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jmcclain19
01-29-2007, 02:59 AM
Well today's the day we've all been waiting for boys and girls - Baseball America will spend the afternoon chatting about the merits of the Reds minor league system.

Without breaking the "pay" content rule - here is the top 10 with a quick synopsis of what was written by the BA staff.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/online/prospects/features/263238.html

1. Homer Bailey
Good - Best stuff in the minors. Fastball's late life makes it seem like it has an extra gear. Has two curveballs 12-6 & 11-5 versions both excellent pitches. Changeup is improved.
Bad - Most negative comments are just nitpicking. Needs to work on command and (I didn't make this up) work on being a hitter.
2. Jay Bruce
Good - One of the best hitters in the minors. Slightly above average speed. He's a "Gamer"
Bad - Needs to work on plate discipline.
3. Joey Votto
Good - Has power to all fields. Average Speed. Has a discerning batting eye.
Bad - Still raw at first base. Struggles against Southpaws at the plate.
4. Johnny Cueto
Good - Easy 3/4 delivery w/ fastball that can touch 96. Soto taught him a changeup that is now a major league average pitch. Also has a nasty slider.
Bad - Size doesn't bode well for future. Likes to challenge up in the zone which he'll get punished for at higher levels.
5. Drew Stubbs
Good - Dale Murphy-esq. Huge power, excellent speed & Gold Glove defense. Average arm
Bad - Can't really hit. Long Swing. Struggles to make contact & smart pitchers in rookie ball took advantage of him.
6. Travis Wood
Good - Probably has best changeup in the minors. Fastball went from 93-94 in HS to 87-91 in minors.
Bad - Needs to add strength, get his velocity back. Struggles with his curve.
7. Sean Watson
Good - Has a plus fastball that can top 95 & a plus knuckle curve in the 85mph range.
Bad - Can't locate fastball. No change up & slider is below average.
8. Milton Loo
Good - Five tool potential. Hits for average and has potential for power. Plus speed with strong arm.
Bad - Can't stay healthy. Hasn't shown he can drive the ball w/ wood yet.
9. Paul Janish
Good - Major league defensive SS w/ excellent footwork & positioning. Is learning to use entire field as a hitter. He's a "leader".
Bad - No real power. Contact only hitter. Bottom of the order type of player.
10. Chris Valaika
Good - Spray hitter. Bobby Crosby-esq. Gap power & strong arm.
Bad - Slow with limited range at SS. A future 2B. With Loo at SS at Dayton in 07, will probably skip ahead to Sarasota.


I'll do this just like I have in previous years. If any non BA subscribers want to get some questions in - post them here and I'll send them along. No guarantees - as it's totally random whether or not they get answered or not.

Chat starts at 3pm EST.

dougdirt
01-29-2007, 03:03 AM
You are on top of it....

Yeah, I set my alarm to wake me up 15 minutes early to go over the list, but thanks to you I can now enjoy 15 more minutes of sleep in the morning.

dougdirt
01-29-2007, 03:11 AM
As for the comments, it says a lot about Travis Wood being 19 years old and possibly having the best change up in the minor leagues.... if he can gain a little zip back on his fastball, I really think he will shoot up prospect lists.

Votto is raw at first base? Didnt BA rank him as the best defensive first baseman in the league?

I have heard different things about Watsons slider, so I am not sure what to think completely on him.

Overall I would say their list seems roughly like what I would have mine look like.

jmcclain19
01-29-2007, 03:32 AM
Votto is raw at first base? Didnt BA rank him as the best defensive first baseman in the league?

I wouldn't take Votto's winning the best defensive 1st baseman award too highly. That could just be the prettiest girl at the Ugly Convention. They pretty much tagged his being a former catcher to him being raw - and went on to point out that all of the aspects, his footwork, throws & how he goes into the hole all as needing work. But he's athletic enough to work thru it.

Aronchis
01-29-2007, 05:24 AM
12-6 & 11-5

The 2 key numbers. Bailey already has 4 pitches and we just didn't pay attention;)

I think the 11-5 is what gives him consistancy trouble.

chicoruiz
01-29-2007, 08:45 AM
I'd like to hear their opinion on Adam Rosales. Were his bad stats after his promotion due to the level of competition or this hand injury we're hearing about?

edabbs44
01-29-2007, 10:06 AM
Watson's pic looks like he'd be better as a pulling guard.

edabbs44
01-29-2007, 11:37 AM
So, in BAs opinion, we got a CFer in the 1st round last year who can't hit and a pitcher in the 2nd who can't locate his fastball.

Uh oh.

TOBTTReds
01-29-2007, 12:01 PM
8. Milton Loo
Good - Five tool potential. Hits for average and has potential for power. Plus speed with strong arm.
Bad - Can't stay healthy. Hasn't shown he can drive the ball w/ wood yet.


So is he never going to drive the ball w/ a wood bat? I don't know when the last time he hit with metal. Three years ago? I think they might have gotten confused that he hit with wood in college.

dougdirt
01-29-2007, 12:37 PM
I think you are right Aves....now while it was just 43 at bats in rookie ball, he did slug .581, while having a line drive 15.8% of the time (for comparison Jay Bruce had a 15.5% line drive rate)

Triples
01-29-2007, 12:37 PM
2. Jay Bruce
Good - One of the best hitters in the minors. Slightly above average speed. He's a "Gamer"
Bad - Needs to work on plate discipline.

