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View Full Version : Way back when...what scouts were saying about Junior



Matt700wlw
05-18-2007, 10:36 PM
"Is not yet 17 years old and has body of 22-year-old. Has more overall ability than any player I've ever scouted or ever seen. Has a chance to be a superstar ... Could hit .300 and 30 HRs-plus for many years. Is a 16-year-old kid with a 22-year-old body and 12-year-old mind at times. Needs to show willingness to work and dedicate himself to the game."


"Hit tremendously long home run on this date. Also hit two balls to right field that would have went through wall."

Has a big league body and arrogance right now ... Bat is so quick he had trouble hitting ball fair."


"If you thought Barry Bonds was interesting, wait until you see this kid. Took four pitches (intentional walk) with bat tucked under arms and arms folded across chest. Sat down on second [base] twice. A bit of a canine, but I'D TAKE HIM IN A SECOND."

Degenerate39
05-18-2007, 10:37 PM
So does that mean he has a body of a 43 year old?

hebroncougar
05-18-2007, 11:36 PM
Interesting, I think alot of people would say the same thing about him today. I don't know whether it's true or not, but alot of people assume he doesn't work hard, and seems arrogant. I had no idea they were saying about that then. It's more understandable then, I'm sure he was bored of knocking the crap out of high school pitching.

Always Red
05-18-2007, 11:49 PM
I posted this on another thread tonight, about Junior...


Re: The Reds Took Infield Today

Junior is the THE VET on this team; everyone looks up to Junior and respects what he has done in the game. Not too many teams have a sure-fire, first ballot HoF'er on their team.

How he carries himself, and how he responds to the media, speaks volumes, to his teammates, the press, and the fans. In this day and age of blogs, video cameras and instant information, everything you say or do is subject to review.

Junior could set the tone, for this team, if he chose to do so.

This team desperately needs Junior to step up and lead them. He's always said in the past that he leads by example, and that's fine, because he has. Few men have ever played the game as well as The Kid has.

This team needs a verbal tongue-lashing, and it needs to come from Ken Griffey, Jr. Once again, he's the best player on this team (I know, it's hard to believe but true). He needs to directly address what Scott Hatteberg was referring to the other night. He needs to dispel any and all rumors that this team takes losing easily.

I love Junior, and I would love him even more if he stepped up and took on this role. If Junior showed some fire, some passion, it would catch, it would spread throughout the clubhouse and I would catch it, too. And many of you would, too.

I have no idea what goes on behind closed doors; I have no idea what he says to other players.

I do know that Junior is an enormously talented baseball player, and he's having a great year, just when I though he couldn't do it any more. I love the fact that he's from Cincinnati and went to Moeller HS (my school's main rival!). I absolutely hate what injury has done to his career. If he had not been injured, all this crap with Bonds this year would have been a moot point; he'd have destroyed Bonds by now. Ken Griffey, Jr is a fine man, a good teammate, dad, husband,and son. He's been a great role model for our kids. Not a single one of us have ever had to point at Junior and shake our head or try to explain to our kids why they should not emulate him in any way.

I also know, from many folks whom have known Junior over the years, that he's a real smartass (and I mean that in a good way- see the jockstrap incident in LA the other night). Sometimes that backfires on him. Sometimes he says things in an offhanded, sometimes flippant manner, that doesn't come across like he means it to.

Now is not the time for that. Junior has never had a ring, never played in a World Series. He came close, once, in 1995, when the Mariner's lost to the Indians in 6 games in the ALCS. I'd love to see Junior get a ring. There will always be questions as to why Junior didn't lead a team to a championship, fairly or unfairly asked. The same type of questions that are asked of NFL QB's.

I'd love to see that ring come with the Reds; obviously, it will not happen this year. But it could, next year, or in 2009.

Junior could set the tone. Junior could demand excellence and effort. He may already be doing this in the clubhouse, behind closed doors, again, I have no idea. I hope he is. When I see video like I did tonight, and I know that Jerry Narron is managing as if each game is his last, and I see Junior laughing about his efforts, I have to admit, it does make me wonder. And it does set a tone.

hebroncougar
05-18-2007, 11:53 PM
I saw that post Always...........spot on. I don't think it'll happen, though, I wish it would.

