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Thread: College vs High School ?

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    College vs High School ?

    Is being an older player that played college ball a plus or minus? Players like Stubbs and Valaika and others seem to be put in a different category because they played at the rookie level after college. I think the only reason they played at Billings is because they had already played 56 plus games in college? Any thoughts on college players vs HS players ?

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    Member Superdude's Avatar
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    Re: College vs High School ?

    Depends on where you pick at. Anywhere in the top 5-10 and I'm all for the college route, but as you move down, the difference in potential between college and high school players tends to widen a bit. I think guys like Drabek and Conger are a nice risk if there's not an eye popping college player left.

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    Re: College vs High School ?

    There should be no draft absolutes.

    Take a look at some current/recent Reds.

    Drafting only college players means that the Reds would have passed over

    Ken Griffey Jr
    Adam Dunn
    Austin Kearns
    Brandon Phillips
    Felipe Lopez
    Bronson Arroyo

    etc etc.

    The only data that has shown anything towards what you should pick, is that High School Pitchers, in the first few rounds (The big money rounds), tend to be a high risk proposition. But there are plenty that have bucked the trend, as well and countless hundreds late round HS arms that have had fine pitching careers.

    Otherwise, it all depends on the player, the development system and many times, just simple luck.

    You need to have an organizational philosophy - in my mind, and the will to stick with it.

    Take two extremes.

    The A's for example - the "moneyball" style somehow turned into meaning "college only" drafts, but in 2005 picked four High School arms in the first five rounds. Showing that the A's style of management has nothing to do with simply drafting college players and letting them grow, but simply to root out any market inequalities and exploit them. Everyone was tilting towards College arms, so they zagged, and grabbed HS players. Perhaps their college heavy strategy allowed them to take a few fliers on players because their high minors was so loaded in talent? Eric Chavez, probably one of the best products to come out of their system in recent years, was a HS bat. People always seem to get that confused that moneyball=college only.

    The Braves - on the other hand, draft HS players and pitchers almost exclusively, mostly out of the southeast. If you want to have a good chuckle at that philosophy in action, look at the last three drafts and just see how many HS & JC guys from the Southeast they picked. Their thoughts have almost always been - they would rather take a raw 18 year old with talent and mold them in the Braves mold, than someone with 2-4 years of bad habits. A la Jeff Francouer - Mr. Georgia HS Sports All World & his counterparts. And that has worked for quite a while now, so they stick with it.

    Transfer that to the Reds - when Homer officially becomes a Red - and if that happens around June - you will no doubt hear blow hards talking about how HS arms are the way to go because of Homer - say nothing of the fact that his development has been more dumb luck than Reds developmental skill. The Reds have no organizational plan, more like "throw it against the wall to see if it sticks". Hasn't worked for three GMs straight now, doubtful it will change in the future.
    Last edited by jmcclain19; 01-05-2007 at 05:19 AM.

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    Re: College vs High School ?

    when Homer officially becomes a Red - and if that happens around June - you will no doubt hear blow hards talking about how HS arms are the way to go because of Homer - say nothing of the fact that his development has been more dumb luck than Reds developmental skill
    JM, I agree with your feeling that there should be no "draft absolutes," although I would say you should be careful to get enough pitchers, spread the picks across positions at least enough to stock your teams, and get a fair mix of ages. Not sure what you mean by "organizational philosophy," though.

    On the above point re: Homer, I just don't see how his development can be termed "dumb luck." They clearly saw enough in the kid to invest 2 million off the bat, meaning they thought he would develop, one way or the other. They have managed him closely -- very little mound time in 04, 8-man rotation at Dayton in 05, and a midseason promotion in 06, after which he flourished. How is this path evidence of "dumb luck" instead of "developmental skill"?
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

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    Re: College vs High School ?

    Quote Originally Posted by jmcclain19 View Post
    There should be no draft absolutes.

    Take a look at some current/recent Reds.

    Drafting only college players means that the Reds would have passed over

    Ken Griffey Jr
    Adam Dunn
    Austin Kearns
    Brandon Phillips
    Felipe Lopez
    Bronson Arroyo

    etc etc.

    The only data that has shown anything towards what you should pick, is that High School Pitchers, in the first few rounds (The big money rounds), tend to be a high risk proposition. But there are plenty that have bucked the trend, as well and countless hundreds late round HS arms that have had fine pitching careers.

    Otherwise, it all depends on the player, the development system and many times, just simple luck.

    You need to have an organizational philosophy - in my mind, and the will to stick with it.

