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View Full Version : In Praise of the Reds Farm System's Impact on 2010 (draft and develop in full effect)



membengal
08-27-2010, 08:47 PM
NOT a minor league thread, but a rumination on the impact that the Reds have received at the major league level from guys who were drafted and developed solely by this organization. For a non-large market club, this is just crucial. Off the top of my head, the Reds have been helped at one time or another this year by the following purely drafted and developed organization players (players who I don't believe ever spent a day in another organization):

Bruce
Stubbs
Heisey
Dickerson
Votto
Valaika
Janish
Francisco
Hanigan
Cueto
Wood
Leake
Bailey
J. Smith
Ondrusek
Fisher
del Rosario
Lecure

I may have missed someone. And perhaps one of that list was drafted elsewhere, but I don't think so.

At any rate, safe to say, this team has been buoyed by the flow of significant major league talent of varying levels to shore up players brought in.

And that's with Chapman about ready to be brought up and added to the list.

I am ecstatic to see the minors bringing forth legitimate major league talent again, and it is simply delightful on all levels for a fan of this organization.

PS: This is not meant to turn into a WK v. Walt thread, or even O'Brien, as each had a hand in drafting some of that list. More an acknoweldgment of how important the minors have been to the success this team has had in 2010 and a hope that what is in place keeps pumping out help. It's simply fantastic that they can draw on a Valakia to help fill in. There was a long time that simply was not something that we could count on as fans.

mth123
08-27-2010, 08:51 PM
Bailey

UKFlounder
08-27-2010, 08:52 PM
Much more productive since, oh, about mid-2003 or so, huh?

You can add Bailey to the list

And Brandon Phillips was acquired by trading Jeff Stevens, one of the Reds draft picks.

HokieRed
08-27-2010, 08:53 PM
I think this is very important to emphasize, as I have in some of the Minor league threads regarding the draft. One thing we can say about all three of the past FO's--O'B, WK, WJ--they have made the crucial first couple of draft rounds productive, getting major league caliber players. This builds organizational depth and makes all kinds of other things possible.

mth123
08-27-2010, 08:54 PM
Dickerson

membengal
08-27-2010, 08:55 PM
Duh, Bailey. Will add. And Dickerson. That's the danger of "off the top of my head"...

Thanks.

membengal
08-27-2010, 08:56 PM
Much more productive since, oh, about mid-2003 or so, huh?

You can add Bailey to the list

And Brandon Phillips was acquired by trading Jeff Stevens, one of the Reds draft picks.

Yeah, I didn't want to drift to that level of analysis, but was focusing narrowly on just guys who have come to the team having never been elsewhere.

It is a flow of help to the big league club I have not seen since the mid-80s to late-80s, frankly.

nate
08-27-2010, 08:58 PM
I wonder how the Reds percentage of homegrown players compares against other teams?

Orenda
08-27-2010, 09:13 PM
Carlos Fisher is another, and i believe Enerio del Rosario is an organizational guy. But im not sure on him

membengal
08-27-2010, 09:15 PM
Word on both those, Orenda, thanks, I will add.

RedsManRick
08-27-2010, 09:27 PM
It's funny how dismissive many people were of the need to build from the bottom up back when Dan O'Brien took over and started the rebuilding movement.

Orenda
08-27-2010, 09:36 PM
Of course it's still too early to tell how much value the reds captured in that 2005 draft, but already there have been 7 players out of their first 13 picks that have appeared in the major leagues.

For the reds:


Jay Bruce (1)
Travis Wood (2)
Adam Rosales (12)
Carlos Fisher (11)
Logan Ondrusek (13)
Sam Lecure (4)

Appearing for another organization:

Jeff Stevens (6) - for b. phillips

still with a chance?:

Brandon Roberts (7) - for J. Castro

*not to make this about any previous/current GM, but that year jumps out just looking at draft results.

Mario-Rijo
08-27-2010, 09:40 PM
It's funny how dismissive many people were of the need to build from the bottom up back when Dan O'Brien took over and started the rebuilding movement.

People felt we could compete with a few solid additions. A half dozen years (nearly) of stank and a few more that were ok but not overly so and people forgot just how much of an organization it takes to win consistently.

LoganBuck
08-27-2010, 09:42 PM
It's funny how dismissive many people were of the need to build from the bottom up back when Dan O'Brien took over and started the rebuilding movement.

