Originally Posted by Brutus
I posit that "develop properly" is largely a misnomer. Most development is probably going to come down to identifying the player's talent and commitment ahead of time. Plus, the term properly assumes there's a right way and a wrong way to bring prospects along. I don't think there's really that much black and white... mostly gray.
The Reds are in this position because the prospects panned out. I don't know that they did anything differently other than finally found the right guys. The good organizations are the ones that can identify the players that have 'it' and have the people that can analyze the performance to maximize the wins.
Let's look at Homer Bailey and Johnny Cueto as two guys the Reds have that they absolutely, without a doubt, developed.
When Homer Bailey was drafted he had a fastball and a big 12-6 curveball in the low to mid 70's. Not much of a change up. By the time he arrived in the Majors, he had the same fastball, the same curveball and a sort-of usable change up. And he got crushed. Homer Bailey today still has the fastball, but he has a different curveball (shorter break, 77-82 MPH), no change up, a very good slider and a very good split-finger fastball. And his fastball has less rise, more sink and more horizontal movement than when he first came up. Yes, key one was identifying that the kid had a great arm. But they absolutely developed him and that was just as important.
When Johnny Cueto was coming up he had a good fastball with rise to it, a good slider and a solid change up. Today he is throwing a rising fastball, a sinking fastball, a cutter, a slider, a change up and a curveball. Yes, they identified his arm was a good one, but they also developed him.