Re: 2004 Draft thread
Figured I'd kick in some general post-draft thoughts now that I've had a few days to digest things. princeton's got his draft prediction in another thread. For the record, I'd have done Nelson in the first and Michael Rogers in the second. After that, all eastern Europeans. It's an undertapped talent pool.
1. Homer Bailey - The Reds went for ceiling and, at least this is my guess, were hell-bent on taking a pitcher with that first pick. Can't argue with Bailey's ceiling, but to lift a single word from guernsey's above post, this is a "treacherous" pick. The Reds have chosen try the old rope bridge, the one with the planks falling out of it. I hope they make it across. Random development thought on Bailey: After seeing Tyler Pelland get croaked in A ball this season, I'd suggest starting Bailey in the GCL and only bumping him up to Billings next season. He can hit Dayton in 2006 and still be the appropriate age for that level. I know the temptation is to rush top picks, but the Reds picked high schooler and they should show some restraint.
2. If you like B.J. Szymanski, then you should adore Wily Mo Pena ... and I'm talking poster-on-the-wall love here. "But honey, it's a five-tool poster." Of course the Reds have been showing little love for Wily Mo despite the fact that he's playing pretty well. So is everyone going to be on board with the Szymanski project?
3. Much as I didn't like the philosophy of the Bailey pick, my least favorite selection the team made was Craig Tatum. College pitchers like Steve Register, Andrew Dobies and Ross Ohlendorf were still on the board. To touch upon something I mentioned above, the only thing I look for when drafting a catcher with a high pick is his bat. If his bat warrants the selection at that spot, then I'd draft him. You can get competent catch-and throw guys in later rounds. Tatum's defense is his calling and, as such, I think they might have chosen player for whom they could have found an equivalent ten rounds later.
4. Whether you like Rafael Gonzalez depends on whether you look at his ceiling or his current wayward self. He could be dynamite or he could be out of baseball in three years. Possible alternate pick: Ohlendorf.
5. Paul Janish sounds like a Dal Maxvill clone. Clearly the Reds were impressed by the arm tool when it came to players in this draft. Possible alternate pick: Dexter Fowler, now there's some tools.
6. Unlike Mathis, Lonny Roa's bat is what got him drafted. As such, nice pick. There's speculation he may not stay behind the plate. Hope he does, the Reds could use some offensive competence back there. I'm picturing a RH Joey Votto. Possible alternate pick: Tennessee southpaw Derek Tharpe, who dominated the SEC.
7. Phillippe Valiquette is probably the poster boy for the underrated HS arm. He's a lefty with a good fastball, that alone gets me interested. Nice selection by the Reds. A real case of taking a kid who wound up being undervalued. Canada's also been producing pitchers of late. Possible alternate selection: None, Valiquette's a speculation pick, but he'll come at a good price and has a high ceiling.
8. Greg Goetz is another lefty with a good heater. Can't find the plate so the Reds will need to learn how to teach control for him to pan out.
9. Trevor Lawhorn's got some pop for a 2B, though it's speculated that it might be aluminum-based pop. He and his twin brother are baseball rats who'll play wherever you stick them and they'll do something right. Generally speaking, it's good to have some of those around. They find their ceilings with greater frequency.
10. Terrell Young is either a young man who's stumbled while waiting to do the one thing he was born to do -- pitch professional baseball -- or he's a disaster who happens to pitch. Obviously I'd like to see the former be the case. Another tools pitcher.
11. Jason Uriquidez marked the spot in the draft where the Reds shifted their pitching philosophy to taking college pitchers. Uriquidez doesn't have a lot of stuff, but he's got extra moxie. Should be a solid minor leaguer for a good number of years if nothing else.
General thoughts - Anyone who wanted the Reds to draft players with advanced hitting skills or mature pitchers, can't be enthused with this bunch. The Reds clearly went for tools, particularly defense, in the hopes they could build an offensive game around them. Likewise, they went for tools pitchers. It means they're putting a lot of eggs in the instruction basket. It's going to require a ton of patience, which Dan O'Brien seems to have, though he's put even greater pressure on himself in terms of coming up with an interim plan for the majors. This draft isn't going to impact the major league club for a long time.
Yet this marks the first real stamp the DanO regime has put on the organization and it looks like the Reds are going to be a tools-centric bunch.
Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong
I'm witchcrafting everybody.