44Magnum
05-21-2007, 02:36 PM
I love seeing scouting reports of players that went on to make it. It's very interesting reading.

redsfanmia
05-21-2007, 05:12 PM
I think its more interesting to see the reports on the "cant miss" guys who well in a word miss.

texasdave
05-21-2007, 05:58 PM
Here is a little anecdotal evidence about the 'supposed' leadership qualities of Junior. This is the game in Houston which Milton started. I had seats in the right field bleachers five rows from the fence - in anticipation of getting a home run ball. First inning Junior makes a half-hearted effort then stops and lets a very catchable ball drop in. A couple innings later a pop fly down the right field line. As someone mentioned in another thread you see Hatteberg and Phillips hustling after it but no Junior. Why? Because Griffey takes maybe a half-hearted step or two in that direction and then watches. Leadership by example. Contrast that with a 40-plus year old Craig Biggio flying down the right field line to make a spectacular grab. Junior assumed he couldn't get to his ball and watched. Biggio didn't assume anything, hustled and made a great play.
Fast forward to the 8th inning. The Reds take the lead in the top of inning only to give it back in the bottom. As Weathers is coming in from the pen, immediately after Stanton had surrendered the lead, and Narron is talking to the umpire while making a double/triple/quadruple switch which included Freel going from CF to 3b, I notice Junior jogging to CF. I am thinking no way Junior is gonna play CF. What I didn't notice immediately is that AD was jogging from left to meet Junior halfway. As Weathers completes his warmups our two esteemed leaders-by-example share a quick joke or two before heading back to their respective positions. Griffey and Dunn joking around in CF immediately after the Reds had given up a hard-fought lead. Leadership by example. I know this is anecdotal. You can choose to believe it or not. But it happened.

Fil3232
05-21-2007, 06:20 PM
Here is a little anecdotal evidence about the 'supposed' leadership qualities of Junior. This is the game in Houston which Milton started. I had seats in the right field bleachers five rows from the fence - in anticipation of getting a home run ball. First inning Junior makes a half-hearted effort then stops and lets a very catchable ball drop in. A couple innings later a pop fly down the right field line. As someone mentioned in another thread you see Hatteberg and Phillips hustling after it but no Junior. Why? Because Griffey takes maybe a half-hearted step or two in that direction and then watches. Leadership by example. Contrast that with a 40-plus year old Craig Biggio flying down the right field line to make a spectacular grab. Junior assumed he couldn't get to his ball and watched. Biggio didn't assume anything, hustled and made a great play.
Fast forward to the 8th inning. The Reds take the lead in the top of inning only to give it back in the bottom. As Weathers is coming in from the pen, immediately after Stanton had surrendered the lead, and Narron is talking to the umpire while making a double/triple/quadruple switch which included Freel going from CF to 3b, I notice Junior jogging to CF. I am thinking no way Junior is gonna play CF. What I didn't notice immediately is that AD was jogging from left to meet Junior halfway. As Weathers completes his warmups our two esteemed leaders-by-example share a quick joke or two before heading back to their respective positions. Griffey and Dunn joking around in CF immediately after the Reds had given up a hard-fought lead. Leadership by example. I know this is anecdotal. You can choose to believe it or not. But it happened.

Couple of beefs:

1) Jr. has no range anymore. None. I think we all need to re-calibrate our scale of expectations regarding what balls Jr. can get to or not.

2) Are you knocking Jr. (and Dunn) for leading by example? Not everybody is a rah-rah leader, and trying to force that upon people is in nobody's best interest. Further, I think it is more incriminating of the rest of the Reds than Jr. and Dunn to so desperately need a vocal leader. They're professional athletes. If you need cheerleading at this level, well, you shouldn't be here. Leadership is great, but talent wins.

