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View Full Version : What makes a good minor league system?



RedsManRick
01-02-2008, 04:12 PM
Setting aside the specfic talent for a minute, I'm curious about the structural quality of a minor league system. What determines how good your minor league system is? How do we measure the quality of the system itself, aside from the current level of talent? Can we isolate the problem(s) in a struggling system? Maybe development is good but scouting is poor. Maybe scouting is good and development is fine, but players are being rushed by a desperate GM.

A few thoughts:
- Draft position helps, but isn't a top factor, as evidenced by the Red Sox and Yankees strong systems and the Pirates and Orioles comparatively weak ones.
- The level of talent in a minor league system ebbs and flows, but good systems always rebound quickly after graduating their current crop.
- Money matters, but how much? The really strong systems aren't primarily strong because of over-slot bonuses and major league contracts.
- What are the general areas to consider and who are the people to be judged?

It seems to me that we often mix up the strength of a team's minors in regards to talent and the quality of the organization itself. I'd like to separate the latter as much as possible. It's one thing to do this on an ad hoc basis, "Braves are good. Pirates are bad." but can we create a measurement system that can be applied repeatedly.

Maybe there are 3 or 4 general areas we can rate 1-10. Maybe we have to do it by level. Maybe personnel turnover is such that we can't yet rate certain aspects, but I'd like to be able to understand the quality of the Reds organization from the non-player perspective.

westofyou
01-02-2008, 04:15 PM
Continuity, every SS in the system should approach a DP the same way every man should have the same approach on the bases regardless of the situation or the time of year or the venue. Style isn't to be threatened if everyone knows from day one in the organization how something is to be handled whether in Billings or Cincinnati.

lollipopcurve
01-02-2008, 04:22 PM
Among other things...

• draft position
• $$$ for signings in the international markets
• volume of top-round picks (via free agent compensation)

Quick ways to get top talent.

Danny Serafini
01-02-2008, 04:26 PM
Continuity, every SS in the system should approach a DP the same way every man should have the same approach on the bases regardless of the situation or the time of year or the venue. Style isn't to be threatened if everyone knows from day one in the organization how something is to be handled whether in Billings or Cincinnati.

That's good to a point, but adhering too strictly to a style leads to things like "all batters must talk a strike before swinging". A main core idea is good, but it has to have some flexibility in it to take advantage of an individual's strengths or weaknesses.

westofyou
01-02-2008, 04:30 PM
That's good to a point, but adhering too strictly to a style leads to things like "all batters must talk a strike before swinging". A main core idea is good, but it has to have some flexibility in it to take advantage of an individual's strengths or weaknesses.

I'm thinking more Branch Rickey and the Dodgers then Dan O'Brien and the Dayton Dragons, one thing's for sure... don't be an orthodox about any dogma.

*BaseClogger*
01-02-2008, 04:33 PM
That's good to a point, but adhering too strictly to a style leads to things like "all batters must talk a strike before swinging". A main core idea is good, but it has to have some flexibility in it to take advantage of an individual's strengths or weaknesses.

That is exactly what I was thinking. I don't want to lose out on a guy because he doesn't fit the perfect mold. From what I have seen recently, I think one of the most important things that determines the strength of a system is the international scouting. It is just such a huge bonus if you can mix a bunch of Johnny Cueto's with your draftees. I think part of the problem with our farm in the past was a lack of young latin players in our system...

RedsManRick
01-02-2008, 04:38 PM
Other questions:

Have we really drafted poorly? Are we picking less talented players than we should have picked? By what measurement? Compared to what baseline?

Do we have a problem with player development -- that is a failure to get players to realize their talent? Again, by what measurement and compared to what baseline? Is this concentrated in certain areas, such as pitcher control?

Is health something we can blame/credit to the organization or primarily luck? That is, if a pitcher's arm falls off, who's fault is it?

What role does the GM play in supplementing the system from outside, beyond just draft picks? How have the Reds done in this regard?

Regarding WOY's point, I would go back to what my 7th grade basketball camp instructor always said "Practice doesn't make perfect; It makes permanent. Perfect practice makes perfect." We could consistently teach guys to do the wrong things and it would not be a virtue.

TRF
01-03-2008, 01:01 PM
Other questions:

Have we really drafted poorly? Are we picking less talented players than we should have picked? By what measurement? Compared to what baseline?

Gruler instead of Kazmir
Bailey instead of Weaver
Stubbs Instead of Lincecum


Do we have a problem with player development -- that is a failure to get players to realize their talent? Again, by what measurement and compared to what baseline? Is this concentrated in certain areas, such as pitcher control?

Is health something we can blame/credit to the organization or primarily luck? That is, if a pitcher's arm falls off, who's fault is it?

Lot's of surgeries and washouts early in this decade. The surgeries dropped under DanO's watch and that trend seems to be continuing under Krivsky.

lollipopcurve
01-03-2008, 01:17 PM
Gruler instead of Kazmir

Poor choice, but also poor budgeting.


Bailey instead of Weaver

Bailey was an excellent choice. Weaver was not chosen by the Reds, just as he was passed over by the rest of the top half of the first round in 04, because he wanted well over slot and a major league deal. It was an organizational preference, shared by many other teams, to avoid players with those demands. So, it's not a matter of Bailey vs Weaver -- it's a matter of policy that has more to do with budgets and roster management than it does with player evaluation. Again, it's a mistake to say Bailey was a bad pick.

Stubbs Instead of Lincecum
Looks bad now. But I wouldn't close the case yet. Long road ahead for both players.

I've said this so many times, but I'm going to again. If your MO is to compare the Reds' choice to every other player taken after that choice, you'll wind up unhappy almost always. Because the odds are hugely, greatly in favor of at least one of the other 29 teams finding a player who has a better career than the player the Reds selected.

My take is that starting in 04 the team has done much better in the draft. Much remains to be seen, but it's hard to argue that the system doesn't appear very healthy when compared to others.

RedsManRick
01-03-2008, 01:27 PM
Gruler instead of Kazmir
Bailey instead of Weaver
Stubbs Instead of Lincecum

Lot's of surgeries and washouts early in this decade. The surgeries dropped under DanO's watch and that trend seems to be continuing under Krivsky.

The specific example thing always bugs me. We could do that all day. Every team that passed on Pujols (ie. every team) looks stupid. This is really the whole point of my thread. We can find copious anecdotal find reasons to point how horrible we are, but without a systematic way of evaluating performance, it lacks context.

westofyou
01-03-2008, 01:48 PM
The specific example thing always bugs me. We could do that all day. Every team that passed on Pujols (ie. every team) looks stupid. This is really the whole point of my thread. We can find copious anecdotal find reasons to point how horrible we are, but without a systematic way of evaluating performance, it lacks context.

Yep, a great example of the skill of the draft is found in mining lower level talent, not getting the star over the other guy your scouts thought would be a star. Look at successful teams and generally they find diamonds in the lower rounds, though not baseball the Detroit Red Wings have crafted the draft into a gold mine of late round talent that they obtained by having scouts scout the planet and a set system that they could telegraph their hopes about the players growth if drafted.

Pitchers are a wild card, THE most volatile act in baseball is throwing a ball, it's unnatural and when you earmark a man-boy to be an instant star your setting the bar high from the start.

princeton
01-03-2008, 01:49 PM
The specific example thing always bugs me. We could do that all day.

in those three cases the specific player cited was preferred at the time of the draft by a consensus of Redzoners. And that's eminently fair. Your Albert Pujols example isn't applicable.

In your recent posts, you often serve as an apologist for a franchise that has long depended on apologists. You also apologize for ineffective players. For instance, IIRC, you posted that Todd Coffey isn't actually responsible for the home runs that he surrendered, correct?

you, sir, are the Epitome of Apology.

(I will retract this if seen as a personal attack. I intend no offense, merely making an observation)

edabbs44
01-03-2008, 01:57 PM
The specific example thing always bugs me. We could do that all day. Every team that passed on Pujols (ie. every team) looks stupid. This is really the whole point of my thread. We can find copious anecdotal find reasons to point how horrible we are, but without a systematic way of evaluating performance, it lacks context.

The one thing that gets my goat has been Cincy's refusal to draft the "tough signs" when they fall into the 5th round and even further. It kills me to watch Mike Stanton get $5-6 million and then have Cincy skip over first round talents in the 5th round just because they want 1st round money.

Load up, then either follow them through the farm or package them together for proven players. Young talent has many benefits.

Betterread
01-03-2008, 06:45 PM
What makes a good minor league system? The acquistion of talent, the development of that talent and the proper utilization of that talent.
The Reds acquistion of talent is currently well-regarded. Now that we have some real major league talent - how do we best utilize it?
Trade the talent for talent from other organizations or incorporate talented but inexperienced players into the big league mix? The Reds need to make the right decisions with our top 4 guys.

Then there is development. I have been disappointed for a long time with the Reds development approach - they don't seem to teach plate discipline to a sufficient number of hitters and they don't seem to be able to increase velocity for a sufficient number of pitchers. I think more money should be injected into the development portion of the Reds organization - through staff salaries, better facilities, and better data and analysis. The Reds should be able to isolate and address weaknesses in organizational depth. They may not have the same amount of money as other organizations, but they have enough to improve what they are currently doing.

dougdirt
01-03-2008, 07:00 PM
Then there is development. I have been disappointed for a long time with the Reds development approach - they don't seem to teach plate discipline to a sufficient number of hitters

Lets say that next year we look at the starting 8, only 3 players are really home grown. Adam Dunn, Edwin Encarnacion (sure, he was drafted by the Rangers, but from age 18 on, he was in our system for 4 years before debuting) and Joey Votto. All of these guys have good to very good plate discipline. Chris Denorfia also had that going for him while in our system. Austin Kearns had it. There are a few guys who came along without it, but there are plenty of guys who did.

