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Always Red
01-27-2009, 09:35 PM
John Erardi, writing on Fay's blog, posts another well thought winner (and kudos, really, to Fay for recognizing it):

http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?category=blog07&plckController=Blog&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&plckPostId=Blog%3ae57bcc87-152a-4f72-96fb-cc08b1f396efPost%3aeee77194-f75e-4f93-b1da-6efb97a85565&plckCommentSortOrder=TimeStampAscending&sid=sitelife.cincinnati.com


Posted by johnerardi at 1/27/2009 3:39 PM EST on Cincinnati.com



Another interlude, this one not quite so brief...

First, though, check out Fay's most recent post from his teleconference call with Sean Casey.

I'm looking forward to the Hot Stove League tonight being hosted on WLW-AM by Thom Brennaman at 6 p.m., and Walt Jocketty with Doc at 7 p.m. It should be a lively couple of hours, coming as it does right after the winter caravan, and Bob Castellini's clarifications about the Reds plans and what Reds fans can expect this season.

I believe it would take quite an alignment of the planets for the Reds to contend this year, but I don't believe it would be mathematically impossible.

Among the necessary alignments would be Chris Dickerson and Jerrry Hairston Jr. repeating what they did last year (when they both played above expectations) over a full season...and shortstop Alex Gonzalez having at least an "average" year by his standards...and Jay Bruce showing significant improvement (very feasible, given his age)...and the Reds finding a consistent fifth starter. (Last year, Matt Belisle, Homer Bailey and Josh Fogg were 3-17; that is practically GiVING away every fifth game).

One question I've been hit with from some of my colleagues is, "How many pundits correctly predicted going into last year that the Tampa Bay Rays would make the World Series --and why can't the 2009 Reds be the 2008 Rays?"

LAST winter, Nate Silver of Baseball Prospectus correctly forecast a dramatic turnaround by the Rays:
"Baseball Prospectus is not prepared to call the 2008...Rays the best team in the AL, but (the) projection system (we used)...forecasts an 88-74 finish for baseball's perennial bottom-feeders, a 22-win jump from 2007."

And, now, the key passage from Silver, because I believe it has relevance for answering the question, "Can the 2009 Reds be the 2008 Rays?" (After all, isn't that what Reds management is selling us, with all the "speed and defense" talk?)

"It's in the field, though, that the Rays will make their biggest gains. According to (Baseball Prospectus)...the Rays gave up 72 more runs than an average defense last season. Of that total, 56 resulted from poor middle-infield play...

"(The Rays moved second baseman B.J. Upton to center field and acquired) slick-fielding shortstop Jason Bartlett (in trade, and moved) sure-handed Aki Iwamura from third to second (to make room for Evan Longoria to stablize) the infield.

"As a result, the Rays' defense projects to be 10 runs above average this year, an 82-run improvement, which will allow the improved rotation to work through its innings more efficiently."

Therein, I believe lies your answer.

I believe the Reds are two years away. Right now, the Reds don't have the young talent of the 2008 Rays. But I also believe that IF the Reds make good long-term decisions, the short term will care of itself.

Tampa Bay had more room for defensive improvement than the 2009 Reds do. The 2008 Rays changed players in five positions, everywhere but catcher, first base and left field.

So far, the 2009 Reds have changed four positions: left field, shortstop, catcher and center field. The lattter two cannot be viewed as defensive upgrades. Having Bruce in right field for a full season, and Dickerson/Hairston in left field, and Gonzalez at short, are upgrades. But it's not quite the upgrades the 2008 Rays made.

I am a huge believer in the contribution that defense makes in run-differential. How well your team -- in this case, the Reds -- turns batted balls that stay in the park into outs is one of the most accurate barometers for team success.

A great defensive team (like the 2008 Rays) turns 71 percent of batted balls in play into outs (best in major league baseball). A bad defensive team turns only 67 percent of batted balls in play into outs (the 2008 Reds, worst in the National League)..

Poor defense has been a huge problem for the Reds since Ken Griffey Jr.'s second year here (2001). Going backward from 2008, here's the Reds' defensive acumen: 68%, 69%, 68%, 70%, 70%, 70%, 70%, 71% (2000) and 73% (1999).

It's no coincidence that the 2000 Reds were the last Cincinnati team with an above average defense (and the last with a winning record). The 1999 Reds were the second-best defensive team in major league baseall in the last decade (exceeded only by the 2001 Seattle Mariners, who won 116 games).

The 2007 Rays turned only 66% of the balls that stayed in the ballpark into outs. That they were able to raise it to 72% last year had a huge impact on their success.

The Reds don't have as much room for defense improvement as did the Rays, but unless the Reds, too, can make a dramatic improvement defensively, I don't believe they can contend -- because their offiense is so suspect.

Keep that in mind when you listen to tonight's disccussions...and maybe even raise the question yourself. "Will the 2009 Reds' defense be 2008 Rays' good?"

It's a hard-core number, that 71%.

It basically requires that everybody to be able to "go get it."

I have my doubts about the Reds defensively at catcher, third base and -- to only a slightly lesser degree -- center fielder and shortstop (mainly because of questions about Gonzalez' endurance coming off his injury; the fielding services say he's merely an average shortstop defensively, albeit better than Jeff Keppinger and Hairston Jr.).

Yes, for the Reds to duplicate the Rays' turnaround, everybody must be able to "go get it," not just four or five of the nine guys. And that is what makes me question the "speed and defense" claim. I don't think the Reds are as good in that department as we're being told.

What do you think?



MORE ON RUN DIFFERENTIAL:

Unless the Reds are incredibly lucky (see Arizona Diamondbacks, 2007), they will need to score more runs than they allow in order to contend this year.

Typically, for every 10 runs more a team scores than it allows, that's one victory (82-80) above a .500 season. So, to win 88-90 games, the Reds probably need to score 70 or so more runs than they allow.

Run differential is usually within three games of being dead on. But it's not an exact predictor. Last year, for example, the Tampa Bay Rays won five more games that their run differential wouldl have predicted.

Going back even farther, the unlikely 1961 National League champion Reds won 93 games (and like the Rays made it to the World Series), even though the Reds' run differential would have normally projected them as an 83-win team.

So, yes, things can happen.

For a team to contend while scoring only 700 runs (which is based on a fairly generous assumption that the Reds can match their runs scored from last year) requires leading the league in pitching/defense. It worked last year for the Dodgers (winning a really weak division with 84 wins, although they projected for 87). The Blue Jays finished 4th but projected to 93 wins, but they led the league in pitching/defense. The Reds would have to chop another 150 runs from their 2008 total to lead the league. That requires everything going right with the rotation, bullpen and defense. And as noted, the defense may be better, but it still isn't great.

Still, the 2009 Reds could be an entertaining team to watch. But, as presently constituted, the offensive composition of this club suggests that anything more than about a .500 season is unlikely.

What do I think? I think that with money being tighter than last year, the FO (as a whole) has decided that they have already shelled out a lot of money for the pitching, and rather than pursue more bats that cannot field, have decided to maximize the defense. I also think this staff has a lot of promise, but it will take some hope and luck for it to improve from last years numbers (with essentially the same pitchers). I also think it will be very interesting to see how this approach will play in GABP. We have not seen the Reds get outslugged in Cincinnati for some time, but it might just happen in 2009.

WMR
01-27-2009, 09:40 PM
The defense will be slightly better, but nowhere near good enough to make up for the offense in terms of creating the necessary run differential.

membengal
01-27-2009, 10:10 PM
John Erardi is a crystal blue oasis in the endless desert that is generally the local media's coverage of the Reds. He and C. Trent give me hope for better days from the locals. Thanks for posting that bit of goodness...

Redhook
01-27-2009, 10:18 PM
That was a darn good read. Thanks John, John, and Always for posting it.

Johnny Footstool
01-27-2009, 11:02 PM
This FO appears to be "maximizing the defense" in the same way WK did when he brought Juan Castro back.

Honestly, it's like they wouldn't know good defense if it walked up and bit them.

Always Red
01-27-2009, 11:09 PM
This FO appears to be "maximizing the defense" in the same way WK did when he brought Juan Castro back.

Honestly, it's like they wouldn't know good defense if it walked up and bit them.

And yet I would argue that the current defense is better (maybe even much better?) than the one that started the 2008 season.

C, RF, and LF are all improved on defense. SS? maybe? probably? who knows.

AtomicDumpling
01-27-2009, 11:34 PM
I don't have the numbers in front of me, but if I recall correctly the Reds' Defensive Efficiency Ratings in the last two months of the season (after Dunn and Griffey left) were not any better than the prior months.

I don't see how the team has improved now compared to the last two months of 2008. Taveras is a downgrade from Patterson. Hernandez is not an upgrade from Bako/Hannigan. Bruce was in RF and Dickerson was in LF already. An older, gimpy Gonzalez will be an upgrade over Keppinger, but not a whole lot.

So I would expect the 2009 Reds to have a very similar DER to the 2008 Reds.

RedsManRick
01-27-2009, 11:38 PM
And yet I would argue that the current defense is better (maybe even much better?) than the one that started the 2008 season.

C, RF, and LF are all improved on defense. SS? maybe? probably? who knows.

Are we enough better to not just offset the loss of our most productive offensive players but also improve our differential by another 100 runs?

I think that's the bigger concern. We're not really any better. We're just a differently composed mediocre.

SteelSD
01-27-2009, 11:39 PM
Are we enough better to not just offset the loss of our most productive offensive players but also improve our differential by another 100 runs?

I think that's the bigger concern. We're not really any better. We're just a differently composed mediocre.

Well said. I completely agree.

Always Red
01-27-2009, 11:44 PM
Are we enough better to not just offset the loss of our most productive offensive players but also improve our differential by another 100 runs?

I think that's the bigger concern. We're not really any better. We're just a differently composed mediocre.

Oh, I would definitely agree with that. Erardi's article just concerned defense.

As is said here on occasion, it's a different kind of suck.