    Take two extremes.

    The A's for example - the "moneyball" style somehow turned into meaning "college only" drafts, but in 2005 picked four High School arms in the first five rounds. Showing that the A's style of management has nothing to do with simply drafting college players and letting them grow, but simply to root out any market inequalities and exploit them. Everyone was tilting towards College arms, so they zagged, and grabbed HS players. Perhaps their college heavy strategy allowed them to take a few fliers on players because their high minors was so loaded in talent? Eric Chavez, probably one of the best products to come out of their system in recent years, was a HS bat. People always seem to get that confused that moneyball=college only.

    The Braves - on the other hand, draft HS players and pitchers almost exclusively, mostly out of the southeast. If you want to have a good chuckle at that philosophy in action, look at the last three drafts and just see how many HS & JC guys from the Southeast they picked. Their thoughts have almost always been - they would rather take a raw 18 year old with talent and mold them in the Braves mold, than someone with 2-4 years of bad habits. A la Jeff Francouer - Mr. Georgia HS Sports All World & his counterparts. And that has worked for quite a while now, so they stick with it.

    Transfer that to the Reds - when Homer officially becomes a Red - and if that happens around June - you will no doubt hear blow hards talking about how HS arms are the way to go because of Homer - say nothing of the fact that his development has been more dumb luck than Reds developmental skill. The Reds have no organizational plan, more like "throw it against the wall to see if it sticks". Hasn't worked for three GMs straight now, doubtful it will change in the future.

    This is an absolute great post. I think you really nail an issue that is so central to the Reds ability to be a chronic playoff contender. Player development is a high risk endeavor by its very nature so a clear advantage can be gained by managing this risk effectively. A cohesive plan for player development intuitively seems like a necesary first step.

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    Re: College vs High School ?

    Player development is a high risk endeavor by its very nature so a clear advantage can be gained by managing this risk effectively. A cohesive plan for player development intuitively seems like a necesary first step.
    Have the Reds drafted poorly much of the time in the last decade? Yes, without a doubt. However, right now the system is in decent shape. Folks are holding Oakland and Atlanta up as models because they seem to have recognizable approaches to drafting amateur talent. My guess is that all teams have what they consider to be "an approach," and it often goes by "best player available." Right now, Baseball America rates the minor league talent for the Reds as a B, while Oakland and Atlanta have Cs. Now, I don't consider Baseball America an infallible fountain of truth, but in the context of this discussion I think it's valuable to point out that other evaluators like the Reds system quite a bit at the moment. You want an approach to drafting well? Look at Tampa Bay. They have what some believe is the best talent on the way to the majors. How did they get it? By losing 100 games year after year. How did the Twins get Johan Santana? They sank to the bottom of the league and had a top selection in the Rule V draft. They got Joe Mauer the same way. The Reds got Homer Bailey by stinking the previous year. I think it's safe to say that if you want the surest approach to consistently mining top talent from the amateur ranks in the US, make your major league team really bad for a few years.
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

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    Re: College vs High School ?

    The Reds have enough money to be able to afford 2-3 good starting pitchers and 3 star offensive players if they can fill in around those guys with quality inexpensive tallent. Much has been said about the money spent on AGon, Weathers, Stanton, etc., but SOMEBODY has to play those positions. Lacking a farm system that can churn out quality players who can round out a roster, a team must buy players to do so. The more money spent on middle of the road players, the less there is to spend on difference makers.

    The Reds system does have a few very good prospects, but it is a long way from being able to consistently provide inexpensive replacements. Given that fact, the Reds should be looking over the next couple of years to draft the most polished, quickest to the majors, type players in the upper rounds of the draft.

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    Re: College vs High School ?

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    Have the Reds drafted poorly much of the time in the last decade? Yes, without a doubt. However, right now the system is in decent shape. Folks are holding Oakland and Atlanta up as models because they seem to have recognizable approaches to drafting amateur talent. My guess is that all teams have what they consider to be "an approach," and it often goes by "best player available." Right now, Baseball America rates the minor league talent for the Reds as a B, while Oakland and Atlanta have Cs. Now, I don't consider Baseball America an infallible fountain of truth, but in the context of this discussion I think it's valuable to point out that other evaluators like the Reds system quite a bit at the moment. You want an approach to drafting well? Look at Tampa Bay. They have what some believe is the best talent on the way to the majors. How did they get it? By losing 100 games year after year. How did the Twins get Johan Santana? They sank to the bottom of the league and had a top selection in the Rule V draft. They got Joe Mauer the same way. The Reds got Homer Bailey by stinking the previous year. I think it's safe to say that if you want the surest approach to consistently mining top talent from the amateur ranks in the US, make your major league team really bad for a few years.