RedsManRick
01-03-2008, 07:50 PM
in those three cases the specific player cited was preferred at the time of the draft by a consensus of Redzoners. And that's eminently fair. Your Albert Pujols example isn't applicable.

I think you're failing to understand my point. I think the claim "there have been bad outcomes in the past" has been fully proven and I'm not arguing that point. I'm not saying the Reds haven't been bad or made poor choices. I think the results of the past decade bear out that claim.

Rather, I'm asking for an understanding of how and why so that we can more accurately understand how we are today. That some guy no longer in the organization picked Chris Gruler instead of Scott Kazmir tells me nothing about the process or intelligence of picking Devin Moreseco over Rick Porcello, for example. How can we assess the quality of that pick and that player? Must we wait 5 years? Should we simply go on hype or consensus? Who made that pick and why? Was it using the same logic as the Gruler > Kazmir pick? Was it a decision based on the same kind of information? Can we expect that kind of decision to be made in the future given everything we know about the Reds today?

We supposedly have access to why things happen. Why is it wrong to ask the questions how and why? The Reds don't suck because sucking is an intrinsic characteristic of being the Reds. There are specific reasons, specific actions, specific PEOPLE, responsible for that sucking. If those things change, it's eminently reasonable to ask the question, might the decisions of today and tomorrow be different as well?



In your recent posts, you often serve as an apologist for a franchise that has long depended on apologists. You also apologize for ineffective players. For instance, IIRC, you posted that Todd Coffey isn't actually responsible for the home runs that he surrendered, correct?

you, sir, are the Epitome of Apology.

(I will retract this if seen as a personal attack. I intend no offense, merely making an observation)

Well, I'll try and take the high road here. I don't mean to be an apologist. What I try to do is separate out what happens from why it happens. The former is interesting. However, the latter is required if we are to try and use the former to project forward what is likely to happen in the future.

I want to understand what underlying causes result in the bad outcomes we've observed. Sometimes bad outcomes happen because people make bad decisions. But sometimes bad outcomes happen when people make good decisions. (and visa versa for that matter).

The Reds have had bad outcomes, that has been clearly established. I want to understand whether the decisions (actions, etc.) were also bad. Or more precisely, what bad outcomes were the result of bad decisions/actions, and which were simply the result of something beyond anybody's control (call it luck or random variance if you want). It's not a direct cause/effect relationship where every bad outcome is the result of a bad decision/action. Using 3 specific examples in which a bad decision resulted in a bad outcome doesn't prove otherwise. Being told that Reds scouts missed on 3 specific players doesn't begin to answer my question.

Regarding Coffey, either I wasn't clear or I was being misinterpreted. My point in that conversation, and others like it, is that merely describing things that have happened in the past and using those events to predict future events are very different things. You need to assess causes to understand likely future outcomes.

It seems to me that the above point highlights our fundamental misunderstanding.

Your typical line of reasoning seems to be:

Things that have happened in the past are likely are likely to happen in the future. It is based on an assumption that outcomes are all the result of the observed actions.

Example: Todd Coffey allowed a lot of HR in 2007. Todd Coffey is a pitcher who allows lots of HR. Todd Coffey will continue to allow lots of HR in 2008.

Mine is:
Things that have happened in the past have happened for lots of reasons, only some of which are causes we've observed. If we want to understand what is likely to happen in the future, we should understand more precisely what caused that thing to happened and see if that cause(s) is likely to reoccur, thus producing the same result. Then we can predict what's likely to happen in the future.

Example: Todd Coffey allowed a lot of HR in 2007. The rate at which Todd Coffey allowed HR was so high, so out of line with his other numbers, and so out of line with what we see from pitchers generally speaking who perform as he performed otherwise that we can reasonably expect his HR allowance rate to be lower in the future. Thus, Todd Coffey will likely allow fewer HR in 2008 and not suck as much.

It's not that Todd isn't "at fault" for allowing lots of homers in 2007. It's that the occurrence of him allowing lots of HR is not 100% a result of the quality of his pitching. If Todd Coffey is the exact same pitcher in 2008, based on everything we know about pitchers and baseball, we would expect him to allow fewer HR in 2008.

Let me take a simpler example. Free throws. I give you 5 free throws. You clank 1 off the back rim, 1 lips out, and 1 hits the backboard, then side rim and misses. You're shooting 40%. Now, based on that, I can say pretty definitively that you are responsible for that 40% FT%. However, if somebody watching you with me says, let's give him another 5 shots and asks me how many you're going to hit, I'm going to consider more information than just the fact that you were 2 for 5 last time. I'm going to look at your career FT%. I'm going to look at your form. I'm going to see if the wind was blowing. Bottom line, I'm not going to assume you're going to go 2 for 5 next time. That past performance is merely 1 data point among many to consider. Would you call me an apologist for suggesting that you're most likely to hit 3 of 5 next time?

It's the same way with Todd Coffey's HR allowed. And now I'm trying to gather information about minor league systems so that I can be more objective than simply saying "we missed on Kazmir, Weaver, and Lincecum, therefore we're doomed for eternity."

What frustrates me is that I think you are being more objective than that. I think you do have a sense of what's really going on behind the scenes. You see that things haven't changed substantially and thus feel that because the causes are still there, the outcome isn't likely to change. But for some reason you seem to averse to actually making that argument. It's easier to throw out an example or two and be done with it. I want more evidence before making my judgment and will take a neutral position until then. If that makes me an apologist, so be it.

RedsManRick
01-03-2008, 07:56 PM
What makes a good minor league system? The acquistion of talent, the development of that talent and the proper utilization of that talent.
The Reds acquistion of talent is currently well-regarded. Now that we have some real major league talent - how do we best utilize it?
Trade the talent for talent from other organizations or incorporate talented but inexperienced players into the big league mix? The Reds need to make the right decisions with our top 4 guys.

Then there is development. I have been disappointed for a long time with the Reds development approach - they don't seem to teach plate discipline to a sufficient number of hitters and they don't seem to be able to increase velocity for a sufficient number of pitchers. I think more money should be injected into the development portion of the Reds organization - through staff salaries, better facilities, and better data and analysis. The Reds should be able to isolate and address weaknesses in organizational depth. They may not have the same amount of money as other organizations, but they have enough to improve what they are currently doing.

Thanks for the response BR. This is what I'm getting at. Can we distill it down in to a few categories and then rate organizations on how well they do those things? A best practices matrix of quality if you will? I think it would be a fascinating exercise. Flawed and subjective, certainly. But it would be a great talking point. What things matter and in what proportion. How can we measure ability to do those things? How do we measure success?

lollipopcurve
01-03-2008, 08:10 PM
I think you do have a sense of what's really going on behind the scenes.

No one who posts regularly here has any idea what is going on behind the scenes.

RedsManRick
01-03-2008, 08:27 PM
No one who posts regularly here has any idea what is going on behind the scenes.

Well, I certainly have very little -- hence my reluctance to pass judgment on people who haven't yet themselves failed. If claims about things not changing meaningfully behind the scenes are going to be made, I would hope that they would be based in something better than assumption. Placing the failures of the past Reds brass on the shoulders of the new just doesn't make sense to me. If the are bad policies, systems, decisions, or people currently in the organization, I'm sure we can discuss them specifically. If not, we should reserve judgment until we have evidence borne of results for which they are actually responsible.

Betterread
01-03-2008, 09:06 PM
Lets say that next year we look at the starting 8, only 3 players are really home grown. Adam Dunn, Edwin Encarnacion (sure, he was drafted by the Rangers, but from age 18 on, he was in our system for 4 years before debuting) and Joey Votto. All of these guys have good to very good plate discipline. Chris Denorfia also had that going for him while in our system. Austin Kearns had it. There are a few guys who came along without it, but there are plenty of guys who did.
4 guys in 10 years (and Dunn and Kearns had plate discipline from the moment they were drafted - I'm not sure the Reds helped them that much) with Frazer and Janish added to that list. I'd like to see a larger number of examples. I want to see how the Reds can get Stubbs, Dickerson, Mesoraco, Soto, Valaika and Turner (all of whom show signs of plate discipline) to improve. Francisco is the big one. If he earns 50 walks or more and reduces his Ks so that they do not exceed hits total amount of hits, I'll give the Reds kudos.

dougdirt
01-03-2008, 09:13 PM
4 guys in 10 years (and Dunn and Kearns had plate discipline from the moment they were drafted - I'm not sure the Reds helped them that much) with Frazer and Janish added to that list. I'd like to see a larger number of examples. I want to see how the Reds can get Stubbs, Dickerson, Mesoraco, Soto, Valaika and Turner (all of whom show signs of plate discipline) to improve. Francisco is the big one. If he earns 50 walks or more and reduces his Ks so that they do not exceed hits total amount of hits, I'll give the Reds kudos.