3) Complaining about two guys talking between a pitching change? That seems petty and biased. Even if they were joking, smiling, and giggling, what relevance does that have on the game? Did it hurt their production? The teams' production? Did it make the bullpen suck even more?

texasdave
05-21-2007, 06:44 PM
1) Jr. has no range anymore. None. I think we all need to re-calibrate our scale of expectations regarding what balls Jr. can get to or not.


It is not really a matter of whether Jr. has range or not. Are you saying that it is okay for a player to make a quick assumption about whether they can get to a ball or not and then if they decide they can't to simply stand and watch? Junior himself says he leads by example. I am not hanging that tag on him. Those are his words. What kind of example is he setting here? Standing and watching on a play that 99.9% of other right fielders would put forth the effort to make is leadership by example?



2) Are you knocking Jr. (and Dunn) for leading by example? Not everybody is a rah-rah leader, and trying to force that upon people is in nobody's best interest. Further, I think it is more incriminating of the rest of the Reds than Jr. and Dunn to so desperately need a vocal leader. They're professional athletes. If you need cheerleading at this level, well, you shouldn't be here. Leadership is great, but talent wins.


Am I knocking them for leading by example? Not at all. In fact I think that would be a great idea. It is like you say 'leadership is great'. And talent does win. But I think talent with leadership more often will take you farther than just talent alone. In theory no one should need leadership no matter what profession. We should all do everything professionally and to the best of our ability. But that isn't real life. Leadership matters and I don't think Junior provides it - vocally or by example - no matter how many times he says he does. That was my point.



3) Complaining about two guys talking between a pitching change? That seems petty and biased. Even if they were joking, smiling, and giggling, what relevance does that have on the game? Did it hurt their production? The teams' production? Did it make the bullpen suck even more?

It was neither petty nor biased. I agree that baseball is not life and death. 99% of the time I have no problem with baseball players having fun. However, this example falls under the 1% of the time that I do. Junior can't even jog after a ball in play. But he can find the energy to jog to CF immediately after the Reds cough up another lead to joke around. Maybe it's me but this seems like the wrong time. It sets a bad example IMO. And, after all, isn't leadership by example all about setting good examples?

I feel that Junior thinks that if he hits a home run he has set a good example. But to me that really isn't at all. He can hit a home run every time up and it isn't gonna help Juan Castro hit one. I am not saying that Junior is a lousy ball player. He is hitting wonderfully this year. But I think this ball club needs a leader. And I think there are players on this team that feel the same way. They are looking for Junior, as team captain, to provide it. It's not happening.

Fil3232
05-21-2007, 08:08 PM
Personally, I would rather have Jr.'s bat in the lineup for 500 ABs this season. If that occurrence comes at the expense of a few bleeders down the RF line or a jog up the 1B line on a ball hit to the second baseman so be it. Just my opinion though.

Also, on the leadership point--

Jr. could be the best leader in the world, but those intangibles are not enough to make the Reds a contender. I think Jr. and Dunn take heat for not being good leaders because the rest of the team is just plain lousy, not because they can't lead. People assume they aren't leading, but maybe the rest of the team isn't capable of following their lead.

Mario-Rijo
05-21-2007, 08:11 PM
This is off the subject but, Matt what are you doing here in the Sun Deck? Shouldn't you be on the ORG? If not I am quite puzzled, and a bit discouraged as well.

pahster
05-21-2007, 08:27 PM
This is off the subject but, Matt what are you doing here in the Sun Deck? Shouldn't you be on the ORG? If not I am quite puzzled, and a bit discouraged as well.

He posted before the changes.

DTCromer
05-21-2007, 11:12 PM
I feel that Junior thinks that if he hits a home run he has set a good example. But to me that really isn't at all. He can hit a home run every time up and it isn't gonna help Juan Castro hit one. I am not saying that Junior is a lousy ball player. He is hitting wonderfully this year. But I think this ball club needs a leader. And I think there are players on this team that feel the same way. They are looking for Junior, as team captain, to provide it. It's not happening.

They're not looking at Griff. Griffey has been here for what. . .6-7 years now? Griffey wasn't a leader in Seattle and he's not a leader here. The players on this team and in the league know what type of player he is and he's not a leader. . . that's just not his nature. I don't care that he's not a leader, he's never been and never will.