There is an article in the new ESPN the magazine about left handed hitters hitting left handed pitchers. Joey Votto was a feature in the article. He gives credit to the system that Dan Obrien put in where the players had to take a strike. Which is a complete 180, from what the party line had been in regards to Votto's development. Votto said he hated it at the time, but it helped him develop an approach to hitting lefties.

I like that it seems that these young guys that are coming along now, seem more relaxed, and ready to contribute. I also like that some of these guys are now repeating levels, and not being rushed through the system with a rubber stamp. Valaika repeating at AAA has definitely helped him. I imagine something similar will happen for Todd Frazier next season. I doesn't hurt for players to get extra seasoning at AAA. In the past, they had to fill gaping holes on the 25 man roster before they were probably ready, to even be bit players.

At the end of the day it comes back to the commitment to devote monetary resources to player scouting, acquisition, and development. Bob C, and even Carl Lindner deserve credit for that.

Mario-Rijo
08-27-2010, 09:43 PM
Of course it's still too early to tell how much value the reds captured in that 2005 draft, but already there have been 7 players out of their first 13 picks that have appeared in the major leagues.

For the reds:


Jay Bruce (1)
Travis Wood (2)
Adam Rosales (12)
Carlos Fisher (11)
Logan Ondrusek (13)
Sam Lecure (4)

Appearing for another organization:

Jeff Stevens (6) - for b. phillips

still with a chance?:

Brandon Roberts (7) - for J. Castro

*not to make this about any previous/current GM, but that year jumps out just looking at draft results.

One good thing about DanO was his regime took some really high upside types early in the draft. Bruce is gonna be a pivotal player for this team and so too could Bailey.

kaldaniels
08-27-2010, 09:48 PM
Sure I think the farm system is outstanding right now...no question.

But I think the real story is that over the past decade it had been historically bad. And that may be an understatement.

paulrichjr
08-27-2010, 09:54 PM
Sure I think the farm system is outstanding right now...no question.

But I think the real story is that over the past decade it had been historically bad. And that may be an understatement.

What? Why is that the story? That is history. The Reds farm system is producing big time over the last 3 years (and probably will the next 3 at least) and that is the real story.

REDblooded
08-27-2010, 09:55 PM
Sure I think the farm system is outstanding right now...no question.

But I think the real story is that over the past decade it had been historically bad. And that may be an understatement.


Different regime, and different philosophies... Same could be said about much of baseball as a whole at the time... Farm systems are held in higher regard now than they were then... Also the Reds skimped where their farm system was involved in the past... Glad to see that's no longer the case... The foundation they are building from below in recent years is what it will take to revive the regions love in baseball, and create the revenue needed to stay competitive with larger cities within the division.

kaldaniels
08-27-2010, 10:00 PM
What? Why is that the story? That is history. The Reds farm system is producing big time over the last 3 years (and probably will the next 3 at least) and that is the real story.

I just think that the past decade has jaded fans as to what a farm system is supposed to produce. I'd argue the only outlier, in terms of what he has produced, is Votto. Kudos to the farm on him. Otherwise, I frankly expect a farm system to raise a Bruce, a Cueto, a Stubbs et al. on a regular basis.

Now if Bruce becomes an MVP candidate or if Cueto is in the running for Cy Young, then yes, the past 3 years becomes a story...but let me put it this way, the past decade was way more historically bad, then the present time is historically good.

membengal
08-27-2010, 10:03 PM
I just think that the past decade has jaded fans as to what a farm system is supposed to produce. I'd argue the only outlier, in terms of what he has produced, is Votto. Kudos to the farm on him. Otherwise, I frankly expect a farm system to raise a Bruce, a Cueto, a Stubbs et al. on a regular basis.

Now if Bruce becomes an MVP candidate or if Cueto is in the running for Cy Young, then yes, the past 3 years becomes a story...but let me put it this way, the past decade was way more historically bad, then the present time is historically good.

Those expectations are crazy out of whack.

kaldaniels
08-27-2010, 10:03 PM
Those expectations are crazy out of whack.

Look at their production, not at their projections.

edabbs44
08-27-2010, 10:04 PM
Yep, Cincy is getting great production from its drafts and its supplementary vets. Things have gone quiite well on many levels this season. Walt's job now gets a bit more difficult where he needs to sustain the momentum gained this year.

membengal
08-27-2010, 10:05 PM
I am looking at their production, kaldaniels. And I don't have the energy to engage your crazed expectations for what a farm system should reasonably produce.

kaldaniels
08-27-2010, 10:08 PM
I am looking at their production, kaldaniels. And I don't have the energy to engage your crazed expectations for what a farm system should reasonably produce.