I don't think its a lack of trying with Francisco. I recall several comments from the Dragons manager, both before and during the season about Francisco's inability to take a walk and how they wanted to work on it. I would be interested in some theories on how to help improve ones plate discipline. How would you go about working with someone on it?

Betterread
01-03-2008, 09:23 PM
I don't think its a lack of trying with Francisco. I recall several comments from the Dragons manager, both before and during the season about Francisco's inability to take a walk and how they wanted to work on it. I would be interested in some theories on how to help improve ones plate discipline. How would you go about working with someone on it?
I don't doubt that this was recognized by Dayton staff, but whatever they did about it wasn't enough in his case.
Hitters with good plate discipline know what pitches and what pitch locations they can hit and what give them trouble. A lot of young players need help with this.
For a start, get the data on all the pitches Francisco saw this year and show him where his strengths and weaknesses are. He needs to be aware of what pitches he misses. Then, he can work on both his strengths and weaknesses. After improvement has levelled off, then he has to work on what to do when he sees problem pitches. The offseason is a great time to parse this data with the player.

dougdirt
01-03-2008, 09:48 PM
I don't doubt that this was recognized by Dayton staff, but whatever they did about it wasn't enough in his case.
Hitters with good plate discipline know what pitches and what pitch locations they can hit and what give them trouble. A lot of young players need help with this.
For a start, get the data on all the pitches Francisco saw this year and show him where his strengths and weaknesses are. He needs to be aware of what pitches he misses. Then, he can work on both his strengths and weaknesses. After improvement has levelled off, then he has to work on what to do when he sees problem pitches. The offseason is a great time to parse this data with the player.

I think thats a great idea. My question is, do the Reds have that type of system in place with the video and charting that charts the types of pitches? While they probably know that he cant hit a _____ for the life of him, showing him lots of video on it would probably be a nice help. I think having him take BP against a veteran type pitcher who can throw a ton of different pitches (AAAA fodder type guys) and not actually swinging at anything, but having him identify the pitches as they come in would be something that would help him as well. The questions are though, do the Reds have that stuff available to the players and are they willing to make that available if they don't?

RedsManRick
01-03-2008, 09:59 PM
I think thats a great idea. My question is, do the Reds have that type of system in place with the video and charting that charts the types of pitches? While they probably know that he cant hit a _____ for the life of him, showing him lots of video on it would probably be a nice help. I think having him take BP against a veteran type pitcher who can throw a ton of different pitches (AAAA fodder type guys) and not actually swinging at anything, but having him identify the pitches as they come in would be something that would help him as well. The questions are though, do the Reds have that stuff available to the players and are they willing to make that available if they don't?

If you don't mind my grabbing your discussion and running with it, this is exactly the kind of thing I'd love to know. Do the Reds struggle with development because of institutional failure to use certain methods of instruction? Do other organizations who have experienced success do things differently? Is it a cost issue? A philosophy issue?

Great stuff.

dougdirt
01-03-2008, 10:16 PM
If you don't mind my grabbing your discussion and running with it, this is exactly the kind of thing I'd love to know. Do the Reds struggle with development because of institutional failure to use certain methods of instruction? Do other organizations who have experienced success do things differently? Is it a cost issue? A philosophy issue?

Great stuff.

See that is the problem, we really don't have much of an idea of the kind of stuff the organization uses to develop players. I know exactly what and how I would do if I were a farm director and how I would go about things. How far that actually is from what goes on, I don't really have a clue.

Really, unless we get someone on here with a lot more insight, all we are going to be left with is a bunch of unanswered questions.

Triples
01-04-2008, 11:19 AM
See that is the problem, we really don't have much of an idea of the kind of stuff the organization uses to develop players. I know exactly what and how I would do if I were a farm director and how I would go about things. How far that actually is from what goes on, I don't really have a clue.

Really, unless we get someone on here with a lot more insight, all we are going to be left with is a bunch of unanswered questions.

I'll take a shot at offering some insight. I'm not an expert by any measure but I can share what I've observed personally and what I have gleaned from conversations with several of the Reds minor league players. Here are my thoughts:

First, the changes we we've seen in the minor league staffs (from the top down) over the last couple of years are meant to address some of those development issues. Its not just about Krivsky wanting "his own people" on board. Krivsky came from an organization who by necessity had become pretty good at developing young talent. Its no surprise to me that he's brought that mentality with him. Some of his decisions to let certain folks go have been met with mixed opinions (here on RZ and elsewhere) but it appears that some house cleaning has been needed.

Second, a number of the development people haven't been doing their jobs. Players with reasonably good talent have stagnated because the development programs and instruction are not in place. Maybe its old school or a "cream will rise to the top mentality" but there has been a lot of show up and play going on with little individualized instruction going on during the season. It appears the changes that have been made are to put in place people who embrace a more istructional approach to the minors.

TRF
01-04-2008, 12:09 PM
in those three cases the specific player cited was preferred at the time of the draft by a consensus of Redzoners. And that's eminently fair. Your Albert Pujols example isn't applicable.

In your recent posts, you often serve as an apologist for a franchise that has long depended on apologists. You also apologize for ineffective players. For instance, IIRC, you posted that Todd Coffey isn't actually responsible for the home runs that he surrendered, correct?

you, sir, are the Epitome of Apology.

(I will retract this if seen as a personal attack. I intend no offense, merely making an observation)

what he said. minus the apology stuff.

Redszone screamed when Gruler was taken. I, in my only redszone draft picked Lincecum 1st overall for the Royals. A lot of us wanted Weaver over Bailey. And we are all amateurs. IMO we were 3-3, and the Reds K'd 3 times.

And yes, I should have read the rest of the thread before posting.

TRF
01-04-2008, 12:22 PM
Perhaps 2004 and 2005 are aberrations as far as minor league acquisitions are concerned.

2006 seems to have been from all accounts a weak class, and the jury is still out on 2007, but the 1st round pick of a catcher that struggled to hit doesn't look good. Some of the Reds better minor leaguers are gone for no return, like Medlock. The Reds gave up on Miguel Perez after rehabbing him from a most odd injury of removing a rib. He was starting to hit too.

Sometimes it seems as if there is no plan. Krivsky says he doesn't want to rush development, then rushes Bailey and Cueto. Both needed a year at AA and AAA respectively.Cueto might be ready for a year in AAA in '08. Bailey needs to tear up AAA for a June callup. He'll likely be in the Reds rotation out of ST instead. Minor Leaguers are shuffled like deckhands. get rid of Harris, get Keoppinger. Same player, so why make the move?

I don't think the Reds are a good organization yet. Maybe Krivsky will make it one, but he seems to have ADD at times.

princeton
01-04-2008, 12:24 PM
You see that things haven't changed substantially and thus feel that because the causes are still there, the outcome isn't likely to change. But for some reason you seem to averse to actually making that argument.

I constantly make that argument.


I like to predict, to project, and to make fast decisions. you seem to prefer to argue that we just don't know everything, and to stick with broken things for years in hopes that they'll right themselves. Certainly with this approach, you're less likely to toss out a baby with the bathwater. I just can't believe that there's a baby in that cesspool. More importantly, I find this approach pretty boring in a chatroom. Take a stance, be willing to be wrong, don't argue against everyone's predictions. And if someone takes Linecum over Stubbs (which I did NOT), pat them on the back and say you da man, because that was a righteous choice no matter what Stubbs goes on to do. Effective young pitching always ranks.

I suspect that successful GMs are great fortune-tellers, not great "wait-and-see" guys. My track record on projecting the busts within the 19-20 year-old set shocks even me, but I don't think that it's due to any great skill on my part, rather I think that it's due to the Reds' very predictable developmental ineptitudes. If they ain't got "it" when they arrive, they ain't going to get it here.

I'm detecting signs that the Reds at least now seem to understand that the developmental program is a huge problem, but they've acted V-E-R-Y slowly to fix it. I think that they were stunned by Homer Bailey's problems enough to cash out Naehring, finally. They are dangling Homer now, when he was a no-touch very recently. They can't really sack Terry Reynolds since he brought in two of the "4", but he was a very odd choice for that job, which demanded a long, successful track record. Finally, the fact that they brought up Homer when he really wasn't dominating suggests that some of the same problems will occur. We'll see. Most of the other pitchers haven't been pushed severely, so I'm not getting a full picture yet.

Chris Buckley will help development some because he's providing more players that aren't clear stinkers, even if he hasn't scored in the first round yet. But I suspect that we'll still have many more than our fair share of those that fail-to-thrive. Both Krivsky and Buckley are adding really tall pitchers, at the expense of short RHPers, so it's nice to see that they're on the same page.

your free throw analogy is a poor one. Coffey didn't shoot 2 out of 5, for a full season he served meatballs like he was the Olive Garden. I agree that he won't do this again-- he'll be released first. His performance, and the short halflife of hefty RHPers in general, suggests a drastic change. Weight loss and yoga are my prescription.

TRF
01-04-2008, 01:11 PM
I constantly make that argument.


I like to predict, to project, and to make fast decisions. you seem to prefer to argue that we just don't know everything, and to stick with broken things for years in hopes that they'll right themselves. Certainly with this approach, you're less likely to toss out a baby with the bathwater. I just can't believe that there's a baby in that cesspool. More importantly, I find this approach pretty boring in a chatroom. Take a stance, be willing to be wrong, don't argue against everyone's predictions. And if someone takes Linecum over Stubbs (which I did NOT), pat them on the back and say you da man, because that was a righteous choice no matter what Stubbs goes on to do. Effective young pitching always ranks.

