Originally Posted by dougdirt
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.
What value does a low-risk, low-reward guy give you? I just don't understand what value Bryson Smith brings that you could not get cheaply in free agency. There are many guys who can play left, center and right field. There are also plenty of guys have some speed who can pinch run. There are also high contact hitting back-up outfeilders who a coach can bring him off of the bench in a "make contact" situation as a pinch hitter. Like you said "He just has what guys want for their bench guys." What is special about a bench guy? What potential surplus value does a bench guy bring to the Reds?
The Reds have several years to figure out if Constante can throw strikes. They will give him as many chances as they can to reach that ceiling of a #3 starter. #3 starters do not grow on trees. They get paid eight figure salaries in free agency and only then to multi-year deals compared to the bench guys who get 1 year, 1 million dollar deals. Wouldn't you rather have a medium-risk, high reward prospect, than a low-risk, low-reward prospect?
And yes, I know Michael Inoa did not make it. That being said, you know the exception does not make the rule. Inoa had a golden arm that didn't work out. Inoa's lack of success has nothing to do with Constante's chances. Constante has a lower chance of making the bigs, but if he does make the bigs, he has a much greater chance of providing surplus value to the Reds.