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TRF
01-04-2007, 06:58 PM
I'm on a thread roll.

M2 pointed to instruction as a possible reason as to why so many TB prospects seem to fail to reach their potential. Too often blame lies solely at the hands of the GM, and it should. But what is the deeper underlying issue? Is it instruction/development? Is it scouting?

Why have so many Reds prospects flamed out? Let's pick 5-10 Reds prospects from the last 10 years. This covers all regimes back to the Schott era. Include successes and failures, and compare and contrast them. Is there a consistent failing? Have any of those failings been addressed?

TheBigLebowski
01-04-2007, 07:05 PM
Jack Armstrong
Marc Kroon
Mo Sanford
Chad Mottola
Gookie Dawkins
Dane Sardinha

reds44
01-04-2007, 07:10 PM
Brandon Larson (sp?)
Ryan Wagner (that one's easy, he was rushed).

Cyclone792
01-04-2007, 07:14 PM
Brandon Larson (sp?)

Brandon Larson had no idea what the strike zone was. He took very few walks and enjoyed swinging at garbage outside the strike zone. Larson could get away with that up through AAA, but not in the bigs. Major League pitchers just ate him alive due to his lack of plate discipline and strike zone knowledge.

westofyou
01-04-2007, 07:19 PM
Brandon Larson had no idea what the strike zone was. He took very few walks and enjoyed swinging at garbage outside the strike zone. Larson could get away with that up through AAA, but not in the bigs. Major League pitchers just ate him alive due to his lack of plate discipline and strike zone knowledge.

He won his rep with a metal bat and had foot work that made David Klingler look like Rudolf Nureyev.

Ltlabner
01-04-2007, 07:26 PM
I do wonder if the gutting of the scounting/development staff under Marge casued a ripple that we're still fealing today. If the scouting staff is picking up lower quality prospects that top out before they reach MLB level it would definatley explain why so many "can't miss" guys flame out early.

Does the MLB club provide any finacial support to the farm system clubs? If so, and if Marge skimped on this also, it would set off a chain of "tallent drain" as resources are limited. Even down to the quality of training facilities. Again, I'm not sure how that works so it's only guess work.

Lastly, I think the medical staff plays a role in prospect burn out. I know I've griped about this before but if the medical staff on the big league team can't even figure out when a player is hiding an injury, could it be that the minor league staffs are not adequaly assisting in the development of prospects from a medical standpoint? Or even setting up adequate training regimens that aid in the development of prospects from a phsical standpoint.

RedsManRick
01-04-2007, 07:30 PM
I see a few possible places to lay blame:

1.) Evaluation -- they never had the talent to be as good as we expected.
2.) Effort -- the player simply didn't work hard enough to realize his potential.
3.) Education -- the player wasn't given the instruction necessary to develop his talent fully.
4.) Health -- the player, through luck, genetics, or misuse was injured and thus never achieved his potential.

I'd say we've had problems across the board. Some teams handle some of these areas better than others. The Braves are renown for their focus on #2. They only draft players with the makeup to realize their talent. The As are renown for #1 and #3 -- they draft well and teach well. I'm sure Will Carroll could tell us about #4.

I don't know the Reds system well enough to really evaluate it, but I think this framework is a good place to start. How did we rate on all of these 20 years ago versus today? Where could we improve? In what areas did certain prospects fail? Obviously there's interactions between all of these, but I think they each represent a distinct area we can address.

Chip R
01-04-2007, 08:15 PM
You could make a thread like this for any organization. We all know that the Reds haven't developed a really good starting pitcher that has had success on the major league level since Browning. But are the Reds position players developing into good major league players at a rate below most other major league teams? For every Paul Householder there's a Brad Komminsk and for every Brandon Larson there's a Kevin Orrie.