I suspect that successful GMs are great fortune-tellers, not great "wait-and-see" guys. My track record on projecting the busts within the 19-20 year-old set shocks even me, but I don't think that it's due to any great skill on my part, rather I think that it's due to the Reds' very predictable developmental ineptitudes. If they ain't got "it" when they arrive, they ain't going to get it here.

I'm detecting signs that the Reds at least now seem to understand that the developmental program is a huge problem, but they've acted V-E-R-Y slowly to fix it. I think that they were stunned by Homer Bailey's problems enough to cash out Naehring, finally. They are dangling Homer now, when he was a no-touch very recently. They can't really sack Terry Reynolds since he brought in two of the "4", but he was a very odd choice for that job, which demanded a long, successful track record. Finally, the fact that they brought up Homer when he really wasn't dominating suggests that some of the same problems will occur. We'll see. Most of the other pitchers haven't been pushed severely, so I'm not getting a full picture yet.

Chris Buckley will help development some because he's providing more players that aren't clear stinkers, even if he hasn't scored in the first round yet. But I suspect that we'll still have many more than our fair share of those that fail-to-thrive. Both Krivsky and Buckley are adding really tall pitchers, at the expense of short RHPers, so it's nice to see that they're on the same page.

your free throw analogy is a poor one. Coffey didn't shoot 2 out of 5, for a full season he served meatballs like he was the Olive Garden. I agree that he won't do this again-- he'll be released first. His performance, and the short halflife of hefty RHPers in general, suggests a drastic change. Weight loss and yoga are my prescription.

Coffey's lost the weight, and a lot of it if the reports are to be believed. I think he's due for a solid rebound.

lollipopcurve
01-04-2008, 01:38 PM
A lot of us wanted Weaver over Bailey. And we are all amateurs.

Who can magically sign draftees for free!

The Reds have almost always had a policy not to give major league contracts or well-over-slot bonuses to draftees. The decision not to draft Weaver came a long time before they selected Bailey.

dougdirt
01-04-2008, 02:00 PM
Who can magically sign draftees for free!

The Reds have almost always had a policy not to give major league contracts or well-over-slot bonuses to draftees. The decision not to draft Weaver came a long time before they selected Bailey.

Doesn't matter. The Reds messed up. So what if they give a college draftee a major league deal, pay way higher than slot money (he got more than the guy before him and after him combined and almost double what Bailey got). Bailey took longer to get there, obviously won't ever be good enough to warrant his taking, was a high school pitcher taken in the top 10, so he is bound to fail, was a pitcher drafted by the Reds so he is bound to fail (which means we shouldn't have taken Weaver either), so really the Reds should have drafted Billy Butler, Stephen Drew, Hunter Pence or Dustin Pedroia.

And yes, that was TONS of sarcasm.

RedsManRick
01-04-2008, 02:00 PM
I constantly make that argument.


I like to predict, to project, and to make fast decisions. you seem to prefer to argue that we just don't know everything, and to stick with broken things for years in hopes that they'll right themselves.

Well, the problem I have is the difference between identifying failure and identifying solutions. I'm all for change. But you're right -- I want to know what I'm changing, why I'm changing it, and what I think the effect of that change will be. We can all see the failures that have occurred. You've enumerated a handful of them. What I haven't seen are recommendations of prescriptive changes to address those problems. I wanted Lincecum and was quite vocal about it. I disliked the Stubbs pick then and now. But that's neither here nor there. I'm not interested in patting people on the back (or being patted) for being right in retrospect.

The point of this thread in particular is to try and understand why the Reds picked Stubbs over Lincecum. What was their process for that selection and what does it tell us about the quality of the organization? What does that tell us about how they're going to draft in the future. How do successful organizations draft, by comparison?



I suspect that successful GMs are great fortune-tellers, not great "wait-and-see" guys. My track record on projecting the busts within the 19-20 year-old set shocks even me, but I don't think that it's due to any great skill on my part, rather I think that it's due to the Reds' very predictable developmental ineptitudes. If they ain't got "it" when they arrive, they ain't going to get it here.

It's not "fortune-telling". There's not some magic ball. Good GMs aren't just baseball mystics. It's guys who synthesize information well -- be that intuitively, with computer assistance, or both.

Projecting bust prospects is likely projecting lottery losers. We all are pretty darn good at it. Pointing out that the Reds have problems in player developing isn't great insight. I could project right now that 90% of the Reds draft picks will never reach the majors and I'll be really close to being right every single year. And yet, some teams do draft better and develop better. Why?



I'm detecting signs that the Reds at least now seem to understand that the developmental program is a huge problem, but they've acted V-E-R-Y slowly to fix it. I think that they were stunned by Homer Bailey's problems enough to cash out Naehring, finally. They are dangling Homer now, when he was a no-touch very recently. They can't really sack Terry Reynolds since he brought in two of the "4", but he was a very odd choice for that job, which demanded a long, successful track record. Finally, the fact that they brought up Homer when he really wasn't dominating suggests that some of the same problems will occur. We'll see. Most of the other pitchers haven't been pushed severely, so I'm not getting a full picture yet.

An interesting paragraph with some nice observations. You've identified that you feel the upper level brass was not previously aware of the systematic failure of player development. This suggests that organizational communication and collaborative planning are trademarks of a well functioning organization. These are the kinds of things I'm looking for. What activities/decisions are done by a good organization and how the do the Reds stack up? This is a good example. However, you're "detecting signs" and "not getting the full picture yet". I don't get why you have to make this seem like some mystic exercise. Is it really that to site specific examples and cases?



Chris Buckley will help development some because he's providing more players that aren't clear stinkers, even if he hasn't scored in the first round yet. But I suspect that we'll still have many more than our fair share of those that fail-to-thrive. Both Krivsky and Buckley are adding really tall pitchers, at the expense of short RHPers, so it's nice to see that they're on the same page.

Ah! More actual insight. Another one of the problems you've identified is that in the past, the Reds have drafted poorly, picking players who simply lack the talent to become good ballplayers. This is in isolation of how that player developed. Furthermore, player development people and GM have been at odds with the types of players drafted -- a philosophical difference which led to inefficient (or non-existent) development strategy. Given the development problems you identified earlier, picking a guy who needed a lot of development (like Bailey) instead of a guy who was nearly good to go (like Weaver) made little sense.



your free throw analogy is a poor one. Coffey didn't shoot 2 out of 5, for a full season he served meatballs like he was the Olive Garden. I agree that he won't do this again-- he'll be released first. His performance, and the short halflife of hefty RHPers in general, suggests a drastic change. Weight loss and yoga are my prescription.

See, the thing, it's not. A "full season" for a reliever is simply not that large of a sample. 51 innings pitched is a small sample, particularly when looking at a relatively rare outcome like HR allowed. There is a ton of room for variance here that has little or nothing to do with how well the guy actually throws the ball. This is THE problem which leads to reliever over-analysis and subsequent overreaction. It's that kind of thinking that led to the Rheal Cormier trade. He had a 1.59 ERA in 34.0 innings (including just 2 HR allowed) -- he must be a good pitcher now! It's not that I don't like change. It's that I don't like change based on reaction to bad outcome as opposed to bad process. I don't like overreaction to problems that aren't really the result of something bad (or good), but of bad (or good) luck. Todd Coffey doesn't have to change a darn thing and chances are he'll allow significantly fewer homers next year. That's the whole point. I want him to lose weight too, but attributing his HR issues in 2007 primarily to his weight is downright silly. It's coming up with an explanation because we feel like we have to do something. Coffey had a higher groundball % and higher strikeout rate in 2007 than in 2006. Why didn his weight only affect his HR rate? Oh, nevermind, I see it affected his BABIP too.....

I imagine that if you were a manager, you'd be a small ball guy all the way. You don't want to wait for the 3 run homer. You'd want to make it happen on the basepaths. Actively sacrifice the guy in to scoring position -- don't wait for a hit or a walk or risk the chance of an unproductive out. You wouldn't want your guys work deep in to counts to get a good pitch, but rather put the ball in play and make something happen at the first opportunity. Maybe I'm wrong, but that seems to be the type of thinking going on.

You're providing the kind of thoughts and insights I'm curious about, but it's like pulling teeth. I don't fear change. I just want rational decision making, evaluation, suggestions, projections, etc. "It was bad, change it." simply isn't good enough. Change is good. But change for the sake of change has never appealed to me and likely never will.

RedsManRick
01-04-2008, 02:26 PM
Who can magically sign draftees for free!

The Reds have almost always had a policy not to give major league contracts or well-over-slot bonuses to draftees. The decision not to draft Weaver came a long time before they selected Bailey.

Which begs the question, is that a smart policy? Do winning organizations adhere to that policy?

princeton
01-04-2008, 02:33 PM
It's not "fortune-telling". There's not some magic ball. Good GMs aren't just baseball mystics. It's guys who synthesize information well.

of course it's fortune-telling. It's learning to synthesize information well to project the future of ballplayers, long in advance. If you do it well, you win a lot of trades if not a lot of games. And it's fun, and it's a little bit scary.

