Re: Jocketty remains quiet about trade plans
I agree with GAC 100%. You build your core through your farm system. Trade acquisitions and free agents are only added to fill in holes.
One lesson Reds fans need to learn from the A's and Indians is that you shouldn't get too attached to any one player once they start getting expensive. Those organizations have learned that you HAVE to trade the McGuire's, the Zito's, the Thome's, and the Sabbathia's in order sustain success. You keep them until they are too expensive to keep, and then you trade them for prospects, and replace them in the lineup with prospects.
Have the Reds developed such a pipeline yet? No. The recent drafts have been encouraging, but I'm not too confident about development. It would seem to me that rather than trying to extend Adam Dunn to an expensive contract, the organization would be better off bringing in some minor league (and major league) coaches who have a proven track record for developing talent. And that takes some major dollars. It does no good to draft well and sign top Latin America talent, if skills aren't polished into functioning tools.
Take Homer Bailey, for example. IMO, Bailey has skills, but the development coaching has failed him. He has gotten by, and to some extent, succeeded, by sheer skill. But much of his inconsistency is due to poor coaching. While he may have had better coaching at lower levels of the minor leagues, he has had very poor coaching at AAA and at the ML level.
I also believe we are seeing similar warning signs in Jay Bruce. No one expected Bruce to hit .400, but you would expect him to have a better OBP than he's had. The skills are there, but the lack of polish is being exploited by ML pitching. I fully expect at some point for Bruce to be sent back to AAA to "find his stroke." The one beef against Bruce in the minors has been his high K rates. His one weakness has been magnified by major league pitching. Where is the coaching that teaches him to make adjustments? That same coaching has not helped Adam Dunn, and I have no confidence it will help Jay Bruce.
I see inconsistencies in Votto. Encarnacion, at times, appears that he has not progressed. Thank goodness for Mario Soto, or we may be looking at a Johnny Cueto meltdown as well.
In order for the pipeline system to work like the A's and Indians, development must be drastically improved.
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