As you say, this is still a mediocre team.

flyer85
01-28-2009, 12:23 AM
Reds need a 170 run improvement over 2008. Seems to me they basically have to max out offense, defense and pitching

Blitz Dorsey
01-28-2009, 01:40 AM
LF and especially RF will be HUGE improvements defensively when comparing the '09 Reds to the '08 Reds. Then if Gonzo can stay somewhat healthy and eventually knock off the rust at SS, I think we could be looking at a significant overall improvement. The Big Red Elephant in the room is whether Encarnacion will be an error machine again, or if he can show steady improvement on the routine plays (while continuing to make the occasional spectacular play as usual). That's a lot to fall into place, but just judging by the fact the Reds won't have a statue playing most of the games in RF this year, I think we're going to see a much-better defense. And then Dickerson/Gomes/Hairston will be a big improvement over Dunn in LF. Not as big as Bruce over Griffey in right, but still substantial.

WVRedsFan
01-28-2009, 02:12 AM
We're playing in a bandbox, guys. Teams will get the cheap home run and it looks like that might be the opposition this year. I cannot figure out a lot of things going on, but I do know that to win you must hit and field. He used to be able to hit, but field? Not so much. Did we improve defense? We're somewhat better in right field (surely, Jay won't have the mental lapses like he did at times last year), shortstop (if Gonzo comes back at even 90%), and that's about it. Right field is a question mark and third base is a disaster (sorry all you EdE fans, but unless he does a complete 180, he simply is horrible if not worse than that). We didn't replace the bats of Dunn and Griffey (yet) and have become, or at least it seems, a smallball team? Give me a break.

I'm very optimistic this time of year, but this article tends to bring me down. We have the pitching apparently, but we still can't field and our hitting has regressed. Is that improvement?

Ron Madden
01-28-2009, 05:53 AM
John Erardi, writing on Fay's blog, posts another well thought winner (and kudos, really, to Fay for recognizing it):

http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?category=blog07&plckController=Blog&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&plckPostId=Blog%3ae57bcc87-152a-4f72-96fb-cc08b1f396efPost%3aeee77194-f75e-4f93-b1da-6efb97a85565&plckCommentSortOrder=TimeStampAscending&sid=sitelife.cincinnati.com



What do I think? I think that with money being tighter than last year, the FO (as a whole) has decided that they have already shelled out a lot of money for the pitching, and rather than pursue more bats that cannot field, have decided to maximize the defense. I also think this staff has a lot of promise, but it will take some hope and luck for it to improve from last years numbers (with essentially the same pitchers). I also think it will be very interesting to see how this approach will play in GABP. We have not seen the Reds get outslugged in Cincinnati for some time, but it might just happen in 2009.

Thanks for post Always Red, Very good read.

I'm 100% in agreement with your opinion of the situation.

I've said it before and I'll say it again John Erardi is The Best Sports Writer in Cincinnati. I may not agree with everything he says but unlike the beat writers and sports talk host who only repeat Martys opinion, John Erardi works at his job.

:thumbup:

camisadelgolf
01-28-2009, 09:16 AM
Sabermetricians, do you think it would be fair to say that going from one of the five-worst defenses to one of the five-best defenses would result in your pitchers allowing 30-50 runs over the course of a regular season?

wheels
01-28-2009, 09:35 AM
We're playing in a bandbox, guys. Teams will get the cheap home run and it looks like that might be the opposition this year. I cannot figure out a lot of things going on, but I do know that to win you must hit and field. He used to be able to hit, but field? Not so much. Did we improve defense? We're somewhat better in right field (surely, Jay won't have the mental lapses like he did at times last year), shortstop (if Gonzo comes back at even 90%), and that's about it. Right field is a question mark and third base is a disaster (sorry all you EdE fans, but unless he does a complete 180, he simply is horrible if not worse than that). We didn't replace the bats of Dunn and Griffey (yet) and have become, or at least it seems, a smallball team? Give me a break.

I'm very optimistic this time of year, but this article tends to bring me down. We have the pitching apparently, but we still can't field and our hitting has regressed. Is that improvement?

That's the way I'm reading the situation, too.

Falls City Beer
01-28-2009, 10:01 AM
This FO appears to be "maximizing the defense" in the same way WK did when he brought Juan Castro back.

Honestly, it's like they wouldn't know good defense if it walked up and bit them.

Yet Jocketty consistently constructed some of the best defenses in baseball from 2000-2006. It must have been all luck.

wheels
01-28-2009, 10:10 AM
Yet Jocketty consistently constructed some of the best defenses in baseball from 2000-2006. It must have been all luck.

I'm not quite sure Walt gets to call the shots he wants to call in Cincinnati.

From the outside, it looks like it might be a "too many cooks (or kooks)" situation.

Johnny Footstool
01-28-2009, 11:01 AM
Yet Jocketty consistently constructed some of the best defenses in baseball from 2000-2006. It must have been all luck.

If I recall, he didn't do it with the likes of Willy Taveras, Alex Gonzalez, and Ramon Hernandez.

He had better scouts and advisors in StL. That's why I was jabbing at the Front Office as a whole rather than singling out Jocketty.

TRF
01-28-2009, 11:18 AM
So, given the state of the 40 man roster as it stands right now, how would you create the optimal defensive/offensive team and starting 9?

I'd go with this lineup:

Dickerson CF
EE 3B
Votto 1B
Bruce RF
Gomes LF Needs a platoon partner badly
Phillips 2B
Hernandez/Hanigan C
Janish SS
P

Bench:

Kepp
Hairston
AGon
Taveras
Richar

That leaves 11 pitchers.

I'd hide Janish' weak bat in the 8 hole and have him stabilize the IF defense.

Jpup
01-28-2009, 11:46 AM
Yet Jocketty consistently constructed some of the best defenses in baseball from 2000-2006. It must have been all luck.

Serious question. Do you really believe that the Reds will be "good" in any phase of the game in 2009? Pitching, hitting, or defense? I can't believe that the hitting or defense will be tolerable, much less, "good". The pitching has a chance.

camisadelgolf
01-28-2009, 11:46 AM
LF Chris Dickerson (good OBP guy)
1B Joey Votto (better OBP guy, more at-bats, tends to be walked when runners are in scoring position)
3B Edwin Encarnacion (good OBP, good SLG)
RF Jay Bruce (lacking OBP but drives in runners)
2B Brandon Phillips (lacking OBP but has decent power and speed)
C Ramon Hernandez (makes a lot of contact; can get the runners over)
SS Alex Gonzalez (anemic OBP; good power)
CF Willy Taveras (singles hitter; can steal second and be bunted to third by the pitcher)

Ryan Hanigan (obviously)
Jeff Keppinger (good contact skills; versatile)
Danny Richar (often over-looked but left-handed, skilled, and versatile)
Jonny Gomes (right-handed power bat, destroys left-handers)
Norris Hopper (can play all three outfield spots, makes good contact)

hebroncougar
01-28-2009, 12:09 PM
Too bad Eradi's not the GM. He's a smart cookie.:)

BRM
01-28-2009, 01:22 PM
So, given the state of the 40 man roster as it stands right now, how would you create the optimal defensive/offensive team and starting 9?

I'd go with this lineup:

Dickerson CF
EE 3B
Votto 1B
Bruce RF
Gomes LF Needs a platoon partner badly
Phillips 2B
Hernandez/Hanigan C
Janish SS
P

Bench:

Kepp
Hairston
AGon
Taveras
Richar

That leaves 11 pitchers.

I'd hide Janish' weak bat in the 8 hole and have him stabilize the IF defense.

That's not too bad although Gomes is a butcher in the OF from what I've read. At least you're only weak at two spots with that group though, 3B and LF.

Big Klu
01-28-2009, 01:23 PM
LF Chris Dickerson (good OBP guy)
1B Joey Votto (better OBP guy, more at-bats, tends to be walked when runners are in scoring position)
3B Edwin Encarnacion (good OBP, good SLG)
RF Jay Bruce (lacking OBP but drives in runners)
2B Brandon Phillips (lacking OBP but has decent power and speed)
C Ramon Hernandez (makes a lot of contact; can get the runners over)
SS Alex Gonzalez (anemic OBP; good power)
CF Willy Taveras (singles hitter; can steal second and be bunted to third by the pitcher)

Ryan Hanigan (obviously)
Jeff Keppinger (good contact skills; versatile)
Danny Richar (often over-looked but left-handed, skilled, and versatile)
Jonny Gomes (right-handed power bat, destroys left-handers)
Norris Hopper (can play all three outfield spots, makes good contact)

Jerry Hairston, Jr. doesn't make your team?

TRF
01-28-2009, 01:53 PM
That's not too bad although Gomes is a butcher in the OF from what I've read. At least you're only weak at two spots with that group though, 3B and LF.

3B is likely batter with the addition of Janish as SS. dunno how much better, but 2007 was EE's best year defensively and only time he had a decent SS to his left.

camisadelgolf
01-28-2009, 06:33 PM
Jerry Hairston, Jr. doesn't make your team?

I always forget him for some reason. He'll probably be injured more than half the year anyway. ;)

jojo
01-28-2009, 06:39 PM
Sabermetricians, do you think it would be fair to say that going from one of the five-worst defenses to one of the five-best defenses would result in your pitchers allowing 30-50 runs over the course of a regular season?

Ya (ya it's reasonable to assume the staff could give up 50 fewer runs), unless luck really isn't a lady.

Falls City Beer
01-28-2009, 06:45 PM
Serious question. Do you really believe that the Reds will be "good" in any phase of the game in 2009? Pitching, hitting, or defense? I can't believe that the hitting or defense will be tolerable, much less, "good". The pitching has a chance.

I think the team will be a lot less "bad" than is being predicted right now by 98% of this side of the board. They'll not be great and probably not good, but they'll be okay, with the outside chance of being good.

I think they'll be better than last year's team. It all boils down to what Cueto's able to do.

camisadelgolf
01-28-2009, 06:51 PM
I agree, FCB. The Reds should be better than last year just by having less dead weight. We probably won't have a ~8.00 ERA coming from our fifth starter slot, no one should be Bako or Patterson bad, and the defense is improved, if only slightly. On top of that, the young core will hopefully develop more.

OnBaseMachine
01-28-2009, 07:00 PM
I think the team will be a lot less "bad" than is being predicted right now by 98% of this side of the board. They'll not be great and probably not good, but they'll be okay, with the outside chance of being good.

