Re: Theo Bowe appreciation thread
The reason he was not being appreciated before this year is: 1) low round pick (21), 2) under sized (5' 9''), 3) outfielder w/o power (2 HR in 602 AB), and 4) four lackluster seasons (.256 BA).
It is nice that he is turning it around. Obviously, the Reds see potential there that many of us have overlooked. I suspect that he is being pushed to steal bases at a higher clip because that is the area of his perceived value.
As steroids have been withdrawn from the game, there has been a commensurate increase in emphasis on pitching, defense, and speed. The more balls that remain in the park, the more important player speed becomes. It plays well on both offense and defense. Ten years ago, I doubt that organizations would have had the patience to continue developing an outfielder with so little pop in his bat. With recent shifts in the game, cultivating some slap hitters with plus plus speed and good OBP has become a more attractive proposition.
As an aside, the Reds reported interest in Juan Pierre follows this same line of thought, a renewed understanding of the need to manufacture runs to beat good pitchers in close games. Along those lines, Billy Hamilton may just turn out to be a human run factory. The things to watch with Bowe are improvement in SB success rate, and further improvement in BB/K ratio and OBP.