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princeton
01-02-2008, 10:32 AM
Reds drafted dreadfully in the '90's.

but from '97 to '99, the drafting was quite a bit better (at least relatively speaking!). Those drafts netted players that had trade value, if only for a short time. Mike Frank, Brandon Larson, Dewayne Wise, Gookie Dawkins were part of '97, as was Scott Williamson. Kearns and Dunn led '98 but BJ Ryan and Todd Coffey were there too. things began to die off in '99, but Ben Broussard exploded on the scene and Ty Howington had a lot of value for a short time. Partly as a result of those drafts, as well as trades (Drew Henson) and the signing of free agents such as Antonio Perez and Jacoba Sequea, the Reds system was highly rated in the years 1999-2000

but the problem with those drafts was all of the absolute clunkers. So many of them had arm surgeries within a year of being drafted. MANY players washed out in less than a year. Others like Dawkins OPSed less than .750 at Billings, which is just a terrible sign for a Cincy prospect. Just looking at the top 10s in these three years, just looking at their first seasons-and-a-half:

1st rounders: Kearns had a great start, and Howington, Larson were OK

2nd rounders: Broussard and Dunn had great starts, Dawkins OPSed .623 at Billings

3rds: Did not choose to sign one after taking a closer look at him, another OPSed .633 at Billings, and a third was released within a season

4ths: two arm surgeries within a year, and a third player never got out of Rookie League

5ths: one did-not-sign, one arm surgery, and Dwayne Wise had a pretty good start with .844 OPS at Billings

6ths: one arm surgery, and two players OPSed less than .713 at Billing and were released within a year

7ths: one arm surgery, one OPSed .652 at Billings and was immediately released, and Mike Frank had a terrific start

8ths: one did-not-sign, one released within a year, and one released after two years

9ths: arm surgery, another released after a year, and Scott Williamson

10th: one released within a year, another OPSed .690 at Billings, and Scott Dunn who eventually got a cup of coffee.

In all, 33 percent at least reached the majors, and 13 percent have had significant careers. but 70 percent immediately showed the reddest of flags, either by not signing, having an immediate surgery, or posting a pathetic OPS at Billings


So, there's some data on the 2006-7 class of new administration. So far as I can tell, there have been NO arm surgeries (!), and there's no clear reason to release any players within a year either unless it's Andrew Bowman, who had pretty bad numbers. A couple of pitchers can't throw strikes but will get more chances. Drew Stubbs has had the lowest OPS at Billings, and .768 is troubling but, frankly, we've had MUCH worse. He's at least tradeable, and certainly not releaseable. Two draft picks did not sign; a third pitched for a season then was placed on the restricted list, and you might want to add Andrew Bowman. So, maybe 17% (as opposed to 70%!) have shown red flags so far-- but the data are not all in for 2007 yet. There might be some surgeries this spring, plus some of these guys haven't shown me a Billings OPS yet: Cozart bypassed Billings completely, and Mesoraco could very well OPS .650 at Billings. We'll see

overall, though, it strikes me as a VERY DIFFERENT set of players, and I would expect to see very different results. What those results will be, I cannot say. Maybe these guys have lower ceilings, and these drafts will produce fewer players with significant careers. but the present administration has certainly shown the ability to avoid the immediate stinkers, which strikes me as a great quality.

westofyou
01-02-2008, 10:46 AM
Reds drafted dreadfully in the '90's.

Horrendous, when you can't get the top players to perform or accept terms then you have to have a system intact that mines gold at the bottom of order, one that is firmly entrenched and one that everyone believes in from the top of the organization to the bottom.

When was the last time there was a strong consensus on development and business in the offices of the Cincinnati Reds?

Probably the 1970's... which is a lifetime ago.

lollipopcurve
01-02-2008, 11:04 AM
Maybe these guys have lower ceilings, and these drafts will produce fewer players with significant careers. but the present administration has certainly shown the ability to avoid the immediate stinkers, which strikes me as a great quality.