5. Drew Stubbs
Good - Dale Murphy-esq. Huge power, excellent speed & Gold Glove defense. Average arm
Bad - Can't really hit. Long Swing. Struggles to make contact & smart pitchers in rookie ball took advantage of him.

7. Sean Watson
Good - Has a plus fastball that can top 95 & a plus knuckle curve in the 85mph range.
Bad - Can't locate fastball. No change up & slider is below average.

8. Milton Loo
Good - Five tool potential. Hits for average and has potential for power. Plus speed with strong arm.
Bad - Can't stay healthy. Hasn't shown he can drive the ball w/ wood yet.

10. Chris Valaika
Good - Spray hitter. Bobby Crosby-esq. Gap power & strong arm.
Bad - Slow with limited range at SS. A future 2B. With Loo at SS at Dayton in 07, will probably skip ahead to Sarasota.

I don't know much about these players other than what I see on websites like this one or by looking at the stats. So I want to be clear that my comments are not about them nor am I deriding their ability.

I simply find it curious that BA continues to put players on their top ten list who have not played above low A. With the exception of players like Jay Bruce, who seem to be well ahead of their peers, it seems like BA would not want to make any more BJ Symanski mistakes.

Regardless of a player's ceiling coming out of college or highschool, it seems that it would be prudent to wait to see how these players perform when they get to a 142 game schedule, with higher caliber competition and greater expectations/pressure before labeling them as a top ten prospect. It really makes me wonder how BA, who by their own estimation have their finger on the pulse of baseball, actually creates these rankings. Do they really make them based on what the front office and real high level scouts tell them? Or do they say what will sell the most $62 website subscriptions

jmcclain19
01-29-2007, 12:55 PM
Here's a few I submitted already


Adam Rosales - Flash in the pan or was 2006 just a slight stumble?

You rated Joey Votto as the top Defensive 1B in the Southern League last year - yet claim he's still "raw" at first? Is the mixed messages a product of an extremely weak Southern League 1B class or was that just picking nits?

Does Johnny Cueto ceiling put him right about at a Right handed Tom Gordon?

How close did Calvin Medlock, still one of the Reds top minor league performers three seasons going, come to making the Top 10?

So in 2006 the Reds drafted a 1st round pick who can't hit and a 2nd round pick who can't locate his fastball. How's that an improvement over previous years?

Any chance Richie Gardner & Thomas Pauly return to anywhere in the ballpark of their former prospect status in 2007?

Did Jared Burton get any discussion about being in the Top 10. What are his chances of sticking on the 25 man come April 1st?

dougdirt
01-29-2007, 01:01 PM
triples.... I have no idea what you were trying to say in your post....

TOBTTReds
01-29-2007, 01:08 PM
Doug, where do you get the LD% rates from for MiL'ers?

Triples
01-29-2007, 01:10 PM
Dougdirt: Sorry I hit the send button prematurely. I was editing the post as you put up your message. I think it will make more sense now.

Triples
01-29-2007, 01:16 PM
Regarding Joey Votto being raw at first base. I saw him play about 20 games with Chatt last year and he made some sensational plays at 1b so he definately has the athleticism for it. But, I also saw him make some really bone headed plays that are indicative of him simply not knowing how to play the position yet. It seems that time and reps will fix that problem. I suspect the "raw" comment is more about his understanding of the position than his physical capability to play it.

dougdirt
01-29-2007, 01:23 PM
Doug, where do you get the LD% rates from for MiL'ers?

Well Jeff Sackmann came up with one of my favorite inventions ever when he started Minorleaguesplits.com. It has batted ball types for every player who played in the minor leagues last year. I ran the numbers and got the line drive percentages. Now take for instance that the numbers are slightly rough due to the fact all the data is based off of the game logs from milb.com, but it is a nice tool to look at becuase a line drive is nearly always a line drive and not really questioned as "well maybe it was a fly ball".

dougdirt
01-29-2007, 01:25 PM
I don't know much about these players other than what I see on websites like this one or by looking at the stats. So I want to be clear that my comments are not about them nor am I deriding their ability.

I simply find it curious that BA continues to put players on their top ten list who have not played above low A. With the exception of players like Jay Bruce, who seem to be well ahead of their peers, it seems like BA would not want to make any more BJ Symanski mistakes.

Regardless of a player's ceiling coming out of college or highschool, it seems that it would be prudent to wait to see how these players perform when they get to a 142 game schedule, with higher caliber competition and greater expectations/pressure before labeling them as a top ten prospect. It really makes me wonder how BA, who by their own estimation have their finger on the pulse of baseball, actually creates these rankings. Do they really make them based on what the front office and real high level scouts tell them? Or do they say what will sell the most $62 website subscriptions

Well their list is a lot like my list, and the Redszone community list. They have scouts and contacts with scouts that help them with their information gathering and the writers themselves see a lot of baseball as well.

