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Thread: Building a team: Talent and Youth

  1. #1
    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Building a team: Talent and Youth

    From "The Book on The Book". Bill Felber Pg. 192

    "The real test of a great GM isn't the guy who can cash in on Kerry Wood, but the guy who knows whether to bet on Mark Clark"
    and....from page 190

    "While acquiring cheap talent is always a good idea, the record suggests it isn't enough to win a pennant. Between 1995 and 2003, two teams at the top of the list of acquiring good young players were the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates, who have a combined one postseason appearance to show for it".
    Thought these were two very interesting quotes. I know I've taken these out of context for you, but they seem to say that a team usually must have veterans, but a GM absolutley must be able to identify which vets can contribute, and which have turned into pumpkins.

    So how can Wayne K do a better job of (1) continue to pick up the "Kerry Woods" (ie Philips & Hamilton's of the world) and (2) avoid the Mark Clarks of the world (ie. Stantons and Cormiers of the world) ?

    Don't want this to be a rag on Wayne thread, but rather, some discussion of what steps Wayne could take to improve in these areas.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

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  3. #2
    Member Highlifeman21's Avatar
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    Re: Building a team: Tallent and Youth

    Wayne has acquired youth for this team.

    Some of it isn't ready yet.

    Jerry Narron, on the other hand, for whatever reason doesn't like to play the youngsters.

    A rebuilding team won't get better if you have too many stop gaps vets taking ML PAs from developing youngsters.

  4. #3
    Reds Slacker '07 RedsMan3203's Avatar
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    Re: Building a team: Tallent and Youth

    Quote Originally Posted by Highlifeman21 View Post
    Wayne has acquired youth for this team.

    Some of it isn't ready yet.

    Jerry Narron, on the other hand, for whatever reason doesn't like to play the youngsters.

    A rebuilding team won't get better if you have too many stop gaps vets taking ML PAs from developing youngsters.

    Who is taking PA's from young developing stars? Other then Freel and EdE..
    We all know that.. and EE will be back up here playing sooon...

    Oh - Let me guess... 1st base? Votto isn't ready yet....

    I look up and down the roster and I don't see any vet players taking away PA from any younger stars on this team other then the EE problem...

    The oldest player/most service time is JR - Correct? Who is he taking AB's away from?

    But come'on isn't that a good problem to have?
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    Member Highlifeman21's Avatar
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    Re: Building a team: Tallent and Youth

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsMan3203 View Post
    Who is taking PA's from young developing stars? Other then Freel and EdE..
    We all know that.. and EE will be back up here playing sooon...

    Oh - Let me guess... 1st base? Votto isn't ready yet....

    I look up and down the roster and I don't see any vet players taking away PA from any younger stars on this team other then the EE problem...

    The oldest player/most service time is JR - Correct? Who is he taking AB's away from?

    But come'on isn't that a good problem to have?
    Prior to Hamilton having some limited success, Freel and or Griffey were potentially taking PAs from Denorfia. An injury helped Narron cope with that dilemma. Denorfia's out, now he has no choice but to play Freel/Griffey.

    Now, Hamilton has the hot start, and EE struggles, so EE gets sent down, which paves the way for Hamilton, but only b/c Freel's taking PAs from EE.

    Hatteberg and Conine will take PAs from Votto, maybe not this year, but definitely next year.

    Down the road, I can definitely see Griffey taking PAs from Bruce.

    It's a trend that emerged last year, has continued this year, and will continue into the future.

    Narron's incapable of letting youngsters develop.

  6. #5
    One and a half men Patrick Bateman's Avatar
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    Re: Building a team: Tallent and Youth

    Griffey is better than Denorfia. That's why he got at-bats over him. Why should he have played over Griffey? Denorfia isn't the stud that you make him out to be IMO.

    I like Deno too, but limitations are needed.

  7. #6
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Building a team: Talent and Youth

    Good post, Ltlabner. However, the point I take away is that regardless of how many great deals you might have on your roster, and the end of the day you need enough talent to win, period.

    Sure, you might be a $50M team with a $25M payroll, but you don't awards for doing doing the most with the least. You win awards for doing the most. Full stop. The end.

    Efficiency might pad the pockets of the owners. It's great to be able to get bargains through sharp evaluation and quality development. However, if you don't leverage those gains by turning them in to a gain of absolute talent (by spending the savings elsewhere), you're simply losing more efficiently than everybody else. If you simply count on those gains to carry you, you end up topping out at .500 and become the Royals and Pirates.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 05-16-2007 at 11:24 PM.
    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: Building a team: Talent and Youth

    The best guys to have are not young and not old. They are guys in their prime. But good players in their prime are expensive.

    So for every Adam Dunn and Bronson Arroyo -- in their prime years now -- you need some young guys and some old guys. That mixture is fine. The trick, obviously, is getting the right ones.

    There is nothing wrong with playing older players. It upsets me to see folks on Redszone criticize every older player. David Weathers has been a terrific Red the last three years. Folks seem to want to ditch him because he is an older player at this point. I just couldn't disagree more -- he is effective, knows what he is doing, and belongs on the team.

