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Thread: Is Homer Bailey the Reds' best pitching prospect in 20 years?

  1. #1
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    Is Homer Bailey the Reds' best pitching prospect in 20 years?

    The competition is admittedly pretty thin, but who else even comes to mind as anywhere close to this good and highly touted. I remember John Roper was a big prospect coming up in the early to mid-nineties, but that's about it.

    Ryan Wagner?
    CJ Nitkowski?
    Pat Pacillo?
    Chris Gruler?
    Ty Howington?
    Ricardo Aramboles?

    I guess the answer to my question is, absolutely!

    I guess the next question is, Is Homer Bailey a top 10 prospect in baseball?

    Not to base too much off of one outing, but given his performance last night, I don't see how you could disagree with someone making that argument. He's young (20 yrs old), he has multiple plus pitches, he has good size and has achieved strong success at every professional level thus far, and his fastball hits 98 after 90+ pitches in a game, what else could you want from a guy?
    Last edited by Benihana; 06-23-2006 at 03:46 PM.
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    Re: Is Homer Bailey the Reds' best pitching prospect in 20 years?

    Quote Originally Posted by Benihana
    The competition is admittedly pretty thin, but who else even comes to mind as anywhere close to this good and highly touted.
    Unless Homer is lights-out for the rest of the year, I'd say Ty Howington was probably more highly regarded after his breakout 2001 season.

    First, Howington was the rarest of breeds ... a big strapping lefty with a plus fastball and two late-breaking offspeed pitches (curve, changeup) that had plus potential.

    Second, Howington's 'age 20' season was MUCH better than anything Bailey has done this year. Howington started the season in the Midwest League (Dayton) and posted a ridiculous 1.15 ERA and 10.9 K/9IP in 6 starts. He was then promoted to the California League (Mudville) and posted an outstanding 2.43 ERA and 10.7 K/9IP in 7 starts. To top it all off he was promoted AGAIN, this time to the Southern League (Chattanooga), where he posted a solid 3.27 ERA and 8.3 K/9IP in 7 starts.

    Without the benefit of hindsight, Homer has his work cut out for him to surpass the level Howington reached in the spring of 2002.
    Last edited by Steve4192; 06-23-2006 at 04:47 PM.

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    Re: Is Homer Bailey the Reds' best pitching prospect in 20 years?

    Quote Originally Posted by Benihana
    I guess the next question is, Is Homer Bailey a top 10 prospect in baseball?
    At this point ... no.

    He needs to rip up the Southern League for the next 10 weeks to even be considered for the top 10. Even then, most top 10 lists only include 3 or 4 pitchers, and I doubt Homer would have done enough to vault himself over all but 2 or 3 other minor league pitching prospects.

  5. #4
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Is Homer Bailey the Reds' best pitching prospect in 20 years?

    Homer has probably put himself in the top 20 right now. If he continues to pitch well, 10-15 is not out of the question.

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    Re: Is Homer Bailey the Reds' best pitching prospect in 20 years?

    Second, Howington's 'age 20' season was MUCH better than anything Bailey has done this year. Howington started the season in the Midwest League (Dayton) and posted a ridiculous 1.15 ERA and 10.9 K/9IP in 6 starts. He was then promoted to the California League (Mudville) and posted an outstanding 2.43 ERA and 10.7 K/9IP in 7 starts. To top it all off he was promoted AGAIN, this time to the Southern League (Chattanooga), where he posted a solid 3.27 ERA and 8.3 K/9IP in 7 starts.
    Good perspective on just how good a prospect Ty Howington appeared to be for a short time. However, I think there are some important differences between the two prospects, using Homer now vs Howington 1999-2001.

    First, there were some early whispers that Howington's curve would not be usable at the major league level because it was too slow. I believe it was in the 60s. Apparently, Homer's is mid 70s. Secondly, there was talk from the outset of Howington's arrival in the system that he had mechanical issues. By contrast, Homer is considered mechanically sound. Finally, there is the matter of "buzz." Bailey has been highly touted by the major league manager, Mario Soto, and the likes of Baseball America. Howington was something of a BA darling, but not to the extent Homer is, and he certainly never had the Reds manager calling for his immediate promotion to the majors. Put what stock you want in this "soft scouting" phenomena that surrounds a prospect -- for me, it merits consideration when trying to figure out just how good the kid has a chance to be. Is it pure hype, or informed optimism? My assessment in Bailey's case is that enough people are saying the same kind of stuff that it isn't an accident.

