View Full Version : BA: FSL Top 20

New Fever
10-04-2006, 11:37 AM
Homer Bailey is #1 on the list, Johnny Cueto is #14. They also mention how Cueto was topping out at 97 and working consistently around 93-97 in his impressive end to the season. Also they said he was more impressive at Sarasota than at Dayton. I also found it interesting that Jamie Garcia was ranked 7th in the Midwest League and Cueto was 12th, but in the Florida State League Cueto ranked 14th and Garcia ranked 15th.

10-04-2006, 11:52 AM
I guess each writer was assigned to a league or two, and therefore the rankings will differ just a bit.

10-04-2006, 02:54 PM

Here is my short version of the BA scouting report for those who don't pay for BA (although I completely recommend it)


Bailey - Dominating Fastball he can command, and a plus curveball. Fastball sits at 94-95 and can touch 97-98. Change up has potential but he didn't need to use it much in the FSL.

Cueto - Short and tiny with excellent stuff. Velocity increased as the season went on. Sits in the 93-97 mph range, with a quick, effortless delivery. Has a tight slider with late life. Many think his small frame likely will lead to the bullpen. Was more impressive in the Florida League than in the Midwest League.

10-04-2006, 04:01 PM
Cueto's future depends on athleticism. It would suck to put a pitcher with command of 3 pitches in the bullpen, but if he isn't athletic, that may be the proper course.

10-04-2006, 04:18 PM

10-04-2006, 04:33 PM
Many think his small frame likely will lead to the bullpen.....

I've speculated as much... rather have him excel as a starter, of course, but there's nothing wrong with electric stuff coming out of the pen for an inning or two.

10-04-2006, 04:45 PM
Cueto is comparable in size to Tim Lincecum and i don't think Lincecum is moving to the bullpen in the near future.

10-04-2006, 04:48 PM
Cueto is comparable in size to Tim Lincecum and i don't think Lincecum is moving to the bullpen in the near future.

Probably not. Tom Gordon was a starter for a long time. I'm excited about Cueto's arm, period. Whether he ends up in the rotation or the pen is secondary.

10-04-2006, 04:54 PM
I have zero problem with Cueto in the pen, we need 'em... and soon. Its a shorter path to the pen.

10-04-2006, 08:00 PM
Lots of Bailey Questions in the chat

Sprague Smell from Forrest Lawn asks:
Every time I read about Homer Bailey and Scott Elbert, I seem to think Elbert has a higher ceiling, even though he is ranked lower. How much or that reason is the HYPE behind Bailey...or do I like Elbert more purely because he is lefthanded? Who reaches their ceiling first, and who has a better career?

A: J.J. Cooper: Both Elbert and Bailey have high ceilings, but Bailey's is a tick higher according too most of the managers and scouts I talked to. Hype doesn't have anything to do with it--when you ask managers and scouts who stood out the most in the FSL, there answering was almost unanimously Bailey. He had the leagues best fastball, solid command and a curveball that can also be plus-plus. Since Elbert's a lefty, his 92-93 mph fastball doesn't compare too poorly to Bailey's 95 mph heater, but Bailey's command is significantly better right now, and Bailey's secondary stuff is also a tick better. As far as who reaches their ceiling first? Bailey is closer to the big leagues, and closer to being a front-line starter. Long-term, I'll take Bailey, which is why I ranked him No. 1

Deywane from Memphis asks:
Did Sam Lecure get any consideration for the top 20 list?

A: J.J. Cooper: He wasn't real close, but that's more a reflection on the depth of the league. Solid season where he really figured things out as the season rolled along. He'll rank among the Reds' better pitching prospects.

Q: Adam from NYC asks:
Now that Homer Bailey has command of his fastball, what is his ETA for the Majors? Is he that impact pitcher (ala Justin Verlander) to spark the Reds in 2007? Shed some light on your projection for Homer. DOH!

A: J.J. Cooper: Considering the way he dominated Double-A, there's no reason to think that Bailey hasn't earned the right to compete for a starting spot coming out of spring training, but I'd figure he's pitching for Cincy by midseason at the latest. Like any starter, he could face some adjustments as he makes the jump, but he has elite stuff, and could give the Reds their first true homegrown ace since....Mario Soto?

