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Thread: Developing Pitchers

  1. #1
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    Developing Pitchers

    I notice that Phil Hughes, Jaba Chamberlain, and now Ian Kennedy have done pretty well for the Yankees. Three recent draftees, brought up this year, helping.

    Exactly what Reds draftee helped the team on the mound this year? I can't think of any.

    With all the gushing around here for the good young talent in the Reds organization, there's hardly a one who ever comes through the Reds system to be an effective pitcher. Even this year's positives, Burton, Bray, Coutlangus, arguably Belisle, come from other organizations. Obviously Harang and Arroyo come from other teams. Brad Salmon showed some promise, but that's about all I can think of.

    Bailey's situation right now appears questionable. Those last two outings in A-ball were frightening. He certainly wasn't ready with the big club.

    This may explain the refusal by Krivsky to re-hire certain of the minor league staffers. When contrasted with the results of a system like the Yanks', you have to wonder.
    Last edited by Kc61; 09-14-2007 at 09:48 AM.

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    Re: Developing Pitchers

    I'm with you as to the Reds' woes in evaluating and developing pitchers. I posted a similar inquiry in the Sun Deck. Who's ultimately accountable for this failure? Maybe Krivsky's been reading our posts and has responded by making some changes in the minors!LOL

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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Developing Pitchers

    I think that for a long time the Reds got very unlucky with injuries. The Reds have some arms in their system, albeit not the caliber of the three Yankees you named, but I am not sure any team has those kind of arms. The thing is, the Yankees didn't develop Chamberlain or Kennedy really. They were both college products who spent a year in the Yankees system.

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    Re: Developing Pitchers

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    I think that for a long time the Reds got very unlucky with injuries. The Reds have some arms in their system, albeit not the caliber of the three Yankees you named, but I am not sure any team has those kind of arms. The thing is, the Yankees didn't develop Chamberlain or Kennedy really. They were both college products who spent a year in the Yankees system.
    The issue I want to address, though, is not the talent level in the system. I just don't believe that, on balance, the Reds' draftees are inferior to most other teams' pitching prospects. I've seen a number of good arms on the Reds top ten, twenty and thirty lists over the past few years, and there certainly are some now.

    But it's really amazing to me how few of these arms actually ever help the Reds. Something is not right. Since DanO took over (about three years ago, I think) there has been much emphasis on avoiding injury, with improved results. Still, for whatever reason, you don't see the Reds come up with effective major league pitchers from their drafts.

    I think Krivsky gets this. I think it was the thinking behind his recent house cleaning in the farm system.

    But if the current group of high-level minor leaguers -- Cueto, Bailey, Maloney, Pelland, Roenicke, Viola, to name some -- doesn't produce one or two solid major league guys during next season, it will be very frustrating.

    And if the answer is that the Reds are becoming too dependent on high school prospects, who are very young and tend to fall by the wayside due to injury, etc., then you have to question the decision to go that route.

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    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: Developing Pitchers

    Here's how bad it has been. Here is the list of pitchers who were drafted or signed by the Reds as an amateur free agent who have actually started a game for the Reds in the past ten seasons:

    Homer Bailey 6
    Jose Acevedo 54
    Josh Hall 5
    John Riedling 8
    Lance Davis 20
    Scott Williamson 10
    Brett Tomko 79
    Eddie Priest 2
    Period. Eight starting pitchers - a total of 184 starts in their careers as Reds and nearly 3/4 of those went to Tomko (79) and Acevedo (54). Now, I can't say how many players during that time period the Reds drafted who went on to become ML starters elsewhere, but that is all of them who have come through our system and started for us. Period.

    Ouch.
    Last edited by redsmetz; 09-14-2007 at 02:53 PM. Reason: Updated, adding Priest and adjusting numbers accordingly

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    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Developing Pitchers

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    The thing is, the Yankees didn't develop Chamberlain or Kennedy really. They were both college products who spent a year in the Yankees system.
    Exactly. Perhaps the axiom should be "Don't develop pitchers, acquire them."
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    Re: Developing Pitchers

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    Exactly. Perhaps the axiom should be "Don't develop pitchers, acquire them."
    Somebody is developing them, or they wouldn't exist.

    And isn't the idea for a "small" market team to develop pitchers, rather than acquire them, because they are rare commodities and expensive to acquire?

    You have to both develop them and acquire them. The Yankees drafted all these young guys, they didn't trade for them. Some may be college draftees, but draftees nevertheless.

    The Reds have very good position players at this point. It's just a crime that they can't find a way to have reasonable pitching.