This team needs to acquire a leader and at this point, it's goign to be expensive. You don't become a leader overnight. Now maybe there are some more quiet leaders in the clubhouse that we don't know about, but I just don't see it.

I think once Jr. leaves, the clubhouse will be better equipped to handle a leader. I don't see anyone just coming in and owning the clubhouse already with the likes of Jr. there. The manager can also make a big impact as a "leader," but Narron isn't going to be that guy until he leaves. I honestly think it'll be until Jr. or possibly Narron leaves that we find a real "leader" in that clubhouse.

Mario-Rijo
05-22-2007, 08:39 AM
He posted before the changes.

Ah yes I see that now, but I thought when I had posted this he didn't have an Avatar. I must have overlooked it.

rotnoid
05-22-2007, 09:02 AM
This team needs to acquire a leader and at this point, it's goign to be expensive. You don't become a leader overnight. Now maybe there are some more quiet leaders in the clubhouse that we don't know about, but I just don't see it.

I'd much rather acquire a closer, a right handed power bat, a third baseman, a hard throwing setup guy that misses bats, a legitimate #2 catcher and then maybe a leader. In that order. Chemistry doesn't always lead to winning, but winning almost always leads to chemistry.

texasdave
05-22-2007, 10:46 AM
No one says you can win without talent. But please don't discount leadership. Leadership can come from players, managers or both. But it must come from somewhere. I feel that leadership helps maximize talent.

Consider these baseball predictions from Baseball Prospectus. The business of Baseball Prospectus is baseball. And they are widely considered good at what they do.

AL 2006 Pre-season Prognostications: Detroit
Will Carroll - 4th
Dan Fox - 4th
Steve Goldman - 4th
Kevin Goldstein - 4th
Thomas Gorman - 3rd
Jay Jaffe - 4th
Christina Kahrl - 3rd
Jonah Keri - 4th
Dayn Perry - 2nd
Joe Sheehan - 4th
Nate Silver - 3rd
Keith Woolner - 4th

A pretty impressive group of baseball analysts and not one of them had the Tigers making so much as the Wild Card. It makes you wonder if maybe the undervalued the no-nonsense leadership brought to the club by Jim Leyland.

The baseball experts at ESPN did no better. Once again not a single one picked the Tigers for as much as a WC.

Tom Verducci wrote the Sports Illustrated pre-season picks and stated that there were 9 teams in the AL capable of winning 90 games. The Tigers weren't listed among the nine.

Here are some excerpts from around the Net:

--Leyland's influence was obvious from the start, when he berated his players, his staff and himself for going through the motions in an April loss before the Tigers headed out of town on a West Coast road trip. They haven't been the same since.

--Craig Burley: (commenting on the 2007 season) I see the Tigers, Twins, White Sox and Indians as all 83-88 win teams this season (85-90 normally, but a -2 win discount for being in a very tough division). The team that comes out of there the best will probably be the one to exceed their Pythagorean projection the best - the one that gets the best luck. Leyland's skills give Detroit the best chance of any to do that, probably (if not Ozzie Guillen in Chicago), so I am leaning to the Tigers by the narrowest of margins over the slightly more talented Twins and Indians.
--And don't try telling Craig Monroe that Leyland didn't make a huge difference. "He understands trying to get everybody involved, making everybody feel a part of it," left fielder Craig Monroe said of Leyland. "When he puts you in there, it gives you a boost of confidence to know that he believes in you. And when you have somebody believe, it makes you do things that maybe you're not capable of doing on a day-to-day basis."

pahster
05-22-2007, 01:20 PM
Craig Monroe said of Leyland. "When he puts you in there, it gives you a boost of confidence to know that he believes in you. And when you have somebody believe, it makes you do things that maybe you're not capable of doing on a day-to-day basis."

Like OBP'ing over .300? :p:

rotnoid
05-22-2007, 01:26 PM
I'm not discounting leadership, but I am placing a premium on talent. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him hit.

As for the Tigers. That over-achieving young pitching staff didn't hurt.