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Thread: Looking back on the 2003 draft and the Ryan Wagner selection

  1. #1
    Maple SERP savafan's Avatar
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    Looking back on the 2003 draft and the Ryan Wagner selection

    It bothered me at the time the Reds took Wagner in the first round of the 2003 draft that they had selected a relief pitcher with the 14th overall pick. I had heard all about how good his stuff was, and that he had closer potential, but this was the team that always seemed to find good closers easily with guys like Brantley, Shaw, the Williamson/Graves two headed monster. At the time, it just seemed like closers were easy to find, and that you shouldn't spend a first round draft pick on one. I had heard there was a brief moment where they considered making Wagner a starter, but that it didn't last very long.

    Now, three years later, with nothing really left to learn, Wagner is down at Louisville, and the Reds bullpen is perhaps more of a question than the starting rotation. I decided to go back and look at some of the guys the Reds passed over for Wagner.


    15th pick in the first round: Brian Anderson, Centerfielder, White Sox

    18th pick in the first round: Brad Snyder, Outfielder, Indians

    19th pick in the first round: Conor Jackson, Thirdbase/Firstbase, Diamondbacks

    20th pick in the first round: Chad Cordero, Relief Pitcher, Nationals

    23rd pick in the first round: Brandon Wood, Shortstop, Angels

    24th pick in the first round: Chad Billingsley, Starting Pitcher, Dodgers

    32nd overall pick: Matt Murton, Outfielder, by Boston, now with the Cubs

    With the 14th pick in the second round, the Reds took Thomas Pauly

    21st pick in the second round: Scott Baker, Pitcher, Twins

    24th pick in the second round: Chuck Tiffany, Pitcher, Dodgers

    7th pick in the third round: Chris Ray, Pitcher, Orioles

    The Reds took Jose Ronda at #14 in the third round

    At #14 in the fourth round, they picked Kenny Lewis, who is now pursuing football

    17th pick in the fourth round: Jonathon Papelbon, Pitcher, Red Sox

    1st pick in the thirteenth round: Chad Orvella, Pitcher, Tampa Bay

    28th pick in the fifteenth round: Anthony Reyes, Pitcher, Cardinals

    9th pick in the seventeenth round: Ian Kinsler, Shortstop, Rangers


    I realize the baseball draft is a crapshoot more than in any other sport, but a lot of these other guys would look really nice in the Reds organization right now.
    My dad got to enjoy 3 Reds World Championships by the time he was my age. So far, I've only gotten to enjoy one. Step it up Redlegs!

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  3. #2
    Worst Behavior. reds44's Avatar
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    Re: Looking back on the 2003 draft and the Ryan Wagner selection

    Wagner could have ended up differently (he still can) if we wouldn't have called him up a week (yes exaggeration) after we drafted him,
    Quote Originally Posted by PuffyPig View Post
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    Maple SERP savafan's Avatar
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    Re: Looking back on the 2003 draft and the Ryan Wagner selection

    I still hold out hope that Wagner can be valuable for the Reds, but you don't want to use your first round, 14th overall pick on a middle reliever.

    He was lights out though when he first came up in '03.

    Here are his K/9 for every level from college through last year.

    College 2002: 13.4
    College 2003: 16.79
    AA 2003: 10.8
    AAA 2003: 9.00
    Majors 2003: 10.38
    AAA 2004: 10.26
    Majors 2004: 6.45
    Majors 2005: 7.69
    My dad got to enjoy 3 Reds World Championships by the time he was my age. So far, I've only gotten to enjoy one. Step it up Redlegs!

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    Re: Looking back on the 2003 draft and the Ryan Wagner selection

    http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/...75/1002/SPORTS

    By Brian Bennett
    bbennett@courier-journal.com
    The Courier-Journal

    Ryan Wagner looked like a sure-fire star when the Cincinnati Reds drafted him in the first round in 2003.

    The right-hander rocketed his way to the major leagues just months after the draft, posting a 1.66 ERA for the Reds in 17 appearances. Future closer, many said.

    So, three years later, just what the heck is Wagner doing back in the minor leagues with the Louisville Bats?

    The 23-year-old was the last pitcher cut by the Reds in spring training, despite finishing camp with 12 scoreless innings. Cincinnati officials want him to work on his command and pitch selection.

    "He has very good stuff," Bats manager Rick Sweet said. "He just needs to throw more strikes. That's the problem."

    Wagner is baffled by the criticism.

    "I don't understand that, because I never had a problem with walking guys or anything like that," he said. "I'm just going to continue pumping strikes and getting guys out."

    After going 3-2 with a 4.70 ERA in 2004, Wagner struggled to a 6.11 ERA last season with the Reds. He said he pitched hurt until he was diagnosed with shoulder inflammation. He shut it down for good July 15.