Shaknb8k
01-29-2007, 01:31 PM
Im not putting much value into the projected 2010 lineup but ohh how nice that looks:

Catcher: Miguel Perez
First Base: Joey Votto
Second Base: Brandon Phillips
Third Base: Edwin Encarnacion
Shortstop: Milton Loo
Left Field: Adam Dunn
Center Field: Drew Stubbs
Right Field: Jay Bruce
No. 1 Starter: Homer Bailey
No. 2 Starter: Aaron Harang
No. 3 Starter: Bronson Arroyo
No. 4 Starter: Johnny Cueto
No. 5 Starter: Travis Wood
Closer: Sean Watson

Red Leader
01-29-2007, 01:43 PM
Im not putting much value into the projected 2010 lineup but ohh how nice that looks:

Catcher: Miguel Perez
First Base: Joey Votto
Second Base: Brandon Phillips
Third Base: Edwin Encarnacion
Shortstop: Milton Loo
Left Field: Adam Dunn
Center Field: Drew Stubbs
Right Field: Jay Bruce
No. 1 Starter: Homer Bailey
No. 2 Starter: Aaron Harang
No. 3 Starter: Bronson Arroyo
No. 4 Starter: Johnny Cueto
No. 5 Starter: Travis Wood
Closer: Sean Watson

I could pretty much guarantee you that 2 of Dunn, Harang and Arroyo won't be here in 2010. I would doubt that Miguel Perez would be our starting catcher at any point either. He just doesn't have the stick to be a starting catcher. He'd make a good backup, though.

Outshined_One
01-29-2007, 01:51 PM
Well Jeff Sackmann came up with one of my favorite inventions ever when he started Minorleaguesplits.com. It has batted ball types for every player who played in the minor leagues last year. I ran the numbers and got the line drive percentages. Now take for instance that the numbers are slightly rough due to the fact all the data is based off of the game logs from milb.com, but it is a nice tool to look at becuase a line drive is nearly always a line drive and not really questioned as "well maybe it was a fly ball".

Best website evar!!1 I love it because he has BABIP numbers, which can really make a huge difference in evaluating prospects.

dougdirt
01-29-2007, 02:00 PM
Best website evar!!1 I love it because he has BABIP numbers, which can really make a huge difference in evaluating prospects.

Yes and no. In the minor leagues, I take most BABIP numbers with a grain of salt. Some hitters are just better than their competition and will put up really high BABIP numbers (Votto and his .371), but what is nice is to take a peak at their line drive percentage and see how it correlates with their BABIP.

For example, Cameron Maybin (DET, OF) had a BABIP of .415 last season, but just a 9.6 Line drive percentage. Something smells ridiculously funny about that, and for that reason I think he is currently one of the most overrated prospects in the game. Jay Bruce had a .351 BABIP, and a line drive percentage of 15.5. When you look at the two side by side, something just is not right with it.

TOBTTReds
01-29-2007, 02:16 PM
I could pretty much guarantee you that 2 of Dunn, Harang and Arroyo won't be here in 2010. I would doubt that Miguel Perez would be our starting catcher at any point either. He just doesn't have the stick to be a starting catcher. He'd make a good backup, though.

neither does Yadier Molina, but I'd take him. Perez's glove work isn't to his yet, but he is one of the top MiL defensive catchers. A lot like Molina. If we have a solid offense, I wouldn't mind him being our starter.

dougdirt
01-29-2007, 02:48 PM
jmcclain19, can we get a report back on the chat?

M2
01-29-2007, 03:39 PM
neither does Yadier Molina, but I'd take him. Perez's glove work isn't to his yet, but he is one of the top MiL defensive catchers. A lot like Molina. If we have a solid offense, I wouldn't mind him being our starter.

Except Molina had a minor league OPS 63 points higher than Perez. At Perez's age, Molina was acquitting himself well in AAA instead of bombing out in AA. Right now Perez looks like the second coming of Dane Sardinha.

M2
01-29-2007, 03:40 PM
jmcclain19, can we get a report back on the chat?

You can just follow it here (http://www.baseballamerica.com/online/chat/chat.php?id=2007012801).

membengal
01-29-2007, 03:43 PM
You can just follow it here (http://www.baseballamerica.com/online/chat/chat.php?id=2007012801).


That was password protected. Is this a subscriber only feature?

M2
01-29-2007, 03:53 PM
That was password protected. Is this a subscriber only feature?

Really? I thought the chats were public. My apologies.

LoganBuck
01-29-2007, 04:23 PM
Really? I thought the chats were public. My apologies.

They used to be up until maybe 2 years ago then they went premium.

membengal
01-29-2007, 04:26 PM
I guess I just need to suck it up and re-subscribe to BA. I used to have a subsricption years ago. I assume a subscription to the missive gets you full premium on-line access too?

In the meanwhile, for those of us who have not ponied up for this, any synopsis or recap of the discussion would be cool and much appreciated, if anyone has time.

edabbs44
01-29-2007, 04:27 PM
My chat isn't working. :(

dougdirt
01-29-2007, 04:42 PM
M2, the chats went private last year. Rather disappointing, but I guess thats how they make their money. For me, I pick up the magazine at the news stands every now and again when there is something worth reading, but its not worth getting the subscription for to just read the Reds content.

M2
01-29-2007, 04:49 PM
Seems like the guy who's doing the chat doesn't know to hit the refresh button with any frequency. It was nearly 30 minutes before the first set of answers appeared.

Got to admit I'm really unimpressed by Cooper. Here's some of his impenetrable logic:

"The Reds have a number of relievers in Double-ATriple-A who could end up helping out the bullpen in the not-so-distant future." Yet, it seems none of these relievers merit mention in the top 30 of a thin system. That's right, he acknowledges that the team has some more advanced relievers who'll probably be useful major league pitchers yet he ranks them below others (some of whom he acknowledges probably won't be useful major league contributors).

jmcclain19
01-29-2007, 04:56 PM
Well - he did answer a bunch of mine so far


Q: Josh from Phoenix asks:
Adam Rosales - Flash in the pan or was 2006 just a slight stumble?