I think they'll be better than last year's team. It all boils down to what Cueto's able to do.

I agree. I've seen some people predicting 65-70 wins. I think this is more of a 80ish win team as constructed right now. If Jay Bruce and Johnny Cueto breakout and have big seasons then that number improves by 4-5 wins. Add a Bobby Abreu type of bat for LF and it improves by another couple wins, IMO. But it could've been even better with a Dickerson/RH bat platoon in CF, a big bat in LF, and a defensive upgrade at SS.

Mario-Rijo
01-28-2009, 07:08 PM
I agree. I've seen some people predicting 65-70 wins. I think this is more of a 80ish win team as constructed right now. If Jay Bruce and Johnny Cueto breakout and have big seasons then that number improves by 4-5 wins. Add a Bobby Abreu type of bat for LF and it improves by another couple wins, IMO. But it could've been even better with a Dickerson/RH bat platoon in CF, a big bat in LF, and a defensive upgrade at SS.

Right now I'm thinking more like 75ish with an outside shot at .500. But that's expecting no major breakouts of any kind, but some marginal improvement in Cueto and Bruce and a bounceback from Harang.

wheels
01-28-2009, 07:09 PM
I agree. I've seen some people predicting 65-70 wins. I think this is more of a 80ish win team as constructed right now. If Jay Bruce and Johnny Cueto breakout and have big seasons then that number improves by 4-5 wins. Add a Bobby Abreu type of bat for LF and it improves by another couple wins, IMO. But it could've been even better with a Dickerson/RH bat platoon in CF, a big bat in LF, and a defensive upgrade at SS.

That's why I'm so peeved about the moves so far.

So close. They were so close to being a potential 85 win team. You mention Abreu and I think about what could have been.

I'm actually not as concerned about the defense as I am the offense. With the right offensive additions, it wouldn't matter as much as it does now.

"Not as Bad as Last Year" isn't gonna get it done with the current offensive configuration.

BRM
01-28-2009, 07:12 PM
Not as bad as last year still means they are likely finishing 15+ back in the division and nowhere near sniffing the WC. There are no prizes for getting to .500 unfortunately. A different, slightly better version of bad doesn't mean a whole lot to me. Here's to 2010!

jojo
01-28-2009, 07:23 PM
I think the team will be a lot less "bad" than is being predicted right now by 98% of this side of the board. They'll not be great and probably not good, but they'll be okay, with the outside chance of being good.

I think they'll be better than last year's team. It all boils down to what Cueto's able to do.

We're probably looking at a .500 team this season and given life is a bell curve, there's a chance to be on the happy tail.

Always Red
01-28-2009, 07:41 PM
We're probably looking at a .500 team this season and given life is a bell curve, there's a chance to be on the happy tail.

I have a feeling that Castellini will be popping the champagne cork when this team reaches .500. He has consistently said that finishing over .500 equals a "winner."

Most other owners would not be happy with that record; Cast should not be, either. It should be properly seen as the first step.

The best thing he could do when this team finally reaches .500 is to call it a failure and tell the media that he is not happy that the Reds have not reached their goal of winning a World Series. That's when he should next talk to the media, and not before then. The more he talks, the worse he makes it for himself.

As Mark Twain said: It's better to keep quiet and have people think you stupid, than to talk and confirm it.

GAC
01-28-2009, 08:26 PM
The Red's Caravan was up in Lima (Ohio) the other day. Jocketty was aboard. The article appeared the next day in the Lima news (Reds Changing The Way They Play The Game), and one of the locals asked Walt about his inability so far to acquire a RH'd power-hitting LFer in the off-season, and if they were still looking?

Walt's response? While it was true we had Hr (power) hitters on the team last year, such as in Dunn and Griffey, we didn't hit them in key (clutch) situations, so basically, what good did it do us? And while Walt stated we will probably get 20+ Hr seasons from guys like Votto, EE, Hernandez, Bruce, and maybe AGon, Walt emphasized "run producers" (situational hitting) over Hr hitters.

So after one read through all his response, the answer is..... "No. We are done for the off-season." ;)

Caveat Emperor
01-28-2009, 08:36 PM
I think they'll be better than last year's team. It all boils down to what Cueto's able to do.

Agreed.

Cueto and Owings (or Ramirez or whoever wins the 5th starter spot) will go a long way to determining how watchable the 2009 Reds season will be.

Boss-Hog
01-28-2009, 08:59 PM
Agreed.

Cueto and Owings (or Ramirez or whoever wins the 5th starter spot) will go a long way to determining how watchable the 2009 Reds season will be.
I agree, as well. This certainly isn't a playoff contender, at least as currently constructed, but I don't believe they'll be as bad as many here think (JMO).

Johnny Footstool
01-28-2009, 09:03 PM
The Red's Caravan was up in Lima (Ohio) the other day. Jocketty was aboard. The article appeared the next day in the Lima news (Reds Changing The Way They Play The Game), and one of the locals asked Walt about his inability so far to acquire a RH'd power-hitting LFer in the off-season, and if they were still looking?

Walt's response? While it was true we had Hr (power) hitters on the team last year, such as in Dunn and Griffey, we didn't hit them in key (clutch) situations, so basically, what good did it do us? And while Walt stated we will probably get 20+ Hr seasons from guys like Votto, EE, Hernandez, Bruce, and maybe AGon, Walt emphasized "run producers" (situational hitting) over Hr hitters.

So after one read through all his response, the answer is..... "No. We are done for the off-season." ;)

Ah, a callback to DanO and his "Win-Efficient Scoring." Great.

SteelSD
01-28-2009, 09:50 PM
The Red's Caravan was up in Lima (Ohio) the other day. Jocketty was aboard. The article appeared the next day in the Lima news (Reds Changing The Way They Play The Game), and one of the locals asked Walt about his inability so far to acquire a RH'd power-hitting LFer in the off-season, and if they were still looking?

Walt's response? While it was true we had Hr (power) hitters on the team last year, such as in Dunn and Griffey, we didn't hit them in key (clutch) situations, so basically, what good did it do us? And while Walt stated we will probably get 20+ Hr seasons from guys like Votto, EE, Hernandez, Bruce, and maybe AGon, Walt emphasized "run producers" (situational hitting) over Hr hitters.

So after one read through all his response, the answer is..... "No. We are done for the off-season." ;)

That's an absurd response from a General Manager.

WMR
01-28-2009, 10:17 PM
That's an absurd response from a General Manager.

It's scary to think that a GM of a MLB team would dream of trying to make that sort of horrible statement.

SteelSD
01-28-2009, 10:38 PM
It's scary to think that a GM of a MLB team would dream of trying to make that sort of horrible statement.

Well, he's on a caravan trying to drum up support for the Reds. So I can understand why Jocketty is saying what he's saying. Doesn't make me feel any less dirty for hearing the shill speak. Right now, both he and Castellini are doing their best P.T. Barnum impersonations.

Highlifeman21
01-28-2009, 10:43 PM
Reds need a 170 run improvement over 2008. Seems to me they basically have to max out offense, defense and pitching

We better hope that our defense and pitching is the best in baseball, b/c that's the only way we'll put a dent in that 170 runs, b/c we certainly won't put a dent in the difference with our offense (or lack thereof).

Highlifeman21
01-28-2009, 10:45 PM
LF and especially RF will be HUGE improvements defensively when comparing the '09 Reds to the '08 Reds. Then if Gonzo can stay somewhat healthy and eventually knock off the rust at SS, I think we could be looking at a significant overall improvement. The Big Red Elephant in the room is whether Encarnacion will be an error machine again, or if he can show steady improvement on the routine plays (while continuing to make the occasional spectacular play as usual). That's a lot to fall into place, but just judging by the fact the Reds won't have a statue playing most of the games in RF this year, I think we're going to see a much-better defense. And then Dickerson/Gomes/Hairston will be a big improvement over Dunn in LF. Not as big as Bruce over Griffey in right, but still substantial.

Dickerson better than Dunn defensively in LF is a no-brainer.

Gomes or Hairston? I'm not that convinced. Heck, Gomes might be worse defensively, and Hairston's a statue at any position on the field...

dougdirt
01-28-2009, 10:49 PM
We better hope that our defense and pitching is the best in baseball, b/c that's the only way we'll put a dent in that 170 runs, b/c we certainly won't put a dent in the difference with our offense (or lack thereof).

Our offense will score more runs than last year. I am willing to bet on that one.

OnBaseMachine
01-28-2009, 10:51 PM
Dickerson better than Dunn defensively in LF is a no-brainer.

Gomes or Hairston? I'm not that convinced. Heck, Gomes might be worse defensively, and Hairston's a statue at any position on the field...

Adam Dunn:

Career -55.7 UZR in LF, -9.6 UZR/150

Jerry Hairston Jr:

Career +5.2 UZR in LF, +16.2 UZR/150

dougdirt
01-28-2009, 10:54 PM
Adam Dunn:

Career -55.7 UZR in LF, -9.6 UZR/150

Jerry Hairston Jr:

Career +5.2 UZR in LF, +16.2 UZR/150

Everyone knows defensive stats suck.

Highlifeman21
01-28-2009, 10:57 PM
Our offense will score more runs than last year. I am willing to bet on that one.

While that may be true, they won't score more than 725 R, so we're looking at 21 more RS from 2008.

woo hoo...

... we need our pitching to give up RA in the range of the Jack McKeon era

Highlifeman21
01-28-2009, 11:01 PM
Adam Dunn:

Career -55.7 UZR in LF, -9.6 UZR/150

Jerry Hairston Jr:

Career +5.2 UZR in LF, +16.2 UZR/150

I call sample size shenanigans.

Hairston's played a whopping 113 G in LF for his career. Not even 450 career defensive innings in LF.

A younger, more healthy Hairston was definitely better than Dunn defensively in LF, but the current older, clearly less healthy Hairston isn't a given that he's better than Dunn defensively in LF.

OnBaseMachine
01-28-2009, 11:09 PM
Hairston also grades out as a plus defender in CF with a +9.1 UZR/150 in 815.2 innings in CF. Listen, I love Dunner too but let's face it, he's an awful defender. I'm no fan of Hairston but he's a better defender than Dunn.