I think this is a good point. The stink has receded -- a sure sign of a more competent scouting effort. I would not put such a strong emphasis on OPS at Billings because it's still very early in players' development -- many debut there. Also, the current administration favors up-the-middle players with good defensive tools -- players like Stubbs, Cozart and Mesoraco are likely to continue to advance so long as they shine defensively while keeping their heads above water offensively. Ultimately, they could graduate to the majors with an average offensive resume -- and still be considered valuable commodities by this FO. So -- not only are the players as a whole better, but they are likely to be developed using a different set of criteria -- one that factors runs prevented, not just runs created.

princeton
01-02-2008, 11:18 AM
I would not put such a strong emphasis on OPS at Billings.

15 years of Billings' statistics argue strongly against you.


the current administration favors up-the-middle players with good defensive tools -- players like Stubbs, Cozart and Mesoraco are likely to continue to advance so long as they shine defensively while keeping their heads above water offensively. Ultimately, they could graduate to the majors with an average offensive resume .

we've been down this road before. if these players cannot hit in the minors, they never win more than a cup of coffee in the majors. It's an era of offense, not an era of defense. certainly the Reds need more defense, but players must hit a bit.

lollipopcurve
01-02-2008, 11:27 AM
15 years of Billings' statistics argue strongly against you.

If you want to identify a cutoff point for OPS at Billings as a sure predictor of whether a player will be this or that in the major leagues, go ahead. I doubt it holds up over time.


we've been down this road before.

What road is that?


It's an era of offense, not an era of defense. certainly the Reds need more defense, but players must hit a bit.

Not denying that. What I'm saying is that you need more than a single season's OPS -- much less in rookie ball -- to assess how a player may project through the Reds' system, especially with this administration, since defense is back on the scouting/development radar in Cincinnati, a good thing in my opinion.

princeton
01-02-2008, 11:35 AM
If you want to identify a cutoff point for OPS at Billings as a sure predictor of whether a player will be this or that in the major leagues, go ahead. I doubt it holds up over time.


15 years so far.

lollipopcurve
01-02-2008, 12:06 PM
it's a great way for kids to learn quickly if they should switch to pitching or to another career. Craig Tatum? try relieving. Paul Janish? think about the mound, too. Josh Holden? stay in the Army

Drew Stubbs? .768. Gonna be tough....

See, here's where I think you get into trouble. Again, we're talking about up-the-middle position players who are good/excellent defensively. Tatum has built his value. Janish has built his value. Both are 40-man roster guys now and have a good chance to be major leaguers in one shape or another. Who knows what would have happened had they switched to the mound.

And I think you're jumping the gun on Stubbs too.

princeton
01-02-2008, 12:17 PM
See, here's where I think you get into trouble. Again, we're talking about up-the-middle position players who are good/excellent defensively. Tatum has built his value. Janish has built his value. Both are 40-man roster guys now and have a good chance to be major leaguers in one shape or another. Who knows what would have happened had they switched to the mound.


Janish looks like the next Anderson Machado, Tatum looks like the next Chad Moeller. I want the next Trevor Hoffman.

but the major point is that any pitcher is worth more than any glover. If Tatum, as a pitcher, becomes the Chad Moeller of pitchers, well that's still more valuable than being the Chad Moeller of catchers.

for the record, the Billing cutoff is a great red flag, because that's what red flags are-- historically proven predictors. It's absolutely priceless to be able to make early decisions on players.

But it's also important to use this red flag in order to try to understand what's happening within the organization. The Billings cutoff suggests that we need a kid to already be a batter of some threshold of talent before he gets into the system, or else he won't make the majors at all. This tells the scouts which guys to draft, but it also tells the developers that they're crappy at teaching the rawest of hitting prospects, and need to figure out new ways to reach those guys. Having a catcher spend less time on his defense and more on his offense, for instance... or bringing in a hitting instructor who has had actual proven success with the rawest of batters, because there has been nobody here like that.