As of Sept 2, those will be our 3 best players that our minor league has produced in the past 3 years. (I've already labed Votto as the outlier, and he's been in the bigs for the past 2.95 years).

Bruce 5.0 WAR career
Cueto 4.8
Stubbs 2.7

Thats pretty reasonable expections for your top 3 guys over the past 3 years.

redsfandan
08-27-2010, 10:26 PM
Chris Buckley, Terry Reynolds, etc (those people checking out the amateurs) deserve alot of credit.

traderumor
08-27-2010, 11:16 PM
It's funny how dismissive many people were of the need to build from the bottom up back when Dan O'Brien took over and started the rebuilding movement.Dismissive of draft and develop? No. Dismissive of mandatory "take first pitch" and piggyback start/relief rotation? Dismissive of calling the signing of John Vanderwal "big?" Signing our ace free agent, Eric Milton? Trading any warm body for Dave Williams, let alone Sean Casey? Well, yea, that I dismissed as idiotic. And those are just a few of the lowlights.

I would add that I don't think that the develop part would have worked out with DanO. He oversaw a couple of good drafts. The develop part was a disaster til Krivsky took the reins, that is when both parts of the machine started working in tandem. Walt brings to the table the ability to take it to another level with tweaking the major league roster and winning most of those moves.

kaldaniels
08-27-2010, 11:17 PM
Dismissive of draft and develop? No. Dismissive of mandatory "take first pitch" and piggyback start/relief rotation? Dismissive of calling the signing of John Vanderwal "big?" Signing our ace free agent, Eric Milton? Trading any warm body for Dave Williams, let alone Sean Casey? Well, yea, that I dismissed as idiotic. And those are just a few of the lowlights.

I'm a young man. And I have convinced myself that if I live to 100, I will never see the Reds franchise in as much dissarray as they were in the 2001-2007ish era.

Danny Serafini
08-27-2010, 11:24 PM
Dismissive of mandatory "take first pitch" and piggyback start/relief rotation?

Those edicts alone were so awful, that was cause enough to let him go. Who knows just how much damage he did to player development with those.

OnBaseMachine
08-28-2010, 01:01 AM
Good post, mem. And as good as the farm has been lately, it's still in very good shape despite graduating a lot of talent over the last few years. We still have Chapman who is only days away from his major league debut, plus others like Devin Mesoraco, Yonder Alonso, Todd Frazier, David Sappelt, Donnie Joseph, Felix Perez. And that's only the guys in the upper minors. The Reds lower minors are really stacked. The Reds have numerous young Latin American prospects in the lower minors who boast significant upside along with some of the high school kids from the 2008/2009 drafts. The Reds have did a fine job of adding talent via the draft and International signings over the last few years.

Next year the Reds farm system has a chance to produce two impact talents at key positions - Devin Mesoraco at catcher and Aroldis Chapman in the starting rotation. Mesoraco is in competition for the minor league player of the year after OPSing over 1.000 this season between A+, AA, and AAA, hitting 25 homers so far, and throwing out over 40% of base-stealers. And Chapman may be the best prospect in all of baseball. If not the best, then at least top three.

It's a fun time to be a Reds fan. I hope this year is the start of something great.

membengal
08-29-2010, 03:23 PM
Thank you, Chris Valakia.

Just the kind of "shot in the arm" I had in mind when I started this thread. Losing Phillips for the weekend was potentially problematic, to say the least, But the Reds were fortunate to be able to reach to AAA and bring up a player who very capably filled in this weekend, and was a major contributor.

That kind of help from the minors was too lacking earlier this decade, that's for certain.

Oh, and a tip of the cap to Sam Lecure as well.

Quiet contributions that bolster what this team is doing, in-house. Just so good.

membengal
08-29-2010, 03:48 PM
Thank you, Chris Valakia.

Just the kind of "shot in the arm" I had in mind when I started this thread. Losing Phillips for the weekend was potentially problematic, to say the least, But the Reds were fortunate to be able to reach to AAA and bring up a player who very capably filled in this weekend, and was a major contributor.

That kind of help from the minors was too lacking earlier this decade, that's for certain.

