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Thread: Ken Rosenthal - Will Bailey or Hughes be the next Verlander?

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    Smells Like Teen Spirit jmcclain19's Avatar
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    Ken Rosenthal - Will Bailey or Hughes be the next Verlander?

    http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/6...0813162&ATT=49

    Rosenthal at least takes a smart take on both teenage hurlers.

    But the media heard following after him won't have half the baseball acumen

    Cue super major media hype machine in 3....2....1.....

    Where's the next Verlander?

    The search is on for this year's Justin Verlander, but good luck trying to find him.

    Verlander made an enormous impact last season, earning 17 wins, helping the Tigers to the World Series and winning American League Rookie of the Year.

    It's unrealistic to place similar expectations on two of the game's top pitching prospects, Yankees right-hander Philip Hughes and Reds righty Homer Bailey even though, like Verlander, they were first-round picks in 2004.

    Verlander, drafted out of college, was 23 at the start of last season. Hughes and Bailey, drafted out of high school, are not yet 21.

    Both are likely to create buzz in spring training.

    Both need to start the season at Class AAA.

    Some young pitchers come quickly; Dwight Gooden arrived at 19, Bret Saberhagen 20. Tigers righty Jeremy Bonderman, entering his fifth major-league season, is only four months older than Verlander. Mariners righty Felix Hernandez, entering his third season, is only a few months older than Hughes and Bailey.

    Such cases, however, are rare.

    A better comparison to Verlander at least in terms of experience is Mets right-hander Mike Pelfrey, a collegian who was the ninth pick of the '05 draft. Pelfrey, 23, is entering his second pro season, just as Verlander was a year ago. But while Pelfrey is a top prospect, he isn't as highly regarded as Hughes and Bailey.

    Still, the last thing the Yankees and Reds want to do is accelerate their respective phenoms at the risk of damaging their careers.

    "We've got a pitching plan for each (prospect) based on where they are in their development," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman says.

    The plan for Hughes?

    Cashman won't say, other than to promise, "We will execute it."

    "I view all of these individuals, if they've got talent, as long-term assets," Cashman says. "You've got to treat them as such, make sure you're careful. You try not to have anything come at the expense of the long-term asset for short-term gains."

    That's something new for the Yankees, who routinely took a win-now approach before Cashman assumed greater control in the 2005-06 off-season.

    At one time, the Yankees did not hesitate to trade prospects of Hughes' caliber. Now they've seemingly assembled enough pitching depth to allow Hughes to develop at his own pace.

    The Reds, likewise, are trying to protect Bailey. Their recent trade for right-hander Kirk Saarloos was motivated, in part, by the team's desire to give him more minor-league preparation.

    Pitchers drafted out of high school need time time to build endurance, time to refine their secondary pitches, time to master their craft.

    Royals general manager Dayton Moore, who spent more than a decade working in the pitching-rich Braves' organization, prefers most pitchers to work 400 to 500 innings before reaching the majors. Brewers G.M. Doug Melvin sets the number at 600.

    Those are not rigid standards; certain youngsters are capable of making more rapid ascents. Hughes and Bailey might be in that class particularly Hughes, who, according to scouts, shows an advanced feel for pitching. But Hughes has thrown 237 innings as a professional, Bailey 255. Neither has exceeded 146 innings in a season nor risen above Class AA.

    Last season, the Red Sox kept left-hander Jon Lester on strict pitch counts at Class AAA in April and May, trying to ensure that he would stay strong enough to help the major-league team through September. At the time, Lester was in his fifth pro season, two years ahead of where Hughes and Bailey are now.

    Once promoted to the majors, pitchers face deeper lineups and more selective hitters, leading to higher pitch counts and greater strain.

    The experience, frankly, can be overwhelming.

    "You have to be careful about rushing players to the big leagues, bringing 'em up too early, having their first failure occur at the major-league level as opposed to somewhere in the minor leagues," Reds G.M. Wayne Krivsky says, speaking generally, not specifically about Bailey.