Mario-Rijo
01-02-2008, 05:58 PM
15 years of Billings' statistics argue strongly against you.



we've been down this road before. if these players cannot hit in the minors, they never win more than a cup of coffee in the majors. It's an era of offense, not an era of defense. certainly the Reds need more defense, but players must hit a bit.

With the lack of PED's, who knows of this holds true into the near future.

I know this topic has been dead awhile but I would still like to see a couple of teams get contracted. Which almost immediately makes the pitching better. Of course that's certainly a far fetched hope, but one I cling to.

princeton
01-02-2008, 06:14 PM
What road is that?.

the Dane Sardinha Memorial Highway

TRF
01-02-2008, 06:23 PM
the Dane Sardinha Memorial Highway

ok, that was funny.

I think guys not being able to hit at Billings (Stubbs) is a huge red flag. He got hot for 250 AB's at Dayton last year, and looks to be slotted in at Sarasota. The FSL is a pitcher's league. I'm betting he struggles, again, and possibly rebounds in the second half. I see a sub .800 OPS in 2008 though. not good.

But they can't all convert to the mound, and it isn't all talent that is the problem. The Reds need better instruction system wide.

Also the international signings seem to have stalled. Not one of Krivsky's int'l signings projects within a light year of Cueto. Latin America seems to have dried up, possibly because of the departure of Almarez. That leaves Asia and Australia. And not much has happened their but one lone signing of note.

dougdirt
01-02-2008, 06:35 PM
Also the international signings seem to have stalled. Not one of Krivsky's int'l signings projects within a light year of Cueto. Latin America seems to have dried up, possibly because of the departure of Almarez. That leaves Asia and Australia. And not much has happened their but one lone signing of note.

To be honest, Cueto was signed in February 2004 and was unheard of really until 2006 with Dayton as a 20 year old. Krivskys international guys are going to be 19-20 next year, so before we start thinking he hasn't done much on that front, lets give them just a little bit of time.

15fan
01-04-2008, 01:15 PM
the Dane Sardinha Memorial Highway

I just went under the Chad Mottola overpass and will need to make a pit stop soon.

Is there anything close, or do I have to wait until I get to John Olivertown?

princeton
01-04-2008, 01:21 PM
I just went under the Chad Mottola overpass and will need to make a pit stop soon.

Is there anything close, or do I have to wait until I get to John Olivertown?

the Watkins Patstop is my favorite, but really I'd drive straight through. You don't want to be on the roads after dark. Nobody in John Olivertown has night vision

Cedric
01-06-2008, 11:23 PM
ok, that was funny.

I think guys not being able to hit at Billings (Stubbs) is a huge red flag. He got hot for 250 AB's at Dayton last year, and looks to be slotted in at Sarasota. The FSL is a pitcher's league. I'm betting he struggles, again, and possibly rebounds in the second half. I see a sub .800 OPS in 2008 though. not good.

But they can't all convert to the mound, and it isn't all talent that is the problem. The Reds need better instruction system wide.

Also the international signings seem to have stalled. Not one of Krivsky's int'l signings projects within a light year of Cueto. Latin America seems to have dried up, possibly because of the departure of Almarez. That leaves Asia and Australia. And not much has happened their but one lone signing of note.

I think Drew Stubbs is one of those players that performs better at higher levels because his bat is about maxed out. That happens sometimes with players playing above their age in lower systems. And it ecspecially happens with high ceiling/raw college bats. That is why I would have pushed up Stubbs last year and we might have Erik Bedard right now. I think a Stubbs promotion last year would have risen his stock and with his overall skills made him a huge player in the Bedard deal.

Big if's in my statement, just my opinion that Stubbs would have been worth the risk of rushing last year for trade value alone. But others could easily say we wouldn't have seen that nice 250 at bat hot streak and we'd be staring at a player with less value right now. This year is obviously the make or break year for Stubbs and he needs to be pushed hard, IMO.

princeton
01-07-2008, 09:25 AM
I think Drew Stubbs is one of those players that performs better at higher levels because his bat is about maxed out. That happens sometimes with players playing above their age in lower systems. And it ecspecially happens with high ceiling/raw college bats. That is why I would have pushed up Stubbs last year and we might have Erik Bedard right now. I think a Stubbs promotion last year would have risen his stock and with his overall skills made him a huge player in the Bedard deal.