A: J.J. Cooper: Maybe not a flash in the pan, but he has a long road to go to get back to where he was heading into last season. The Reds all of a sudden have a number of SS prospects (Janish, Loo and Valaika), so Rosales will have to fight just to get ABs at shortstop. Unless he switches positions or becomes more of a utility infielder it's hard to see how he'll get 450 ABs at Low A Dayton or high A Sarasota this year. Rosales' 2006 was largely lost because of injuries, but he'll now be a 23-year-old trying to succeed for the first time in full season ball. Because of his age he doesn't have as many second chances as a 20-year-old.



Q: Josh from Phoenix asks:
You rated Joey Votto as the top Defensive 1B in the Southern League last year - yet claim he's still "raw" at first? Is the mixed messages a product of an extremely weak Southern League 1B class or was that just picking nits?

A: J.J. Cooper: The league best tools lists are based largely on talking to managers and some scouts, which can mean that a guy with some athleticism at 1B (like Votto) can make a spectacular play or two over a three-game series that will stick in a manager's head. Over a full season the Reds saw some impressive things from him, but they also don't think he's really ready defensively to play in the majors right now.



Q: Josh from Phoenix asks:
Does Johnny Cueto ceiling put him right about at a Right handed Tom Gordon?

A: J.J. Cooper: It's hard not to think of Gordon because he's one of the patron saints of short righthanders. But Cueto's stuff is different than Gordon's. Gordon's curveball was an otherworldly pitch, one of those true 12-to-6ers that is scary to watch. Cueto has good stuff, but no pitch that's plus-plus like Gordon's curve was.



Q: Josh from Phoenix asks:
So in 2006 the Reds drafted a 1st round pick who can't hit and a 2nd round pick who can't locate his fastball. How's that an improvement over previous years?

A: J.J. Cooper: It's too early to say that Stubbs can't hit. And it's too early to say that Watson can't locate his fastball. The Reds were aware that they were rolling the dice somewhat with Stubbs. Everyone thinks he'll be able to play an outstanding center field and hit for power. As the Reds see it, if he doesn't cut down the strikeouts he'll still be a useful major leaguer and if he does, he could be a star. It's a risky pick, but then it wasn't an outlandish risk considering the talent pool in last year's draft. Watson will likely be a reliever, but the Reds took him with the hope that he'll be able to move quickly through the system.



Q: Josh from Phoenix asks:
Any chance Richie Gardner & Thomas Pauly return to anywhere in the ballpark of their former prospect status in 2007?

A: J.J. Cooper: I just heard a report that Gardner is healthy, but in both cases it's a long road to get back to where they were. There are a lot more pitchers who never recovered fully from shoulder injuries than ones who make it back to their previous success. Both need to show that they can stay healthy after long layoffs before we can even think about them returning to their previous prospect status.

Benihana
01-29-2007, 05:00 PM
I could pretty much guarantee you that 2 of Dunn, Harang and Arroyo won't be here in 2010.

I don't really understand why this is the case. Arroyo might be gone due to his lack of interest in making Cincinnati his home, but with Griffey and other veterans coming off the books (Milton, etc.) there really is no reason why they couldnt resign Harang and Dunn for the long term. I agree a lot of those listed on Shaknb8k's lineup won't be in the lineup in 2010, but more for unforseen reasons (trades, injuries, flameouts, FA signings) than for lack of funds to sign them. I would lock Harang up right now. Then I would see how the first half of the year goes, and assuming he does well try to secure Brandon Phillips. Everybody else (minus Arroyo) on that list is signed through 2010 I believe, so there is really not too much to worry about. Maybe they get a SS (although I still think BP can play SS) and a C through trades or free agency, along with perhaps a #3 veteran starter (I doubt Arroyo will be around). I don't think you can count on both Cueto and Wood being reliable major league starters, but otherwise, I really like that squad for 2010!!

M2
01-29-2007, 05:05 PM
Credit where it's due, from Cooper - "A lot of teams, including Cincy, will likely be regretting letting Lincecum go."

edabbs44
01-29-2007, 05:06 PM
Credit where it's due, from Cooper - "A lot of teams, including Cincy, will likely be regretting letting Lincecum go."

That was my question...

Triples
01-29-2007, 05:09 PM
Well their list is a lot like my list, and the Redszone community list. They have scouts and contacts with scouts that help them with their information gathering and the writers themselves see a lot of baseball as well.

Well...I understand that is how BA indicates that they make their predictions. However, BA is a tad bit different than a free web blog. BA is holding it's self out as the expert as a means to make a $$ (nothing wrong with making a few bucks) from subscribers while I suspect that most of the suscribers to Redszone are well educated amatuers or at least they aren't making a living off the information/opinions they put on this website as a source of entertainment. Please note that I'm not even debating whether their list is right or wrong. I just wonder why they would go so far out on a limb with guys that are so unproven and therefore leave themselves open to criticism a year to two from now.

For the sake of debate here are the last 3 years of 10 tens from BA

2006 2005 2004
1. Homer Bailey, Homer Bailey Homer Bailey
2. Jay Bruce, Jay Bruce Edwin Encarnacion
3. Joey Votto, Travis Wood Richie Gardner
4. Johnny Cueto, BJ Szymanski Joey Votto
5. Drew Stubbs, Chris Denorfia BJ Szymanski
6. Travis Woods, Rafael Gonzalez Thomas Pauley
7. Sean Watson, Miguel Perez Todd Coffey
8. Milton Loo, Tyler Pelland William Bergolla
9. Paul Janish, Joey Votto Tyler Pelland
10. Chris Valaika, Travis Chick Paul Janish

I find it interest how many of their picks from just the last two years are no longer on the 06 list (save the few that are in now in the majors). I don't have the information nor the time to check, but it would be interesting to see how many of the current Reds 25 man roster were ever on the BA top ten list. Maybe I would feel differently if BA were not so pragmatic about their predictions. Then again maybe I should lighten up...I have to remember were dealing with an business where doing it right 33% of the time could put you in the HOF. :D

M2
01-29-2007, 05:13 PM
That was my question...