    Yes but take Homer from the mix and the Reds system rates as a C at best.....and they've been consistently bad on the major league level...

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    Re: College vs High School ?

    Yes but take Homer from the mix and the Reds system rates as a C at best.....and they've been consistently bad on the major league level...
    That's only a fair comparison to other teams' "approaches" if you take away their top prospects, too.

    Yeah, the Reds have been pretty bad lately, but not bad enough to be in the top 5 picks of the draft -- where the draft gold can generally be found. The Reds have been bad, but they haven't rebuilt.
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    Re: College vs High School ?

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve
    That's only a fair comparison to other teams' "approaches" if you take away their top prospects, too.

    Yeah, the Reds have been pretty bad lately, but not bad enough to be in the top 5 picks of the draft -- where the draft gold can generally be found. The Reds have been bad, but they haven't rebuilt.
    Since 1996, the A's highest picks have been 10, 11, 2, 9, 60, 25, 16, 25, 24, 21, and 66.

    Over the same period, the Reds have picked 25, 14, 7, 14, 23, 20, 3, 14, 7, 12, and 8.

    Not much difference there in draft positions. The results of those drafts, on the other hand, have been very dissimilar.

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    Re: College vs High School ?

    Since 1996, the A's highest picks have been 10, 11, 2, 9, 60, 25, 16, 25, 24, 21, and 66.

    Over the same period, the Reds have picked 25, 14, 7, 14, 23, 20, 3, 14, 7, 12, and 8.

    Not much difference there in draft positions. The results of those drafts, on the other hand, have been very dissimilar.
    Sure, absolutely the As have drafted better than the Reds. They didn't blow their top 5 pick (Mulder), while the Reds did (Gruler). They exploited the comp pick market to have many more picks in the top two rounds than the Reds did, too. Unfortunately, it isn't difficult to find an organization that drafted better than the Reds in the 1996-2006 time frame. But the results of 04-06 have been outstanding, in my opinion, and for the first time in a long time the Reds will be getting a handful of comp picks in 07. For my money, the Reds approach, whatever you want to call it, is trending in the right direction.
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

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    Re: College vs High School ?

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    Yes but take Homer from the mix and the Reds system rates as a C at best.....and they've been consistently bad on the major league level...
    I'd give it a D. It would be Jay Bruce, and stuff. And Bruce is still pretty far away. Take Bailey out and it's like the farm of 2000, when Dunn was coming up.

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    Re: College vs High School ?

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    That's only a fair comparison to other teams' "approaches" if you take away their top prospects, too.

    Yeah, the Reds have been pretty bad lately, but not bad enough to be in the top 5 picks of the draft -- where the draft gold can generally be found. The Reds have been bad, but they haven't rebuilt.
    We're not talking about "prospects," we're talking about one arm who's thrown 60 excellent innings (but still just 60) at an advanced level in the minor leagues.

    People are banking on Homer as an unequivocal sure thing; that's a very scary notion. I think we fans should probably prepare for the kid to take a step backward this year; it's very likely that he will, and that's not taking anything away from him necessarily.

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    Re: College vs High School ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer View Post
    I'd give it a D. It would be Jay Bruce, and stuff. And Bruce is still pretty far away. Take Bailey out and it's like the farm of 2000, when Dunn was coming up.

    We're not talking about "prospects," we're talking about one arm who's thrown 60 excellent innings (but still just 60) at an advanced level in the minor leagues.

    People are banking on Homer as an unequivocal sure thing; that's a very scary notion. I think we fans should probably prepare for the kid to take a step backward this year; it's very likely that he will, and that's not taking anything away from him necessarily.
    In 2000, Adam Dunn wasnt even the top Reds prospect, that was Austin Kearns.
    I expect Homer to "step back" in AAA, mainly because I dont think he can keep a 1.59 ERA in AAA.

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    Re: College vs High School ?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    I expect Homer to "step back" in AAA, mainly because I dont think he can keep a 1.59 ERA in AAA.
    Right. But perception is important to other GMs and if Bailey moves up to AAA and posts a 4.00 ERA in 60 innings with more walks (and let's face it: Bailey is in no way immune to the walk even at Chatt.), what does that do to his stock? I think it hurts it pretty badly, at least in terms of what he could conceivably return to the Reds in trade.


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