Highlifeman21
01-28-2009, 11:27 PM
Hairston also grades out as a plus defender in CF with a +9.1 UZR/150 in 815.2 innings in CF. Listen, I love Dunner too but let's face it, he's an awful defender. I'm no fan of Hairston but he's a better defender than Dunn.

Dunn's not a good defender, that isn't my dispute.

My dispute is that at this stage of his career, health and age, Hairston might be better than Dunn, but I wouldn't say it's an absolute given.

I don't see what's unreasonable about that line of thinking...

jojo
01-28-2009, 11:35 PM
Dunn's not a good defender, that isn't my dispute.

My dispute is that at this stage of his career, health and age, Hairston might be better than Dunn, but I wouldn't say it's an absolute given.

I don't see what's unreasonable about that line of thinking...

Hairston might be a neutral to +5 corner defender which would be significantly better than Dunn. But ya, sample sizes are an issue with him and it's not a given he could log 500 defensive innings in left.

*BaseClogger*
01-29-2009, 12:14 AM
I call sample size shenanigans.

Hairston's played a whopping 113 G in LF for his career. Not even 450 career defensive innings in LF.

A younger, more healthy Hairston was definitely better than Dunn defensively in LF, but the current older, clearly less healthy Hairston isn't a given that he's better than Dunn defensively in LF.

Let's supplement those stats with our eyes. Who else other than Highlifeman21 thinks Adam Dunn is a better fielder than Jerry Hairston Jr. in LF?

Emin3mShady07
01-29-2009, 12:24 AM
My blind grandmother who heard one play by play where Dunn made a diving catch. (I don't actually have a blind grandmother but found this to be an apt example). :D

Will M
01-29-2009, 12:49 AM
Let's supplement those stats with our eyes. Who else other than Highlifeman21 thinks Adam Dunn is a better fielder than Jerry Hairston Jr. in LF?

Not me.

Most important abilities for outfield defense:
1. speed
2. speed
3. possibly speed but likely the ability to read the ball off the bat & run good routes
4. arm strength

mth123
01-29-2009, 06:42 AM
So, given the state of the 40 man roster as it stands right now, how would you create the optimal defensive/offensive team and starting 9?

I'd go with this lineup:

Dickerson CF
EE 3B
Votto 1B
Bruce RF
Gomes LF Needs a platoon partner badly
Phillips 2B
Hernandez/Hanigan C
Janish SS
P

Bench:

Kepp
Hairston
AGon
Taveras
Richar

That leaves 11 pitchers.

I'd hide Janish' weak bat in the 8 hole and have him stabilize the IF defense.

Given the current 40 Man?

Against RHP/Against LHP
Dickerson/Hairston CF
Rosales/Keppinger 3B
Votto 1B
EdE LF
Bruce RF/Phillips 2B
Phillips 2B/Hernandez C
Hernandez C/Bruce RF
Janish SS

If I play my best offensively and defensively balanced team, some things have to be set down as rules that apply in all but emergency situations:

1. EdE at 3B is history.
2. Jeff Keppinger doesn't play an inning in the middle infield
3. Keppinger and Phillips need to be hitting in key spots against LHP.
4. Janish plays SS no matter how he hits unless Gonzalez returns to his former self (2005 or so version) or the Reds acquire somebody.
5. Willy Taveras doesn't see the light of day unless its to pinch run.

BRM
01-29-2009, 10:19 AM
Let's supplement those stats with our eyes. Who else other than Highlifeman21 thinks Adam Dunn is a better fielder than Jerry Hairston Jr. in LF?

Hairston would have to be an all-world defender to offset the loss of offense. I know, we are strictly focusing on defense here. Overall the defense should be a bit better than last year. Could be quite a bit better if Bruce and EE take big steps forward. I think the folks expecting Gonzalez to go back to being an above-average defender at SS are going to be sorely disappointed. I really can't see the offense being much better though, if at all.

Johnny Footstool
01-29-2009, 11:00 AM
Not me.

Most important abilities for outfield defense:
1. speed
2. speed
3. possibly speed but likely the ability to read the ball off the bat & run good routes
4. arm strength

Willy Taveras has plenty of speed, yet the stats say he was a bad defender during his stint in Colorado.

WMR
01-29-2009, 01:46 PM
Yeah, speed is one of the least valuable commodities of an OF defender if he takes bad routes and reads the ball off the bat poorly (Taveras ... Freel etc. etc.).

BRM
01-29-2009, 01:47 PM
Yeah, speed is one of the least valuable commodities of an OF defender if he takes bad routes and reads the ball off the bat poorly (Taveras ... Freel etc. etc.).

I agree. Lots and lots of fans would disagree though. Guys like Freel were almost always viewed as good OF defenders based solely on their speed.

jojo
01-29-2009, 01:52 PM
Speed is big contributor to range and range is an important attribute for outfielders.

paintmered
01-29-2009, 01:53 PM
I agree. Lots and lots of fans would disagree though. Guys like Freel were almost always viewed as good OF defenders based solely on their speed.

Routinely running into immovable objects also helps with that perception.

Johnny Footstool
01-29-2009, 01:54 PM
Speed is big contributor to range and range is an important attribute for outfielders.

Yes, running fast is nice, but it's important to actually know where you are going.

BRM
01-29-2009, 02:04 PM
Speed is big contributor to range and range is an important attribute for outfielders.

No doubt. However, poor reads and bad routes will negate quite a bit of that speed.

jojo
01-29-2009, 02:11 PM
No doubt. However, poor reads and bad routes will negate quite a bit of that speed.

And speed can negate quite a bit of the poor reads and bad routes....

The fastest player isn't the better defender by default but there is a reason speed is considered a tool.

BRM
01-29-2009, 02:16 PM
And speed can negate quite a bit of the poor reads and bad routes....

The fastest player isn't the better defender by default but there is a reason speed is considered a tool.

Never said it shouldn't be considered a tool. Just think speedy guys automatically get a rap as good defensive outfielders, regardless of all else.

WMR
01-29-2009, 03:01 PM
Never said it shouldn't be considered a tool. Just think speedy guys automatically get a rap as good defensive outfielders, regardless of all else.

:thumbup:

Johnny Footstool
01-29-2009, 03:20 PM
Never said it shouldn't be considered a tool. Just think speedy guys automatically get a rap as good defensive outfielders, regardless of all else.

Case in point: Willy Taveras.

jojo
01-29-2009, 04:27 PM
Case in point: Willy Taveras.

Taveras is probably something akin to a neutral defender in center.

As defense goes that means he should be grouped among the better defenders in the game skill wise. It's just that in the population of only CFers, he's roughly average (though he's been below average as a Rockie). If his routes/reads are awful, then he has his speed to thank for the honor.

Falls City Beer
01-29-2009, 04:30 PM
I think a real case in point is Norris Hopper. Pretty speedy, terrible defender.

BRM
01-29-2009, 04:31 PM
Taveras is probably something akin to a neutral defender in center.

As defense goes that means he should be grouped among the better defenders in the game skill wise. It's just that in the population of only CFers, he's roughly average (though he's been below average as a Rockie). If his routes/reads are awful, then he has his speed to thank for the honor.

I agree with that. He rated as below average in Colorado because even with his tremendous speed, he couldn't overcome his poor routes/reads in that big outfield. Hopefully the smaller dimensions of GABP help him out in that regard.

redsbuckeye
01-29-2009, 04:37 PM
Let's supplement those stats with our eyes. Who else other than Highlifeman21 thinks Adam Dunn is a better fielder than Jerry Hairston Jr. in LF?

I wouldn't say your eyes, my eyes or anyone else's eyes are reliable indicators of ability in the field.

Johnny Footstool
01-29-2009, 06:12 PM
Taveras is probably something akin to a neutral defender in center.

As defense goes that means he should be grouped among the better defenders in the game skill wise. It's just that in the population of only CFers, he's roughly average (though he's been below average as a Rockie). If his routes/reads are awful, then he has his speed to thank for the honor.

Right, but the general perception of Taveras is that he is a *good* defender, not just adequate.

His speed makes him better in CF, that point is undeniable. But it still doesn't make him good.

Also, if he played in a corner OF spot where his speed couldn't cover up his shortcomings, then he might not be a plus defender at all.

lollipopcurve
01-29-2009, 06:21 PM
I wouldn't say your eyes, my eyes or anyone else's eyes are reliable indicators of ability in the field.

Wrong. A good scout who sees enough of a player will be a reliable judge of the player's defensive ability.

jojo
01-29-2009, 06:26 PM
Right, but the general perception of Taveras is that he is a *good* defender, not just adequate.

His speed makes him better in CF, that point is undeniable. But it still doesn't make him good.

Also, if he played in a corner OF spot where his speed couldn't cover up his shortcomings, then he might not be a plus defender at all.

But in the corner he'd be compared to a whole different set of defenders talent wise. He'd probably grade significantly better in a corner than he would in center a a result.

Will M
01-29-2009, 06:38 PM
Wrong. A good scout who sees enough of a player will be a reliable judge of the player's defensive ability.

agree. we didn't need stats to see Jr had poor range, Kep has poor range, Ross couldn't catch a ball to make a play at the plate,etc. if you watch a team for 162 games a year you will have a pretty good idea of who can play defense and who can't.

Highlifeman21
01-29-2009, 07:02 PM
I agree. Lots and lots of fans would disagree though. Guys like Freel were almost always viewed as good OF defenders based solely on their speed.

The difference with Freel was that his motor never stopped, and he would dive for anything, anywhere.

... even if that meant into the stands @ Dodgers Stadium (IIRC) while playing RF and breaking an old woman's arm.

Freel almost could make up for the scenic routes he took to balls b/c of his recklessness/fearlessness.

Other speedsters, not so much. They end up just looking really fast, running in the wrong direction/area while not catching balls.

Highlifeman21
01-29-2009, 07:04 PM
I think a real case in point is Norris Hopper. Pretty speedy, terrible defender.

Quoted for truth.

If we thought Freel took scenic routes to balls, if Norris Hopper were giving you directions to get from Cincinnati to Florida, he'd take you by way of Canada.