Oh, and a tip of the cap to Sam Lecure as well.

Quiet contributions that bolster what this team is doing, in-house. Just so good.

Oh, and thank you too, Chris Heisey.

HokieRed
08-29-2010, 04:23 PM
Vis-a-vis the subject of this thread, we got 7 hits today and 7.2 innings out of guys who were in the minors one year ago.

Scrap Irony
08-29-2010, 04:38 PM
First-year contributors

2010
Chris Valaika
Chris Heisey
Logan Ondrusek
Jordan Smith
Mike Leake
Travis Wood
Sam LeCure
Enerio Del Rosario

2009
Drew Stubbs
Paul Janish
Danny Ray Herrera
Carlos Fisher
Matt Maloney
Juan Francisco

2008
Johnny Cueto
Chris Dickerson
Jay Bruce

2007
Homer Bailey
Joey Votto
Ryan Hanigan

In retrospect, there were three impact rookies who debuted in 2007, two more in 2008, one in 2009, and three in 2010. 11 other players have also contributed this season at the major league level. Both of those numbers (impact and contributors) are ridiculously high.

If you add in likely impact players Chapman and Alonso this season, the minor league pipeline could be argued as the best in baseball.

fearofpopvol1
08-29-2010, 04:44 PM
First-year contributors

2010
Chris Valaika
Chris Heisey
Logan Ondrusek
Jordan Smith
Mike Leake
Travis Wood
Sam LeCure
Enerio Del Rosario

2009
Drew Stubbs
Paul Janish
Danny Ray Herrera
Carlos Fisher
Matt Maloney
Juan Francisco

2008
Johnny Cueto
Chris Dickerson
Jay Bruce

2007
Homer Bailey
Joey Votto
Ryan Hanigan

In retrospect, there were three impact rookies who debuted in 2007, two more in 2008, one in 2009, and three in 2010. 11 other players have also contributed this season at the major league level. Both of those numbers (impact and contributors) are ridiculously high.

If you add in likely impact players Chapman and Alonso this season, the minor league pipeline could be argued as the best in baseball.

Mesoraco could be here next year too, although I hope he makes his debut in '12 instead. I think Joseph could be ready next year as well...later in the year.

redsfandan
08-29-2010, 04:47 PM
First-year contributors

2010
Chris Valaika
Chris Heisey

...

If you add in likely impact players Chapman and Alonso this season, the minor league pipeline could be argued as the best in baseball.
I don't know that I'd go quite that far. Better than Tampa? I don't think so. But, is the Reds minor league system doing what they're supposed to do? Help the big league team win? Yep.

membengal
08-30-2010, 06:29 AM
Vis-a-vis the subject of this thread, we got 7 hits today and 7.2 innings out of guys who were in the minors one year ago.

That's the kind of thing that is so very hopeful about this team's resurgence. The help they got in-house.

Scrap's list is rather eye-opening too in terms of recent help from the farm.

muddie
08-30-2010, 06:42 AM
As a resident Mudcats fan, this has been a disappointing season to say the least. The team has never had the right chemistry or consistency to put anything together. The talent here has been spotty all year. However, I take a lot of pride when I look up and down the Louisville roster and see all the guys that have moved up from here. I am really counting on the Bats getting back to Durham this year for the playoffs. That would make the summer complete.

membengal
08-30-2010, 06:53 AM
There's something I can't put my finger on (or QUANTIFY) but that I suspect is a real benefit to the pipeline being turned on again, and it has to do with players on the team all sharing a common organizational philosophy and teaching. I know here in Baltimore, the locals still lament in the midst of their excessive losing seasons the loss of the "Oriole way", which, during their decades of excellence, meant the common approach that the players that fed into the team had in terms of playing the game.

With this many players drafted and developed by the organization now reaching the big league club, I am starting to get some comfort that each has been trained in how the organization wants them to play the game. How it wants them to approach hitters in terms of throwing strikes. How to make the cut-off. Taking the extra base. Etc. etc. etc.

Like I said, I can't quantify it, but watching a Valakia, for instance, fit in on and seamlessly provide help and look so comfortable in the line-up puts me to mind that we finally have back in place a commonality of teaching and approach to playing the game that is really effective and will stand this team in good stead for years to come.

