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Thread: New owners, new GM, new philosophy(interest in Hochevar?)

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    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    New owners, new GM, new philosophy(interest in Hochevar?)

    New owners, new GM, new philosophy
    Organization unafraid of big commitment up front
    BY JOHN FAY | ENQUIRER STAFF WRITER

    HOUSTON - Right-hander Luke Hochevar probably has the best stuff in Tuesday's draft.

    But he already has turned down $2.98 million. He has switched agents twice from Scott Boras to Matt Sosnick back to Boras.

    Hochevar is pitching for the Fort Worth Cats of the independent American Association after failing to reach an agreement with the Los Angeles Dodgers by the May 31 deadline.

    That put him back in this year's draft.

    Here's the shocker: He is still on the Reds' draft board.

    "We're still investigating his situation," said Chris Buckley, the Reds' senior director of scouting. "We think he might be gone by the time we pick."

    But, if he's there when the Reds pick eighth, they might select him.

    That the Reds are even considering him is more evidence that the club has changed the way it does business under CEO Bob Castellini and general manager Wayne Krivsky.

    The Reds shied away from Boras clients in recent years. Signability ran alongside talent when rating the draft.

    The philosophy now?

    "We're going for the best guy," Buckley said.

    Signability remains a factor. But the Reds aren't dismissing players simply because they are clients of Boras.

    But there is no use drafting Hochevar if you have no chance of signing him. Players - most notably brothers J.D. and Stephen Drew - have played independent ball rather than sign deals they didn't like.

    "All teams look at signability," Buckley said. "Even the Yankees have a cap on what they'll spend. It plays a role."

    The decision on who to pick will be Buckley's. Krivsky will be involved.

    "But I'm not going to tell them who to pick," Krivsky said. "(The scouts) have been working on this since mid-January."

    If the Reds should pick Hochevar, Buckley said Krivsky and Castellini would be involved because it likely would involve a big-league contract.

    Hochevar, 22, throws up to 97 mph. He has a good slider to go with a curveball and a changeup. He won 15 games for Tennessee last year. In his last start with Fort Worth, he was consistently throwing 94 and 95 mph.

    He projects to be in the big leagues quickly. If Castellini thinks Hochevar can help the Reds quickly, he could be convinced to sign him to a big league contract.

    You can make a pretty strong case that $4 million to $5 million invested in 22-year-old who was successful in college is better than investing $2 million in a high school player who is four years - at least - from helping the big-league club. See Ty Howington and Chris Gruler for evidence.

    The Reds' one foray in giving draft picks a big-league contract didn't turn out too well. But David Espinosa was a high school player, and the Reds knew Dane Sandinha's bat was a long way from the major leagues when they did that.

    It should be noted that the Cardinals, the team Castellini last was associated with, was the team that ultimately selected and signed J.D. Drew.

    Again, Buckley said Friday that Hochevar probably would not last until the eighth pick.

    "Things will start to take shape over the next 48 to 72 hours," he said.

    Baseball America, the draft bible, has Hochevar going fifth to Seattle.

    BA has the Reds taking Brandon Morrow, a junior right-hander from Cal. The magazine speculates the Reds would draft Drew Stubbs, a University of Texas outfielder, if he's still on the board.

    Buckley acknowledges the Reds have interest in both.

    "The thing about picking eighth is you can't be sure what's going to happen above you," he said. "It's not like picking third or fourth."

    Buckley came to the Reds from the Toronto Blue Jays. Expect a mix of college and high school players to be picked.

    "A guy I worked for in Toronto used to say it's like an investment portfolio," Buckley said. "You want a mix of stocks and bonds. If you go too heavily one way, you get in trouble."

    So the question is, will the Reds go for a big investment up front in hopes of a quick return?

    We'll find out Tuesday.

    E-mail jfay@enquirer.com

    THE LIST

    The Reds will draft someone with the eighth pick in the Tuesday's amateur free agent draft and proceed to make him a rich young man. As the club's record indicates, being a first-round pick is no guarantee for success. The Reds did their best work in the draft's early years. Here's a look at the team's first-round picks through the years:

    1965

    Bernie Carbo (No. 16 overall) 3B: Best draft because a guy named Bench was picked in the second round.