Good question.

Of course in defending the Stubbs pick in one of jmc's questions, Cooper said, "It's a risky pick, but then it wasn't an outlandish risk considering the talent pool in last year's draft."

So Stubbs wasn't an outlandish risk unless of course you acknowledge the existence of Tim Lincecum? Or maybe Bill Rowell and Chris Marrero too.

Red Leader
01-29-2007, 05:17 PM
Yeah, it kind of sucks.

I put a lot of time into last year's amateur draft doing research, taking part in the mock draft on RZ, etc. I loved Lincecum. Then, to see the Reds pass on him, it sucked. Somehow, I just knew that they wouldn't pick him.

jmcclain19
01-29-2007, 05:17 PM
Good question.

Of course in defending the Stubbs pick in one of jmc's questions, Cooper said, "It's a risky pick, but then it wasn't an outlandish risk considering the talent pool in last year's draft."

So Stubbs wasn't an outlandish risk unless of course you acknowledge the existence of Tim Lincecum? Or maybe Bill Rowell and Chris Marrero too.

I think you had some of the waffling last year when you asked about the hypocritical stance they took on Miguel Perez compared to other guys that were ranked lower than him.

JJ seems to waffle quite a bit every year on here.

I wonder how much input they have, or do they just go straight off of what the team tells them.

They'll deny it vehemetly that they aren't independent, but I really find that hard to believe their isn't a deferment going on there with regard to who is considered a prospect or not.

jmcclain19
01-29-2007, 05:20 PM
Yeah, it kind of sucks.

I put a lot of time into last year's amateur draft doing research, taking part in the mock draft on RZ, etc. I loved Lincecum. Then, to see the Reds pass on him, it sucked. Somehow, I just knew that they wouldn't pick him.

When the Giants rotation is Matt Cain, Noah Lowry, Tim Lincecum & Barry Zito for the next four-five years, there will be all kinds of regrets going on in the NL.

And also about Lincecum - do you see a heavy dose of irony that one guy the Reds and BA is pushing hard as a future stud - Johnny Cueto, is a hard throwing short right hander - and yet the Reds deemed it necessary to pass over a potentially better risk short righthander to take a OF who can't hit?

dougdirt
01-29-2007, 05:23 PM
Yeah, it kind of sucks.

I put a lot of time into last year's amateur draft doing research, taking part in the mock draft on RZ, etc. I loved Lincecum. Then, to see the Reds pass on him, it sucked. Somehow, I just knew that they wouldn't pick him.

I am with you, to an extent. I wanted anyone instead of Stubbs due to the concerns with his bat. The guy I did want more than anyone who was available at our pick was Billy Rowell though. Lincecum still worries me with his delivery and size. His stuff is ridiculous, but he is one pitch away from losing that, and with his delivery, I think its more than likely to come.

Kc61
01-29-2007, 05:24 PM
For those Redszoners who complain bitterly whenever the Reds draft high schoolers, notice how many of the top ten -- including most of the "impact" prospects -- come from high school programs or other non-college sources. I wouldn't mind seeing another top pick from high school with Bailey or Bruce type upside.

edabbs44
01-29-2007, 05:27 PM
For those Redszoners who complain bitterly whenever the Reds draft high schoolers, notice how many of the top ten -- including most of the "impact" prospects -- come from high school programs or other non-college sources. I wouldn't mind seeing another top pick from high school with Bailey or Bruce type upside.

I want the best college pitcher on the board...someone who will be ready in 2-3 years. No sense waiting when the clock will be ticking on Harang and Homer.

jmcclain19
01-29-2007, 05:28 PM
For those Redszoners who complain bitterly whenever the Reds draft high schoolers, notice how many of the top ten -- including most of the "impact" prospects -- come from high school programs or other non-college sources. I wouldn't mind seeing another top pick from high school with Bailey or Bruce type upside.

I liked the Bruce pick - but Homer was the Reds equivelent of winning the lottery. The Brewers may have even saved the Reds from themselves by taking Mark Rogers two picks earlier.

And I'm personally glad the Reds didn't take Bill Rowell. Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus wrote of him this offseason that he's going to be a DH playing 1b very soon - probably next year if not the year after. Last thing the Reds need is a Jack Cust type wandering the system without a home.

Red Leader
01-29-2007, 05:30 PM
When Andrew Miller went off the board I wanted Lincecum or Bard. The Reds picked Stubbs. To see them pass over both Lincecum and Bard pained me.

jmcclain19
01-29-2007, 05:31 PM
Doug's mancrush got a mention


Q: Mike from Boston asks:
There's been a lot of talk about the lack of depth in the Reds system. Are there are sleeper starters that bear watching beyond Bailey, Cueto and Wood?

A: J.J. Cooper: I'll throw one out -- Josh Ravin was very impressive in his first pro season. The former Chatsworth High product has a good body and an advanced approach. It wouldn't be a surprise if he has a breakthrough season in Dayton this year.

dougdirt
01-29-2007, 05:38 PM
Hahaha I have no man crush... ok thats not true. But if I have to admit to one, its on Ken Griffey Jr.