You want all of the information, you want to find it inside a chatroom, and even if you get the information you'll question it-- "but what does THAT mean?" You'll be paralyzed to do anything.

Take what you've got, make a prediction-- the less likely, the better-- and see how good you are.

Here's one that I made LONG ago before anyone even on this board had heard of Todd Coffey: Todd Coffey has a ceiling as the fourth guy out of the bullpen, and will have a short career because overweight guys don't last long.


I heard one the other day: Eric Bedard = Dave Burba. I love it. THAT'S a prediction. I doubt it will come to pass, but it could be right. I've seen guys that just didn't blossom. Who thought that Austin Kearns wouldn't blossom? Not me. can you imagine what we could have traded the guy for at one time? and it made sense to trade him, because we NEEDED pitching. It's important to know who those guys are BEFORE they don't blossom.

lollipopcurve
01-04-2008, 02:49 PM
Which begs the question, is that a smart policy? Do winning organizations adhere to that policy?

Exactly. Several of us have identified this policy as a significant problem for years.

dougdirt
01-04-2008, 02:56 PM
Exactly. Several of us have identified this policy as a significant problem for years.

Considering how far that Rick Porcello fell this year, I would say that a majority of teams go by such a policy.

lollipopcurve
01-04-2008, 03:02 PM
Considering how far that Rick Porcello fell this year, I would say that a majority of teams go by such a policy.

This is correct. Which makes the policy that much more understandable, but also that much more frustrating, since it would be so easy to get better domestic talent than much of the opposition.

Triples
01-04-2008, 03:29 PM
This is really one of the more interesting threads I've read on RZ in a while. A lot of good points have been made. Going back to the title of the thread "what makes a good minor league system" I would have to make the argument that it's not as much predicting talent as it is developing talent.

There have been a number of arguments already made that prediciting talent is both art and science but also highly dubious. That is, even the best prognosticators on talent are wrong a lot more than they are right (but baseball is predicated on failure anyway). I would go on to argue that the difference between guys that make a contribution at the major league level and those that top out at AAA or even AA is very slight. If the talent of a major leaguer fits nicely in a five gallon bucket; all you have to do is dip out a cup full and you would have a AAA player. How incredibly difficult would be be to see that difference when a kid is 18-21 years old? (with some obvious exceptions, ie Jay Bruce.)

So, if my arguement that there is are only minor differences in talent is even partly correct, then how is it that some clubs seem to consistently have strong minor league systems while others seem to continually flail around like a beached tuna? The most obvious reason in my mind is that the success minor league systems are based on not just on drafting talent but also put a high priority on developing that talent.

With that said, I would still maintain that the Reds have made moves since Krivsky has come on board that signal a move toward developing talent rather than just drafting talent and then see what floats to the top.

*BaseClogger*
01-04-2008, 03:35 PM
It seems we sometimes focus too much on domestic prospects. Isn't it a huge advantage to double your population by adding guys from Latin America, Asia, etc.? It seems that has been a problem for the Reds as well...

15fan
01-04-2008, 03:38 PM
I think you've got a good minor league system if you can consistently count on it providing you with 1 ML Glove/Bat and 1 ML arm per year.

Whether that glove/bat and arm are via development or trade doesn't really matter.

It's nice if those players are impact / All-Star type players. But they don't have to be. A constant supply of solid every day players is just fine.

Anything beyond that is gravy.

RedsManRick
01-04-2008, 03:38 PM
of course it's fortune-telling. It's learning to synthesize information well to project the future of ballplayers, long in advance. If you do it well, you win a lot of trades if not a lot of games. And it's fun, and it's a little bit scary.

You want all of the information, you want to find it inside a chatroom, and even if you get the information you'll question it-- "but what does THAT mean?" You'll be paralyzed to do anything.

Take what you've got, make a prediction-- the less likely, the better-- and see how good you are.

I guess we simply have different purposes. You like playing predictatron and seeing how well you do. I want to understand why things happen so that I can be better at playing predictatron next time.

"Fortune-telling" implies a whole lot of BS with very little actual information involved. I can predict that you'll have eggs with hot sauce tomorrow morning. Now THAT's a prediction. Tomorrow afternoon, tell me if I was right or not. It will be fun!



Here's one that I made LONG ago before anyone even on this board had heard of Todd Coffey: Todd Coffey has a ceiling as the fourth guy out of the bullpen, and will have a short career because overweight guys don't last long.

Overweight guys don't last long. Really? You mean like David Wells? Bob Wickman? CC Sabathia? Bartolo Colon? Fernando Valenzuela? You predict that he has a certain ceiling and want to claim victory when he's 26 years old and barely arb eligible. We won't know what ceiling he reaches until his career is over, sorry. Then you blame his struggles on his weight, and yet show no evidence whatsoever that any struggles he's experienced are weight related.



I heard one the other day: Eric Bedard = Dave Burba. I love it. THAT'S a prediction. I doubt it will come to pass, but it could be right. I've seen guys that just didn't blossom. Who thought that Austin Kearns wouldn't blossom? Not me. can you imagine what we could have traded the guy for at one time? and it made sense to trade him, because we NEEDED pitching. It's important to know who those guys are BEFORE they don't blossom.

That's a prediction alright. Adam Dunn will hit 75 HR in 2014. There's a prediction too. What's your point? Predictions are really easy to come by. You don't have to know a darn thing to make them. I want to understand why things happen so that I can make informed predictions that are more likely to be accurate.

And don't confuse asking another question with inaction. I'll continue to act on the information available to me while I gather more. For example, the information I have available to me says that Todd Coffey is likely to rebound a bit in 2008 for 2 reasons

1.) He was unlucky both in terms of a hit rate relative to the types of batted balls he allowed and HR per fly ball. There is a copious evidence supporting the claim.
2.) He'll be 27 years old and in his 4th ML season and pitchers tend to improve at that age and at that place in their career.

You think he's doomed to 4th middle relieverdom for 1 reason:
1.) He's fat.

We can both make our predictions, but I'm more comfortable with the reasoning underpinning mine. Your action might be to cut Coffey loose. Mine would be to give him more innings to allow that variance issue to play out. You equate a decision to gather more data while allowing those events to continue as inaction. It is an action. It's not sitting on my hands. It's simply not the action you support.

If you have a stock and it's struggled, do you automatically sell it and invest in something else? Of course not. There are things to consider. Maybe the fundamentals are diving, you have good, evidenced backed reasons to believe it will continue to dive, and so you choose to sell. Maybe you aren't quite sure what's going on, so you choose to hold tight while you do some more research. Or maybe you look at the company, seem good fundamentals and think that the market is undervaluing, so you hold on and ride it out.

You seem to want to equate the choice not to sell (your personal gut choice) with inaction. I'm taking action. That action, in regards to the Reds minor league system is gathering more information so that I can make an informed decision on what should be changed and how. I'm not sure why you have a problem with that. The only thing worse than sitting tight while you gather more info is making an uninformed change and making things worse.

You seem to feel like you have all the information you need to start making changes. I'm curious what specfic changes you'd make to the way the Reds do business in the minor leagues.

TRF
01-04-2008, 03:38 PM
Doesn't matter. The Reds messed up. So what if they give a college draftee a major league deal, pay way higher than slot money (he got more than the guy before him and after him combined and almost double what Bailey got). Bailey took longer to get there, obviously won't ever be good enough to warrant his taking, was a high school pitcher taken in the top 10, so he is bound to fail, was a pitcher drafted by the Reds so he is bound to fail (which means we shouldn't have taken Weaver either), so really the Reds should have drafted Billy Butler, Stephen Drew, Hunter Pence or Dustin Pedroia.

And yes, that was TONS of sarcasm.

oh brother.

No the Reds had a chance to do 2 things, draft a position of need and get a pitcher that was close to major league ready. Bailey met only one of those criteria. And go ahead and ignore Lincecum/Stubbs too. Kazmir was the consensus pick by everyone with a pulse over Gruler.

The point is the Reds fail in two areas pretty consistently.

Identify the right talent
develop said talent2004-05 The Reds acquired some top level talent. Bailey, Cueto, Bruce. They developed another from the previous regime: Votto. Krivsky has added Volquez and to a lesser extent Maloney, but the guys he's added are at AA and AAA. That's good, but the development was done for the Reds. Cueto and Bailey were on very accelerated paths. A little too accelerated as far as I am concerned.

princeton
01-04-2008, 03:38 PM
It seems we sometimes focus too much on domestic prospects. Isn't it a huge advantage to double your population by adding guys from Latin America, Asia, etc.? It seems that has been a problem for the Reds as well...


Reds lost their guy there. He went to Atlanta. We'll lag in Latin America as a result. Fortunately, the depth in the domestic draft has been good, so I don't think that it'll be too big of a problem. Could have been better, though.

princeton
01-04-2008, 03:49 PM
I guess we simply have different purposes. You like playing predictatron and seeing how well you do. I want to understand why things happen so that I can be better at playing predictatron next time..

if you can't predict, you can't understand. it's the scientific method. observation, hypothesis, test. It leads to understanding of parts of the universe.

You ask questions, which is great. But good scientists form a hypothesis even if they know that their knowledge is limited, because it is ALWAYS limited. You don't form a hypothesis, and you really never test. the value of this is very limited.

RedsManRick
01-04-2008, 04:03 PM
if you can't predict, you can't understand. it's the scientific method. observation, hypothesis, test. It leads to understanding of parts of the universe.