    1966

    Gary Nolan (13) RHP: Nolan had a good career (110-70, 3.58 ERA). Would have had a great career if not for injuries.

    1967

    Wayne Simpson (8) RHP: Went 14-3 with a 3.02 ERA in '70. Injuries kept him from lasting greatness.

    1968

    Tim Grant (13) RHP: Did not make the majors (DNMTM).

    1969

    Don Gullett (14) LHP: Possibly best No. 1 pick for Reds. Was in the big leagues at 19. Key member of two World Series championship teams. Headed to the Hall of Fame when injuries ended his career at 27.

    1970

    Gary Polcynski (15) SS: DNMTM.

    1971

    Mike Miley (24) SS: Did not sign. Picked in the first round by California in '74. Played 84 games with the Angels.

    1972

    Larry Payne (7) RHP: DNMTM.

    1973

    Brad Kessler (22) OF: DNMTM.

    1974

    Steve Reed (23) RHP: DNMTM.

    1975

    Tony Moretto (22) OF: DNMTM.

    1976

    Mark King (23) RHP: DNMTM.

    1977

    Tad Vegner (24) 3B: DNMTM.

    1978

    Nick Esasky (17) OF: Broke the streak of DNMTM at six. Hit 122 homers in his career.

    1979

    Dan LaMar (20) C: DNMTM.

    1980

    Ron Robinson (19) RHP: Decent big-leaguer (49-37). One of the all-time great nicknames: The True Creature.

    1981

    No first-round pick.

    1982

    Scott Jones (22) LHP: DNMTM.

    1983

    Kurt Stillwell (2) SS: Good glove. Didn't hit enough for such a high pick.

    1984

    Pat Pacillo (5) RHP: Pitched in a total of 18 games for the Reds before being traded to Montreal.

    1985

    Barry Larkin (4) SS: If Gullett isn't the best first-round pick by the Reds, Larkin is.

    1986

    Scott Scudder (17) RHP: Was part of the 1990 World Series team. Career ended at 25.

    1987

    Jack Armstrong (18) RHP: His great first half was key to the wire-to-wire title in '90. Went 12-9 that year. Never had another winning season. Wonder if he's working on a tuna boat now?

    1988

    No first-round pick.

    1989

    Scott Bryant (20) OF: DNMTM.

    1990

    Dan Wilson (7) C: Good pick. He was key to the trade that got Bret Boone from Seattle.

    1991

    Pokey Reese (20) SS: He could pick it with the best of them, just didn't hit enough.

    1992

    Chad Mottola (5) OF: Picked him over Derek Jeter. Enough said. Playing in Triple-A with Syracuse.

    1993

    No first-round pick.

    1994

    C.J. Nitkowski (9) LPH: Has played 10 years in majors, despite a 5.37 ERA. Was key to getting David Wells for the 1995 stretch run. Still pitching in Triple-A.

    1995

    No first-round pick. Got Brett Tomko in the second round, however.

    1996

    John Oliver (25) OF: DNMTM.

    1997

    Brandon Larson (14) 3B: Was called "a Robin Ventura with more speed" on draft day. He wasn't that.

    1998

    Austin Kearns (7) OF: Also got Adam Dunn and Todd Coffey in this draft. Not bad at all.

    1999

    Ty Howington (14) LHP: Was recently released by an independent league team in Nebraska. Have to wonder what he would have been if he had stayed healthy.

    2000

    David Espinosa (23) SS: Signing him to big-league deal was called "groundbreaking." It was groundbreaking for foolishness.

    2001

    Jeremy Sowers (20) LPH: Did not sign.

    2002

    Chris Gruler (3) RHP: Trying to get off the Ty Howington career path.

    2003

    Ryan Wagner (14) RHP: Still struggling at Triple-A.

    2004

    Homer Bailey (7) RHP: Great stuff. Needs to start putting up numbers.

    2005

    Jay Bruce (12) OF: Has looked like the real deal so far.

    MINOR MATTERS

    It's only low-A ball, but four starting pitchers at Dayton have put up great numbers so far:

    Player, Age Rec ERA
    RH Johnny Cueto, 20 5-1 2.72
    RH Carlos Fisher, 23 4-3 2.97
    RH Zach Ward, 22 3-0 3.66
    LH Travis Wood, 19 5-0 3.38

    http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.d...606040406/1071
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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    On the brink wolfboy's Avatar
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    Re: New owners, new GM, new philosophy(interest in Hochevar?)