The problem I had with kaldaniels' defintion and take on this thread from page two is that his defintion of a successful farm system is too narrow. Beyond high impact .800+ OPS bats and arms that throw 105, to me, a farm system has to also throw role players of a certain quality at the big league club when needed. And the farm system for Cincy has absolutely excelled in that regard in 2010. Valakia just the latest example of help when needed.

edabbs44
08-30-2010, 07:06 AM
Those edicts alone were so awful, that was cause enough to let him go. Who knows just how much damage he did to player development with those.

Is it true that Votto gave a prop or two to the take a strike plan, or was that posted on here as a joke?

Homer Bailey
08-30-2010, 07:20 AM
Is it true that Votto gave a prop or two to the take a strike plan, or was that posted on here as a joke?

It's true, he did. He said he hated it, but it may have helped him in the long run.

edabbs44
08-30-2010, 08:05 AM
It's true, he did. He said he hated it, but it may have helped him in the long run.

At this point, if OBrien's plan back then was to kick Votto in the cookies before every at bat and, a few years later Votto speaks positively about it, shouldn't we be thinking about changing our stance on the theory?

lollipopcurve
08-30-2010, 08:19 AM
No other way for a team like the Reds to build a team that's consistently competitive. Draft and develop, sign international talent and supplement with affordable veterans.

I agree that Valaika played very well this weekend. Membengal's characterization of his addition as "seamless" says it well. Lecure was huge yesterday, too. It's the kind of play you see the young players in Minnesota bringing to the majors. And the way they do it is to not rush guys -- they give them plenty of time to hone their skills.

HokieRed
08-30-2010, 08:54 AM
I'll just say thank you Dan O'Brien for two things: first, telling the truth about how this thing had to be rebuilt, and then, second, for starting the process really effectively: Bruce, Bailey, Cueto, Wood, Janish, Ondrusek, LeCure, Francisco, Fisher etc.

bucksfan2
08-30-2010, 10:16 AM
It's true, he did. He said he hated it, but it may have helped him in the long run.

If I were a GM I would consider the take a strike edict in the low levels of my minors. It wasn't a secret that Votto hated that edict and he really blossomed once the edict was removed by WK. But I think you can really make the argument that it helped out Votto greatly to see more and more pitches in every at bat, and also hit behind in the count.

As for Obie he would be a great person to have in your minor league system. However he was a fish out of water when it came to running a major league organization.

membengal
08-30-2010, 10:38 AM
No other way for a team like the Reds to build a team that's consistently competitive. Draft and develop, sign international talent and supplement with affordable veterans.

I agree that Valaika played very well this weekend. Membengal's characterization of his addition as "seamless" says it well. Lecure was huge yesterday, too. It's the kind of play you see the young players in Minnesota bringing to the majors. And the way they do it is to not rush guys -- they give them plenty of time to hone their skills.

Yeah, Minnesota a great example of how they fill in when needed from within.

I just remain pumped as a fan that Brandon got the time off he needed and Valakia slid so comfortably not just into the field but, heck, into the top of the batting order and gave the team what it needed to win 2 of 3 this weekend. In fact, was instrumental in those two wins.

paulrichjr
08-30-2010, 10:50 AM
As for Obie he would be a great person to have in your minor league system. However he was a fish out of water when it came to running a major league organization.

The article that talked about Votto and taking a strike was really interesting. If you haven't read it you should. Oh DanO might just know a little about running a farm system and developing talent in the lower minors. As far as your quote above. I agree that things seemed to be a mess but I just wonder how DanO would have looked with Cast as the owner. I personally believe the garbage Reds fans have gone through over the past decade is the responsibility of three people - JimBo, Allen, and Carl. No GM would look very good with those three's influence.

kaldaniels
08-30-2010, 11:37 AM
There's something I can't put my finger on (or QUANTIFY) but that I suspect is a real benefit to the pipeline being turned on again, and it has to do with players on the team all sharing a common organizational philosophy and teaching. I know here in Baltimore, the locals still lament in the midst of their excessive losing seasons the loss of the "Oriole way", which, during their decades of excellence, meant the common approach that the players that fed into the team had in terms of playing the game.

With this many players drafted and developed by the organization now reaching the big league club, I am starting to get some comfort that each has been trained in how the organization wants them to play the game. How it wants them to approach hitters in terms of throwing strikes. How to make the cut-off. Taking the extra base. Etc. etc. etc.

