Bailey Cruises Through Tigers
People have been wondering when things are going to click for Reds pitching phenom Homer Bailey, and yesterday they did.
The high Class A Sarasota righthander threw six hitless innings and had nine strikeouts but got a no-decision as Sarasota defeated Lakeland 2-0.
"One of those days that we all lay in bed and think about where everything clicks," Sarasota pitching coach Ed Hodge said. "If not for the pitch count, who knows what he would have accomplished?"
After going 8-4, 4.43 with a 125-62 strikeout-walk ratio in 104 innings last season for low Class A Dayton, Bailey has focused on improving his changeup. He has a mid-90s fastball and a 12-to-6 curveball that could be considered a 70 on the 20-to-80 scale. Last night, he had a third weapon in his arsenal.
"Best changeup I have seen him have yet. When you are going 93-97 in A-ball, you donít need a heck of a lot more to dominate," Hodge said. "He commanded the changeup, and it is something he has worked extremely hard on. He has really bought into and knows it is something he has got to have."
Bailey was a first-round pick in 2004 out of LaGrange (Texas) High and was Baseball Americaís High School Player of the Year. He has been ranked as the Reds' No. 1 prospect the last two years, and has the stuff to be a front of the rotation in the big leagues.
"The biggest thing with a guy that throws that hard is to have the change near the plate," Hodge said. "A power pitcher becomes more of a power pitcher when he develops a change."