    I'm not the most knowledgeable on the draft, but I would be very happy if this guy was still there and the Reds took him. It's great to see that signability isn't something that we have to worry about with the new ownership. If they could get Loo signed and Hochevar drafted in the first round, it could be a very successful draft.
    How do we know he's not Mel Torme?

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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: New owners, new GM, new philosophy(interest in Hochevar?)

    I would be very excited if The Reds could land Hochevar. I took him in the Redszone Mock Draft at #4 overall. I think he is the 3rd or 4th best pitcher in the draft right now, and he did play college or pro baseball after last years draft. I dont think he will fall to #8 though.

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    Re: New owners, new GM, new philosophy(interest in Hochevar?)

    The only way I him getting to the Reds is if Miller goes number 1, and Seattle wants the hometown guy in Lincecum, and even then it might be doubtful with the Tigers there. I wonder though if the experience with Townsend has scared any teams off, or if this is just a poor enough draft they don't care.

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    Score Early, Score Often gonelong's Avatar
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    Re: New owners, new GM, new philosophy(interest in Hochevar?)

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine

    John Fay:

    You can make a pretty strong case that $4 million to $5 million invested in 22-year-old who was successful in college is better than investing $2 million in a high school player who is four years - at least - from helping the big-league club. See Ty Howington and Chris Gruler for evidence.
    Holy crap!! John Fay, stepping into the light. Welcome John.

    GL

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    Smells Like Teen Spirit jmcclain19's Avatar
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    Re: New owners, new GM, new philosophy(interest in Hochevar?)

    I'm willing to make a large bet that Bill Bavasi & Bob Fontaine don't let Hochevar slide by them at #5 overall. Way too desperate and the Mariners have cash to burn.

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    Re: New owners, new GM, new philosophy(interest in Hochevar?)

    Could be Seattle as I have read somewhere that they are cooling on Linecum which may mean the REDS get Linecum.

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    Member Red Heeler's Avatar
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    Re: New owners, new GM, new philosophy(interest in Hochevar?)

    If you can get Hochevar to sign quickly, he is probably the pick of the litter this year. OTOH, even if he does say that he will sign right away for $x,xxx,xxx given his history, how would you know he is telling the truth?

    For a team with some depth to their system, he would be a great pick. Offer him what he originally agreed to last year and say take it or go back to play with Matt Harrington.

    The Reds need too much of a talent infusion to employ this strategy. They need good players, and they need them now. If they are willing to sign him whatever the cost, then it isn't a bad choice. If they draft him believing they have the leverage to lowball him, they might end up punting another high draft pick. That is simply not acceptable.

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    Vavasor TRF's Avatar
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    Re: New owners, new GM, new philosophy(interest in Hochevar?)

    This thread got me thinking about Harrington, so I checked his stats on the Cats website:
    Code:
    PITCHER               W-L    ERA    G GS CG SHO SV  IP     H   R  ER HR HB  BB  SO WP   AVG
    Harrington, Matt      0- 0   1.32   8  0  0   0  0  13.2   7   2   2  1  0   5  16  0  .156
    Now, I wouldn't draft him, but I'd offer him a contract and plop him in either Sarasota or Chatt. Low risk, high reward.
    Suck it up cupcake.

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    Member Red Heeler's Avatar
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    Re: New owners, new GM, new philosophy(interest in Hochevar?)

    Quote Originally Posted by TRF
    This thread got me thinking about Harrington, so I checked his stats on the Cats website:
    Code:
    PITCHER               W-L    ERA    G GS CG SHO SV  IP     H   R  ER HR HB  BB  SO WP   AVG
    Harrington, Matt      0- 0   1.32   8  0  0   0  0  13.2   7   2   2  1  0   5  16  0  .156
    Now, I wouldn't draft him, but I'd offer him a contract and plop him in either Sarasota or Chatt. Low risk, high reward.
    The Reds did draft Harrington in the Mr. Irrelevant rounds of the draft a year or two ago. I read somewhere that he is only hitting about 85 on the radar gun these days. OTOH, if he's willing to come play for Indy league or a little better salary, a team with a thin system might as well give him a chance.


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