You ask questions, which is great. But good scientists form a hypothesis even if they know that their knowledge is limited, because it is ALWAYS limited. You don't form a hypothesis, and you really never test. the value of this is very limited.

I never really test? Is that so? On what basis? I've made lots of predictions on this site before, heck in this thread. Todd Coffey will improve his ERA markedly in 2008, largely on the strength of a decreased hit rate and home run rate relative to 2007. There's my hypothesis, clearly stated. I've been doing that ever since I joined the board.

When it comes to minor leagues, what do you want me to test? Simply guessing which players will pan out and which won't is not terribly helpful. There are simply too many variables in play. I have my own theories and ideas about what should work and what won't. However, the entire point of this thread is to get input from other people in terms of what they think works and also try and get insight on to what the Reds' working philosophies are.

I can talk about the Braves' focus on work ethic and character, the Red Sox' individualized development planning, and the As' focus on continuity of philosophy and approach throughout the system. Those are all things I think good organizations should do. I have no idea what the Reds value or what they're doing internally. That's why I'm asking.

dougdirt
01-04-2008, 04:21 PM
if you can't predict, you can't understand. it's the scientific method. observation, hypothesis, test. It leads to understanding of parts of the universe.

You ask questions, which is great. But good scientists form a hypothesis even if they know that their knowledge is limited, because it is ALWAYS limited. You don't form a hypothesis, and you really never test. the value of this is very limited.

Yet your 'scientific' method is nothing based on science. Its based on 'the reds can't develop talent and haven't over the last 20 years so they will continue to do so'. What you fail to see is that the coaches are different, the players are different and the ingredients are all different.

Your scientific method is based around trying to grow trees that were picked out by 'Joe' in a red shirt and he fed them 'A' and watered them with 'B' and gave them 'C' amount of sunlight.

You now assume that because 'Bill' is trying to grow trees as well while wearing the same red shirt that he is also going to feed them 'A', water them with 'B' and give them the 'C' amount of sunlight.

However 'Bill' in his red shirt is actually going to feed them 'X', water them with 'Y' and give them 'Z' amount of sunlight.

None of this even goes along with the fact that he is picking trees from a different group of trees entirely.

Just because both guys in red shirts are trying to grow trees doesn't mean they are going to go about it the same way and it surely doesn't mean the results are going to be the same simply because they both wear red shirts and want to grow a tree.

princeton
01-04-2008, 05:07 PM
Todd Coffey will improve his ERA markedly in 2008, largely on the strength of a decreased hit rate and home run rate relative to 2007. There's my hypothesis, clearly stated.

good. I think that's a safe bet. If he doesn't, he won't be a Red (hopefully).

bigger prediction: the Olive Garden is out of baseball before he turns 31.

TRF
01-04-2008, 05:42 PM
Yet your 'scientific' method is nothing based on science. Its based on 'the reds can't develop talent and haven't over the last 20 years so they will continue to do so'. What you fail to see is that the coaches are different, the players are different and the ingredients are all different.

Your scientific method is based around trying to grow trees that were picked out by 'Joe' in a red shirt and he fed them 'A' and watered them with 'B' and gave them 'C' amount of sunlight.

You now assume that because 'Bill' is trying to grow trees as well while wearing the same red shirt that he is also going to feed them 'A', water them with 'B' and give them the 'C' amount of sunlight.

However 'Bill' in his red shirt is actually going to feed them 'X', water them with 'Y' and give them 'Z' amount of sunlight.

None of this even goes along with the fact that he is picking trees from a different group of trees entirely.

Just because both guys in red shirts are trying to grow trees doesn't mean they are going to go about it the same way and it surely doesn't mean the results are going to be the same simply because they both wear red shirts and want to grow a tree.

Except that the growers, in this case Krivsky's advisers are the same guys that have advised hi in some of the worst trades and FA signings in recent Red's history. 2006? Well we all know that story. a cavalcade of crap followed 3 very good acquisitions. The draft was kind of poo pooey. better later than earlier adjusted for what was available.

So can we agree that whoever is making the picks in Krivskyland isn't doing a great job?

Next would be development. DanO's odd contribution was the tandem starter and take the first pitch. Tandem starter might have been a benefit as it at least pointed out that reduced pitch counts on youngsters might be a good thing. It was poor execution, but the overall result was fewer injuries. Now has Kriv followed this formula? to a point. He has over-promoted guys while declaring he doesn't over promote. Bruce kicked the door down. Bailey didn't because it's different for pitchers. He never should have thrown a single pitch in a Reds uni last year. If you don't dominate AAA at that age, you pitch there till you do. Cueto was dominating AA, and was a late season promotion to AAA. He should start at AAA and stay there unless he goes all Gallardi on the league.

Take the firs pitch while the intent was there is another example of a flawed approach. It won't teach patience if the other team KNOWS you are taking every freaking time. I don't know that you can teach patience, but you can teach pitch recognition and you can teach a player what to expect in certain counts and situations. Are the Reds doing this? Votto is a vote yes, Juan Francisco is a vote no, and the real answer is probably somewhere in the middle. How they teach it is probably the most important thing.

I won't even cover defense. Juan Castro can't become a coach fast enough IMO.

Hoosier Red
01-04-2008, 05:42 PM
Poor choice, but also poor budgeting.



Bailey was an excellent choice. Weaver was not chosen by the Reds, just as he was passed over by the rest of the top half of the first round in 04, because he wanted well over slot and a major league deal. It was an organizational preference, shared by many other teams, to avoid players with those demands. So, it's not a matter of Bailey vs Weaver -- it's a matter of policy that has more to do with budgets and roster management than it does with player evaluation. Again, it's a mistake to say Bailey was a bad pick.

Stubbs Instead of Lincecum
Looks bad now. But I wouldn't close the case yet. Long road ahead for both players.

I've said this so many times, but I'm going to again. If your MO is to compare the Reds' choice to every other player taken after that choice, you'll wind up unhappy almost always. Because the odds are hugely, greatly in favor of at least one of the other 29 teams finding a player who has a better career than the player the Reds selected.

My take is that starting in 04 the team has done much better in the draft. Much remains to be seen, but it's hard to argue that the system doesn't appear very healthy when compared to others.

I agree, of course Kearns over Dunn has turned out to be a dumb choice given hindsight.
Good thing there was a 2nd round.

dougdirt
01-04-2008, 05:46 PM
When Bailey was called up he had a 1.08 WHIP and a 2.31 ERA.... While I guess that isn't blowing the door off the hinges, its hardly something to sneeze at and say he 'wasn't showing he was ready'.

As for Cueto, he was promoted to AAA for 3 starts, then sent back down to AA to help push for the playoffs, which in the end failed. I don't think there is any doubt that he starts in AAA, but if it comes June and he has a sub 2.50 ERA and a sub 1.10 WHIP I don't think he is going to be down much longer and he probably shouldn't be if there are any concerns with the rotation.

TRF
01-04-2008, 07:47 PM
When Bailey was called up he had a 1.08 WHIP and a 2.31 ERA.... While I guess that isn't blowing the door off the hinges, its hardly something to sneeze at and say he 'wasn't showing he was ready'.

As for Cueto, he was promoted to AAA for 3 starts, then sent back down to AA to help push for the playoffs, which in the end failed. I don't think there is any doubt that he starts in AAA, but if it comes June and he has a sub 2.50 ERA and a sub 1.10 WHIP I don't think he is going to be down much longer and he probably shouldn't be if there are any concerns with the rotation.

Cueto aside for a moment...

Those are nice numbers for Bailey. Let's look deeper. In April he had a paltry 5.48 K/9. That jumped to 9.2 in May, so either it's small sample, or he made an adjustment. His BB/9 for both months was 3.80 and 3.68. So he didn't gain a ton of control in May. His BABIP was ridiculously low in April, .175. Is that a sustainable level of performance? I don't know.

I don't have a real problem with how Cueto was handled, but I think he should have been left at AA all year after his promotion. Since his demotion was a playoff push, I'm sure that was relayed to him. He likely knows he's important to the Reds, and he built his innings without injury. The same cannot be said for Bailey.

But doug, both these guys are very young.and the success rate for pitcher under 22 flat sucks. Why let them burn service time developing, and likely hurting the Reds in the process only to develop them for another club and likely not reaping the benefits?

dougdirt
01-04-2008, 08:21 PM
Cueto aside for a moment...

Those are nice numbers for Bailey. Let's look deeper. In April he had a paltry 5.48 K/9. That jumped to 9.2 in May, so either it's small sample, or he made an adjustment. His BB/9 for both months was 3.80 and 3.68. So he didn't gain a ton of control in May. His BABIP was ridiculously low in April, .175. Is that a sustainable level of performance? I don't know.
I don't think his April numbers were sustainable in terms of BABIP and I don't think he was quite ready either for the call up. I do think that he learned more in his first 6 starts in the big leagues than he likely would have learned by spending the rest of the season in AAA though. That might just be my opinion, but he had 9 starts worth of time started on his arbitration and I am not overly concerned with 9 starts worth of time considering thats roughly 25% of a season for a pitcher. It showed him that he can't just rely on his fastball all the time and that his other offering are going to have to be good as well, something that may have taken him much longer to learn in the minor leagues were his fastball got him out of almost any jam he wanted.