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    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: Developing Pitchers

    I dug a little deep on pitchers the Reds have drafted and found a list on baseball-reference.com of the Reds' draft lists and players who ultimately played at the ML level

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CIN/draft.shtml

    I went back as far as the 1994 draft, the year John Riedling was drafted, and looked at how many pitchers we drafted who ultimately made the majors.

    In all, from 1994 until 2003 (the last year on the list), besides the pitchers named earlier, we had seventeen other players we drafted as pitchers who have thus far played at in the big leagues. Besides the pitchers named earlier, only four played for the Reds at all: CJ Nitkowski, Scott MacRae, Todd Coffey and Ryan Wagner. Of those, only Nitkowski ever started for us, those in his rookie season during which he was traded to Detroit).

    The others who have played MLB who were drafted by the Reds:

    Mark Corey, Ray King, Justin Atchley, Jeff Sparks, Buddy Carlyle, Bobby Modritsch, John Koronka, BJ Ryan, Scott Dunn, Mike Neu, Ryan Snare and Dustin Moseley. Only Moseley and Koronka ever started a game.

    I don't know how pitchers we drafted during that time, nor what the track record of other clubs have been, but the vast majority of pitchers who have played for the Reds in the last ten plus years were originally signed by us.

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    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Developing Pitchers

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    Somebody is developing them, or they wouldn't exist.

    And isn't the idea for a "small" market team to develop pitchers, rather than acquire them, because they are rare commodities and expensive to acquire?

    You have to both develop them and acquire them. The Yankees drafted all these young guys, they didn't trade for them. Some may be college draftees, but draftees nevertheless.

    The Reds have very good position players at this point. It's just a crime that they can't find a way to have reasonable pitching.
    Yep, in this case it was the universities of Nebraska and Southern California that did the developing. Tim Lincecum got developed courtesy of the University of Washington.

    But it's that second sentence you've got there which isn't so much stuck inside the box as it's buried in the center of a Russian nesting doll. I'll tell you what the idea for a small market team shouldn't be -- basing your organization on a trite canard. We've been told for a decade the Reds are developing pitching. Where's the pitchers? Meanwhile the Yankees and Giants just went out and drafted three pitchers last year who didn't need much in the way of development. It had nothing to do with small or big market, just the ability to figure out who was ready and who wasn't.

    Imagine if the Reds had that skill, the ability to identify pitchers rather than projects. They could have had Jeff Francis instead of Chris Gruler. They could have had Jered Weaver instead of Homer Bailey. They could have had Tim Lincecum instead of Drew Stubbs.

    How do you think the team might be doing right now with a rotation of Harang, Arroyo, Francis, Weaver and Lincecum? I'm thinking first place with a bullet. And that's not just revisionist history. We've had a lot of people here who made the case that the team should have taken the above-mentioned arms (based on the notion that the best advanced arm available is usually the smart pick).

    Acquistion doesn't mean you spend top dollar for free agents. It means you identify pitchers with the ability to make a difference in the majors in the near team and you go get them. The Mets plucked John Maine and Oliver Perez in that fashion. Think about that, the two New York teams have beaten the Reds at what should be the small market game. They found inexpensive, readily available pitchers while the Reds keep paying lip service to a plan that never seems to reach fruition.

    That's the crime. Other teams do what the Reds could do, but don't. There's really no mystery to it. We're rooting for Deputy Dawg.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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    Re: Developing Pitchers

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    Yep, in this case it was the universities of Nebraska and Southern California that did the developing. Tim Lincecum got developed courtesy of the University of Washington.

    But it's that second sentence you've got there which isn't so much stuck inside the box as it's buried in the center of a Russian nesting doll. I'll tell you what the idea for a small market team shouldn't be -- basing your organization on a trite canard. We've been told for a decade the Reds are developing pitching. Where's the pitchers? Meanwhile the Yankees and Giants just went out and drafted three pitchers last year who didn't need much in the way of development. It had nothing to do with small or big market, just the ability to figure out who was ready and who wasn't.

    Imagine if the Reds had that skill, the ability to identify pitchers rather than projects. They could have had Jeff Francis instead of Chris Gruler. They could have had Jered Weaver instead of Homer Bailey. They could have had Tim Lincecum instead of Drew Stubbs.

    How do you think the team might be doing right now with a rotation of Harang, Arroyo, Francis, Weaver and Lincecum? I'm thinking first place with a bullet. And that's not just revisionist history. We've had a lot of people here who made the case that the team should have taken the above-mentioned arms (based on the notion that the best advanced arm available is usually the smart pick).

