Homer Bailey Ė SP Ė Cincinnati Reds Ė 20 (A+)
Level IP ERA H/9 K/9 BB/9 HR/9 G/F
A- 103.2 4.43 7.73 10.85 5.38 0.43 1.06
A year later, Iím still confused that the Brewers drafted Mark Rogers before Bailey. There had been a consensus among scouts that Bailey had better stuff, poise and control. This season, as many expected, Rogers struggled mightily, walking 70 in 98.2 innings.
What we didnít see coming, however, was control problems for Bailey. The Texan right-hander had been praised for his control in high school, as he walked less than 20 hitters during his senior season. However, this year he walked 62 batters in 103.2 innings. Furthermore, only six times Bailey gave up less than two walks. His presence on this list is predicated on the belief that with more experience and maturity, Homerís control will improve.
Even if there is not a significant improvement in control, Bailey could become a dominant reliever. His two-pitch combination ranks among the best in the minor leagues. He also gives up very few home runs--just 5 all season. In fact, in his last 12 appearances (spanning 45 innings), Bailey did not allow a single long ball. If control prevents a future in starting, you can bet he is the closer of the Reds future.
However, itís way too early to begin giving up on the notion of Bailey as a starter. At times, he can be dominant, and may have just reacted negatively to being coddled in 2005. The Reds will likely give Bailey a little more room to grow in 2006, and as a result, he should start to blossom.