    "You run the risk of setting a player back. When you bring 'em up, you want to have good feeling that they're here to stay and not on a yo-yo back and forth to Class AAA. The temptation isn't that great for me. I like to use the expression, 'The player will tell you when he's ready."'

    The decision, though, is not always that simple.

    Hughes, the Yankees' most ballyhooed pitching prospect since Andy Pettitte, will face unique fan and media scrutiny in New York, especially if he is thrust into the role of savior.

    Bailey, the shining light of a Reds' farm system that often has failed to keep young pitchers healthy, must learn to pitch at hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati.

    Even well-intentioned general managers occasionally rush players due to the respective needs of their clubs.

    Bonderman was 6-19 at age 20 for a team that lost 119 games; the Tigers are fortunate that he grew from the experience when he could have crumbled.

    The Twins, a team that generally is conservative with young talent, promoted right-hander Matt Garza last August just over a year after drafting him in the first round; Garza, a college pick, rose even faster than Verlander.

    The consensus on Hughes and Bailey among baseball people is that each could reach the majors by the second half of the season -- and, in a perfect world, prove as valuable as veteran trade acquisitions.

    Just don't expect either to be this year's Verlander.

    That would be asking too much, too soon.

    To understand the difficulty of projecting young pitchers, consider the group chosen in the first round of the 2004 amateur draft.

    Three of the top four and four of the top eight have undergone surgery.

    The pitchers are listed by their draft positions. Their projections indicate where they are expected to open the '07 season.

    Pitchers drafted in 2004 first round
    No. Team Player Pos. School 2007 Proj.
    2 Tigers Justin Verlander RHP Old Dominion Majors
    3 Mets Phillip Humber RHP Rice Class AAA
    4 Devil Rays Jeff Niemann RHP Rice Class AAA
    5 Brewers Mark Rogers RHP Mount Ararat (Me.) H.S. Class A
    6 Indians Jeremy Sowers LHP Vanderbilt Majors
    7 Reds Homer Bailey RHP La Grange (Tx.) H.S. Class AAA
    8 Orioles Wade Townsend RHP Rice Class A
    10 Rangers Thomas Diamond RHP New Orleans Class AAA
    12 Angels Jered Weaver RHP Long Beach State Majors
    13 Expos Bill Bray LHP William & Mary Majors (with Reds)
    16 Blue Jays David Purcey LHP Oklahoma Class AA
    17 Dodgers Scott Elbert LHP Seneca (Mo.) H.S. Class AA
    19 Cardinals Chris Lambert RHP Boston College Class AA
    22 Twins Glen Perkins LHP Minnesota Class AAA/Majors
    23 Yankees Philip Hughes RHP Foothill (Ca.) H.S. Class AAA
    25 Twins Kyle Waldrop RHP Farragut (Tn.) H.S. Class AA
    27 Marlins Taylor Tankersley LHP Alabama Class AAA/Majors
    29 Royals Matt Campbell LHP South Carolina Class A
    30 Rangers Eric Hurley RHP Wolfson (Fl.) H.S. Class AA
    Scout's eye view
    Philip Hughes.

    A major league scout discusses Philip Hughes and Homer Bailey:

    "Hughes is mechanically very solid, a strike thrower. He has all the physical tools. He can strike you out, reach back for his fastball. He can pitch to contact. He has a repeatable delivery that will hold up over time.

    I like Bailey, too. He gets a little bit long (in his delivery). His stuff also can be very special. But for the long haul, I'd take Hughes. Not only does he have the stuff, but he knows how to pitch right now. He can beat you even when he doesn't have his best stuff because of his know-how.

    Homer Bailey.
    He's got everything you want to see in a young starter -- "pitchability" and stuff. Bailey is more of a stuff guy. His command hasn't been what Hughes' is."

    Another scout, however, prefers Bailey, citing his greater upside.

    "He has more power and a well-above average breaking ball," the scout says. "He can take over a game."

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    Member forfreelin04's Avatar
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    Re: Ken Rosenthal - Will Bailey or Hughes be the next Verlander?