Like I said, I can't quantify it, but watching a Valakia, for instance, fit in on and seamlessly provide help and look so comfortable in the line-up puts me to mind that we finally have back in place a commonality of teaching and approach to playing the game that is really effective and will stand this team in good stead for years to come.

The problem I had with kaldaniels' defintion and take on this thread from page two is that his defintion of a successful farm system is too narrow. Beyond high impact .800+ OPS bats and arms that throw 105, to me, a farm system has to also throw role players of a certain quality at the big league club when needed. And the farm system for Cincy has absolutely excelled in that regard in 2010. Valakia just the latest example of help when needed.

Go find my definition of a sucessful farm system. Please, post it for all to see.

What I simply said and you took a shot at me and my "crazed expectations" was that I expect our farm to be producing a Stubbs,Bruce,Cueto et al on a regular basis. There is nothing outlandish about that at all when you consider they are our top 3 guys from the farm from 2008 on. All solid players, not an all-star among them (yet)...things are going well...but this pace needs to be kept up.

membengal
08-30-2010, 11:38 AM
Man, you are doing what you can to derail the thread.

Awesome.

It wasn't about "pace". It wasn't about your demand that they turn out three .800 OPS bats and high impact arms every couple of years (which still feels like a crazed expectation to me) to meet your benchmark for a good minor league system. It was just a thread to note that they have gotten signficant help on a lot of fronts on this team from the farm system this season. Both small and large.

membengal
08-30-2010, 11:42 AM
For the record, this remains unreasonable as a benchmark:


Kudos to the farm on him. Otherwise, I frankly expect a farm system to raise a Bruce, a Cueto, a Stubbs et al. on a regular basis.

kaldaniels
08-30-2010, 11:46 AM
For the record, this remains unreasonable as a benchmark:

Over 3 years, I say no it is not. For the record there is not a .800 OPS bat among them. If you want to disagree on the opinion I respect that, but I could do with out the crazed remark.

membengal
08-30-2010, 11:50 AM
Not sure why you are focusing in on "crazed". It is a synonym for "unreasonable." Which is what your benchmark looks like to me.

If I get a moment, I will attempt a 30 team survey of their top bats and arms and see how many turned out, in the last 10 years, a trio as good as young players in a two year or so span, as Bruce/Cueto/Stubbs have been.

I suspect the answer is "not many".

If I can get to it, I will try and post it here.

bucksfan2
08-30-2010, 11:51 AM
Kudos to the farm on him. Otherwise, I frankly expect a farm system to raise a Bruce, a Cueto, a Stubbs et al. on a regular basis.

It does? The Cards (who have an awful system) produced Garcia, Rasmus, and Jay.

I get what Kal is saying. If you can't produce quality every day starters from your farm system then your entire organization (sans the Yankees) is in trouble. The Reds have been very successful at producing good and even great (Votto) players from their system. When you do that it allows you to allocate funds to positions of need.

membengal
08-30-2010, 11:52 AM
It does? The Cards (who have an awful system) produced Garcia, Rasmus, and Jay.

I get what Kal is saying. If you can't produce quality every day starters from your farm system then your entire organization (sans the Yankees) is in trouble. The Reds have been very successful at producing good and even great (Votto) players from their system. When you do that it allows you to allocate funds to positions of need.

That begs the question on Jay's upside. A lot of Cardinal fans are awfully suspicious of his babip supported numbers. And right now, Rasmus can't get on the field because of some sort of feud with Larussa.

membengal
08-30-2010, 12:29 PM
Here's a quick attempt at a survey:

Using Bruce/Cueto/Stubbs as the benchmark for a good minor league development program, that is an .800 OPS bat (Bruce) with plus defense, a .720 OPS bat (closing in on 20/20 club) with plus defense in CF (Stubbs), and a pitcher in Cueto whose ERA+ is 92, 97, and now 120 in his three major league seasons.

That's what apparently qualifies as a club needs to maintain in terms of moving players of that quality into the line-up on a regular basis to meet your benchmark, kal.

Using that timeframe:

Astros have Chris Johnson (OPS of .849 this season as a rookie) and Felipe Paulino ERA+ of 67 last year and 94 this year. Might be as good as Cueto, but we don't know it yet. Johnson's OPS is in just 234 at-bats. Jury's out.

Cardinals: Rasmus/Jay/Garcia. They certainly are in the quality of what the Reds have brought forward, even with babip concerns for Jay.