    So, I do think Homer has the highest ceiling of any pitching prospect the Reds have had in a long time (and I've been following the minor league system for 20+ years). Other guys have had better numbers, for sure, but I think he's got the best combination of talent, performance and projection that's come through in decades.

    Of course, there's no guarantee he'll make it, but I feel certain that only a serious arm injury could keep him from having at least a solid career. There's a good chance he'll have some arm issues along the way because most pitchers do -- you just hope the shoulder stays intact.
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

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    Re: Is Homer Bailey the Reds' best pitching prospect in 20 years?

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainHook
    Unless Homer is lights-out for the rest of the year, I'd say Ty Howington was probably more highly regarded after his breakout 2001 season.

    First, Howington was the rarest of breeds ... a big strapping lefty with a plus fastball and two late-breaking offspeed pitches (curve, changeup) that had plus potential.

    Second, Howington's 'age 20' season was MUCH better than anything Bailey has done this year. Howington started the season in the Midwest League (Dayton) and posted a ridiculous 1.15 ERA and 10.9 K/9IP in 6 starts. He was then promoted to the California League (Mudville) and posted an outstanding 2.43 ERA and 10.7 K/9IP in 7 starts. To top it all off he was promoted AGAIN, this time to the Southern League (Chattanooga), where he posted a solid 3.27 ERA and 8.3 K/9IP in 7 starts.

    Without the benefit of hindsight, Homer has his work cut out for him to surpass the level Howington reached in the spring of 2002.
    Howington had better ERA numbers than Bailey at this age, but the Strikeouts lean to Bailey just by a slim margin. Bailey is showing better hit rates, way better walk rates and his WHIP is now currently at 0.99, Howington as a 20 year old had WHIPS of 1.43 and 1.45 in A+ and AA. Bailey had one of 1.00 while in A+ and improved it slightly last night. I really think Bailey is a better prospect than Howington, whether he will rate higher, I do not know. I do know that Bailey has improved his stock enough that he has jumped into the top 20 in the eyes of some of the places who make these prospect lists.

  8. #7
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    Re: Is Homer Bailey the Reds' best pitching prospect in 20 years?

    If Homer pitches well in AA, he will be up here in September, IMO. Now if he should or not is another story.
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    Re: Is Homer Bailey the Reds' best pitching prospect in 20 years?

    Wasn't Jack Armstrong pretty highly touted?
    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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    Re: Is Homer Bailey the Reds' best pitching prospect in 20 years?

    Don't forget Mo Sanford.

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    Re: Is Homer Bailey the Reds' best pitching prospect in 20 years?

    What happened to Ty Howington?
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
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    Re: Is Homer Bailey the Reds' best pitching prospect in 20 years?

    Quote Originally Posted by WilyMoROCKS
    What happened to Ty Howington?
    He was released by the Reds and signed by an Independence League team, who then released him a few weeks later after a subpar performance.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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    Re: Is Homer Bailey the Reds' best pitching prospect in 20 years?

    I believe once upon a time that Ty Howington was the 2nd ranked prospects in the majors, only behind Brian Anderson aka "The Little Unit." Ofcourse, neither reached the majors due to injuries, so it goes to show you being highly ranked on BA's prospect list isn't a guarantee for success.
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  14. #13
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    Re: Is Homer Bailey the Reds' best pitching prospect in 20 years?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oxilon
    I believe once upon a time that Ty Howington was the 2nd ranked prospects in the majors, only behind Brian Anderson aka "The Little Unit." Ofcourse, neither reached the majors due to injuries, so it goes to show you being highly ranked on BA's prospect list isn't a guarantee for success.
    The highest Ty Howington ever made BA top 100 list waas #25. He also only made the list one time.

  15. #14
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    Re: Is Homer Bailey the Reds' best pitching prospect in 20 years?

    Where can I go (besides games, because that won't be happening anytime soon) to find information on minor leaguers? This seems to be something that would be more my cup of tea, trying to project players.

  16. #15
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    Re: Is Homer Bailey the Reds' best pitching prospect in 20 years?

    Hm, I must have been mistaken, although I could've sworn he was rated higher than #25. Either way, BA isn't 100% fullproof with their lists.
    That hit was plenty fair. Atleast by a quarter of an inch.
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