    The knock on him is that he relied too heavily on his slider. The pitch can be devastating, but hitters were ready for it and let the pitch sail out of the strike zone. Wagner said he's now focusing on using his fastball more to set up the slider. He also began throwing a changeup this season to keep hitters even more off-balance.

    It's working so far with the Bats, where Wagner has a 3.60 ERA with seven strikeouts in five innings.
    My dad got to enjoy 3 Reds World Championships by the time he was my age. So far, I've only gotten to enjoy one. Step it up Redlegs!

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    Re: Looking back on the 2003 draft and the Ryan Wagner selection

    No more pitch to contact.
    Visit your local Psychiatrist, There may not be bugs crawling on you.

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    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Looking back on the 2003 draft and the Ryan Wagner selection

    Wagner's been the victim of ferocious mismanagement. He got rushed to the show and then the team tried to remake him in the majors.

    My guess is he'll be dealt this year and turn out to be a mini-coup for the trade that trades for him.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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    Pre-tty, pre-tty good!! MWM's Avatar
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    Re: Looking back on the 2003 draft and the Ryan Wagner selection

    Quote Originally Posted by M2
    Wagner's been the victim of ferocious mismanagement. He got rushed to the show and then the team tried to remake him in the majors.

    My guess is he'll be dealt this year and turn out to be a mini-coup for the trade that trades for him.
    That's what I was thinking. He's a guy in serious need of a good pitching instruction. Once he gets it, he'll be nasty again.
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    Titanic Struggles Caveat Emperor's Avatar
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    Re: Looking back on the 2003 draft and the Ryan Wagner selection

    Quote Originally Posted by M2
    Wagner's been the victim of ferocious mismanagement. He got rushed to the show and then the team tried to remake him in the majors.

    My guess is he'll be dealt this year and turn out to be a mini-coup for the trade that trades for him.
    Still no explanation, however, for his run-in with the Mysterious Velocity-Eating Monster™ that struck the entire staff c2004-2005.

    He was a flamethrower when he came up out of college, touching 93-95 on the gun with his fastball. Last year I didn't see him top 91 the entire season. He was devestating when he was working in the mid-90s -- pedestrian when working in the lower end.
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    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Looking back on the 2003 draft and the Ryan Wagner selection

    I blame some of that on coaching.

    "Throw slower and nibble on the corners!"

    Go Gators!

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    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
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    Re: Looking back on the 2003 draft and the Ryan Wagner selection

    The really stupid picks were Ronda and Lewis, not Wagner or Pauly.
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    Re: Looking back on the 2003 draft and the Ryan Wagner selection

    I think Wagner's going to need a lot more than just pitching instruction; he's going to need crates of Zoloft.

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    Charlie Brown All-Star IslandRed's Avatar
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    Re: Looking back on the 2003 draft and the Ryan Wagner selection

    Now, three years later, with nothing really left to learn, Wagner is down at Louisville
    "I don't understand that, because I never had a problem with walking guys or anything like that," he said.
    Wagner does have things to learn after 4.70 and 6.11 ERAs the last two years, and one of them is that a BB/9 of around four is too high. I get people's dissatisfaction with the current bullpen, but Wagner did need some straightening out and his development is not being ill-served by doing it in Louisville.
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  14. #13
    Puffy's Daddy Red Leader's Avatar
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    Re: Looking back on the 2003 draft and the Ryan Wagner selection

    Drafting Wagner in the 1st round was one of the dumbest things I've seen. The 14th pick and they choose a player that could help them soon (which they needed to do, I do agree there). The problems is, they rushed him to the majors to defend their pick, and it hurt Wagner big time.
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    Maple SERP savafan's Avatar
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    Re: Looking back on the 2003 draft and the Ryan Wagner selection

    Quote Originally Posted by IslandRed
    Wagner does have things to learn after 4.70 and 6.11 ERAs the last two years, and one of them is that a BB/9 of around four is too high. I get people's dissatisfaction with the current bullpen, but Wagner did need some straightening out and his development is not being ill-served by doing it in Louisville.
    I've got to agree with Hobo here, that the pitch to contact philosophy has to be what hurt Wagner that much.
    My dad got to enjoy 3 Reds World Championships by the time he was my age. So far, I've only gotten to enjoy one. Step it up Redlegs!

  16. #15
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Looking back on the 2003 draft and the Ryan Wagner selection

    I'm on the velocity is his problem bandwagon. When you have a 95 mph fastball, people can't afford to sit on the slider. If they're looking slider and that fastball comes, there's no way to catch up to it. Thus, they have to either guess, or sit on the fastball -- which leaves them susceptible to his slider.

    However, if it's only 90 mph, they can just sit on the slider and still turn on the fastball if it comes. He either needs to get back up in the mid-90's, or learn to better locate his stuff. Hopefully it was just the tendonitis that was robbbing him of his velocity.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.


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