    Narron has played plenty of kids. Coffey, Hamilton, Phillips, Coutlangus, all have received a lot of playing time. Yes, he has not played EE every day, but obviously because Narron and Krivsky have been concerned about his throwing and, more recently, he hasn't hit in the major leagues.

    I agree with RedsManRick that the answer is simply overall talent level, nothing more, nothing less. You need a mixture of vets and kids, stars and role players. The answer is not playing all kids all the time.
    Last edited by Kc61; 05-16-2007 at 11:35 PM.

  9. #8
    Reds Slacker '07 RedsMan3203's Avatar
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    Re: Building a team: Tallent and Youth

    Quote Originally Posted by Highlifeman21 View Post
    Prior to Hamilton having some limited success, Freel and or Griffey were potentially taking PAs from Denorfia. An injury helped Narron cope with that dilemma. Denorfia's out, now he has no choice but to play Freel/Griffey.

    Now, Hamilton has the hot start, and EE struggles, so EE gets sent down, which paves the way for Hamilton, but only b/c Freel's taking PAs from EE.

    Hatteberg and Conine will take PAs from Votto, maybe not this year, but definitely next year.

    Down the road, I can definitely see Griffey taking PAs from Bruce.

    It's a trend that emerged last year, has continued this year, and will continue into the future.

    Narron's incapable of letting youngsters develop.
    Deno this, Deno that... We'll see how he does in Oakland before I hold judgement on that.

    EE wasn't just struggling... he was horrible.... no doubt about it.. plain and simple ... a train wreck... I'm sure we'll see him back up here soon.. rather then later...

    Aren't both Hatteberg and Conine signed this year only? Can't see how that is going to take away PA next year... I'd like to see Votto called up after Hatteberg is traded, and have him take over what Hatteberg is doing....

    Bruce ETA to the majors is what 09' ? JR is signed through what - 09? I can see that happening.... Unless something major happens...

    Granted last year was probably bad -- If I do recall .. mainly over EE/Deno...

    Just remember.. EE is gonna be back.. and he is gonna be ready to hit when he comes back... Just leaves us with the problem of Freel/Hamilton.
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  10. #9
    SERP deep cover ops WebScorpion's Avatar
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    Re: Building a team: Talent and Youth

    I agree with what seems to be a consensus, that Griffey can't take PA's away from anyone when he's the best hitter in the lineup...you can't just play the young guy because he's younger. I thought the EE send down was a message to EE himself. "If you can't play Major League defense, you MUST hit at a Major League clip; and if you're doing neither AND not working very hard to improve, you'll be a Minor Leaguer." He appears to have received the message and is responding favorably...hopefully, he'll be back soon. I thought it was a great move, if it succeeds then people will have less problems with it.
    As for the original subject, I think most middle to small market GMs attack the problem the same way. You get a bunch of bargain vets that seem like they might be ready to come back/return/take off/have a little left in the tank in the hopes that enough of them will do well enough to fill some holes in your lineup. You try to fill the bulk of your lineup with established (current team members) vets and youngsters from the farm. You fill major holes with Free Agents and occasional trades. I think WK has done a pretty good job of loading this team with talent that COULD succeed now and is well situated for future success. I'm not sure I could improve on his current situation.
    I know it doesn't have the 'Wayne sucks and I could do better' tone that you're looking for, but there it is.

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  11. #10
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Building a team: Talent and Youth

    The question though is where do you improve the overall level of talent on the roster? I think it's evident that members of the bullpen will be replaced by younger, hopefully more productive talent, and that Homer will take a spot in the rotation along side Harang and Arroyo.

    However, what changes can occur to the lineup in the next 2 years that will turn us back in to a team capable of scoring 750-800 runs. At some point, you have to replace guys that we are justifying now. Sure, a guy like Freel or Gonzalez has a place on a roster. However, the roster on which they have a spot is one in which sufficient production is obtained from other positions.

    You can have a no-hit SS when you have a .900 OPS 1B. You can have a speedy, no-power CF when you have a 30 HR 3B. However, we've got too many players who simply don't fit in to a big picture offense that scores 800 runs. Too many role players and not enough big time producers.

    If EE, Votto, Bruce/Griffey, Dunn, and Hamilton can all be .850+ OPS bats, starting in 2008, we'll have a lineup that is playoff caliber. But so long as we have only 2-3 run producers and a bunch of role-players, it's just not going to be enough. We're a middle of the pack offense right now and if anything, as a unit, we've got more people overachieving (AGone, Junior, Hamilton) than underachieving (EE, Ross).

    It's a very weird position to think that the Reds rotation is it's strength and that it's locked in for the next few years. But that's where were at and it's time to figure out how this offense is going to be developed. Right now, we're only above average offensively at 3 positions. If we can get above average production from 5-6 guys, we can win. You don't have to have a Pujols or Bonds, but you do have to have solid production.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 05-18-2007 at 01:04 PM.
    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.

  12. #11
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Building a team: Talent and Youth

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    The best guys to have are not young and not old. They are guys in their prime.
    That can't be said enough. If the Reds go with a youth movement, they need to plan for the payoff to be when the bulk of those players are in the 27-30 bracket. Then you can cherry pick some older talent and blend in the precocious talents from your next wave.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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