*BaseClogger*
01-29-2009, 09:27 PM
Wrong. A good scout who sees enough of a player will be a reliable judge of the player's defensive ability.

I definitely agree. I never thought I would read someone say that scouts can't give us an indication of a player's fielding ability. Sure, I wouldn't ask a scout to accurately rank the five best fielding shortstops in the AL, but they can certainly give us an idea of what kind of defensive skills a Reds player has after watching them for 162 games. Geez...

SteelSD
01-30-2009, 12:24 AM
Wrong. A good scout who sees enough of a player will be a reliable judge of the player's defensive ability.

Those same scouts have helped the Reds produce one of the worst defensive teams of this decade.

dougdirt
01-30-2009, 12:29 AM
Those same scouts have helped the Reds produce one of the worst defensive teams of this decade.

You are now making a large assumption that those teams were going for defense too. Odds are they weren't given they started EE, Keppinger, Dunn and Griffey all out of position last year and the big three out of position for the better part of 4 years running.

*BaseClogger*
01-30-2009, 12:34 AM
Those same scouts have helped the Reds produce one of the worst defensive teams of this decade.

Steel, this statement seems contradictory to "correlation does not imply causation", which I know for a fact is a phrase you live by...

SteelSD
01-30-2009, 12:38 AM
You are now making a large assumption that those teams were going for defense too. Odds are they weren't given they started EE, Keppinger, Dunn and Griffey all out of position last year and the big three out of position for the better part of 4 years running.

Oh, right. Every regime, including Jocketty's 2008 club, had no possible idea of defensive value even though the UZR guru was hired by Jocketty's Cardinals in the first place.

But the Scouts are solid!

IslandRed
01-30-2009, 12:38 AM
Those same scouts have helped the Reds produce one of the worst defensive teams of this decade.

Well, he did say GOOD scouts... :p:

RedsManRick
01-30-2009, 12:41 AM
Oh, right. Every regime, including Jocketty's 2008 club, had no possible idea of defensive value even though the UZR guru was hired by Jocketty's Cardinals in the first place.

But the Scouts are solid!

IIRC, Jocketty left in part because his stat guys were making noise that he wasn't listening to them...

*BaseClogger*
01-30-2009, 12:45 AM
IIRC, Jocketty left in part because his stat guys were making noise that he wasn't listening to them...


"I think that we had a little different philosophy and vision with respect to some baseball issues," [owner Bill] DeWitt said. "There was clearly tension that was reported widely, not only locally but nationally in the organization. While I've said on several occasions that tension is in every organization, I do think it got to the point with the Cardinals that is was counter-productive. We couldn't achieve our objectives given what was going on inside the organization."

http://stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20071003&content_id=2247373&vkey=news_stl&fext=.jsp&c_id=stl

SteelSD
01-30-2009, 12:46 AM
Steel, this statement seems contradictory to "correlation does not imply causation", which I know for a fact is a phrase you live by...

Is there somehow any way the Reds can possibly make up for not drafting Jered Weaver and Tim Lincecum versus the alternatives? Is there somehow any possible way that the Reds could have failed even more recently with their draft picks and development given the options that have been literally handed to them on silver platters?


Well, he did say GOOD scouts... :p:

Yeah. Still waiting for those guys. But at least we spent a few million bucks internationally on kids who'll have to wait quite a few years to drink legally.

*BaseClogger*
01-30-2009, 12:49 AM
Is there somehow any way the Reds can possibly make up for not drafting Jered Weaver and Tim Lincecum versus the alternatives? Is there somehow any possible way that the Reds could have failed even more recently with their draft picks and development given the options that have been literally handed to them on silver platters?

Hey, all I'm saying is that there is no proof that the Reds have been a poor fielding team for the last decade because scouts aren't reliable gauges of defensive ability...

SteelSD
01-30-2009, 12:50 AM
IIRC, Jocketty left in part because his stat guys were making noise that he wasn't listening to them...

There's a point at which the game simply passes by someone.

As a Steeler's fan, I saw that with Chuck Noll. As a Reds' fan, I've seen that with pretty much every GM hired this century.

SteelSD
01-30-2009, 12:53 AM
Hey, all I'm saying is that there is no proof that the Reds have been a poor fielding team for the last decade because scouts aren't reliable gauges of defensive ability...

Go here:

http://baseballprospectus.com/statistics/sortable/index.php?cid=204024

Have at it.

osuceltic
01-30-2009, 12:57 AM
I've come to the conclusion that so much of the friction created during these stats/scouts discussions isn't about right or wrong -- it starts with the unbelievable arrogance of some of the posters on the stats side. From that arrogance drips condescension. It's the enemy cordial disagreement.

paintmered
01-30-2009, 12:59 AM
I don't think that there's real arrogance there. I think it comes across as arrogance and condescension because the arguments have been made time and time again. Redszone has been having this discussion off-and-on for the majority of its existence.

*BaseClogger*
01-30-2009, 01:00 AM
Go here:

http://baseballprospectus.com/statistics/sortable/index.php?cid=204024

Have at it.

Yep, this proves that the Reds have assembled some bad defenses, and a lot of it probably has to do with bad scouting. But that's not what I was ever defending.

I can see where there is some confusion between us. Here's my post:


I definitely agree. I never thought I would read someone say that scouts can't give us an indication of a player's fielding ability. Sure, I wouldn't ask a scout to accurately rank the five best fielding shortstops in the AL, but they can certainly give us an idea of what kind of defensive skills a Reds player has after watching them for 162 games. Geez...

I shouldn't have used the Reds as an example, but rather left it to scouting in general. Scouting (not Reds scouting, but the art of) can gauge defensive ability. But yeah, the Reds could use some new "baseball men"...

RedsManRick
01-30-2009, 01:01 AM
Go here:

http://baseballprospectus.com/statistics/sortable/index.php?cid=204024

Have at it.

Not to defend the Reds scouting department, because it hasn't exactly been producing golden nuggets, but scouts don't build the 25 man roster.

With the data available for free online, you or I could easily have made decisions as GMs that put a better defense on the field if that was truly the priority. Our lack of defense has not been because defense is so hard to come by.

*BaseClogger*
01-30-2009, 01:02 AM
I think the supposed arrogance is a two-way street. Just as some blunt responses from the stat savvy were used in this thread, there were several blunt responses from the scout savvy in the "Small Ball" thread...

Caveat Emperor
01-30-2009, 01:18 AM
I've come to the conclusion that so much of the friction created during these stats/scouts discussions isn't about right or wrong -- it starts with the unbelievable arrogance of some of the posters on the stats side. From that arrogance drips condescension. It's the enemy cordial disagreement.

OTOH, one could create a fun drinking game for these types of threads using only the demeaning attack lines used by the non-statistically inclined as well -- including but not limited to:

* "Try watching the games for a change"
* "Put your slide-rule away"
* "I see more than numbers running around when I watch baseball"

So please, don't think the offenders are limited to one side of the debate when most of these threads come up.

Civility is appreciated from both sides, but there will always be a conflict when you try to match up a school that relies on empirical measurement against a school that relies on observation and opinion. Bo

*BaseClogger*
01-30-2009, 01:22 AM
OTOH, one could create a fun drinking game for these types of threads using only the demeaning attack lines used by the non-statistically inclined as well -- including but not limited to:

* "Try watching the games for a change"
* "Put your slide-rule away"
* "I see more than numbers running around when I watch baseball"

Civility is appreciated from both sides, but there will always be a conflict when you try to match up a school that relies on empirical measurement against a school that relies on observation and opinion.

You forgot:

* "Get your head out of a spreadsheet"
* "Some people like to enjoy the games, others just analyze it"
* "The games are played by real people, not a computer"
* "There is more to baseball than VORP, SLURP, and POOP"

:D

dougdirt
01-30-2009, 01:31 AM
Oh, right. Every regime, including Jocketty's 2008 club, had no possible idea of defensive value even though the UZR guru was hired by Jocketty's Cardinals in the first place.

But the Scouts are solid!

That completely avoids what I was suggesting. The Reds scouts can do this, that and the other. That doesn't mean that they were trying to put together a good defensive team. Sure, if the Reds over that time were trying to put together a good defense then they certainly failed. I don't think they have ever really been committed to that idea though given Griffey in CF for about 2-3 years to long, Dunn in LF for a few years to long and Edwin at 3B making errors left and right for years and years.


Is there somehow any way the Reds can possibly make up for not drafting Jered Weaver and Tim Lincecum versus the alternatives? Is there somehow any possible way that the Reds could have failed even more recently with their draft picks and development given the options that have been literally handed to them on silver platters?
Everyone misses. Everyone. Tim Lincecum wasn't handed to them on a silver platter. The kid had SERIOUS question marks about him coming out of the draft. A lot of people really liked what he brought to the table, but to ignore both his size and insane amount of walks and pretend that he was a slam dunk pick in hindsight is something I just can't buy. I was leading the forefront on the 'anyone but Stubbs' train in 2006, so lets not have this go that direction. I just don't believe we should pretend that Tim Lincecum was a David Price/Stephen Strasburg type of pick that fell into the lap of the Reds and they balked on it.

As for their scouts that are in place now, lets note that the Reds just graduated Jay Bruce, Joey Votto, Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey from their system and yet still rank in the top half of the minor leagues in organizational talent according to Baseball America. They are doing something right. They are keeping arms healthy and they are moving actual prospects up the chain and the dropoff rate of guys is not high at all.




Yeah. Still waiting for those guys. But at least we spent a few million bucks internationally on kids who'll have to wait quite a few years to drink legally.

I don't think signing some international kids has much to do with good or bad scouts. Every team wanted the two big guys we signed. So either everyone has good scouts or everyone has bad scouts. Or you are making a very broad statement about it that doesn't really tell us much of anything other than they are young international kids.

Caveat Emperor
01-30-2009, 01:40 AM
I don't think signing some international kids has much to do with good or bad scouts. Every team wanted the two big guys we signed. So either everyone has good scouts or everyone has bad scouts. Or you are making a very broad statement about it that doesn't really tell us much of anything other than they are young international kids.