Seriously though I expect Ravin to open a lot of eyes next season.

M2
01-29-2007, 05:59 PM
The Reds certainly need guys like Ravin, Jordan Smith, Luis Montano and Brandon Rice to take steps forward. One of the things that's killed the Reds over the years is that the organization hasn't been able to turn up anything outside its top picks (and that's even been spotty).

Aronchis
01-29-2007, 06:00 PM
DanO and Krivisky are night and day when it comes to evaluating pitchers. Krivisky likes them big and tall. O'brien doesn't seem to care(basing on his Houston and short Cincy stint). It makes me wonder what Cueto's future is with the Reds or has he been "grandfather'd" in?

Lincecum has his own risks, but Stubbs does as well. Sounds like to me, Krivsky gave Buckley some ground rules to follow and not drafting short pitchers was one of those rules. A guy like Bard doesn't have the "stuff" at that spot and he didn't fall to the low first round for nothing, the rest were to raw for the liking. So you are stuck really with Lincecum or Stubbs. Buckley had a easy decision though maybe one that you will regret or not regret in the future.

Doc. Scott
01-29-2007, 06:56 PM
For those Redszoners who complain bitterly whenever the Reds draft high schoolers, notice how many of the top ten -- including most of the "impact" prospects -- come from high school programs or other non-college sources. I wouldn't mind seeing another top pick from high school with Bailey or Bruce type upside.

It's been shown on a general basis that the best position players are most often HS picks. Pitchers, being somewhat more random, are better bets coming from the college ranks (since getting through three more years of the injury nexus is a good thing for a pitcher).

In general, the only big no-nos for an expensive high pick are HS pitchers. Heap whatever plaudits you want on Homer Bailey, but he's succeeding against the odds so far.

Red Daddy
01-29-2007, 07:11 PM
You know, I'm not impressed with Stubbs, Watson, Wood-esp. with his much lower velocity and extreme effort, and Loo. I like Lecure much more than Watson. Fisher pitched about as well as Wood last year. I'm hoping Stubbs comes around, but the signs don't look good at all at this point.

I've also heard that Gardner feels great and thinks this is the year he can work on getting back to form. Last year was just practice.

Pauly, on the other hand, is probably done. He's had multiple shoulder problems and elbows problems.

Wow, that's Pauly, Howington, Aramboles, Gillman, Gruler, Basham, and possibly Gardner that have all gone down because of injuries!!! Amazing!

dougdirt
01-29-2007, 07:16 PM
You know, I'm not impressed with Stubbs, Watson, Wood-esp. with his much lower velocity and extreme effort, and Loo. I like Lecure much more than Watson. Fisher pitched about as well as Wood last year. I'm hoping Stubbs comes around, but the signs don't look good at all at this point.

I've also heard that Gardner feels great and thinks this is the year he can work on getting back to form. Last year was just practice.

Pauly, on the other hand, is probably done. He's had multiple shoulder problems and elbows problems.

Wow, that's Pauly, Howington, Aramboles, Gillman, Gruler, Basham, and possibly Gardner that have all gone down because of injuries!!! Amazing!
Fisher was also 4 years older than Travis Wood was last season. Wood being a lefty throwing in the low 90's is ok, but I expect some of his velocity to come back next season. Rumor has it the Reds worked on his delivery a bit, which caused the drop in velocity. Getting used to repeating it will help in getting some velocity back.

Outshined_One
01-29-2007, 07:28 PM
Yes and no. In the minor leagues, I take most BABIP numbers with a grain of salt. Some hitters are just better than their competition and will put up really high BABIP numbers (Votto and his .371), but what is nice is to take a peak at their line drive percentage and see how it correlates with their BABIP.

For example, Cameron Maybin (DET, OF) had a BABIP of .415 last season, but just a 9.6 Line drive percentage. Something smells ridiculously funny about that, and for that reason I think he is currently one of the most overrated prospects in the game. Jay Bruce had a .351 BABIP, and a line drive percentage of 15.5. When you look at the two side by side, something just is not right with it.

It's all a matter of context with regard to minor league BABIP numbers. While Maybin put up an absurd .415 BABIP last season (even higher against LHPs!), he has a ton of other tools that have everyone else drooling. While he is not as naturally powerful as Bruce is and hit an unusually high number of groundballs, he has a chance to put up some good power numbers for a CF. I had the pleasure of talking with a few people who are familiar with the MWL following this past season. All of them were head over heels for the guy.

Anyways, there are a few other things I like about the BABIP numbers on that site. For one, they have it for pitchers. Granted, those numbers are also subject to the same fluctuations, but it can really help in determining if a guy was really lucky or unlucky in a given year. The fact that Homer dominated as well as he did in AA while posting a .307 BABIP there is reeeeeeeeeeally encouraging for him.

Second, those numbers can help weed out overrated players in certain circumstances. In following the Peoria Chiefs this year, Mark Reed's name was brought up on a few occasions by a variety of people familiar with baseball, especially considering his brother Jeremy was well-hyped during his days as a White Sox prospect. Mark put up decidedly mediocre numbers (.254/.315/.306), which led some people to believe that he had an unlucky year and would start developing better pitch recognition skills and power.

However, his BABIP was .327 (with halfway decent LD% numbers). The guy was abnormally lucky and still couldn't hit above .255. There's something a little bit wrong with that (along with the mediocre IsoD and power numbers).

Aronchis
01-29-2007, 08:18 PM
[QUOTE=Red Daddy;1234176]You know, I'm not impressed with Stubbs, Watson, Wood-esp. with his much lower velocity and extreme effort

Wood doesn't have a max effort delivery. The reason why his velocity 'dropped' was because he toned it down to what he really throws. Velocity is overrated for a lefty as well.

Redmachine2003
01-29-2007, 10:05 PM
Did Wood tone it done or just start throwing a two seam fastball to get more sink. He still might be able to hit 95 mph with a four seam fastball.

Caveat Emperor
01-29-2007, 10:12 PM
Wood doesn't have a max effort delivery. The reason why his velocity 'dropped' was because he toned it down to what he really throws. Velocity is overrated for a lefty as well.

Velocity is especially overrated when you can throw a great change. Wood might only come in at 89-91, but if he's throwing a change routinely at sub-80, he should be able to baffle hitters at any level.

Throwing hard is fantastic, but velocity differential can make up a lot of ground when it's coupled with good control.

vaticanplum
01-29-2007, 10:25 PM
It's been shown on a general basis that the best position players are most often HS picks. Pitchers, being somewhat more random, are better bets coming from the college ranks (since getting through three more years of the injury nexus is a good thing for a pitcher).

In general, the only big no-nos for an expensive high pick are HS pitchers. Heap whatever plaudits you want on Homer Bailey, but he's succeeding against the odds so far.

And he's still very, very young. I think some of us tend to forget that Bailey is not yet three years out of high school. He's not even old enough to drink yet.

I'm a proponent of wariness in the way of high school pitchers except in very extreme cases. Bailey may yet prove to be an exception, but I think we should wait until he pitches in a single major-league game to make that decision. A lot of very talented HS pitchers have no problem being phenoms for a few years. It's longevity that's the question. The Reds, at least, have kept Bailey on pitch counts and on a strict minor league path for the most part and I really think a team has no choice but to do that with a HS pitcher for any hope of long-term security. Pointing to the Reds farm system as an exemplifier of HS players having success holds no validity to me until they're OUT of the farm system.

Betterread
01-29-2007, 10:41 PM
Velocity is especially overrated when you can throw a great change. Wood might only come in at 89-91, but if he's throwing a change routinely at sub-80, he should be able to baffle hitters at any level.

Throwing hard is fantastic, but velocity differential can make up a lot of ground when it's coupled with good control.

Good points. These are some of the reasons that I am optimistic about his potential. Since he has chucked the ball at 93-94 mph at one time in his life, it makes me think that with better understanding of conditioning and with the strength that will come with maturity, he will be able to hit those speeds when he needs to. The big thing is that he doesn't overthrow when he is young - that is a big injury factor.

TOBTTReds
01-30-2007, 12:22 AM
Except Molina had a minor league OPS 63 points higher than Perez. At Perez's age, Molina was acquitting himself well in AAA instead of bombing out in AA.

Good point. I didn't know Molina was atleast acceptable in AAA.

Superdude
01-30-2007, 01:16 AM
Did Wood tone it done or just start throwing a two seam fastball to get more sink. He still might be able to hit 95 mph with a four seam fastball.

He throws a cutter, but I'm sure he didn't drop the 4-seamer.

Wood's delivery was definitely toned down last year. When you compared his draft video to what he looked like in Dayton, it's kind of like the difference between watching Oswalt and Glavine. My guess is that he could still reach 94-95 if he wanted to. It'd make sense if he had a sore arm or something, but there's really no logical reason for him to lose 3-5MPH off his fastball in one offseason. It'll be interesting to see if he can regain that explosiveness without sacrificing his mechanics and consistency.

I just got the Prospect Handbook today. I was really impressed until I saw James Avery at #14. Somebody forgot to do their homework on that one, but other than that, it's got some pretty good info. Just to make Doug happy, they said Ravin was in fact throwing 94-96 last year with advanced secondary pitches. The one thing I found odd was that they had Shafer as having the best slider in the org. Maybe I'm wrong, but that doesn't say much for Cueto does it?

M2
01-30-2007, 02:15 AM
Here's what I like about Wood's 2006 campaign:

- He threw 140 IP and stayed healthy
- He held opponents to a .215 BA
- Despite the drop in velocity he maintained an 8.55 K/9

Here's what I didn't like about Wood's 2006 campaign:

- His HR/9 swelled to 0.90
- His control didn't seem to improve at all

Here's the question I've got about his curve:

How long before he scraps it and tries a slider?

TOBTTReds
01-30-2007, 12:01 PM
Here's the question I've got about his curve:

How long before he scraps it and tries a slider?

Hopefully long enough that he starts throwing it under very close professional supervision. If he has a cutter, then I would just stick with that. A lot less stress on the 'bow.

FB
CH
CU

His FB/CH combo might be good enough to get away with those 3 pitches, and throw a curve once an inning just to keep hitters aware of it.

M2
01-30-2007, 12:21 PM
Hopefully long enough that he starts throwing it under very close professional supervision. If he has a cutter, then I would just stick with that. A lot less stress on the 'bow.

FB
CH
CU

His FB/CH combo might be good enough to get away with those 3 pitches, and throw a curve once an inning just to keep hitters aware of it.

Good point, though I suppose it depends on the quality of his cutter. Though I'm under the impression that guys who throw a cutter tend to gravitate toward the slider when they want to throw something with a bigger break.

Caveat Emperor
01-30-2007, 04:17 PM
His FB/CH combo might be good enough to get away with those 3 pitches, and throw a curve once an inning just to keep hitters aware of it.

You could say the same thing about a slider -- developing it doesn't mean he has to use it a lot. Show it early in the game, then fall back to changing speeds and location to make outs.

Wood is an intruiging prospect -- I see him as the kind of guy who will lose K rate as he develops, but maintain his ERA and OPS-A. Someone who changes speeds as effectively as he does will induce a lot of bad contact in place of strikeouts, especially as the hitters he faces become more developed.

Having a slider, or any breaking ball to keep hitters off balance, will only aid him, even if it is rarely thrown.

Red Leader
01-30-2007, 04:29 PM
You could say the same thing about a slider -- developing it doesn't mean he has to use it a lot. Show it early in the game, then fall back to changing speeds and location to make outs.

Wood is an intruiging prospect -- I see him as the kind of guy who will lose K rate as he develops, but maintain his ERA and OPS-A. Someone who changes speeds as effectively as he does will induce a lot of bad contact in place of strikeouts, especially as the hitters he faces become more developed.

Having a slider, or any breaking ball to keep hitters off balance, will only aid him, even if it is rarely thrown.

Do you see him more in the Tom Glavine mold? Someone who lives on the corners and deceives with his offspeed pitch (changeup)? I'm not sure if Wood is ever going to blow people away with his fastball, although if he occasionally switches things up and pitches his fastball off of his changeup, I'm guessing even at 90 that's going to look pretty quick and might sneak past some hitters. Just the way you described him in that post above reminded me of Tom Glavine for some reason and I had never really thought of that comp before...

Superdude
01-30-2007, 05:39 PM
Though I'm under the impression that guys who throw a cutter tend to gravitate toward the slider when they want to throw something with a bigger break.

I never thought of that before. Isn't a cutter basically just a slider thrown with less break and more velocity? I've never pitched before, but would it be realistic to think he could morph his cutter into a decent slider?

M2
01-30-2007, 05:45 PM
I never thought of that before. Isn't a cutter basically just a slider thrown with less break and more velocity? I've never pitched before, but would it be realistic to think he could morph his cutter into a decent slider?

That's the way I understand it. I'd figure a guy who has a working cutter and hasn't shown much feel for a curve would naturally gravitate toward the slider. It would give him different looks off a similar motion.

lollipopcurve
01-30-2007, 08:18 PM
I believe the slider involves snapping your wrist and a cutter doesn't. More stress on the elbow -- I doubt the Reds let Wood go that way. A slowish curve is much easier on the arm. I hope sticks with it -- he's still very young and has plenty of time refine it.

Dan
01-31-2007, 11:41 AM
4. Johnny Cueto
Good - Easy 3/4 delivery w/ fastball that can touch 96. Soto taught him a changeup that is now a major league average pitch. Also has a nasty slider.
Bad - Size doesn't bode well for future. Likes to challenge up in the zone which he'll get punished for at higher levels.

Isn't the size thing an old saw that doesn't hold true? Why is that such a negative, or is it not as much as BA might be making it out to be?

dougdirt
01-31-2007, 11:57 AM
Short pitchers usually have a hard time making it as starters in the big leagues. While there are exceptions like Oswalt, Pedro....they surely are not the rule.

M2
01-31-2007, 10:51 PM
Short pitchers usually have a hard time making it as starters in the big leagues. While there are exceptions like Oswalt, Pedro....they surely are not the rule.

And Tim Hudson and Greg Maddux. Jake Peavy's not the biggest guy either. There's a school of thought that with modern conditioning and nutrition that shorter guys can now get over the starter hurdle.

Caveat Emperor
02-01-2007, 02:39 PM
Do you see him more in the Tom Glavine mold? Someone who lives on the corners and deceives with his offspeed pitch (changeup)? I'm not sure if Wood is ever going to blow people away with his fastball, although if he occasionally switches things up and pitches his fastball off of his changeup, I'm guessing even at 90 that's going to look pretty quick and might sneak past some hitters. Just the way you described him in that post above reminded me of Tom Glavine for some reason and I had never really thought of that comp before...

Glavine was a master at spotting the baseball exactly where he wanted it -- I'd love to see Wood develop that kind of proficency at making his pitch, but I'm not going to hold my breath hoping that he turns into the next Tom Glavine. Having said that, I think he is a really good comp for Wood right now if he continues to pitch at his current velocity range. What will really determine Wood's fate is the ability to throw that 3rd pitch every so often to cross up the hitter. You can get a lot of mileage off velocity differential, but at some point you've gotta give hitters a different choice than A or B to keep them honest -- especially as a starter. It doesn't have to be a great curveball or slider, just enough of one that gives the hitter a different look (spin) and will lock them up when they're looking fastball or change.

The key to all of this is him staying healthy and being able to throw easily at 88-91 -- not straining to get it up there and sacraficing control in the process. Part of what ruins pitchers coming back on surgery (especially guys like Claussen) isn't so much that they don't recover all their velocity, its that they have to overexert to get back to the level where they once threw easily. That overexertion, I think, leads to control problems and contributes to their being hit around. There's a huge difference, IMO, between a healthy 88-91 and a recovered 88-91 in terms of what else the pitcher is free to do.

Of course, I'm no scout or medical expert, so take my opinion with a Sams Club crate of salt.

RedsManRick
02-01-2007, 03:13 PM
Isn't the size thing an old saw that doesn't hold true? Why is that such a negative, or is it not as much as BA might be making it out to be?

I believe somebody posted research a few weeks back on this. The gist of it was that while shorter righties had similar ceilings in terms of performance, they didn't last as long career-wise.