RedsManRick
01-04-2007, 08:25 PM
The question though Chip, is have we just had bad luck with injuries, are we misevaluating talent, are we failing to teach them, or are we drafting losers who don't have what it takes? You can only correct a problem if you know what the problem is. Drafting all the future Pedro Martinez's doesn't matter if our pitching coaches suck so bad that we can't develop them. And likewise, if all we're drafting are guys with AA talent, no amount of coaching and injury prevention is going to make them major league starters.

Chip R
01-04-2007, 08:42 PM
The question though Chip, is have we just had bad luck with injuries, are we misevaluating talent, are we failing to teach them, or are we drafting losers who don't have what it takes? You can only correct a problem if you know what the problem is. Drafting all the future Pedro Martinez's doesn't matter if our pitching coaches suck so bad that we can't develop them. And likewise, if all we're drafting are guys with AA talent, no amount of coaching and injury prevention is going to make them major league starters.


Could be any one of those 4 or it could be all 4. We can speculate all we want but we don't really know for sure. Obviously the Reds haven't had much luck with starting pitchers but they have done pretty well recently with position players. Off the very top of my head I can name these guys who have been good major league players that were developed in the Reds organization over the last 20 years:

Adam Dunn
Austin Kearns
Jason LaRue
Aaron Boone
Barry Larkin
Paul O'Neill
Eric Davis

So that isn't a bad group right there.

Strikes Out Looking
01-04-2007, 08:56 PM
I would also add Tom Browning and Scott Williamson (injurys not ability hampered his career) to Chip's list.

GAC
01-04-2007, 09:17 PM
You could make a thread like this for any organization.

Exactly. I'd like to see some sort of statistics (if they exist) of just how many players within the minor league system ever see any type of success in the majors.

RedsManRick
01-04-2007, 09:19 PM
Joe Oliver, Aaron Boone, Scott Sullivan

4256 Hits
01-04-2007, 10:51 PM
He won his rep with a metal bat and had foot work that made David Klingler look like Rudolf Nureyev.

Question WOY if he had such bad footwork and the metal bat was so important to him why was he able to hit in AAA so well? I never got to see to much of him since his Reds experience was very limmited due to all his injuries.

I think his biggest problem was the injuries (yes I know he had other issues) and not just the ones at the MLB but the injury his first year in the minors. I believe it was a knee injury that happened sliding that cost him most of a season. Position players coming out of college are on such a tight schedule to get to the majors before getting to old that missing a season puts them behind the 8-ball.

StillFunkyB
01-04-2007, 11:11 PM
I think there is a lot of luck involved as well.

Take Mike Piazza for example. They guy was a "pity" pick by/for Lasorda. He then turns out to become the all time HR hitting catcher in MLB history.

dougdirt
01-04-2007, 11:40 PM
The fact that the Reds had the worst scouting for a long time when Marge was running things surely had a lot to do with it. Then there were just several laast second changes in picks....Derek Jeter was told by the Reds he was going to be taken by them....then at the last second they decided to go with Chad Mottola. Mix in some bad luck and there you go

edabbs44
01-04-2007, 11:47 PM
I think there is a lot of luck involved as well.

Take Mike Piazza for example. They guy was a "pity" pick by/for Lasorda. He then turns out to become the all time HR hitting catcher in MLB history.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/insideout/northwest/series5/i/steroids_200.jpg

ochre
01-05-2007, 12:28 AM
John Oliver ftw!

redsupport
01-05-2007, 12:59 AM
Lincoln Curtis
Pat Osburn

KoryMac5
01-05-2007, 01:36 AM
John Oliver ftw!

Who ever sent in the scouting report on Oliver should have been fired, all the talent in the world won't help you see pitches at night.

Chip R
01-05-2007, 02:11 AM
Back in the early 90s I picked up this book from The Sporting News called "1990 Top 150 Minor League Prospects" The top position player was Todd Zeile of the Cards. Steve Avery was the top pitcher. It also breaks the 150 down not only by rank but by organization as well. I'm not going to list every organization but I thought I'd list a few with Reds players first:

Chris Hammond, Rodney Imes, Reggie Jefferson, Brian Lane, Hal Morris, Reggie Sanders, Luis Vasquez.

Here's a list for the Red Sox:

Scott Cooper, Josias Manzanillo (One and the same), Kevin Morton, Tim Naehring, Mickey Pina, Phil Plantier.

The Indians did rather well:

Beau Allred, Sandy Alomar, Jr. Carlos Baerga, Mark Lewis, Charles Nagy, Rudy Seanez

Here's a list of Cubs prospects:

Shawn Boskie, Frank Castillo, Earl Cunningham, Ty Griffin, Mike Harkey, Derrick May, Greg Smith, Rick Wilkins

Atlanta Braves:

Steve Avery, Pat Gomez, Tommy Greene, Tyler Houston, Brian Hunter (the 1b/OF) Mark Lemke, Kelly Mann, Kent Mercker, Tom Redington, Mike Stanton

I'd say the Mets fared the worst:

Blaine Beatty, Terry Bross, Chris Donnels, Todd Hundley, David Proctor, Jaime Roseboro, Julio Valera

Curt Schilling is in there for the Orioles (ranking #13) and he has this great porn stache in his picture. :lol:

#8 on the pitcher's list is our own Kent Mercker. #45 is Rheal Cormier. #46 is Mike Stanton. Who says our bullpen stinks? ;)

So you can see that as far as position players go, the Reds are no better or worse than most other teams. Like I said, every team has their flops. Even the Braves had about 3 stinkers on their list.

jmcclain19
01-05-2007, 05:48 AM
Luck - to me, is probably the largest element. And the one you can't control.

To echo on what Chip said- For some humor, here is a few batches of the Baseball America Top 20 Overall prospects list since 1990.


2000

1. Rick Ankiel, lhp, Cardinals
2. Pat Burrell, 1b/of, Phillies
3. Corey Patterson, of, Cubs
4. Vernon Wells, of, Blue Jays
5. Nick Johnson, 1b, Yankees
6. Ruben Mateo, of, Rangers
7. Sean Burroughs, 3b, Padres
8. Rafael Furcal, ss, Braves
9. Ryan Anderson, lhp, Mariners
10. John Patterson, rhp, Diamondbacks
11. Dee Brown, of, Royals
12. Mark Mulder, lhp, Athletics
13. Josh Hamilton, of, Devil Rays
14. Kip Wells, rhp, White Sox
15. Matt Riley, lhp, Orioles
16. Alfonso Soriano, ss, Yankees
17. Chin-Feng Chen, of, Dodgers
18. Michael Cuddyer, 3b, Twins
19. Josh Beckett, rhp, Marlins
20. A.J. Burnett, rhp, Marlins


1997

1. Andruw Jones, of, Braves
2. Vladimir Guerrero, of, Expos
3. Kerry Wood, rhp, Cubs
4. Matt White, rhp, Devil Rays
5. Travis Lee, 1b, Diamondbacks
6. Miguel Tejeda, ss, Athletics
7. Todd Walker, 3b, Twins
8. Kris Benson, rhp, Pirates
9. Ruben Rivera, of, Yankees
10. Nomar Garciaparra, ss, Red Sox
11. Paul Konerko, 1b, Dodgers
12. Jose Cruz Jr., of, Mariners
13. Scott Rolen, 3b, Phillies
14. Bartolo Colon, rhp, Indians
15. Derrek Lee, 1b, Padres
16. Todd Helton, 1b, Rockies
17. Carl Pavano, rhp, Red Sox
18. Ben Grieve, of, Athletics
19. Richard Hidalgo, of, Astros
20. Karim Garcia, of, Dodgers

Or how about 1993


1. Chipper Jones, ss, Braves
2. Brien Taylor, lhp, Yankees
3. Cliff Floyd, of, Expos
4. Carlos Delgado, c, Blue Jays
5. Tim Salmon, of, Angels
6. Wil Cordero, ss, Expos
7. Todd Van Poppel, rhp, Athletics
8. Jason Bere, rhp, White Sox
9. Allen Watson, lhp, Cardinals
10. Tyrone Hill, lhp, Brewers
11. Kurt Miller, rhp, Rangers
12. Dmitri Young, 3b, Cardinals
13. Manny Ramirez, of, Indians
14. Ray McDavid, of, Padres
15. Rondell White, of, Expos
16. David McCarty, 1b-of, Twins
17. Tavo Alvarez, rhp, Expos
18. Brad Pennington, lhp, Orioles
19. Jeffrey Hammonds, of, Orioles
20. Javy Lopez, c, Braves
Go back to 1990


1. Steve Avery, lhp, Braves
2. Ben McDonald, rhp, Orioles
3. John Olerud, 1b/lhp, Blue Jays
4. Juan Gonzalez, of, Rangers
5. Sandy Alomar Jr., c, Indians
6. Kiki Jones, rhp, Dodgers
7. Todd Zeile, c, Cardinals
8. Eric Anthony, of, Astros
9. Greg Vaughn, of, Brewers
10. Jose Offerman, ss, Dodgers
11. Darryl Kile, rhp, Astros
12. Delino DeShields, 2b, Expos
13. Willie Banks, rhp, Twins
14. Mike Harkey, rhp, Cubs
15. Robin Ventura, 3b, White Sox
16. Roger Salkeld, rhp, Mariners
17. Marquis Grissom, of, Expos
18. Mike Stanton, lhp, Braves
19. Ray Lankford, of, Cardinals
20. Pat Combs, lhp, Phillies

That's just the top 20 - but this is from the company that does nothing but focus 12 months a year on the minors, and this is their best effort of who that year is best players in the entire minor leagues, and even they struggle to get barely above a .500 projection on who will make solid major leaguers.

TRF
01-05-2007, 10:54 AM
Looking back 20 years you get a sort of evening out of failed prospects. I'm looking more at a microcosm of the last decade.

What has been the biggest factor in the decline of the Reds Farm System? Was it Schott's gutting the farm? is it the quality of the instructors? What about the scouts?

And how do the Reds right the ship? three GM's in 4 years. 3 different philosophies about the type of players to draft. It seems the system is confused about what it is supposed to turn out. Under JimBo it was an offense oriented farm. DanO moved to pitcher oriented draft.

MLB Draft by year and club (http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/mlb/history/draft/draft.jsp) This is a neat feature. It doesn't say ifthe player signed with the club though.

Look at 1996. Not a single useful player taken by the Reds. Lack of scouting? Or was it a problem developing the talent?

M2
01-05-2007, 11:50 AM
Scouting certainly was a problem, but the Reds have run an awful finishing school for the past decade. Look at the types of the players the team developed in the '80s - Davis, Larkin, O'Neill. Those guys were sound ballplayers who found their ceilings (well maybe not Davis, largely because he had no ceiling).

Even the guys who make it these days for the Reds have maddening blind spots. There's simply no reason for Adam Dunn, with his athleticism, not to be a solid OF. He has the tools. He's doesn't lack motivation (though his conditioning is an issue). I could see the guy fielding like this 10 years from now, but in his mid-20s? I don't care if his instincts are poor, even Manny Ramirez was a decent corner OF in his mid-20s.

Aaron Boone is probably the exception to the rule for what the Reds have developed over the past decade. He was a well-rounded overachiever, but that's likely due to him being a third generation baseball rat, not to Reds instruction.

Brandon Larson had a hole in his swing that you could drive a triple trailer through and it never got fixed, he was also a lousy defender. Edwin Encarnacion's footwork problems have been dogging him for years. Derek Jeter and Chipper Jones were error machines in their younger days, but their organizations got them past that. Younger players in the Reds system seem to get stuck.

We've all bemoaned the turnover rate of the team's top prospects in previous years. One of the most remarkable things that happened in 2006 for the Reds was that the team's top prospects didn't turn over all that much. The top players in the system had good years. If you want to develop a player, it's going to take three or four good years to churn him out.

I'll echo something I said in the other thread (to which TRF was referring), if you look at productive systems, it doesn't matter what their pet scouting methodology is (whether it be tools-centered or performance-based), they take talent and build on that.

Maybe Chris Denofia will mark a deviation from what the Reds have been producing of late. He won't be a superstar, but he could be a well-rounded player. He could be a guy who finds, even exceeds, his ceiling. What struck me as I typed that last sentence is how bizarre is seems that the Reds would have an overachiever coming out of their system. I think that's the reservation many have with Denorfia -- he can't be an overachiever because the Reds don't produce overachievers. I think a lot of folks suspect that he has some fatal unidentified flaws or that he'll be overwhelmed in the majors for no other reason than it would be perfectly in line with the team narrative.

What I'm driving at is the thing many of us took for granted 20 years ago, that the Reds could produce good ballplayers, has become a matter of deep suspicion over the past decade. We've grown used to failures and incomplete players. Obviously development has a high failure rate, but the Reds (like many other struggling franchises) aren't producing a sufficient number of successes.

texasdave
01-05-2007, 12:16 PM
how about signability? if you are passing over better players just because you think you can't sign them, or taking players that you have no intention of signing, your farm system is gonna suffer. right? how good would the Reds' rotation look with sowers and kazmir aboard?

TRF
01-05-2007, 01:14 PM
how about signability? if you are passing over better players just because you think you can't sign them, or taking players that you have no intention of signing, your farm system is gonna suffer. right? how good would the Reds' rotation look with sowers and kazmir aboard?

I've had this same question in my head for a couple of years. But even had they signed them, is this organization so bad at instruction that it wouldn't have mattered? Even now they are very contradictory when discussing developmental plans. K says he doesn't like players skipping levels. Then he promotes Cueto and Bailey mid season. He moves a successful Calvin Medlock to the pen for no real reason. Would the pitching policies of DanO helped Sowers and Kazmir? Certainly their arms would have been babied, and they both might just now be reaching the Majors. Kazmir in my mind was a signability punt. Sowers was a fumble. In fact, had the Reds signed them both, AND developed them properly AND kept them healthy, the 2007 and 2008 rotations could have been one of the best in baseball.

Sadly the Reds could not sign them. Even if they did, they likely could not have developed them properly (Pauly/Gardner). And even if they did that, the could not keep them healthy (Howington, Gruler, Aramboles, Basham).

Lots of reasons why this farm is so bad.

Patrick Bateman
01-05-2007, 01:32 PM
K says he doesn't like players skipping levels. Then he promotes Cueto and Bailey mid season.

They didn't skip levels. It just took those 2 guys less than a full season to dominate their levels.

dougdirt
01-05-2007, 02:04 PM
I think when Wayne says he doesnt want people skipping levels, means he probably isnt going to call guys up from AA. Some people seem to take it as he isnt going to promote guys more than 1 level per year, but I dont see it that way.... and I also dont see it that college guys will go from rookie ball to Dayton (Stubbs and Valaika jump to mind), becuase last year Brandon Roberts went from Billings to Sarasota before we traded him and he was a college outfielder.

TRF
01-05-2007, 03:24 PM
Well Bailey was assigned to Sarasota, and he hardly dominated at Dayton. Cueto probably should have spent all year at Dayton, though he acquited himself nicely. Ward should have been in Sarasota before Cueto. Instead he was traded for Lohse. Bruce was dominating at Dayton, but did not jump to Sarasota. Pelland has yet to dominate a single league except the Pioneer League, and he keeps getting promoted. There is little consistency. What constitutes a dominating performance? Cueto at Dayton? sure. Bruce at Dayton? again, yes.

So what is the difference?

dougdirt
01-05-2007, 03:39 PM
I think the difference between Bruce and Cueto was it was his first full year of pro ball, and it was not Cuetos.
I am with you though, Ward should have been promoted before Cueto, but Cueto was Almaraz diamond in the rough.

dougdirt
01-05-2007, 03:49 PM
Well Bailey was assigned to Sarasota, and he hardly dominated at Dayton.

I will disagree there. The only thing Homer didnt dominate with was walks. He allowed 7.7 hits per 9 innings, 0.43 HR per 9 innings, and he struck out 10.85 hitters per 9 innings. It was his 5.38 walks per 9 innings that held him back. That probably had a lot to do with the Reds telling him to throw his offspeed stuff more than he was comfortable with, but it looks like it was better for him in the end and got him ready for this year. The Reds knew what he had going for him and if he cut down on his walks (which he did, 3.24 this year, a drop off of more than 2 per 9 innings) he would dominate, and he did.

TRF
01-05-2007, 04:20 PM
Then he must have made the adjustment late in the year. His era was pretty high for the top prospect in the system. I wonder if he progressively cut down on his walks as the season went.

As far as the Bruce/Cueto comparison goes, You could easily substitute Travis Wood for Bruce. Wood was just a tick, a hair below Cueto. Both dominated the Midwest League. Ward was right there with them. Cueto being Almarez' golden boy goes to the point of the thread. Why was it important to promote Cueto and not Wood or Ward? Is Cueto being rushed because he is in a pitching starved organization? Is Bailey? Cueto, Wood and Ward (now in the Min. org.) all had better numbers at Dayton than Bailey did. In fact much better numbers. Bailey had the better K/9, but then he does have a little more oomph than the others. But from all reports, Cueto and Wood can bring it 95+.

Is there a problem in the career path/planning stages for the Reds minor leaguers? Certainly Bailey gets a ton of press. Is he being rushed? Did TB rush Kazmir? IMO he should have been in AA or AAA this year based on his age alone. Sure enough he came down with a sore shoulder (i think this is right) at the end of the year.

gm
01-05-2007, 05:26 PM
Hey Chip, Wayne just called. He wants his book back! :devil:


Back in the early 90s I picked up this book from The Sporting News called "1990 Top 150 Minor League Prospects" The top position player was Todd Zeile of the Cards. Steve Avery was the top pitcher. It also breaks the 150 down not only by rank but by organization as well.

...

#8 on the pitcher's list is our own Kent Mercker. #45 is Rheal Cormier. #46 is Mike Stanton. Who says our bullpen stinks? ;)

dougdirt
01-05-2007, 05:44 PM
Then he must have made the adjustment late in the year. His era was pretty high for the top prospect in the system. I wonder if he progressively cut down on his walks as the season went.

As far as the Bruce/Cueto comparison goes, You could easily substitute Travis Wood for Bruce. Wood was just a tick, a hair below Cueto. Both dominated the Midwest League. Ward was right there with them. Cueto being Almarez' golden boy goes to the point of the thread. Why was it important to promote Cueto and not Wood or Ward? Is Cueto being rushed because he is in a pitching starved organization? Is Bailey? Cueto, Wood and Ward (now in the Min. org.) all had better numbers at Dayton than Bailey did. In fact much better numbers. Bailey had the better K/9, but then he does have a little more oomph than the others. But from all reports, Cueto and Wood can bring it 95+.

Is there a problem in the career path/planning stages for the Reds minor leaguers? Certainly Bailey gets a ton of press. Is he being rushed? Did TB rush Kazmir? IMO he should have been in AA or AAA this year based on his age alone. Sure enough he came down with a sore shoulder (i think this is right) at the end of the year.
Wood will start next season in Sarasota, just like Homer did this year. They are not on any different playing field. As for Kazmir, will be 23 years old to start next season, for a high school pitcher, that is old to be at AA. If you have the stuff to be in the big leagues at 20 or 21, then that is where you should probably be. True talent forces the hand. Griffey and Arod both were starting in the Majors at age 19 and sure they are two of the best players of all time, but just because of how old they were doesnt mean they should have been playing in low A ball....their talent was just superior to everyone elses at their age and they were capable of playing in the major leagues.
Back to Wood though, he was the last one I would have promoted of the three you mentioned. He was 19 last season, he was pitching where he should have been, in Low A ball. Next year, he will be in Sarasota, and be 20 years old....if he performs well, look for a promotion. Not too often is a 19 year old pitcher promoted to high A ball, regardless of performance except for maybe the last month of a season....

TRF
01-05-2007, 06:24 PM
Using ARod and Griffey isn't a fair comparison. As you said they are two of the best ever at their positions. I'm not ready to annoint Jay Bruce as the second coming of Junior.

And Yes, Kazmir will be 23 at the start of this season. But he started 32 games as a 21 year old in 2005. That's a tad ridiculous. His starts dropped to 24 last year. Too young, too fast, and on a team that was going nowhere, patience should have been shown.

BTW, I wasn't directly comparing Wood to Bailey. It seems they are on the same developmental path, but rather Wood to Cueto. Cueto's jump from low A to high A mid season seems to indicate he can develop faster than Bailey when compared by age and level. And I really don't think 23 is to old for AA. Just depends on the age when drafted. Randy Johnson was in AA at age 23, and didn't stick in the majors until he was 25, His first taste of success at 26.

I'll tell you this, If I thought keeping Bailey in the minors until he was 25 meant that his career would parallel the Big Unit's, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

dougdirt
01-05-2007, 09:57 PM
BTW, I wasn't directly comparing Wood to Bailey. It seems they are on the same developmental path, but rather Wood to Cueto. Cueto's jump from low A to high A mid season seems to indicate he can develop faster than Bailey when compared by age and level. And I really don't think 23 is to old for AA. Just depends on the age when drafted. Randy Johnson was in AA at age 23, and didn't stick in the majors until he was 25, His first taste of success at 26.

I'll tell you this, If I thought keeping Bailey in the minors until he was 25 meant that his career would parallel the Big Unit's, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

Cueto just finished his season at age 20 at the same spot Bailey began his age 20 season. To me, it would seem Cueto is just a little step behind Bailey in terms of progression through the system based on age and level. 23 years old is quite old for a High School drafted pitcher to just be making it to AA. Sure, Randy Johnson was there at that age, but he is probably the only one who was that old, out of Hs, to be getting to AA at 23 and go on to become a very good pitcher. It just doesnt happen often.

M2
01-05-2007, 10:12 PM
The Unit pitched at USC. The Expos drafted him a few months before his 21st birthday.

I'm always wary of that "ahead of" measurement when it comes to pitching prospects and age. It's not a race.

It's not the kid who's ahead at 20 that most interests me, it's the kid who's ahead at age 24 - guys like Johan Santana and Roy Oswalt.

Oswalt celebrated his 23rd birthday in AA. Brandon Webb was in AA at age 23. So were Derek Lowe, Aaron Harang and Eric Bedard. Chris Young hadn't reached AA at age 23 and Roy Halladay passed through AA for the second time at age 24. I don't see where 23 in AA is any sort of disqualifier.

Cooper
01-06-2007, 05:16 PM
Does it even matter for pitching prospects where they atre at relative to age? So many of the good 19 year olds who are ahead of their peer group get pitched way too much and blow their arms out. Whereas there have been a good many 26 year olds who have have not figured things out -figure something out and then come on strong. They are in a better position to pitch for a long time (than the 19 year old) because their arm hasn't been abused. IMO, the age of a pitcher don't mean a thing to me.

Willy
01-06-2007, 06:21 PM
This is a great thread.

I just wanted to add a few points.

When I was in college I used to do some scouting of high school players for a Division I college, and I was able to develop a relationship with a few area scouts for some MLB clubs. One of the things I learned was that almost all of the "bird dog" scouts or area scouts were out trying to find talent nothing more nothing less, no matter what club they worked for. They all used the same 20-80 scale and evaluated the same tools.