I think the point he's making, which is a fair one, is that the team is willing to commit millions of dollars to two kids who haven't even finished puberty, but won't spend the money required (considerably less than either of the two major international signings) to have a first-class scouting department to help fix the glaring problems elsewhere in the franchise.

It's always been puzzling to me why a small-market team like the Reds wouldn't prioritize this. If you're going to rely on your minor leagues to produce talent, then your team should actively be recruiting the best scouts and best coaches / instructors with top-dollar contracts. Investing in them pays off multiple times over with every new crop of players they bring through the system.

dougdirt
01-30-2009, 02:08 AM
I think the point he's making, which is a fair one, is that the team is willing to commit millions of dollars to two kids who haven't even finished puberty, but won't spend the money required (considerably less than either of the two major international signings) to have a first-class scouting department to help fix the glaring problems elsewhere in the franchise.
Of course he is bringing up two examples from 5 years and 3 years ago. Krivsky took over the job from Dano in February of 2006. That likely means they went into that draft with Dano's guys in place making the scouting recommendations. I just haven't figured out why the amateur scouting is being brought into this really. The Reds were one of the best farm systems in baseball last year, graduated 4 Top 25 prospects last season and still rank among the top half in baseball (albeit at the back end of that first half). The Amateur guys aren't responsible for the defense put on the field by the Reds. They didn't draft or acquire Dunn, Griffey or Edwin. They also weren't the ones making the decisions on where to play them either.



It's always been puzzling to me why a small-market team like the Reds wouldn't prioritize this. If you're going to rely on your minor leagues to produce talent, then your team should actively be recruiting the best scouts and best coaches / instructors with top-dollar contracts. Investing in them pays off multiple times over with every new crop of players they bring through the system.

I am curious as to where the current system isn't working? We brought in a nice group of talent to the majors last year.

These guys were all rookies last season:

Hitters
Jay Bruce, Chris Dickerson, Joey Votto, Ryan Hanigan, Adam Rosales, Wilkin Castillo and Paul Janish.

Pitchers
Johnny Cueto, Danny Herrera, Homer Bailey, Ramon Ramirez, Josh Roenicke, Daryl Thompson


Yeah, Castillo and Janish aren't exactly the caliber of the other guys, but those other guys all seem to be bringing something to the table at varying degrees.

I think its a bit of a stretch to suggest that our farm system, coaches and scouts aren't doing a solid job currently. AA and AAA is looking to be LOADED with real prospects next season. Someone(s) is doing their job and they are doing it well.

Ron Madden
01-30-2009, 04:10 AM
Wrong. A good scout who sees enough of a player will be a reliable judge of the player's defensive ability.

BULL CRAP. Good Scouts have all but fallen by the wayside.

All it takes is One Scouts first impression of a player to brand that player for life. Scouts tend to be lazy and to share bad information.

Once upon a time every MLB Club had some very talented Talent Evaluators.

Now days Dougdirt is considered an expert on minor league talent.

I love and respect everything Doug has done here at Redszone but please let's get a grip. Not every hot young prospect in the farm system pans out to even have an average Major League career.

*BaseClogger*
01-30-2009, 04:12 AM
I guarantee this thread explodes in the morning.

I'm going to bed...

Ron Madden
01-30-2009, 04:40 AM
I guarantee this thread explodes in the morning..

That's all well and good, it promotes discussion. There is none among us that can not learn a thing or two from discussion if we honestly listen to the opposing viewpoint.

:)

jojo
01-30-2009, 06:05 AM
That completely avoids what I was suggesting. The Reds scouts can do this, that and the other. That doesn't mean that they were trying to put together a good defensive team. Sure, if the Reds over that time were trying to put together a good defense then they certainly failed. I don't think they have ever really been committed to that idea though given Griffey in CF for about 2-3 years to long, Dunn in LF for a few years to long and Edwin at 3B making errors left and right for years and years.

Lets consider the "magical season" of '06. First lets forget that the last decade has been so bad that finishing 2 games below .500 is the highlight. Now back to the point-going into the season, that roster only had one legit defender on the whole stinking field (RF). One. Uno. Ein. He only lasted half a season. What's more, they weren't just populated with adequate fielders in other places, they were riddled with some of the worst defenders in the league (at premium positions and corners) to the point where adding a -10 run shortstop was considered a significant upgrade.

To be fair Phillips was brought in early on and they traded for Castro-both moves aimed at defensive improvements. Freel was adequate as his speed often compensated for his sins but ultimately his body paid for them.

The following year brought us Gonzo and Hamilton pushing Jr to the corner.

'08 brought us Votto and Bruce and a sip of coffee for Dickerson though the Reds seem unwilling to commit to him.

'09 has thus far has brought us the departures of Dunn and Jr, an avoidance of signing a defensive-challenged corner outfielder (though they are kicking the tires on a DH as a solution in left), and the signing of Taveras in centerfield. It has also brought a poor defensive catcher though.

So using '06 as the bottom of the defensive suck barrel, it looks like the Reds have dramatically improved their defensive with a majority of the moves likely being informed by the scouting eye. EE's defensive failure stands out as the one really disappointing miss.

It's actually Jocketty who seems to be stunting the defensive growth. Taveras is probably a push defensively as he hopefully will at least be a neutral defender (but he's a defensive downgrade from Patterson). Gomes in left? Is it possible to significantly downgrade your defense from Dunn? We might get to see the experiment. Hernandez isn't a good defensive catcher (but he'll probably catch throws to home whenever there is a play at the plate). The big goal is to plant a tree at first and move Votto to left. The plan at short is to play an aging guy coming off of a year and a half of inactivity/knee surgery (who was only a neutral defender during his first season with the club to begin with) and to bank on Hairston as plan B.

redsbuckeye
01-30-2009, 09:45 AM
Wrong. A good scout who sees enough of a player will be a reliable judge of the player's defensive ability.

I was originally referring to Redzoners, not necessarily scouts, but even then...


I definitely agree. I never thought I would read someone say that scouts can't give us an indication of a player's fielding ability. Sure, I wouldn't ask a scout to accurately rank the five best fielding shortstops in the AL, but they can certainly give us an idea of what kind of defensive skills a Reds player has after watching them for 162 games. Geez...

The fact that you can't expect a scout to accurately rank the five best fielding shortstops indicates that there is at least a little (more like a lot) of subjectivity in scouting, which of course comes with all the little flaws like confirmation bias, selective memory, etc. No one's eyes are ultimately reliable indicators of ability. At best, they are somewhat reliable measures of relative ability, and that's trained scouts only.

I know defensive metrics still currently don't make a good case for themselves, but that doesn't mean that a defensive metric that could give a full picture of defensive ability is impossible to derive, it just means we don't currently have the technology/ability to get the inputs for such a metric.

bucksfan2
01-30-2009, 09:53 AM
BULL CRAP. Good Scouts have all but fallen by the wayside.

All it takes is One Scouts first impression of a player to brand that player for life. Scouts tend to be lazy and to share bad information.

Once upon a time every MLB Club had some very talented Talent Evaluators.

Now days Dougdirt is considered an expert on minor league talent.

I love and respect everything Doug has done here at Redszone but please let's get a grip. Not every hot young prospect in the farm system pans out to even have an average Major League career.

Care to explain?

lollipopcurve
01-30-2009, 10:01 AM
The fact that you can't expect a scout to accurately rank the five best fielding shortstops indicates that there is at least a little (more like a lot) of subjectivity in scouting, which of course comes with all the little flaws like confirmation bias, selective memory, etc. No one's eyes are ultimately reliable indicators of ability. At best, they are somewhat reliable measures of relative ability, and that's trained scouts only.

I know defensive metrics still currently don't make a good case for themselves, but that doesn't mean that a defensive metric that could give a full picture of defensive ability is impossible to derive, it just means we don't currently have the technology/ability to get the inputs for such a metric.

Some scouts are better than others. Some metrics are better than others. Some scouts are better than some metrics. Some metrics are better than some scouts.

princeton
01-30-2009, 10:02 AM
It's actually Jocketty who seems to be stunting the defensive growth. Taveras is probably a push defensively as he hopefully will at least be a neutral defender (but he's a defensive downgrade from Patterson). Gomes in left? Is it possible to significantly downgrade your defense from Dunn? We might get to see the experiment. Hernandez isn't a good defensive catcher (but he'll probably catch throws to home whenever there is a play at the plate). The big goal is to plant a tree at first and move Votto to left. The plan at short is to play an aging guy coming off of a year and a half of inactivity/knee surgery (who was only a neutral defender during his first season with the club to begin with) and to bank on Hairston as plan B.

that's a pretty good post.

redsbuckeye
01-30-2009, 10:09 AM
Some scouts are better than others. Some metrics are better than others. Some scouts are better than some metrics. Some metrics are better than some scouts.

If objectivity is your goal, then the complete defense metric would be better than any scout who relies upon subjectivity. Like I said, that metric doesn't exist (yet), so scouts still have their uses.

IOW, yes I agree.

blumj
01-30-2009, 10:13 AM
Okay, why wouldn't you expect a scout to be able to accurately rank the 5 best fielding shortstops in the AL?

princeton
01-30-2009, 10:15 AM
If objectivity is your goal, then the complete defense metric would be better than any scout who relies upon subjectivity. Like I said, that metric doesn't exist (yet), so scouts still have their uses.


Marge?

redsbuckeye
01-30-2009, 10:16 AM
Okay, why wouldn't you expect a scout to be able to accurately rank the 5 best fielding shortstops in the AL?

Burden of proof, my friend, why would you?

blumj
01-30-2009, 10:35 AM
Burden of proof, my friend, why would you?
Well, I'd at least try asking one to do it before assuming he couldn't, if it was something I wanted to know. Seems like that would be the kind of thing they are supposed to be able to do.

osuceltic
01-30-2009, 10:39 AM
OTOH, one could create a fun drinking game for these types of threads using only the demeaning attack lines used by the non-statistically inclined as well -- including but not limited to:

* "Try watching the games for a change"
* "Put your slide-rule away"
* "I see more than numbers running around when I watch baseball"

So please, don't think the offenders are limited to one side of the debate when most of these threads come up.

