 draft to be a great one, based on early performances. Three years later, Wagner is struggling to make it back to the majors and our 2003 draftees best prospect is arguable Chris Dickerson.
Then in 2004, Homer Bailey and his fellow draftees contributed average or worse performances in their debut. Many people said this draft was awful, we should have selected a completely different set of players. Two years later, Bailey is one of the best prospects in baseball and he 2004 draft, while not looking as good as the 1998 draft, still holds promise for a handful of prospects.

I am curious as to why Stubbs isn't hitting better. If he displays weaknesses in his abilities that seem to be unresolvable, and those weaknesses are the cause for his poor performance, then my expectations for his future success will be dropped significantly but at this time, I simply don't know enough about him and his abilities to fully form an opinion about him.

mbgrayson
08-27-2006, 10:46 AM
I strongly disagree with your premise. What everyone is forgetting about Drew Stubbs is how MUCH baseball he has played the last couple years.

Drew Stubbs and the Texas Longhorns started playing games that counted in early February. HERE is a link (http://www.texassports.com/doc_lib/000_stats/base/2006/teamstat.htm) to their games. They played all the way through the college world series, into the first week of June.

During this 2006 college season, Stubbs played in 62 games, had 243 ABs, hit .342, .439 OBP, .580 SLG, 12 HRs, and stole 26 bases in 32 attempts.

In 2004 and 2005, Stubbs played on Team USA in international competition. They played a 5 week schedule from July through August those years. "A two-time USA Baseball National Team member as well as Academic All-American, Stubbs was an integral part of Texas 2005 national title squad and helped the Americans capture a gold medal during the 2004 FISU Championships."

In 2005 at Texas, Stubbs played 72 games, hit .311, had a .384 OBP, .527 SLG, 11 HRs, and stole 32 bases in 38 attempts.

This year Stubbs has again kept playing ball after the college season. He signed quickly, and went to Billings. He has now played 48 games there, hit .251, .366 OBP, .402 SLG, 5 HRs, and stolen 18 bases in 22 attempts.

See this Link to Article (http://www.texassports.com/index.php?s=&url_channel_id=18&url_article_id=4345&url_subchannel_id=&change_well_id=2) about Stubbs selection as a finalist for the 2006 Golden Spikes award for the best amateur player in baseball.

After all of this baseball, I think Stubbs can be forgiven for being a bit worn down. He has always had a problem with striking out too much, and he needs to work on that. However, if he had 9 more hits at Billings than he does, he would be hitting over .300. Pioneer League baseball is a classic 'small sample size' league. Also Stubbs has missed about 17 games, between his toe injury, and more recently, his concussion from a collision in the outfield. I remain optimisitic. I predict that Drew Stubbs will have a break-out season next year at Dayton.

Doc. Scott
08-27-2006, 11:47 AM
The knock on Stubbs is his swing. Peep this:

http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/minor_key/discussion/breaking_down_the_first_round/

This analysis is done by a former pro pitcher-turned-scout named Carlos Gomez. I'm not saying this is some authoritative analysis (and the guy probably knows more about pitching), but it's a possible explanation as to why Stubbs would struggle.

---
#8 - Cincinnati Reds - CF Drew Stubbs

Crap swing. I reviewed his video more closely and discovered that his hands and his torso disconnect severely. In other words, his torso/hips/legs don’t really help him much in getting the bat moving towards the ball. When so much of the review is based on swing mechanics, it is easy to overlook the other parts of his game. OK, he looks like he’s a good athlete, so there’s hope. That said, I don’t like this pick here, not this high.

Grade: C-
---

There are other first-round hitters that fare worse, but Stubbs is the highest-chosen to get that low of a grade. The Cubs' Tyler Colvin (13), Washington's Chris Marrero (15), and San Diego's Matt Antonelli (17) all got the same grade range, and Gomez thinks Boston's Jason Place (27) and Atlanta's John Johnson (24) are even worse.

Just one scout-based opinion.

Betterread
08-27-2006, 12:07 PM
The knock on Stubbs is his swing. Peep this:

http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/minor_key/discussion/breaking_down_the_first_round/

This analysis is done by a former pro pitcher-turned-scout named Carlos Gomez. I'm not saying this is some authoritative analysis (and the guy probably knows more about pitching), but it's a possible explanation as to why Stubbs would struggle.

---
#8 - Cincinnati Reds - CF Drew Stubbs

Crap swing. I reviewed his video more closely and discovered that his hands and his torso disconnect severely. In other words, his torso/hips/legs donít really help him much in getting the bat moving towards the ball. When so much of the review is based on swing mechanics, it is easy to overlook the other parts of his game. OK, he looks like heís a good athlete, so thereís hope. That said, I donít like this pick here, not this high.

Grade: C-
---

There are other first-round hitters that fare worse, but Stubbs is the highest-chosen to get that low of a grade. The Cubs' Tyler Colvin (13), Washington's Chris Marrero (15), and San Diego's Matt Antonelli (17) all got the same grade range, and Gomez thinks Boston's Jason Place (27) and Atlanta's John Johnson (24) are even worse.

Just one scout-based opinion.

Thanks for the information, DS. It looks like Stubbs needs a lot of work with the organization's hitting instructors - if they can correct his mechanics, they should get a hefty raise. THe positive is that from the report, it seems like mechanical flaws in young players is not uncommon.

nmculbreth
08-27-2006, 12:27 PM
Has anyone had a chance to compare Stubbs' swing while in college and his current swing? Is it possible that the Reds' instructors are trying to tweak Stubbs' swing and his lower than expected numbers are a result of him trying getting comfortable with different mechanics?

KittyDuran
08-27-2006, 06:12 PM
1st round draft choice..w/lots of $$$ invested - he'll get every chance to succeed. I won't worry if I were Stubbs...

Doc. Scott
08-27-2006, 09:12 PM
Has anyone had a chance to compare Stubbs' swing while in college and his current swing? Is it possible that the Reds' instructors are trying to tweak Stubbs' swing and his lower than expected numbers are a result of him trying getting comfortable with different mechanics?

Sure, it's possible. I don't have inside knowledge of what the Billings coaching staff is trying on Stubbs. Any stories I've seen have been about Doug Bair and the pitchers, not the hitting coach (anyone remember who it is? I can't offhand).

traderumor
08-27-2006, 10:29 PM
http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/G/cesar-geronimo.shtml

redsmetz
08-28-2006, 04:07 AM
Sure, it's possible. I don't have inside knowledge of what the Billings coaching staff is trying on Stubbs. Any stories I've seen have been about Doug Bair and the pitchers, not the hitting coach (anyone remember who it is? I can't offhand).

I thought I read a ost here on RedsZone that didn't think much of the hiitting coach at Billings. I'm guessing we're going to see a number of changes in the minors viz. coaching staff in the offseason.

I wonder if some of Stubbs struggles is the change from aluminum bats to wooden bats. Aluminum bats are much more forgiving than a wooden bat or so I hear.

REDREAD
08-28-2006, 01:21 PM
Has anyone had a chance to compare Stubbs' swing while in college and his current swing? Is it possible that the Reds' instructors are trying to tweak Stubbs' swing and his lower than expected numbers are a result of him trying getting comfortable with different mechanics?

That's what I was thinking too. If his swing is getting tweaked, it might take a year to see results.

I'm not going to panic, considering the guy's career is only 2 months long. :)

NJReds
08-28-2006, 01:40 PM
http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/G/cesar-geronimo.shtml

Unless they got him confused with someone else, it appears that Cesar Geronimo made a minor league comeback at age 48 and played until he was 50. :confused: