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Thread: How to build your pitching from the ground up

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    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    How to build your pitching from the ground up

    OK...this is probably becoming a tired topic for some as I am starting to get tired talking about it. But since BA just finished their Top 10 Prospects for all AL teams, I wanted to share something with the board.

    Take a look at the top pitching prospects for each team:

    Orioles: #2 Erbe (3rd round), #4 Beato (1st supp), #5 Liz (int FA), #6 Olson (1st supp), #8 Hoey (13th)

    Red Sox: #2 Buchholz (1st supp), #3 Bowden (1st supp), #4 Bard (1st), #7 Cox (3rd), #8 Hansen (1st), #9 Johnson (1st)

    NYY: #1 Hughes (1st), #3 Bellances (8th, but dropped b/c of contract demands - 1st round talent), #4 Chamberlain (1st supp), #5 Kennedy (1st), #6 Garcia (3rd), #7 Clippard (9th), #8 Cox (2nd), #9 Melancon (9th, but dropped due to injury concerns)

    Tampa: #4 Neimann (1st), #5 McGee (5th), #7 Davis (3rd), #8 Walker (10th), #9 Hellickson (4th)

    Toronto: #3 Romero (1st), #6 Rosario (int FA), #7 Magee (4th), #8 Litsch (24th - draft and follow), #9 Purcey (1st)

    CWS: #3 Broadway (1st), #4 McCullough (1st), #5 Haeger (25th, but jumped up in prospect rankings due to switch to knuckleball), #7 Russell (6th), #8 Harrell (4th), #9 Long (2nd)

    Cleveland: #1 Miller (1st supp), #2 Lofgren (4th), #4 Sipp (45th), #7 Lewis (3rd), #10 Huff (1st supp)

    Detroit #2 Miller (1st), #4 Jurrjens (int FA), #5 Tata (16th), #6 de la Cruz (int FA), #8 Trahern (34th)

    KC: #2 Hochevar (1st), #5 Lumsden (1st), #6 Cordier (2nd), #9 Buckner (2nd), #10 Fisher (7th)

    Minny: #1 Garza (1st), #2 Perkins (1st), #3 Slowey (2nd), #5 Swarzak (2nd), #6 Neshek (6th), #10 Durbin (2nd)

    LAA: #2 Adenhart (14th, but dropped due to TJ surgery), #4 Jung (int FA), #5 Marek (40th - draft and follow), #9 O'Sullivan, (3rd - draft and follow), #10 Mendoza (4th)

    Oakland: #7 Windsor (3rd), #8 McBeth (4th), #10 Cahill (2nd)

    Seattle: #3 Morrow (1st), #4 Butler (3rd), #5 Feierabend (3rd), #7 Lowe (5th), #8 Tillman (2nd), #10 O'Flaherty (6th)

    Texas: #1 Danks (1st), #2 Hurley (1st), #3 Volquez (int FA), #4 Diamond (1st), #7 Kiker (1st), #8 Masset (8th, signed as draft and follow and draft spot dropped due to TJ), #10 Rupe (3rd)

    OK...if you haven't gotten the point of the thread yet, take a look at these stats:

    Of the 37 pitchers ranked as #1-5 prospects in their organization (I couldn't go through them all, but the theme carries throughout #s 6-10, it seems):

    a) 20 were taken in the 1st or 1st supp round.
    b) 2 were taken in the 2nd round
    c) 3 were taken in the 3rd round
    d) 1 was taken in the 4th round
    e) 1 was taken in the 5th round
    f) 4 were signed as international free agents
    g) 6 were drafted beyond the 5th round, though one dropped b/c of contract demands (Bellances), one dropped b/c of injury (Adenhart) and one was a draft and follow (Malek). Additionally, Haegar is an outlier b/c his career moved up when he learned a knuckler.

    I was a bit surprised when I went through this exercise, but I think this tells a lot. Wayne, are you out there?

    1) If there is a pitcher out there in the 1st round or supp 1st round who deserves to be taken there, TAKE HIM.
    2) Int FAs need to be taken seriously.
    3) Putting aside outliers (Bellances, Haegar, Adenhart and Malek), only 2 of the 33 non-outliers (Sipp and Tata) in the population were taken after the 5th round.

    Now if pitchers like Lilly and Meche are going to demand $10 mil per, there is no other alternative than to draft pitching early and often in the 2007 draft. The Reds have the #15, the #37 (for Aurilia) and I believe another #1 supp for Schoeneweis. Has Cincy ever had a draft lined up like this? Those 3 HAVE to be used on pitching. I would even be in favor of maybe overdrafting a pitcher a little bit in one of those spots over a bat. As you can see above (and due to the insanity in the FA pitching mkt), it will be difficult for WK not to flood the system with pitching.

    Wayne, please take pitchers with those 1st 3 picks...and maybe more.

    Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.
    Last edited by edabbs44; 12-23-2006 at 11:25 PM.

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    Re: How to build your pitching from the ground up

    You have to draft pitching because you can trade any excess pitching for pretty much anything else you need. Bat's coming easier these days, defense comes easy as well.

    Pitching is going to either a)cost money b)cost value in the form of trade or c)stockpiled in drafts and matured.

    There is no other way of saying it. Those three picks are wastes if they dont go to pitching. Our major whole is pitching, in all levels.
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    Re: How to build your pitching from the ground up

    It's not as if the Reds haven't been drafting pitchers with their early picks. Heck, until the last draft, the Reds had picked a pitcher with their first round pick 5 of the last 6 drafts (Bailey, Wagner, Gruler, Sowers, and Howington). It just goes to show you what a crapshoot the MLB draft is. Injuries, contract disagreements, and just plain underachieving can destroy a team's draft.
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    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: How to build your pitching from the ground up

    Quote Originally Posted by Oxilon View Post
    It's not as if the Reds haven't been drafting pitchers with their early picks. Heck, until the last draft, the Reds had picked a pitcher with their first round pick 5 of the last 6 drafts (Bailey, Wagner, Gruler, Sowers, and Howington). It just goes to show you what a crapshoot the MLB draft is. Injuries, contract disagreements, and just plain underachieving can destroy a team's draft.
    The Reds have 3 picks before the 2nd round. Does WK have the stones to use all 3 on pitching?

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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: How to build your pitching from the ground up

    Quote Originally Posted by edabbs44 View Post
    The Reds have 3 picks before the 2nd round. Does WK have the stones to use all 3 on pitching?
    I just want him to take the best player available, pitching or not.

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    Re: How to build your pitching from the ground up

    It would be interesting to see the results of a similar search for the best batting prospects.

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    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: How to build your pitching from the ground up

    I wouldn't want him to use all three picks on pitchers unless those were the three best choices available. Althought I understand what you are getting at edabbs (ie. load up on pitchers) if you draft the next Dunn, Lee, Sorono type they can both add offense and be worth several pitchers in trade. We'll continue to need offense too down the road.

    But in general, yes, I'd rather be "pitching rich" in the minors than "offense rich". Both would be optimal, obviously.
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    Re: How to build your pitching from the ground up

    Usually there's 10-15 guys who are consensus throughout everyone's draft board, if they grab a guy (pitcher or batter) off the board and not draft a no-name then Im all for that. Some folks thought that Stubbs was a bad pick and they think he's a busted pick, not me... I think they got pure value and he's gonna be a star, the guy is a gazelle on defense and has some pop in his bat along with great leadership qualities. People want instant success and that maybe didnt happen last year but he's so young and he'll bounce back, he's a college all-american he'll be a pretty good major leaguer.

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    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: How to build your pitching from the ground up

    Quote Originally Posted by icehole3 View Post
    Usually there's 10-15 guys who are consensus throughout everyone's draft board, if they grab a guy (pitcher or batter) off the board and not draft a no-name then Im all for that. Some folks thought that Stubbs was a bad pick and they think he's a busted pick, not me... I think they got pure value and he's gonna be a star, the guy is a gazelle on defense and has some pop in his bat along with great leadership qualities. People want instant success and that maybe didnt happen last year but he's so young and he'll bounce back, he's a college all-american he'll be a pretty good major leaguer.
    I think too, and its almost been my mantra here, that we're not going to see "instant success" in rebuilding the minor league system. WK seems firmly committed to players making EACH step in the minors and I think, ultimately, we'll be the better for it. It's the one reason I don't think Bailey will break with the big club in spring. He will see some time in Louisiville. I think he wants to see players succeed at each level, find their game, and then move on up.

    How long were the Reds bringing folks directly from Chattanooga? I can think of several who never panned out as projected and I wonder at times if rushing them to the big leagues might have been the cause.

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    Member Highlifeman21's Avatar
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    Re: How to build your pitching from the ground up

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    I just want him to take the best player available, pitching or not.
    I agree.

    Take the best available player on the board at the time.

    Also, if Wayne has to choose between a HS pitcher and a college pitcher, I'm on my knees begging and pleading for that arm to be of the college variety.

    Gruler and Howington both were HS arms, we know how that ended up. Bailey's also a HS arm and could very well end up to be the hat trick. Let's hope he's not.

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    Titanic Struggles Caveat Emperor's Avatar
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    Re: How to build your pitching from the ground up

    Quote Originally Posted by edabbs44 View Post
    The Reds have 3 picks before the 2nd round. Does WK have the stones to use all 3 on pitching?
    Maybe -- but if there is a another Jay Bruce sitting out there on draft day for the taking, the Reds would be foolhardy not to at least consider him.
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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: How to build your pitching from the ground up

    Quote Originally Posted by Highlifeman21 View Post
    I agree.

    Take the best available player on the board at the time.

    Also, if Wayne has to choose between a HS pitcher and a college pitcher, I'm on my knees begging and pleading for that arm to be of the college variety.

    Gruler and Howington both were HS arms, we know how that ended up. Bailey's also a HS arm and could very well end up to be the hat trick. Let's hope he's not.
    The HS vs College arm thing is way overblown. Yes, the guy, if he gets to the majors, will probably get there faster. Richie Gardner was a college arm, that one didnt work out so well. Arm injuries happen, college or high school. There have been plenty of high school arms turn out fine. There have been plenty of high school arms blow up. Same goes for college arms.

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    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: How to build your pitching from the ground up

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor View Post
    Maybe -- but if there is a another Jay Bruce sitting out there on draft day for the taking, the Reds would be foolhardy not to at least consider him.
    If Meche costs $11 million per, how will this team ever compete if they don't start loading up on pitching in the draft?

    Then again, there are usually pitchers who drop due to contract demands. For the love of God, please let the FO step up and draft these guys.

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    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: How to build your pitching from the ground up

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    The HS vs College arm thing is way overblown. Yes, the guy, if he gets to the majors, will probably get there faster. Richie Gardner was a college arm, that one didnt work out so well. Arm injuries happen, college or high school. There have been plenty of high school arms turn out fine. There have been plenty of high school arms blow up. Same goes for college arms.
    I've mentioned this before, but my brother-in-law who has been an athletic trainer for years (was with the Rangers for a while) said that statistics show high school pitchers taken have a high percentage of injury. Someone mentioned that the reason might be that those high school pitchers who go to college and get injured never come up in the draft, but that's still a possibility.

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    Re: How to build your pitching from the ground up

    Now if pitchers like Lilly and Meche are going to demand $10 mil per, there is no other alternative than to draft pitching early and often in the 2007 draft.
    Sure the market is a little pitcher friendly right now, but didn't Carlos Lee just get around 100 million? You act like drafting a position player is a bad thing, even if they do reach the majors. We've done the pitching thing with Wagner, Howington, and Gruler, and that definitely didn't work out. I'm not saying that taking pitchers is a bad thing, because then Homer Bailey would be tearing it up in some other organization and Chris Nelson would be waddling around in Dayton, but to limit ourselves to nothing but pitchers in a draft where very few players even make the majors is a bad idea.


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