Once the talent was found every organzation handles it different. I knew two players that were drafted in the same round(13 I think) in the same year by different clubs. One club did a tremendous amount of background research(injury history, work ethic, mental background, family history ect) the other club did very little.

My point is I think some clubs do almost the same amount of research on their 1st round pick as their 40th round pick. The Reds evaluated talent in the 90's but did little else. I think that is why you see certain organiztions have better "luck" with prospects than other organizations.

I also think this gets to the heart of M2's point that the Reds don't develop over achievers, if they aren't looking for overachievers, they aren't draftin them, so they are producing them.

Betterread
01-06-2007, 08:40 PM
Once the talent was found every organzation handles it different. I knew two players that were drafted in the same round(13 I think) in the same year by different clubs. One club did a tremendous amount of background research(injury history, work ethic, mental background, family history ect) the other club did very little.

My point is I think some clubs do almost the same amount of research on their 1st round pick as their 40th round pick. The Reds evaluated talent in the 90's but did little else. I think that is why you see certain organiztions have better "luck" with prospects than other organizations.

I also think this gets to the heart of M2's point that the Reds don't develop over achievers, if they aren't looking for overachievers, they aren't draftin them, so they are producing them.

Good points.
I would add that its not only research that is invested, but how much bonus money is budgeted for the draft that determines how many viable prospects you can draft (keep in mind that the draft not only serves to re-stock the prospect pool, but on a more basic level, finds bodies to roster all of your minor league teams. The phenom pitchers need decent catchers and fielders behind them, not just guys with "raw tools" - remember that EE made over 50 errors one year.) I think the 2006 draft showed me that the organization not only drafted, but signed some pretty intriguing low round draft picks (Lutz, Arneson , Dorn) which is an often an indication of a bigger budget. We'll see what happens in 2007 with all the extra picks.

IslandRed
01-06-2007, 10:34 PM
Does it even matter for pitching prospects where they atre at relative to age? So many of the good 19 year olds who are ahead of their peer group get pitched way too much and blow their arms out. Whereas there have been a good many 26 year olds who have have not figured things out -figure something out and then come on strong. They are in a better position to pitch for a long time (than the 19 year old) because their arm hasn't been abused. IMO, the age of a pitcher don't mean a thing to me.

It depends on what you're trying to measure: The likelihood that a guy becomes a useful big-league pitcher, or the pitcher's talent level. You're right that a guy who succeeds early is often pushed too hard, which is why it's important to manage workload by age and maturity, not by level. If Bailey gets to the majors this year, that doesn't mean he's ready to go 200 innings.

But if you're looking at the guy blowing away Double-A hitters and trying to figure out if he can be a top-shelf starter, it absolutely makes a difference (in the aggregate, there are always exceptions) whether the guy is 20 or 25.

Cooper
01-08-2007, 05:07 PM
My point is: for pitchers (age) i doubt it's not near as important as the scouting community makes it out to be. Rarely do position players end their careers with injury. So you get this nice picture of when postion players hit their peek, when they start to decline, etc....

In terms of careers, the difference between pitchers and hitters is the difference between Darwin's evolution and Stephan J. Gould's puntuated equilibrium. Hitter's evolve and then die a slow death, whereas pitcher's die this quick catastrophic death that many times is hard to predict. I still don't think we are at a place statistically where we can begin to understand how age impacts a pitchers career.

So many pitching careers are cut short before they begin their major league careers. Their numbers get thrown out of the study (because they don't make it to the majors)-rarely does that happen to hitters.

Maybe all this chaos is why James said something along the lines of "if you give a pitcher long enough time, they'll figure it out".

Maybe the true talent is surviving until you figure it all out.

redsupport
01-08-2007, 05:10 PM
I thought Terry Lee would make it big, or make that Tim Belk, sorry Imeant Keith Kessinger, or was it Greg Tubbs, how about Mike Grace, or even the great Rafael Santo Domingo, Joe Gaines or Arturo de Frietas