Big if's in my statement, just my opinion that Stubbs would have been worth the risk of rushing last year for trade value alone. But others could easily say we wouldn't have seen that nice 250 at bat hot streak and we'd be staring at a player with less value right now. This year is obviously the make or break year for Stubbs and he needs to be pushed hard, IMO.

I always advocate challenging hitters.

it's merely anecdotal, but I can say that Dan Wilson was also drafted high because of his defense and in spite of his hitting, and Wilson was advanced very aggressively. He hit about .215 during his first year of major league play with Mariners, but was a decent offensive player thereafter. Certainly, he reached the offensive ceiling that I had projected for him, which is all that you should hope for Drew Stubbs because his ceiling seems pretty high.

Doc. Scott
01-07-2008, 10:37 AM
the Watkins Patstop is my favorite, but really I'd drive straight through. You don't want to be on the roads after dark. Nobody in John Olivertown has night vision

FTW.

princeton
01-18-2008, 09:20 AM
FTW.

speaking of potential night vision problems, Reds OF prospect Justin Reed really K's at night: 21% K's in day game plate appearances, 41% in night game appearances. Could just be small sample size, could just be the lighting in Billings, could just be the fact that most of his night game appearances were in a different league. But the effect seemed specific to Reed-- other Reds' hitters showed less of a day/night split even going from one league to the next. But this bears watching.

princeton
06-26-2008, 11:09 AM
as we've now signed every top 10 2008 pick other than Yonder Alonso, it seems like a good time to revisit this thread.

assuming that Alonso signs, our present scouting director Chris Buckley will have signed 30 out of 32 players drafted in the first 10 rounds. That's outstanding.


Of those picks, what also stands out is that there has been very little attrition. As mentioned in the first post in this thread, during 1997-99 (our three best drafts over a 15 year period), we had about a 70 percent attition rate within a year-and-a-half-- most of the players either had to be immediately released, had arm surgery, or didn't sign.

Conversely, with the 2006-7 drafts, we have perhaps 20-25 percent attrition. two guys never signed, Travis Webb is injured (can't tell you how seriously), Jeremy Burchett and Harris Honeycutt appear to have quit voluntarily. Some of these guys probably won't get past high A, but that's to be expected. What's significant is that they aren't worth dropping immediately.

During the good 1997-9 drafts, six players (Kearns, Dunn, Williamson, Howington, Broussard and Mike Frank) had asserted themselves very strongly within two years of being drafted. So about 20 percent of the 30 players drafted were really going great. In fact, Willie was already having a tremendous rookie year. In addition to those six, Gookie Dawkins was about to get some hearts racing with a terrific performance at the end of the year in Chattanooga-- which, sadly, was really the highlight of his entire career.

Conversely, the 2006 crop has more players that have advanced to very high levels (half are already in AA or above) but only Roenicke really stands out, and he's no Williamson-- at least not yet. So that's about 10 percent of players that really make your heart race. Sample size is small, of course.

altogether, we're certainly signing players, and they are advancing at a good rate. There is very little attrition. They seem to be safe picks, though perhaps a bit less exciting. with a couple of exceptions, they aren't taking the minors by storm, and these drafts probably won't produce several guys with superstar potential. Instead these drafts do have a better chance to produce multiple average players

one thing to really watch is the pitching. It's really exciting to have so many high rounders who are still healthy and advancing. We certainly didn't have that in the late '90's, when pitching was always a problem

OnBaseMachine
06-26-2008, 11:14 AM
Good stuff there princeton.

flyer85
06-26-2008, 11:37 AM
excellent series of articles from THT

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/beyond-moneyball-player-development-part-4/