Civility is appreciated from both sides, but there will always be a conflict when you try to match up a school that relies on empirical measurement against a school that relies on observation and opinion. Bo
I'm not talking about poster-to-poster arrogance. Only the stats crowd -- and not all of them -- go so far as to completely dismiss scouts and GMs and blatantly proclaim their own superior knowledge of baseball. That is overwhelming arrogance, and it's really off-putting.

Poster-to-poster arrogance? Definitely goes both ways and is to be expected.

jojo
01-30-2009, 10:43 AM
If objectivity is your goal, then the complete defense metric would be better than any scout who relies upon subjectivity. Like I said, that metric doesn't exist (yet), so scouts still have their uses.

IOW, yes I agree.

I wonder how things would work out with scouts sitting in front of the video screens and generating the PBP data for defensive metrics?

jojo
01-30-2009, 10:44 AM
Okay, why wouldn't you expect a scout to be able to accurately rank the 5 best fielding shortstops in the AL?

Because Derek Jeter and Michael Young have won gold glove awards.... :cool:

Big Klu
01-30-2009, 10:47 AM
So was Marge right all along about scouts?

redsbuckeye
01-30-2009, 10:48 AM
Well, I'd at least try asking one to do it before assuming he couldn't, if it was something I wanted to know. Seems like that would be the kind of thing they are supposed to be able to do.

You're assuming he can. There's a lot of assumptions here.

I don't expect anyone to be able to do anything unless given sufficient reason for the expectation.

blumj
01-30-2009, 10:50 AM
Because Derek Jeter and Michael Young have won gold glove awards.... :cool:
Maybe they wouldn't if scouts did the voting.

Johnny Footstool
01-30-2009, 10:51 AM
I'm not talking about poster-to-poster arrogance. Only the stats crowd -- and not all of them -- go so far as to completely dismiss scouts and GMs and blatantly proclaim their own superior knowledge of baseball. That is overwhelming arrogance, and it's really off-putting.

Poster-to-poster arrogance? Definitely goes both ways and is to be expected.

So you're saying that all scouts embrace stats? No scouts are completely dismissive of the stats crowd?

redsbuckeye
01-30-2009, 10:55 AM
I wonder how things would work out with scouts sitting in front of the video screens and generating the PBP data for defensive metrics?

I'm not saying scouts aren't useful, they still provide a very valuable service and they are still the primary player in personnel evaluation. But their monopoly over it is is being eroded and their area of utility is changing.

This is really tangental to the comment I made that set this off, since I wasn't really talking about scouts then. But the fly took off.

jojo
01-30-2009, 10:58 AM
Maybe they wouldn't if scouts did the voting.

It's an interesting point. That said though, presumably the manager would be qualified to be a scout.

I'd love to see PBP data generated by pro scouts though. It would be a great study to compare scouts versus Baseball Info Solutions location data (fangraphs' source for UZR calculations) and STATS location data (MGL's source) for instance.

You'd have to think pro scouts could do it better wouldn't you? Or would they because scouts are trained to think in a different way?

Always Red
01-30-2009, 11:02 AM
I'm not saying scouts aren't useful, they still provide a very valuable service and they are still the primary player in personnel evaluation. But their monopoly over it is is being eroded and their area of utility is changing.

This is really tangental to the comment I made that set this off, since I wasn't really talking about scouts then. But the fly took off.

Scouts are most of the reason, and maybe all of the reason, that these guys get the opportunity in the first place to get on the field and generate the stats they do. Then using said statistics, it is much easier to compare them to each other, or to another standard.

Scouts will always have a place in the game to find the talent and bring it to the professional field of play. Then the player sinks or swims of his own accord, due to the work he compiles on the field (ie- his stats).

jojo
01-30-2009, 11:12 AM
At the risk of this turning into a stats vs scouts debate, as a self-proclaimed stats enthusiast, I'd like to just say there absolutely should not be a battle between stats and scouts.

The role scouting plays in the early stages of player development is irreplaceable. Without scouting, player development systems would crumble at their foundations. Stats on the other hand are increasingly efficacious at the other other end of the spectrum (i.e. the more data that accumulates in the pros, the more powerful stats become). There is a point in the minors where stats and scouting become the perfect marriage partners and ideally serve to validate one another thus allowing better decisions to be made.

Ideally an organization should seek to develop the best scouting systems and best sabermetric systems possible and integrate them as seamlessly as possible as early as possible in their player development/player valuation philosophy.

It's intuitive isn't it-having the most and best information should lead to the best decisions?

redsbuckeye
01-30-2009, 11:13 AM
Scouts are most of the reason, and maybe all of the reason, that these guys get the opportunity in the first place to get on the field and generate the stats they do. Then using said statistics, it is much easier to compare them to each other, or to another standard.

Scouts will always have a place in the game to find the talent and bring it to the professional field of play. Then the player sinks or swims of his own accord, due to the work he compiles on the field (ie- his stats).

I think part of that is true. I just think these days as data about a player becomes more and more accessible that some scouts are promoting players in spite of any statistics they have generated. Gone are the days when the only thing you knew about a prospect was his name and where he was and you needed to send the scout to him for evaluation. Nowadays scouts and stats go hand-in-hand.

Always Red
01-30-2009, 11:14 AM
At the risk of this turning into a stats vs scouts debate, as a self-proclaimed stats enthusiast, I'd like to just say there absolutely should not be a battle between stats and scouts.

The role scouting plays in the early stages of player development is irreplaceable. Without scouting, player development systems would crumble at their foundations. Stats on the other hand are increasingly efficacious at the other other end of the spectrum (i.e. the more data that accumulates in the pros, the more powerful stats become). There is a point in the minors where stats and scouting become the perfect marriage partners and ideally serve to validate one another thus allowing better decisions to be made.

Ideally an organization should seek to develop the best scouting systems and best sabermetric systems possible and integrate them as seamlessly as possible as early as possible in their player development/player valuation philosophy.

you said that a lot better than I did! :thumbup:

blumj
01-30-2009, 11:20 AM
It's an interesting point. That said though, presumably the manager would be qualified to be a scout.



Think about it, though. If you were a major league coach or manager, which parts of fielding would you have to focus on most to do your own job? How would it help you to know that your opponent's SS is a great fielder or a poor one? It's not like you can tell your hitters where to hit the ball or where not to hit it. It helps you a lot more to know which OFers have strong and weak arms and which pitchers or catchers control baserunners best and worst, because those are the things that you have to make your own decisions about during games.

Highlifeman21
01-30-2009, 11:34 AM
BULL CRAP. Good Scouts have all but fallen by the wayside.

All it takes is One Scouts first impression of a player to brand that player for life. Scouts tend to be lazy and to share bad information.

Once upon a time every MLB Club had some very talented Talent Evaluators.

Now days Dougdirt is considered an expert on minor league talent.

I love and respect everything Doug has done here at Redszone but please let's get a grip. Not every hot young prospect in the farm system pans out to even have an average Major League career.

Quoted and bolded for truth

... definitely seems to be the case for the majority of Reds prospects, no?

nate
01-30-2009, 11:54 AM
I've come to the conclusion that so much of the friction created during these stats/scouts discussions isn't about right or wrong -- it starts with the unbelievable arrogance of some of the posters on the stats side. From that arrogance drips condescension. It's the enemy cordial disagreement.

Rude.

jojo
01-30-2009, 11:57 AM
Think about it, though. If you were a major league coach or manager, which parts of fielding would you have to focus on most to do your own job? How would it help you to know that your opponent's SS is a great fielder or a poor one? It's not like you can tell your hitters where to hit the ball or where not to hit it. It helps you a lot more to know which OFers have strong and weak arms and which pitchers or catchers control baserunners best and worst, because those are the things that you have to make your own decisions about during games.

I was suggesting that they should possess the requisite skills for being a scout not that they necessarily spend a great deal of time "scouting" as a manager.

blumj
01-30-2009, 12:13 PM
I was suggesting that they should possess the requisite skills for being a scout not that they necessarily spend a great deal of time "scouting" as a manager.
I know. But if they're not watching with that mindset when they're watching games during the season, they're probably not going to remember with that mindset, either, when it comes time to vote.

dougdirt
01-30-2009, 01:53 PM
I wonder how things would work out with scouts sitting in front of the video screens and generating the PBP data for defensive metrics?

You bring up a good point. Its also interesting to see how things work out when Tango does his fan scouting for defense and nearly every time what the fans go with goes right along with the more advanced defensive metrics.

I think that talking to the video guys at BIS could give some interesting perspective. Not only are they using their eyes, they are also using numbers to define the spot where a player got the ball. We don't get to see all of the stuff that they do and we certainly don't get the full extent of the data that they put out, but I have a strong feeling those guys have some very good ideas on who are the best and worst fielders and by how much.

dougdirt
01-30-2009, 02:02 PM
Quoted and bolded for truth

... definitely seems to be the case for the majority of Reds prospects, no?

I don't want to take this into ron made a personal attack on me, because he didn't and I know what he is saying. I do just want to put it out there though that even I don't think every prospect will work out. If you read enough of my work you would see that I have some questions on a whole lot of guys in the system.

I do want to address the quote from highlife though. The Reds have had plenty of guys over the past year come to fruition and show something in the majors. They also have a ton of talent at the AA/AAA level. This isn't the same farm it was even 2-3 years ago. Of course not everyone will make it. Guys fizzle, get hurt, can't adjust.... it happens in every system. I do think that the comment though isn't completely warranted for the current system thats been in place over the past two seasons or so. Prior to that, sure, that comment fit pretty well. Now? Not so much.

*BaseClogger*
01-30-2009, 03:06 PM
Okay, why wouldn't you expect a scout to be able to accurately rank the 5 best fielding shortstops in the AL?

Not enough time in the day to see enough of every shortstop in the AL was my original point...

*BaseClogger*
01-30-2009, 03:07 PM
The fact that you can't expect a scout to accurately rank the five best fielding shortstops indicates that there is at least a little (more like a lot) of subjectivity in scouting, which of course comes with all the little flaws like confirmation bias, selective memory, etc. No one's eyes are ultimately reliable indicators of ability. At best, they are somewhat reliable measures of relative ability, and that's trained scouts only.

