Originally Posted by Edd Roush
Steve and doug,
I have absolutely no idea where you are coming up with your % chances that Smith and Constante will make the bigs. Where does 50-60% come from?
Also, I completely disagree that Constante only has a 2-5% chance of pitching in the bigs. I don't have any stats to support this (and likely neither do you), but I would believe that lefties who throw 92-94, with a potential plus slider and a developing change who get paid $700,000+ K bonuses have at least a double digit % chance to make the bigs (this has to be a pretty small sample size), especially if they have never suffered a major arm injury and if they do in the future, they have the most advanced surgery procedures to get them back into shape.
Either way, why would you want decent chance for a cheap bat off the bench who will never be much above replacement level, when you could have a guy who has a lower chance to have a much higher impact (like superdude says, Bryson Smith's are a dime a dozen)? I guess if you truly think he only has a 2-5% chance of cracking the bigs, that is your answer. However, I truly believe Constante has a much higher chance of cracking the bigs than 2-5% and if he does get to the bigs, he will do much more than Bryson Smith will.
There are all sorts of Bryson Smith types that are free agents every year for cheap. If Constante hits his ceiling, he could be the kind of guy who doesn't make it to FA, because he is one of the most valuable guys on your team.
I absolutely pulled those numbers out of my butt. With that said, A guy who has yet to throw a pitch as a professional yet has a very small chance at becoming a big leaguer, much less an impact one. A guy like Bryson Smith, who can play defense at every outfield spot and has hit .322 through half a season in AA for his career through age 23, probably has a relatively decent shot at seeing big league time. He has 71 strikeouts in 519 career plate appearances. 13.8% is in the Brandon Phillips range for contact. Pretty darn good. So, he is a guy who can play left, center and right field. He has some speed, so he can pinch run. He is a high contact hitter, so you can bring him off of the bench in a "make contact" situation as a pinch hitter. He just has what guys want for their bench guys.
Yes, if Constante hits his ceiling, he could be a good #3 pitcher. But what if he goes out and walks 7 batters per 9 innings this year and has no control with batters in the box? We don't know that he isn't going to do that because he hasn't shown he is any better than that at this point.
For me, it is about weight risk and reward. With Smith, there is very little risk, but also not much reward. With Constante, there is a solid, but not great reward (he isn't Robert Stephenson or Billy Hamilton type without improving his current "stuff" dramatically). But the risk is that he never makes it out of rookie ball and turns into a lesser hyped Michael Ynoa
who signed for $4.25 million bucks in 2009 and has a grand total of 39.2 innings in his minor league career with 29 walks and 36 strikeouts.
With a guy like Constante, who was a big, but not huge signing, I am taking another handful of guys ahead of him who have proven things. He isn't a Yorman Rodriguez type of international signing who is a true 5 tool MVP type of guy if he reaches his ceiling. Smith is one of those guys. If I were ranking guys simply on pure upside, my list would look a whole lot different than it does currently.