Mike Marinaro from Tampa, FL asks:
J.J., I spent a few nights driving around Florida with my wife to watch Homer pitch this season. I was fortunate enough to see him face Hamels twice. When he gets into trouble, it usually occurs early in the game. He tends to get stronger as his pitch count grows. For example, he registered 97 mph on his 97th pitch in one contest earler this year. Taking things like this into account along with his learning curve to date in the minors, it seems like he's just beginning to hit his stride. Do you think he should spend another season in the minors, or at least start the season at AAA in 2007 in order to polish up on his secondary pitches? A strong spring may place him in the Reds rotation next season. After seeing what Felix Hernandez did in Seattle this year, I can't help but wonder if at least another half season in the minors would be the best way to manage Homer's development. Though Hernandez pitched decently, most people expected more out of him. Rushing a young pitcher like this can often thwart a kid's confidence level. Thanks for the reply.

A: J.J. Cooper: I wanted to answer this question just because it includes so much info itself. Nice question Mike. Yeah, I think it makes a lot of sense to give Homer half a season in Triple-A for a couple of reasons. 1. It will give him time to add some final polish to his stuff, especially his changeup, which still is a work in progress. 2. It takes some pressure off of him being a rotation saviour early in the season, and for practical reasons: 3. It would save the Reds money by delaying his arbitration for a year. But I'll be the first to predict, if he's lights out in spring training, you have to promote him right away. The Reds weren't that far away from making the playoffs this past year. If Bailey can help the big league team without risking his long-term health, you can't artificially hold him back, even if he'd be a little bit better for it. The big question will be: is he one of their top five starters, and I'm guessing the answer to that will be yes.

Q: Mike from Lancaster, PA asks:
Why no Brandon Roberts (Reds)? He appeared to be one of the most dangerous players in the league (on the bases) - and showed some pop as well.

A: J.J. Cooper: Roberts who was traded to the Twins was dangerous on the bases, but he really doesn't have much pop, which is the concern about him. He got some mentions, but Brett Gardner would have been the first speedy center fielder to make the list.

Q: Jake from Bartlett, IL asks:
J.J., thanks for the chat. Did Baily use his curve and change more often in the second half than what we saw in the Futures Game? He seemed overly reliant on his heater. Thanks for taking my question.

A: J.J. Cooper: Yeah, the Futures Game was an abberation. He knew he was on a big stage, so he decided to simply rear back and fire away (a blister also helped make that decision easy). In actual games, he used his curveball and his change effectively. It was a point of emphasis of the Reds, and Bailey, to make sure he didn't just rely on his fastball, so he threw his secondary stuff, even when he could get guys out just with his fastball.

Q: Derrik from Texas asks:
I keep seeing where Homer Bailey and Phillips Hughes are considered in their own league as far as pitching prospects go and that Gallardo is at the top of the "rest" of them. Is Gallardo really that far off from those two?

A: J.J. Cooper: Gallardo is definitely a notch behind them, but that still puts him among the best pitching prospects in the minors.

Q: Steven from Kissimmee asks:
All right J.J., time to man up: if Phil Hughes qualified, would he be #1, #2, or #1b? Time to answer the minors' most debated question.

A: J.J. Cooper: Ok, I'll take a swing at it. My view: I'll say Bailey #1, Hughes #2, but really that's a question with no right or wrong answer... they're both outstanding prospects. After typing that, I almost went back and flipped it, they're that close.

10-04-2006, 08:17 PM
Man, how nice is it having arguably the best pitching prospect in the minors?

10-04-2006, 08:24 PM
from another BA chat........

Paul from Williamstown, MA asks:
Does winning your Minor League POY mean that Gordon will be the top prospect as well, or does that go to a guy like Upton, Young, or Wood?

A: John Manuel: Not really; he's certainly in the mix. Top prospect in the game is going to be a very tough call. If I had to pick one right now, I'd pick Gordon, by a hair over Delmon Young, whose defense in RF and whose makeup are problematic. Cameron Maybin also would be in this discussion, as would guys like Jay Bruce and Andrew McCutchen