Pirates: McCuthceon/Walker/Tabata/Alvarez. All OPSing between Stubbs and Bruce. A decent foundation for a change with them. Where they are hurting is in pitching. No Cueto's in sight for that team. Course, Tabata/Alvarez/Walker all at 300 at-bats or under. Track record not exactly set in stone for them. They have adjustments forthcoming like Bruce has gone through. And I don't put any of them in Bruce's category. Interesting for Reds fans, Stubbs is closer to McCutcheon than you might think.

Cubs: Colvin, Castro, Randy Wells. Colvin at OPS of .833 in 300 at-bats. Castro at .783 in 400 at-bats. Neither has undergone the league adjustment like Bruce has dealt with. Wells ERA+ of 148 last year, down to 98 this year. Except against the Reds, who he owns.

Brewers: McGehee OPS of .850 Escobar, OPS of .642, no pitcher of note.

In quick survey of the NL Central, the only club arguably close to the Reds in the quality of what has come forward to the big league club in the '08 - '10 timeframe is the Cardinals. And, not surprisingly, those are the two clubs in the pennant chase.

To check that, I ask anyone, would you trade Bruce/Stubbs/Cueto straight up for any of the other threesomes brought forward by NL Central teams? Even the Cardinals three, I say no. What the Reds have brought forward is something that I would keep.

I still submit that getting forward a three as good as Bruce/Cueto/Stubbs is not the norm, and if any club can keep bringing forward that kind of talent over three year spans going forward, that they will win a lot of division pennants. It just does not feel like a sustainable expectation to me.

That digression aside, I return to the larger point, that the Reds have gotten a lot of help from a deep pool of players this season, and that the ones who come up are happily versed in a common organizational approach to the game that is good to see.

edabbs44
08-30-2010, 12:47 PM
What's wrong with Braun, Gallardo, McGehee?

kaldaniels
08-30-2010, 12:49 PM
What's wrong with Braun, Gallardo, McGehee, Fielder, Weeks?

I'll answer that for him...my reference point was 2008 on.

membengal
08-30-2010, 12:49 PM
Nothing. The timeframe I was looking at per the Cueto/Bruce/Stubbs reference was 2008 - 2010.

That three year time frame.

I would submit that what you note edabbs, is the difficulty of sustaining that kind of extremely good flow of talent on a regular basis. That was a nice influx of talent in Milwaukee. And it dried up in the last few years. And they fell off a bit.

membengal
08-30-2010, 12:49 PM
I'll answer that for him...my reference point was 2008 on.

Oops, sorry, was responding when you were, Kal.

My bad.

Scrap Irony
08-30-2010, 05:13 PM
Tim Naehring said that a good farm system developed an impact bat or arm each year and developed BOR talent, middle relievers, and offensive depth to keep costs down.

The Reds seem to be well ahead of that paradigm at present.

In the past three years (calendar), they've developed 8 (!) impact prospects. That's eight guys who are contributing at above average levels on the present team. One of those is producing at an MVP level. Four are (or have been for long stretches of the season) MOR or better starting pitchers. Three are regular offensive starters who provide above average WAR production.

They also have four (!) more prospects ready at AAA (Alonso, Cozart, Chapman, and Mesoraco) who are likely to produce at above league average production positionally, three of them at premium positions on the field. (And each of the three can be plugged in next season in an area of "need", thereby decreasing cost.) Each of those prospects will be brought up either at the end of this season (2011) or next season (2012). Three of them are likely to start in Cincinnati next season, assuming no deal is made to lighten the prospect load or add a veteran.

No matter how you're looking at it, the minor league system is flush, has been flush, and should continue to be flush for the foreseeable future.

Cedric
08-30-2010, 05:21 PM
Tim Naehring said that a good farm system developed an impact bat or arm each year and developed BOR talent, middle relievers, and offensive depth to keep costs down.

The Reds seem to be well ahead of that paradigm at present.

In the past three years (calendar), they've developed 8 (!) impact prospects. That's eight guys who are contributing at above average levels on the present team. One of those is producing at an MVP level. Four are (or have been for long stretches of the season) MOR or better starting pitchers. Three are regular offensive starters who provide above average WAR production.

They also have four (!) more prospects ready at AAA (Alonso, Cozart, Chapman, and Mesoraco) who are likely to produce at above league average production positionally, three of them at premium positions on the field. (And each of the three can be plugged in next season in an area of "need", thereby decreasing cost.) Each of those prospects will be brought up either at the end of this season (2011) or next season (2012). Three of them are likely to start in Cincinnati next season, assuming no deal is made to lighten the prospect load or add a veteran.