I don't have a real problem with how Cueto was handled, but I think he should have been left at AA all year after his promotion. Since his demotion was a playoff push, I'm sure that was relayed to him. He likely knows he's important to the Reds, and he built his innings without injury. The same cannot be said for Bailey.
I dont think Bailey hurt himself in anyway that has to do with innings. In fact, he hurt himself slipping on a mound in a bullpen session prior to a game.



But doug, both these guys are very young.and the success rate for pitcher under 22 flat sucks. Why let them burn service time developing, and likely hurting the Reds in the process only to develop them for another club and likely not reaping the benefits?

The success rate of pitchers under 22 flat sucks? Between 2000 and 2006 there were 51 pitchers, 22 or younger with <75ip post an ERA under 4.50. The number of pitchers that qualified? 70. Lets not act like the success rate is something like 5%, because it clearly isn't. While ERA isn't exactly the best thing to look at here, it was a quick and easy way to assess the situation.

Mario-Rijo
01-04-2008, 08:24 PM
good. I think that's a safe bet. If he doesn't, he won't be a Red (hopefully).

bigger prediction: the Olive Garden is out of baseball before he turns 31.

I am assuming that you are calling Coffey the "Olive Garden", I don't know why but I digress...

If that's the case I disagree with the latter, unless you are basing it on something unforeseen like injury or unless you see something in his mechanics that might cause an injury which I don't see but am no expert in. However he's proven to be one of if not the hardest worker on the team and he has the talent. And I believe he's also a lot stronger in his mental approach to the game than he is given credit for.

Talent, Hard Work and Determination = a long career IMO.

TRF
01-04-2008, 09:28 PM
doug, in 2007 only 2 pitchers under 22 that came up and started at least 8 games could have been considered dominant. 2 out of 20. Gallardo and King Felix. And I'm stretching it with Felix.

2006 was indeed a better crop, with Kazmir being the best of the bunch. Florida had some interesting YOUNG arms in '06. Those young arms from '06 got their collective butts handed to them in '07 though.

On to '05 once again only 3 guys looked like they might be dominators: Kazmir, King Felix and Zack Duke who gets worse every year.

2004 was a banner year. No pitcher under 22 was worth half a crap, Willis ang Greinke being the best with ERA's around 4. Willis is in a 3 year decline and Greinke was converted to the pen because he was so bad. He may be back in KC's rotation plans now though.

2003 was a fantastic year for young pitchers though. Big Z, Peavy, Willis had his best year, Harden was looking like an AL version of Mark Prior, and he was, Oliver Perez had a fat ERA but very interesting peripherals. Willis was beginning a workload that would decrease his effectiveness over the next 4 years, Harden is always injured, Z is a horse, but he's a BB machine now and has a 10 cent head. Peavy is without a doubt the best of the bunch.

2002 was another really good year with Harden, Beckett, Prior, Oliver Perez, Peavy, Carlos Hernandez and Sabathia. Perez was up and down with his career until settling in with the Mets. Harden, Beckett and Prior would battle injuries for years. Beckett had/has blister problems, so I can't really blame youth on that. dude has funky skin. After 2002, Hernandez pitched in a total of 9 games.

2001 had 3 pitchers of note and the rest was kinda drecky. Sabbathia, Garland and Buehrle.

Finally we get to 2000 and 2 starters, one dominating and one leading to what could be a HOF career. Rick Ankiel and Barry Zito. How's Ankiel doing as a pitcher?

It's easy to say X number of pitchers had a sub 4.50 ERA. How many of them had sustained success? 5? Certainly less than 10. Kazmir is hands down the best pitcher in the last 8 years to make his debut at an age younger than 22. Ankiel melted down. Willis is in a serious decline. Harden is oft injured. The Florida rotation of 2006 imploded in 2007, piling up injury after injury.

It isn't that a player cannot be successful at a young age. It's that sustained success is unlikely. Injury is often the result of a young man with a young mind placed on a major league mound. The list of dramatic FAILURES is more depressing than anything else. Ankiel looked like a STUD. Carlos Hernandez looked like he could anchor a rotation. Who know what will happen with Florida's young pitchers.

So why, if the washout rate is so high for pitchers 22 and younger should the Reds take a chance with the best prospects they have had on the mound since Tom Freaking Browning?

princeton
01-05-2008, 06:07 AM
Yet your 'scientific' method is nothing based on science. Its based on 'the reds can't develop talent and haven't over the last 20 years so they will continue to do so'. What you fail to see is that the coaches are different, the players are different and the ingredients are all different.

you just don't understand the hypothesis, which is really quite simple: the Reds will continue to have severe developmental problems, particularly with pitchers and with guys that couldn't hit well when very young, until they hire a top developer with a great track record.

your fixation on this is getting a little weird. Let it go for now, sit back and watch. I'll be the first to be thrilled if it's wrong and if the Cycle of Stupid is finally broken.

princeton
01-05-2008, 06:11 AM
I am assuming that you are calling Coffey the "Olive Garden", I don't know why but I digress...

If that's the case I disagree with the latter, unless you are basing it on something unforeseen like injury or unless you see something in his mechanics that might cause an injury which I don't see but am no expert in. However he's proven to be one of if not the hardest worker on the team and he has the talent. And I believe he's also a lot stronger in his mental approach to the game than he is given credit for.

Talent, Hard Work and Determination = a long career IMO.

I hope so, because I like his story. But overweight RHPers, like short RHPers, don't tend to hang around very long.

He lost a lot of weight as a teen to get himself this far. Hopefully he'll extend his career in the same way.

dougdirt
01-05-2008, 11:52 AM
you just don't understand the hypothesis, which is really quite simple: the Reds will continue to have severe developmental problems, particularly with pitchers and with guys that couldn't hit well when very young, until they hire a top developer with a great track record.

your fixation on this is getting a little weird. Let it go for now, sit back and watch. I'll be the first to be thrilled if it's wrong and if the Cycle of Stupid is finally broken.

When you stop making dumb comments about Yugo factories, then maybe I will let it go.

princeton
01-05-2008, 12:48 PM
When you stop making dumb comments about Yugo factories, then maybe I will let it go.


listen to yourself. What you're doing isn't healthy. put me on ignore and give me a heads up about it so I won't respond to your posts.

dougdirt
01-05-2008, 01:19 PM
listen to yourself. What you're doing isn't healthy. put me on ignore and give me a heads up about it so I won't respond to your posts.

The fact that I think your hypothesis is a bad one makes me unhealthy? Or is it the fact that I respond to something I disagree with that makes me unhealthy?

princeton
01-05-2008, 02:36 PM
The fact that I think your hypothesis is a bad one makes me unhealthy? Or is it the fact that I respond to something I disagree with that makes me unhealthy?

you're a bit slow, aren't you?

tell you what. you add very little, so I'll put you on ignore starting now.

no more replies now. That would add cowardice to your personality traits

dougdirt
01-05-2008, 04:02 PM
Ah, so I am slow, mentally unhealthy and cowardice simply because I disagree with you? Thats a good conclusion to draw from this I guess.....

TRF
01-05-2008, 04:36 PM
if ever a thread needed a mod's influence...

mth123
01-05-2008, 04:42 PM
No kidding.

Too bad. It was a good topic and there are some decent points buried in there.

lollipopcurve
01-05-2008, 05:29 PM
ugly

WebScorpion
01-09-2008, 03:14 PM
38 more days 'til pitchers and catchers report...coommme ooonnnnn...:duel::explode::all_cohol:runaway:

laxtonto
01-09-2008, 04:00 PM
Since im new to this forum, and this thread is allready wrecked, lets start over...

Keys to a good minor league system......

1. Excellent Player evaluation
2. Strong Latin American/Pacific Rim influence
3. Knowledgable player management
4. Finicial flexability and the freedom to use it
5. Developing specific postions of strength in the minors
6. GM that brings in high upside players at low A instead of lowe ceiling more advanced guys
7. Willingness to trade from a postion of strength to further stock weak minor postions
8. Luck

A good minor league system doesnt have to have all of these traits, but having 5 out of 8 is a necessity. Ill use Texas is an example just because i have contacts in their minor leagues and i know a good portion of their system.

1. Player evalution was lacking until the new regime took over and is questionable so far with a small track reocrd
2. Texas placed 3rd in all Latin American signings and just added 3 more from the Pacific Rim
3. Questionable before the regime change but hints that Texas refused to start the arb clock on their closest SP prospect(Hurley) is a good sign
4. In the top 3 in signing over slot last draft
5.C.....Maybe 2B,SS
6. Both major Texas trades at the deadline involved high upside guys
7. Undecided
8. Texas minor league motto, if it wasnt for bad luck.....

That shows at the worst 4 most likely 6 and Texas has turned there minor leagues around signifigantly.

Again, sorry to use Texas to illustrate my point by im not 100% covered on the Reds, yet. I ended up here after a freind on mine convinced me to follow a NL team aswell, and Cinci reminds me alot of Texas and more than anything i grew up on stories by my grandfather of the big red machine

RedsManRick
01-09-2008, 04:29 PM
Thanks much for resuscitating this Laxtonto - and welcome to the board. This is the kind of post I was hoping for. Here's what I'd like to see, and would do myself if I had the time.