I know defensive metrics still currently don't make a good case for themselves, but that doesn't mean that a defensive metric that could give a full picture of defensive ability is impossible to derive, it just means we don't currently have the technology/ability to get the inputs for such a metric.

I agree(d)...

*BaseClogger*
01-30-2009, 03:10 PM
Scouts will always have a place in the game to find the talent and bring it to the professional field of play. Then the player sinks or swims of his own accord, due to the work he compiles on the field (ie- his stats).

:thumbup:

Perfect description of how the interaction works best...

edit: then I finished reading the thread and saw that jojo described it even better! :thumbup: to him too.

blumj
01-30-2009, 03:13 PM
Not enough time the day to see enough of every shortstop in the AL was my original point...
Okay, thanks for clearing that up.

Highlifeman21
01-30-2009, 03:34 PM
Is there somehow any way the Reds can possibly make up for not drafting Jered Weaver and Tim Lincecum versus the alternatives? Is there somehow any possible way that the Reds could have failed even more recently with their draft picks and development given the options that have been literally handed to them on silver platters?



Yeah. Still waiting for those guys. But at least we spent a few million bucks internationally on kids who'll have to wait quite a few years to drink legally.

... not sure about you, but I'm constantly reminded that the Reds haven't failed recently with their draft picks...

IslandRed
01-30-2009, 04:08 PM
Ideally an organization should seek to develop the best scouting systems and best sabermetric systems possible and integrate them as seamlessly as possible as early as possible in their player development/player valuation philosophy.

It's intuitive isn't it-having the most and best information should lead to the best decisions?

Bingo.

Technology hasn't just enabled us to find out things scouts couldn't tell us before; it's enabled scouts to do their jobs better, if they care to use the tools. The NFL guy whose whole day is spent breaking down video and entering the relevant data points into the computer, or the assistant coach watching every snap of a kid's collegiate career, grading not just results but technique and effort -- are they scouts or performance analysts? Either, and both, and the distinction isn't really important.

Similarly, the hypothetical "top 5 AL shortstops" question -- a scout cannot watch enough games in person to make a solid determination. But he can watch enough video to do it, if he has access to the right video and the right tools.

If I was a GM or in charge of player development, I'd have a top-notch video setup for every one of my affiliates, and access to the video cataloging system the big club has. Whatever I needed to know beyond the stats, I could pull up the video and find out. And for all I know, some teams are already doing this.

bucksfan2
01-30-2009, 04:30 PM
Bingo.

Technology hasn't just enabled us to find out things scouts couldn't tell us before; it's enabled scouts to do their jobs better, if they care to use the tools. The NFL guy whose whole day is spent breaking down video and entering the relevant data points into the computer, or the assistant coach watching every snap of a kid's collegiate career, grading not just results but technique and effort -- are they scouts or performance analysts? Either, and both, and the distinction isn't really important.

Similarly, the hypothetical "top 5 AL shortstops" question -- a scout cannot watch enough games in person to make a solid determination. But he can watch enough video to do it, if he has access to the right video and the right tools.

If I was a GM or in charge of player development, I'd have a top-notch video setup for every one of my affiliates, and access to the video cataloging system the big club has. Whatever I needed to know beyond the stats, I could pull up the video and find out. And for all I know, some teams are already doing this.

The problem I see with the top 5 AL SS question is that it is very subjective in nature. Scouts as well as defensive stats probably would disagree. Its kind of like asking who are the top 5 QB's in the NFL. There would be a handful of players up for the consideration of best or top 5 SS but to narrow it down to one definite list would become very difficult. I think a better system would be a tier system. You would have your top tier defensive SS and there wouldn't be much debate about the top guys, more the fringe guys.

Scouts are able to evaluate the things that stats can not. Bat speed, foot speed, reaction time, jumps, etc are all things that scouts can give a description based upon. When Andruw Jones was in shape he was one of the best CF's in the game. He got such a good jump off the ball that he was able to play a shallow CF. This allowed him to get to more balls and pitchers loved having him play CF.

dougdirt
01-30-2009, 04:48 PM
The problem I see with the top 5 AL SS question is that it is very subjective in nature. Scouts as well as defensive stats probably would disagree. Its kind of like asking who are the top 5 QB's in the NFL. There would be a handful of players up for the consideration of best or top 5 SS but to narrow it down to one definite list would become very difficult. I think a better system would be a tier system. You would have your top tier defensive SS and there wouldn't be much debate about the top guys, more the fringe guys.

Scouts are able to evaluate the things that stats can not. Bat speed, foot speed, reaction time, jumps, etc are all things that scouts can give a description based upon. When Andruw Jones was in shape he was one of the best CF's in the game. He got such a good jump off the ball that he was able to play a shallow CF. This allowed him to get to more balls and pitchers loved having him play CF.

One big thin scouts bring to the table is being able to analyze why a player is struggling or succeeding. If its trade time and your scout knows why a player is hanging that curve that keeps getting drilled because of it, then maybe you want to try to get that guy thrown into the trade and you can fix him and get better results from it. Maybe the batter isn't doing this or that right anymore. Scouts see things like that. The job of an amateur scout and a MLB scout are entirely different things. They have two entirely different job descriptions and job skills.

Highlifeman21
01-30-2009, 05:33 PM
I don't want to take this into ron made a personal attack on me, because he didn't and I know what he is saying. I do just want to put it out there though that even I don't think every prospect will work out. If you read enough of my work you would see that I have some questions on a whole lot of guys in the system.

I do want to address the quote from highlife though. The Reds have had plenty of guys over the past year come to fruition and show something in the majors. They also have a ton of talent at the AA/AAA level. This isn't the same farm it was even 2-3 years ago. Of course not everyone will make it. Guys fizzle, get hurt, can't adjust.... it happens in every system. I do think that the comment though isn't completely warranted for the current system thats been in place over the past two seasons or so. Prior to that, sure, that comment fit pretty well. Now? Not so much.

What I quoted I don't think was a personal shot at you, but rather a very accurate statement regarding prospects in general, and IMO the Reds haven't had great success bringing guys up through the system. We can't expect our farm to produce/yield a Cueto, Bruce & Votto every season. You're right, guys will fizzle, get hurt and not adjust to the lumber from the aluminum.

dougdirt
01-30-2009, 05:37 PM
What I quoted I don't think was a personal shot at you, but rather a very accurate statement regarding prospects in general, and IMO the Reds haven't had great success bringing guys up through the system. We can't expect our farm to produce/yield a Cueto, Bruce & Votto every season. You're right, guys will fizzle, get hurt and not adjust to the lumber from the aluminum.

I didn't think it was a shot at me either, which is why I stated it in my post because I didn't want anyone to think me or ron were getting into it with each other or anything.

However I will say the Reds haven't had great suggest bringing guys up in the past, but last year they did pretty darn good and while they won't bring up a Votto/Cueto/Bruce type every year, they also brought up a Thompson, Roenicke, Dickerson, Hanigan, Ramirez and Herrera. All of whom showed some success when used correctly. Those types of players are the kinds of guys who can start coming up every year with a real good guy mixed in every now and again.

Not everyone can make it, but the Reds are at a point where not everyone making it doesn't hurt so much because the depth is there that the next guy can step up now. In the past if the top 5 prospects didn't pan out you were left with 26 year old AAA lifers. Times are changing.

IslandRed
01-30-2009, 09:45 PM
The problem I see with the top 5 AL SS question is that it is very subjective in nature. Scouts as well as defensive stats probably would disagree. Its kind of like asking who are the top 5 QB's in the NFL. There would be a handful of players up for the consideration of best or top 5 SS but to narrow it down to one definite list would become very difficult.

If a GM or scout can't articulate what he means by "best," that's a problem in and of itself. There has to be a standard to grade against or the exercise is meaningless. In the absence of a proven accepted-by-everyone methodology, yes, there's some subjectivity involved in defining that standard, but it still has to be done.

RedsManRick
01-30-2009, 10:59 PM
Scouts assess actions. Stats assess outcomes. Both are necessary and shouldn't be considered substitutes. The problems arise when we try to measure one with the other.

Ron Madden
01-31-2009, 04:42 AM
Please let me say my earlier post was not meant to be a shot at Doug.

Like I said I love and respect the work that Doug puts into the Minor League side of this forum. I'm not very good at putting my thoughts into words, or making a clear point of what I'm trying to say.

What I was saying is Doug, or anyone else can look at the numbers and pretty much give us the same or even better information than some of the tired/lazy Scouts on MLB payroll.

Sure there are some Scouts worth their weight in gold, for everyone of those there are a dozen guys that tell their employers exactly what they want to hear.

The lazy ones move from one Club to another, they will always have a job because of Who they know not because of What they know.

Ron Madden
01-31-2009, 05:01 AM
Quoted and bolded for truth

... definitely seems to be the case for the majority of Reds prospects, no?


I believe it seems to be the case for the majority of prospects of any team.

As far as the Reds recent draft picks goes, never will all of us agree on those.

It makes for great discusion.

;)

dougdirt
01-31-2009, 05:05 AM
Please let me say my earlier post was not meant to be a shot at Doug.

Like I said I love and respect the work that Doug puts into the Minor League side of this forum. I'm not very good at putting my thoughts into words, or making a clear point of what I'm trying to say.

What I was saying is Doug, or anyone else can look at the numbers and pretty much give us the same or even better information than some of the tired/lazy Scouts on MLB payroll.

Sure there are some Scouts worth their weight in gold, for everyone of those there are a dozen guys that tell their employers exactly what they want to hear.

The lazy ones move from one Club to another, they will always have a job because of Who they know not because of What they know.

How many scouts have you ever talked to?

I think that you are entirely underestimating what scouts do. Big time.

Ron Madden
01-31-2009, 05:22 AM
How many scouts have you ever talked to?

I think that you are entirely underestimating what scouts do. Big time.

I've talked with a few over the years, I'm not on a first name basis with any of'em. I've had conversations with them at the ballpark and even had drinks with others at the old Cricket Cafe in downtown Cincinnati.

They are human beings with many of the same virtues and vises as anyone else.

:)