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OnBaseMachine
04-17-2008, 01:58 AM
A full year with the Dragons never hurt anybody

By Marc Katz

the Dayton Daily News

Thursday, April 17, 2008

So far, only five of the 23 former Dayton Dragons who have made the major leagues stand out for their longevity in the bigs.

They all had one thing in common. As Dragons President Bob Murphy noted the other day, all spent at least one full season with the Class A Midwest League Dragons and weren't rushed to the next level in, say, July.

Certainly we'd expect Joey Votto and Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey and Jay Bruce to quickly add their names to the list, but Votto and Cueto are rookies with the Reds, Bailey is still trying to make it, and Bruce, for some reason, has not yet worn a major-league uniform in a regular-season game.

That leaves Adam Dunn and Austin Kearns as regular big-league outfielders, Edwin Encarnacion as a regular third baseman, Wily Mo Pena as, if not a full-time regular, at least a solid spare part, and pitcher Todd Coffey.

Argue if you must that Coffey hasn't proven himself, but this is the fourth season he is wearing a Reds uniform, and that's an extensive amount of time for most in baseball.

Dunn, the Reds left fielder, and Kearns, Washington's right fielder, were teammates on the first Dragons team in 2000. In that season, the Reds were stuck with two teams in the low A Midwest League, also having an affiliation with Clinton.

It left the Reds without a team in a high A league, so they made the Dragons their high A team. Dunn, who missed some games due to injury, played in 122, hitting .281 with 16 homers and 79 RBIs. Kearns played in 136 of the team's 137 games, hitting .306 and leading the league with 27 homers and 104 RBIs. Scouts argued over which player was better.

Only after their full season with the Dragons did Dunn and Kearns move quickly through the rest of the Reds system to the majors.

Pena was here for all of 2001, hitting .264 with 26 homers and 113 RBIs. It was his last full season anywhere until he hit the majors in 2002.

Encarnacion, obtained in a trade with Texas, had a brief fling with the Dragons in 2001 before being sent to rookie Billings, then a full season in 2002 with the Dragons, hitting .282 with 17 homers and 73 RBIs.

Coffey spent all of 2002 with the Dragons (6-4, 3.59 ERA) and almost all of 2003 (3-3, 2.25).

Votto, Cueto, Bailey and Bruce? Only Cueto spent just a half season here (8-1, 2.59) before being promoted. Votto was promoted during his final month in Dayton. Bailey and Bruce spent a full year with the Dragons.

The point is, it didn't seem to hurt those players to stay an entire year at low A. That's something for Reds officials to ponder as they watch shortstop Todd Frazier and third baseman Brandon Waring on this year's Dragons.

http://www.daytondailynews.com/s/content/oh/story/sports/pro/dragons/2008/04/17/ddn041708spinside.html

OnBaseMachine
04-17-2008, 02:02 AM
He's a Dayton fan, so I understand why he wants to see Frazier and Waring in Dayton all season long. However, from a development standpoint, both should probably be promoted to Sarasota sometime this summer if they are still crushing the ball. If they were just a couple of kid just out of high school then I could agree with leaving them in Dayton all season. But these guys played college ball and just turned 22 years old, so they don't need a full year of seasoning in low-A ball. If it were up to me both would be promoted to Sarasota sometime in May, and maybe to Chattanooga later in the summer if they continue to mash the ball with authority.

mth123
04-17-2008, 02:08 AM
He's a Dayton fan, so I understand why he wants to see Frazier and Waring in Dayton all season long. However, from a development standpoint, both should probably be promoted to Sarasota sometime this summer if they are still crushing the ball. If they were just a couple of kid just out of high school then I could agree with leaving them in Dayton all season. But these guys played college ball and just turned 22 years old, so they don't need a full year of seasoning in low-A ball. If it were up to me both would be promoted to Sarasota sometime in May, and maybe to Chattanooga later in the summer if they continue to mash the ball with authority.

Agreed. Both would probably already be higher if not for the log jam at 3B and SS.

Benihana
04-17-2008, 10:51 AM
He's a Dayton fan, so I understand why he wants to see Frazier and Waring in Dayton all season long. However, from a development standpoint, both should probably be promoted to Sarasota sometime this summer if they are still crushing the ball. If they were just a couple of kid just out of high school then I could agree with leaving them in Dayton all season. But these guys played college ball and just turned 22 years old, so they don't need a full year of seasoning in low-A ball. If it were up to me both would be promoted to Sarasota sometime in May, and maybe to Chattanooga later in the summer if they continue to mash the ball with authority.

