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Thread: How good can Robert Stephenson be?

  1. #1
    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    How good can Robert Stephenson be?

    The title says it all, how good can Robert Stephenson be? He's currently dominating Midwest League hitters at age 20 to the tune of a 3.32 ERA, 2.40 FIP, 2.41 BB/9, and a very impressive 11.61 K/9, while only allowing 4 HR in 59.2 innings. His fastball is explosive in the mid to upper 90's and his breaking ball is considering a plus pitch, with a chance to have a plus changeup down the road.

    I've seen some people say he has the best arm to come through the Reds organization since Don Gullett. So I have question for those who have seen him pitch, is he a potential legit ace? Is there a pitcher he reminds you of? It's hard not to be excited about him right now. Hopefully he stays healthy.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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  3. #2
    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: How good can Robert Stephenson be?

    I don't think there is any reason to not believe he has the potential to be a legit ace. I'd love to hear comps from the guys here in the know.

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    Re: How good can Robert Stephenson be?

    I have said that Stephenson is the best right handed arm to come through the system in my lifetime. I fully believe that. When he is on his game, the guy can throw three pitches for strikes in the strikezone and just overmatch hitters. There are days like yesterday where he could have had plenty of success against Major Leaguers.

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    OnBaseMachine (05-31-2013), RedEye (06-06-2013)

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    Re: How good can Robert Stephenson be?

    He is #2 on the BA Hot Sheet this week.
    http://ht.ly/lAuu6

    The Scoop: There’s nothing wrong with a pitcher learning how to manipulate the baseball, but sometimes it can go a little to far. Stephenson spent some of his early-season starts working on his two-seam fastball as he tried to baffle hitters with movement. Six starts into the season he was living with a 5.79 ERA and the realization that he needed to go back to what he does best, blowing away hitters with his 94-97 mph four-seam fastball. In reality, not many hitters can catch up with Stephenson’s best stuff, even if it’s somewhat straight, especially when it’s paired with a changeup and curveball that are both average or better. Since going back to the high-octane approach, Stephenson has given up four runs in five starts, striking out 42 and walking four over 31 2/3 innings.

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    Re: How good can Robert Stephenson be?

    I'd say his ceiling is unlimited. The only question is whether he comes anywhere close to his ceiling, if he washes out like thousands of pitching prospects that have preceded him, or if he lands somewhere in the middle. The safe bet is somewhere in the middle.

  9. #6
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    Re: How good can Robert Stephenson be?

    Verlander? I don't know if his changeup is as good yet, but the high 90's fastball and hard, power curve certainly looked familiar last night.

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    Re: How good can Robert Stephenson be?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    I have said that Stephenson is the best right handed arm to come through the system in my lifetime. I fully believe that. When he is on his game, the guy can throw three pitches for strikes in the strikezone and just overmatch hitters. There are days like yesterday where he could have had plenty of success against Major Leaguers.
    I'm here with you. Not to overstate things, because it is going to sound like it, buy it was asked in the spring by BP or BA, what other pitchers could come up to the big leagues like Jose Fernandez and have some success at the age of 20. My first thought was a Stephenson type. He has great stuff, and great confidence, but not cocky at all (not saying that would help or hurt, just throwing that in).

    When he's on the mound, I get a sense that he thinks every hitter is relatively weak, and that he will dominate him. I like that. Cingrani has a similar approach (my stuff is better than your hitting ability type of mentality).

    I think he has ace potential (keyword is potential. There is a lot of time between now and when he reaches the potential).

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    Re: How good can Robert Stephenson be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Superdude View Post
    Verlander? I don't know if his changeup is as good yet, but the high 90's fastball and hard, power curve certainly looked familiar last night.
    That's who I was thinking of too. Not to say he will be Verlander, and he has a lot of work to do before he's on his level, but I do think that is his ceiling.

    What does redsof72 think? Best Reds pitching prospect since...?

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    Re: How good can Robert Stephenson be?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    I have said that Stephenson is the best right handed arm to come through the system in my lifetime. I fully believe that. When he is on his game, the guy can throw three pitches for strikes in the strikezone and just overmatch hitters. There are days like yesterday where he could have had plenty of success against Major Leaguers.
    You follow the Reds minor league system much more closely than I do, but I agree completely. I got a chance to see Homer Bailey in Dayton and thought he had a special arm but I've been even more impressed with what I've seen from Stephenson. He's got a long way to go but it's hard not be be excited about what his future may hold.

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    Re: How good can Robert Stephenson be?

    Has anybody seen him pitch and if so can they qualify this statement from the BA writeup:

    "In reality, not many hitters can catch up with Stephensonís best stuff, even if itís somewhat straight"

    Is his stuff actually somewhat straight or is the a play on words in the context of him trying to get more movement?

    By the way, just for kicks, here is his last 5 starts

    4-0
    1.15 Era
    4.61 H/9
    1.15 BB/9
    12.11 K/9
    10.5 K/BB

  14. #11
    ZCTRMTP!!!!! texasdave's Avatar
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    Re: How good can Robert Stephenson be?

    "I knew that I could beat any of those hitters tonight," the 6-foot-2 right-hander said. "Once I gave up the hit, I was a little bummed. I was disappointed, but there was nothing I could do about it."

    Stephenson has a powerful four-seam fastball, as well as an impressive curveball and a changeup. His secondary pitches came in handy against South Bend. The 20-year-old estimated he threw about 25 percent curves -- which he labeled his "out pitch" for the evening -- and 15 percent changeups.
    http://www.milb.com/news/article.jsp..._milb&sid=milb
    A summer watching a bad Reds' team, is still a pretty good summer.

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    Re: How good can Robert Stephenson be?

    So here's another conversation I think with visiting; is there any chance, even remotely, that this guy could make the team at any point next year? I'm guessing he will be in AA at the very least by then?
    They don't think it be like it is, but it do.
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Schuler View Post
    He has also taught me that even when the Reds win it is important to focus on the fact that they could have lost.

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    Re: How good can Robert Stephenson be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wonderful Monds View Post
    So here's another conversation I think with visiting; is there any chance, even remotely, that this guy could make the team at any point next year? I'm guessing he will be in AA at the very least by then?
    That would be awesome to see him throwing 100+ in a bullpen role in September and October.

  18. #14
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    Re: How good can Robert Stephenson be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wonderful Monds View Post
    So here's another conversation I think with visiting; is there any chance, even remotely, that this guy could make the team at any point next year? I'm guessing he will be in AA at the very least by then?
    I can't see a scenario where he leapfrogs (assuming Cingrani is in the rotation) 2 or more of Corcino, Villareal, Reineke, and Reynolds/Galarraga if they're back.
    In other words, it would take a lot of injuries.
    I may not be fast, but I sure am slow.

  19. #15
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    Re: How good can Robert Stephenson be?

    Quote Originally Posted by OGB View Post
    I can't see a scenario where he leapfrogs (assuming Cingrani is in the rotation) 2 or more of Corcino, Villareal, Reineke, and Reynolds/Galarraga if they're back.
    In other words, it would take a lot of injuries.
    Honestly, if he's getting results, why not? That's more of a "is he ready for the majors" question than a "could he fill in for an injury" one, the way I meant it.
    They don't think it be like it is, but it do.
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Schuler View Post
    He has also taught me that even when the Reds win it is important to focus on the fact that they could have lost.


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