    I like what I am reading here. Thanks for the post Jim.

    I've seen Bailey pitch in Dayton, but it was early. I believe when DanO instituted the inning or pitch rule for his minor leaguers. His stuff is nasty and for the first time in a long while the Reds can say they have a power pitcher waiting in the wings. The article did mention that Baileys delivery is long and I agree. He ran into some troubles while holding runners on in Dayton. But this is nothing that cannot be tweaked by a solid pitching coach.

    He'll be in the limelight during Spring Training. I'll be interested to see if Homer makes the decision very tough on WayneK. If it isn't a tough one, obviously he'll start in AAA. If it is a tough one, I still see Wayne having the patience to give him a month in AAA. I think he wants to see how Saarloos turns out and if Milton/Loshe can start positively.

    Milton, at least its seems to be in the past has started stronger in the less warm months then gradually cans as the summer creeps in and stays. Mostly due to the balls flying out of GABP as the weather heats up.

    Not to mention, there will always be a possibility of a SP going down with an injury. If this happens, look for Wayne to try to mend with a Belisle or the Lizard, much to the dismay of many a Red fan. However, once Belisle or the Lizard falter I look to see Bailey up my mid June at the very latest. Hopefully, he's here to stay.

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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Ken Rosenthal - Will Bailey or Hughes be the next Verlander?

    I think the odds Bailey breaks camp with the Reds are about 100 to 1

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    Mon chou Choo vaticanplum's Avatar
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    Re: Ken Rosenthal - Will Bailey or Hughes be the next Verlander?

    Oh my god I seriously cannot take anymore of this. I know this sounds ironic from someone who frequents a baseball message board but I cannot stand all this talk anymore. I need these people PLAYING BASEBALL again. aaaaaaahhhhhhhhh

    The beginning of February is bleak as frick -- baseball pretends to be so close but there are still really two months to see it. PLAY.
    There is no such thing as a pitching prospect.

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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Ken Rosenthal - Will Bailey or Hughes be the next Verlander?

    Quote Originally Posted by vaticanplum View Post
    Oh my god I seriously cannot take anymore of this. I know this sounds ironic from someone who frequents a baseball message board but I cannot stand all this talk anymore. I need these people PLAYING BASEBALL again. aaaaaaahhhhhhhhh

    The beginning of February is bleak as frick -- baseball pretends to be so close but there are still really two months to see it. PLAY.
    Slow down....dont forget to breathe. Deep breaths, deep breaths....

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    Member forfreelin04's Avatar
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    Re: Ken Rosenthal - Will Bailey or Hughes be the next Verlander?

    Quote Originally Posted by vaticanplum View Post
    Oh my god I seriously cannot take anymore of this. I know this sounds ironic from someone who frequents a baseball message board but I cannot stand all this talk anymore. I need these people PLAYING BASEBALL again. aaaaaaahhhhhhhhh

    The beginning of February is bleak as frick -- baseball pretends to be so close but there are still really two months to see it. PLAY.
    HAHA I know what you mean. But I don't know if I'm ready for George Grande quite yet.

  8. #7
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Ken Rosenthal - Will Bailey or Hughes be the next Verlander?

    If I had to pick the next Verlander, I'd take Andrew Miller. Though 2008 is probably his coming out party.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

    I'm witchcrafting everybody.

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    Member Jpup's Avatar
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    Re: Ken Rosenthal - Will Bailey or Hughes be the next Verlander?

    A major league scout discusses Philip Hughes and Homer Bailey:

    "Hughes is mechanically very solid, a strike thrower. He has all the physical tools. He can strike you out, reach back for his fastball. He can pitch to contact. He has a repeatable delivery that will hold up over time.
    obviously the scout is Dan O'brien.
    "My mission is to be the ray of hope, the guy who stands out there on that beautiful field and owns up to his mistakes and lets people know it's never completely hopeless, no matter how bad it seems at the time. I have a platform and a message, and now I go to bed at night, sober and happy, praying I can be a good messenger." -Josh Hamilton


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