Exactly. This writer is extremely flawed in that every player he names that stayed all year in Dayton was a high school kid, whereas Waring and Frazier are college guys. They should be moved to Sarasota in the next few weeks.

lollipopcurve
04-17-2008, 11:08 AM
Exactly. This writer is extremely flawed in that every player he names that stayed all year in Dayton was a high school kid, whereas Waring and Frazier are college guys. They should be moved to Sarasota in the next few weeks.

Yes -- the fact they're college guys is a crucial difference. Still, you may not see them moved -- and if they are, it won't be till after the draft, at the soonest (barring injuries at upper levels). That's just the Reds' way. They've got to keep hitting, though, and this is their first experience with full-season pro ball.

FIRELEFT
04-17-2008, 11:08 AM
If I was a sports writer for the Dayton Daily News. I would say the same thing.
:)

Triples
04-17-2008, 04:22 PM
If I was a sports writer for the Dayton Daily News. I would say the same thing.
:)

Personally, IMO this whole fervor over pushing guys from Low A to High A is a lot about nothing, especiall when you're talking about Dayton vs Sarasota. Baseball is about 90% mental and 10% physical. Sarasota is a black hole. No fans, no support, no nothing except sand and heat. Let guys like Frazier and Waring play in nice ball park in front of 8,000 people every night. get them used to the cheers and boos; and let them watch their average go up and down with every at bat on a 12x12 foot LED sign on the left field wall. Let them get used to having autograph hounds (and more than a few groupies) standing 10 deep when they come out of the club house before and after the games. Let them deal with the same autograph hounds that follow the players all the way to the parking lot to get autographs on 50 playing cards. Dayton is a much better representation of major league baseball in those terms than is Sarasota. And, IMO the competition isn't that much better in High A. I've seen guys recently light up Dayton and fall flat in Sarasota. But I've also seen guys play mediore baseball in Dayton and tear up Sarasota.

lollipopcurve
04-17-2008, 04:30 PM
Personally, IMO this whole fervor over pushing guys from Low A to High A is a lot about nothing, especiall when you're talking about Dayton vs Sarasota. Baseball is about 90% mental and 10% physical. Sarasota is a black hole. No fans, no support, no nothing except sand and heat. Let guys like Frazier and Waring play in nice ball park in front of 8,000 people every night. get them used to the cheers and boos; and let them watch their average go up and down with every at bat on a 12x12 foot LED sign on the left field wall. Let them get used to having autograph hounds (and more than a few groupies) standing 10 deep when they come out of the club house before and after the games. Let them deal with the same autograph hounds that follow the players all the way to the parking lot to get autographs on 50 playing cards. Dayton is a much better representation of major league baseball in those terms than is Sarasota. And, IMO the competition isn't that much better in High A. I've seen guys recently light up Dayton and fall flat in Sarasota. But I've also seen guys play mediore baseball in Dayton and tear up Sarasota.

Excellent post.

princeton
04-17-2008, 05:12 PM
EdE, WMP, Adam Dunn, Austin Kearns = lotta guys that have never fulfilled their potentials.

get those guys out of Dayton

medford
04-17-2008, 05:19 PM
I agree that baseball in 90% mental, but I thought Yoggi said the other 50% was physical?

Aronchis
04-17-2008, 06:28 PM
Yeah, WMP has been a big disappointment. I thought he was going to be special.

dougdirt
04-17-2008, 06:56 PM
I just hope Frazier is still in Dayton the first week of May. Just got my tickets in the mail.

RDriesenUD
04-18-2008, 11:41 AM
I just hope Frazier is still in Dayton the first week of May. Just got my tickets in the mail.

the understanding is that Dayton would always get the Reds best prospects. Always. because of the fan support and all. and if they were to play a full year somewhere, it would be Dayton not Sarasota. there is no reason they can't play most of the year in Dayton. Then start next year in Sarasota or Chattanooga and move quick. To me, if you are a great prospect, it doesnt take long to move through the upper levels if you aren't blocked. i have also always been a big proponent of leaving guys at one level their first full season. let them go through all the things that triples mentioned.