1.) Establish a list of 6-10 major areas of competency (such as you've laid out)
2.) Create a point system within those areas -- some like like Completely Ineffective (1 point), Struggling (2), Mediocre (3), Effective (4), Industry Leader (5).
3.) Run every team through the matrix and see how we come out.

If somebody else wants to run with it, please do. Once we have a working model, we can debate and tweak from there. Maybe we need to weight certain areas more heavily, combine overlapping areas, etc. However, I think it would be very interesting to approach things from this angle.

laxtonto
01-09-2008, 05:22 PM
The initail question needs not how to set up a rading scale, but in determing the parameters. Its easier to do a grade system with 10 feilds just because of the the familarity people have with the 100 point grade system.

Another main point is that might be effective to try to set each feild so its a non biased. Budget vs. Budget use os a good example. If you have all the money in the world to spend on international players but they all flop, did that do you any good? Ill think on this and try to come up with a few feilds. Another approach i have found is to go to other team specific message boards to help get an overall gauge. BA and BP doesnt givr all the information needed for this type of project.

But as far as trying to this league wide, sure im game, but we nned to probably get parameters ironed out soon

dougdirt
01-09-2008, 05:27 PM
The problem is, finding a full list of international signings is nearly impossible until each team comes out with its 2008 media guides. Their signing bonuses are going to be non existant as far as 90&#37; of them go. An interesting thing to look at would maybe be the number of international guys signed for under a given amount that made their way to the US (lots of Venezuelan and Dominican Summer League guys never make it to the States). Again the problem is knowing the amount these guys signed for, as its hardly ever known for 90% of the guys that do sign. It would be something I would love to look into though if the information were available.

laxtonto
01-09-2008, 06:19 PM
I figure 1 parameter should be the average team ranking of each of the major prospect rankings weight from top to bottom....

Say the Astros ranked 30 25 29 and 23 for an average of 26.75

weighing this out would be 30-26.75/30 x 10 or 1.2. This keeps from having teams recieivng a 0 for there current minor league system. This can help on some of the indept attempts at trying to qunatify each teams minor league systems.

Another idea would by using a teams last 10 years or so of developing players through their system as a track record aswell

Mario-Rijo
01-09-2008, 06:50 PM
I figure 1 parameter should be the average team ranking of each of the major prospect rankings weight from top to bottom....

Say the Astros ranked 30 25 29 and 23 for an average of 26.75

weighing this out would be 30-26.75/30 x 10 or 1.2. This keeps from having teams recieivng a 0 for there current minor league system. This can help on some of the indept attempts at trying to qunatify each teams minor league systems.

Another idea would by using a teams last 10 years or so of developing players through their system as a track record aswell

I think things would be more accurate if you only do that in cases where it actually applies. For example the Reds have had 2 different ownerships and 3 different GM's in that time frame. I would think it might be fair to include multiple GM's (to some extent) but not in cases where ownership has changed hands.

Make it 10 yrs or since the last owner took over. I might include GM's as well but would rather not because it usually means alot of turnover throughout the organization when that occurs.

laxtonto
01-09-2008, 06:53 PM
you know guys we might be able to come out with some form of good working model on this

Mario-Rijo
01-09-2008, 07:13 PM
you know guys we might be able to come out with some form of good working model on this

My guess is that if it can't be done here it likely can't be done. Alot of guys on this board can do just about anything they put their mind to. :thumbup:

gedred69
01-09-2008, 10:09 PM
you're a bit slow, aren't you?

tell you what. you add very little, so I'll put you on ignore starting now.

no more replies now. That would add cowardice to your personality traits

I find you irritating. Are you by chance an attorney? Quoting Bill the butcher from Shakespeare's Henry the VI, "first thing we do, is we kill all the lawyers". Or something like that........I'm sure you'll correct me if I mis-stated.

*BaseClogger*
01-09-2008, 10:19 PM
Since im new to this forum, and this thread is allready wrecked, lets start over...

Keys to a good minor league system......

1. Excellent Player evaluation
2. Strong Latin American/Pacific Rim influence
3. Knowledgable player management
4. Finicial flexability and the freedom to use it
5. Developing specific postions of strength in the minors
6. GM that brings in high upside players at low A instead of lowe ceiling more advanced guys
7. Willingness to trade from a postion of strength to further stock weak minor postions
8. Luck

9. The ability to develope major leaguer's from your late draft picks?

Also, to add on to #7, another thing you can do with a strong farm system is use it to trade for pieces with the big league club. If your franchise has the money, sometimes the best thing to do with your minor league system is use it as a resource to buy the best players off small market teams...

princeton
01-10-2008, 07:44 AM
I find you irritating. Are you by chance an attorney? Quoting Bill the butcher from Shakespeare's Henry the VI, "first thing we do, is we kill all the lawyers". Or something like that........I'm sure you'll correct me if I mis-stated.


oops, looks like I trip-trapped over the wrong bridge

one good thing that I can say about dougdirt is that at least he's not a troll

podgejeff_
01-10-2008, 10:02 AM
It would seem to me that luck wouldn't be a factor in scoring the strength of a farm system. While it definitely has a hand (probably the most determining factor of them all), it's not something that can be controlled by the organization. As a matter of fact, the organization is trying to control the other seven (or eight, if counting the one added after Laxtonto's initial post) factors in order to help your farm's luck out. For the most part, if you look at the odds of a draftee making it to the big team, it seems like bad luck is the overall theme of developing your own talent.

Creating a rating system shouldn't take into account luck, because if a club is doing most of the other things right, luck is more than likely going to be on their side. That doesn't mean luck shouldn't be discounted entirely, in that if a farm system is still failing although they seem to be doing everything right then if all other explanations are exhausted then you still have bad luck. Just one lurker's opinion, though.

westofyou
01-10-2008, 10:04 AM
oops, looks like I trip-trapped over the wrong bridge

one good thing that I can say about dougdirt is that at least he's not a troll

http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/images/stories/colour/billygoatsgruff/billy_goats4.gif

laxtonto
01-10-2008, 10:05 AM
Maybe "Luck" isnt the best way to rate it, but it should be easy to do an attrition based upon injury to determine which teams have poor injury prevention, scouting or have a high risk based drafting philophsy

*BaseClogger*
01-10-2008, 12:34 PM
Maybe "Luck" isnt the best way to rate it, but it should be easy to do an attrition based upon injury to determine which teams have poor injury prevention, scouting or have a high risk based drafting philophsy

Well you can help control injuries by avoiding risky ivestments such as a HS pitchers. Organizations that draft a lot of HS pitchers are going to be considered unlucky when it is partly themselves to blame...

dougdirt
01-10-2008, 01:17 PM
Well you can help control injuries by avoiding risky ivestments such as a HS pitchers. Organizations that draft a lot of HS pitchers are going to be considered unlucky when it is partly themselves to blame...

HS pitchers are about as risky as college pitchers, especially over recent years.

*BaseClogger*
01-10-2008, 03:49 PM
HS pitchers are about as risky as college pitchers, especially over recent years.

By risk I didn't mean to become MLBer's, I meant injury risks. I could be wrong, but surely 18 year-olds have higher injury risks than 21 year-olds that have gone through the college grind...

dougdirt
01-10-2008, 04:06 PM
By risk I didn't mean to become MLBer's, I meant injury risks. I could be wrong, but surely 18 year-olds have higher injury risks than 21 year-olds that have gone through the college grind...

Maybe.... havent really looked into that, but elbow injuries dont concern me much given the advancement in surgery these days. Shoulders are still another issue though.

*BaseClogger*
01-10-2008, 04:27 PM
I suspect that the fallout rate for pitchers, especially those drafted out of high school, may be more than just the matter of injury risk. There may also be a substantial risk that the pitcher won't master the mental game of pitching at the big-league level.

It's also possible that self-discipline may be a factor. A guy who will face three years of college may be more likely to have the discipline to keep himself on the sort of rigorous physical conditioning program needed for long-term major-league pitching success (Roger Clemens is the current leading example). A guy who's in a hurry to sign a contract may be less likely to put in the long-term effort needed to reach his career goals.

I'm not saying that high-school pitching draftees are necessarily lazy idiots--Greg Maddux being an obvious counterexample. It's just a matter of general tendencies. One interesting study would be to see if pitchers who signed out of high school in spite of good grades and test scores do any better in the majors than pitchers who were poor students. Good luck getting the necessary data for that one.

Only a theory by a BP writer in 2002, so it's a bit dated. I thought it might be interesting

RedsManRick
01-10-2008, 04:41 PM
The 18 yr old vs 21 yr old argument isn't complicated. At 21, you've been both healthy and good enough to keep pitching for 3 more years than you had at age 18. Period. Thus, from a risk profile perspective, absent a measurement of talent, older is better.

Of course, the flip side of that coin is development. The 18 year old has 3 years in which he can improve his ability, whereas the 21 year has already gone through those years.

As I see it, there are 4 basic factors:

1.) How good is he right now?
2.) How good might he be someday?
3.) How long will it take to go from #1 to #2?

Given two identical pitchers following the same development trajectory, you pick the 21 year old every time. Every year carries both the risk of injury and the risk of development. If you can lock in both good health and positive development towards potential , without sacrificing maximum potential, that's the best of all worlds.

Attrition can come from a number of things, including injury, disinterest/lack of effort, poor instruction, inability to learn, etc. The more that you can avoid the possibility of those things, you do.