No matter how you're looking at it, the minor league system is flush, has been flush, and should continue to be flush for the foreseeable future.

Good post...

Though Tim Naehring might be one of the worst "baseball guys" I have ever encountered. Having spoken with the guy multiple times you would be amazed at how ancient his baseball mind is.

reds44
08-30-2010, 06:47 PM
With Phillips out, you could see a lineup that looks like this:

LF Heisey
CF Stubbs
RF Bruce
3B Rolen
SS Janish
2B Valaika
1B Votto
C Hanigan
P Bailey

That's 8 out of 9 guys who are home grown guys. You could even put Francisco in there for Rolen and have an entire lineup of home grown players.

traderumor
08-30-2010, 11:07 PM
Tonight, Valaika 3 hits, Francisco game tying home run, Ondrusek solid inning. Oh, and there's that Bruce guy.

For the discussion, while a devil's advocate is always welcome, it is pretty hard to be one right now. For example, FCB, where art thou?;)

Sea Ray
08-31-2010, 12:10 PM
18 guys contributing in one season...very impressive. That's how you get it done in today's MLB. We may get contributions from Chapman before long and get to add him to the list

membengal
08-31-2010, 11:10 PM
Tack Chapman onto the list.

Mercy.

Cyclone792
08-31-2010, 11:12 PM
And with Alonso apparently on his way. There could be others too; the organization is stocked with talent and the rest of the National League has to be thinking that it's just not fair. And the best part is I love every bit of it.

dougdirt
08-31-2010, 11:14 PM
And with Alonso apparently on his way. There could be others too; the organization is stocked with talent and the rest of the National League has to be thinking that it's just not fair. And the best part is I love every bit of it.

This. :thumbup:

Sea Ray
08-31-2010, 11:58 PM
Sure I think the farm system is outstanding right now...no question.

But I think the real story is that over the past decade it had been historically bad. And that may be an understatement.


It was very bad under Bowden, no question but how many teams can boast that they got significant contributions from 18 home grown players this year?

bucksfan2
09-01-2010, 08:52 AM
I don't consider Chapman part of this farm system. It may just be semantics but he was a $20M FA who went down to AAA for seasoning. I am not making light of the seasoning that the Reds staff had on him, but to me he was more like a FA than anything else.

IslandRed
09-01-2010, 09:12 AM
I don't consider Chapman part of this farm system. It may just be semantics but he was a $20M FA who went down to AAA for seasoning. I am not making light of the seasoning that the Reds staff had on him, but to me he was more like a FA than anything else.

In that case, you shouldn't count Leake either, since he didn't touch the minor leagues at all. :p:

Amateur talent is amateur talent, whether we draft it or have to compete for it. Chapman was really just a more advanced version of the typical Latin American teenager signing.

membengal
09-01-2010, 09:20 AM
Well, since it was a thread started with my definitions, I am counting them both.

Leake pitched in the AFL for the Reds last fall, and he was drafted by Cincy. As for Chapman, the only reason he wasn't drafted by someone was that he became an international free agent. But he was also targeted by the club for minor league development time.

Both count on my ledger as solely Reds acquired and developed talents who did not spend a minute in another organization.

traderumor
09-01-2010, 09:42 AM
The biggest thing yet to develop out of the stocked farm system is the securing of a top shelf, established major leaguer entering their prime. I'm really looking forward to a potential slobber knocker offseason deal for one or more of a SS, a TOR pitcher, or a slugging LFer.

bucksfan2
09-01-2010, 10:38 AM
In that case, you shouldn't count Leake either, since he didn't touch the minor leagues at all. :p:

Amateur talent is amateur talent, whether we draft it or have to compete for it. Chapman was really just a more advanced version of the typical Latin American teenager signing.

Chapman wasn't an amateur.

membengal
09-01-2010, 10:38 AM
Stephen Drew has nudged his season OPS over .800 in Arizona. I still feel like he would be a great target for this team in the off-season, and we have the pieces to deal to get him.

membengal
09-01-2010, 10:39 AM
Chapman wasn't an amateur.

Hard to call him a "professional" since his only experience was in Cuba.

Regardless, for the purposes of this thread, he clearly qualifies as Reds developed, and has played for no other organization.