dougdirt
04-18-2008, 12:20 PM
the understanding is that Dayton would always get the Reds best prospects. Always. because of the fan support and all. and if they were to play a full year somewhere, it would be Dayton not Sarasota. there is no reason they can't play most of the year in Dayton. Then start next year in Sarasota or Chattanooga and move quick. To me, if you are a great prospect, it doesnt take long to move through the upper levels if you aren't blocked. i have also always been a big proponent of leaving guys at one level their first full season. let them go through all the things that triples mentioned.
The Reds are the only team in baseball that will do this. No other team in baseball starts their polished college prospects in low A. None. High school kids, thats perfectly fine.... but everryone puts their college kids in at least high A (some put them in AA) except the Reds. I am all for leaving a guy at 1 level his first year, I just think the Reds are going about it wrong with a guy like Todd Frazier by having him in Dayton.

RDriesenUD
04-19-2008, 02:52 PM
The Reds are the only team in baseball that will do this. No other team in baseball starts their polished college prospects in low A. None. High school kids, thats perfectly fine.... but everryone puts their college kids in at least high A (some put them in AA) except the Reds. I am all for leaving a guy at 1 level his first year, I just think the Reds are going about it wrong with a guy like Todd Frazier by having him in Dayton.

let me ask you, what is the dif?

full year in Dayton
half year in Sarasota, half year in Chattanooga
Louisville

half year in Dayton, half year in Sarasota
full year in Chattanooga
Louisville

and so on. it changes nothing on their time frame. no one is going to the bigs after their first year. so whats it matter. id rather our players play in Dayton than Sarasota, for a lot of reasons. after your first full year, it doesnt matter where you are. you play your way up until there is no where else to go up.

Reds Freak
04-19-2008, 05:47 PM
Personally, IMO this whole fervor over pushing guys from Low A to High A is a lot about nothing, especiall when you're talking about Dayton vs Sarasota. Baseball is about 90% mental and 10% physical. Sarasota is a black hole. No fans, no support, no nothing except sand and heat. Let guys like Frazier and Waring play in nice ball park in front of 8,000 people every night. get them used to the cheers and boos; and let them watch their average go up and down with every at bat on a 12x12 foot LED sign on the left field wall. Let them get used to having autograph hounds (and more than a few groupies) standing 10 deep when they come out of the club house before and after the games. Let them deal with the same autograph hounds that follow the players all the way to the parking lot to get autographs on 50 playing cards. Dayton is a much better representation of major league baseball in those terms than is Sarasota. And, IMO the competition isn't that much better in High A. I've seen guys recently light up Dayton and fall flat in Sarasota. But I've also seen guys play mediore baseball in Dayton and tear up Sarasota.


I think you make a great point in regards to the differences in stadiums, atmosphere, etc. If this is the thinking though wouldn't it make sense to promote them next to Chattanooga rather than Sarasota which might further slower their development?

Caveat Emperor
04-19-2008, 07:02 PM
I think you make a great point in regards to the differences in stadiums, atmosphere, etc. If this is the thinking though wouldn't it make sense to promote them next to Chattanooga rather than Sarasota which might further slower their development?

Well, if I ran the Reds:

If a hitter rakes in Dayton, his next stop is Chattanooga.
If a hitter plays competently in Dayton, his next stop is Sarasota.

If a pitcher dominates in Dayton, his next stop is Sarasota.
If a pitcher plays competently in Dayton, his next stop is Sarasota.

Coddle thy pitchers, challenge thy hitters.

mth123
04-19-2008, 07:25 PM
Well, if I ran the Reds:

If a hitter rakes in Dayton, his next stop is Chattanooga.
If a hitter plays competently in Dayton, his next stop is Sarasota.

If a pitcher dominates in Dayton, his next stop is Sarasota.
If a pitcher plays competently in Dayton, his next stop is Sarasota.

Coddle thy pitchers, challenge thy hitters.

Agree completely with that approach.

RDriesenUD
04-19-2008, 11:41 PM
btw, dont expect Waring to be promoted anytime soon. looks awefull against breaking balls.

Triples
04-21-2008, 01:09 AM
Well, if I ran the Reds:

If a hitter rakes in Dayton, his next stop is Chattanooga.
If a hitter plays competently in Dayton, his next stop is Sarasota.

If a pitcher dominates in Dayton, his next stop is Sarasota.
If a pitcher plays competently in Dayton, his next stop is Sarasota.

Coddle thy pitchers, challenge thy hitters.

OK but what do you do with the guys at the next level where ever that might be. Some of those guys aren't half bad either.