Originally Posted by SMcGavin
I like Dickerson, but the guy is 27. His window for helping the Reds is pretty small.
And if I have to choose between the two high potential guys, I'm taking the one who had a .799 OPS in the Florida State League during his age 20/21 season. Francisco it is.
I think Age is a bit over-rated in the free agent era. Top guys become too expensive after 5 or 6 years so looking longer than that when evaluating what a prospect could mean to a team may not be real useful. Age is important when projecting a player and how he'll perform, but once he's ready, the longevity angle is low on the list of things to consider. Since my criteria is based solely on how I think the player will help the Reds, I don't consider the age they hit they big leagues so much. They'll be free agents after 6 years anyway, so its only the cheap years that the team really gets benefit from them. (If we're simply projecting who will have the better career, I'd probably give age a lot more weight, and that may be the objective of these polls, but I'm looking at it only from a value to the Reds standpoint.)
Homer Bailey is an example of a guy who is going to have to be kept on the roster in 2010 and may not be ready at age 23. He may even get pigeonholed as a swingman while collecting service time and his price increasing. Many times these guys end up let go for pennies on the dollar and emerge as top players with their new teams.
On the other hand, with Dickerson you get his prime seasons on the cheap where he can help the team at his best. He's the player he's going to be and the Reds have him under control through his best years. They may actually could get 6 full seasons of positive contributions from him and then allow him to walk. Some of these younger guys end up with a couple of wasted years and just start to become real productive before they get to the point where the team needs to make a roster or a monetary decision while the player still has his best years ahead of him. The team actually ends up with fewer years of production from some of the younger prospects simply because of how the timetable plays out.
I voted Dickerson here. He's going to be a 400+ At Bat guy for the major league team who will add plus defense and speed in the process. Duran and Francisco may never be heard from at the major league level.