    Acquistion doesn't mean you spend top dollar for free agents. It means you identify pitchers with the ability to make a difference in the majors in the near team and you go get them. The Mets plucked John Maine and Oliver Perez in that fashion. Think about that, the two New York teams have beaten the Reds at what should be the small market game. They found inexpensive, readily available pitchers while the Reds keep paying lip service to a plan that never seems to reach fruition.

    That's the crime. Other teams do what the Reds could do, but don't. There's really no mystery to it. We're rooting for Deputy Dawg.

    Very good point.

  12. #11
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Developing Pitchers

    I went through a similar exercise about a month ago, redsmetz: http://www.redszone.com/forums/showt...ed#post1432933

    M2 makes a very good point as well. The Braves and A's both take this logic in different directions, both successfully.

    The Braves figure that if anybody is going to develop a player well, it's them. Thus they focus more on identifying top level high school talent and then develop it in house. They don't have to spend time breaking old habits and don't have to worry about any usage abuse to which the player might have been subjected. This also has the affect of getting the player to the major leagues at a younger age.

    The A's figure that if it is going to take a player 5-6 years to develop and that most prospects fail to develop in to major leaguers due either to a variety of reasons including insufficient talent and injuries, that they should minimize their risk by focusing on players closer to their developmental peak or who have overwhelming potential to offset said risk.

    Both approaches are very logical and both organizations have developed their scouting and player development talent to those ends.

    So, what is the Reds organizational philosophy on player development? What skills, talents, abilities do we value most highly? What are our strengths and weaknesses in developing those skills, talents, and abilities?

    Given those things, how do we go about addressing the fact that we have failed to develop pitching prospects? The A's tried to address the injury question by focusing on players who had already progressed through the injury nexus of the early 20's. The Braves focused on the developmental issue by drafting young players with good "makeup" who would take coaching well.

    I wish I could something positive about what we do and why we do it that way.
    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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    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: Developing Pitchers

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    I wish I could something positive about what we do and why we do it that way.
    I'm not sure it's a matter of finding something positive, particularly about the past. We can't do anything about that or undo any of it. What's done is done.

    But we can ask what's being done now. That's been why I've been harping on can we teach some of these potentially talented pitchers to be more effective pitchers. How are we looking on the pitchers acquired over the last two seasons (the Krivsky era)? What are we doing differently to see that we have a better success rate.

    I like that Wayne has been grabbing so many pitchers from other organizations particularly to put in the minors. I like that the Latin American operations seem to be sending players into our minor league system finally. But we need to kick it up a notch (or two or three!).

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    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Developing Pitchers

    RMR, it's important to add that the Braves also develop a lot of kid arms to trade them. Of their top 10 IP guys this season, exactly one, Chuck James, is a Braves product.

    The Reds could use that sort of developmental realpolitik.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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    Re: Developing Pitchers

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    I went through a similar exercise about a month ago, redsmetz: http://www.redszone.com/forums/showt...ed#post1432933

    M2 makes a very good point as well. The Braves and A's both take this logic in different directions, both successfully.

    The Braves figure that if anybody is going to develop a player well, it's them. Thus they focus more on identifying top level high school talent and then develop it in house. They don't have to spend time breaking old habits and don't have to worry about any usage abuse to which the player might have been subjected. This also has the affect of getting the player to the major leagues at a younger age.

    The A's figure that if it is going to take a player 5-6 years to develop and that most prospects fail to develop in to major leaguers due either to a variety of reasons including insufficient talent and injuries, that they should minimize their risk by focusing on players closer to their developmental peak or who have overwhelming potential to offset said risk.

    Both approaches are very logical and both organizations have developed their scouting and player development talent to those ends.

    So, what is the Reds organizational philosophy on player development? What skills, talents, abilities do we value most highly? What are our strengths and weaknesses in developing those skills, talents, and abilities?

    Given those things, how do we go about addressing the fact that we have failed to develop pitching prospects? The A's tried to address the injury question by focusing on players who had already progressed through the injury nexus of the early 20's. The Braves focused on the developmental issue by drafting young players with good "makeup" who would take coaching well.

    I wish I could something positive about what we do and why we do it that way.
    The A's don't have everything figured out in their drafting process either. A lot of their young top prospects are injured and on the extended dl or not doing well. I happen to know that of the two pitchers we got from them, one for sure has never had an injury or been on the dl and has a reputation for going the distance. I also happen to know that he was one of their top propects that they hoped to move up fast. He was also approached by Cincinnatti before the draft, but for whatever reason, they weren't able to get him. I think we should give Krivsky more time. I think he has a plan and knows what he is doing.

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    Re: Developing Pitchers

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    Yep, in this case it was the universities of Nebraska and Southern California that did the developing. Tim Lincecum got developed courtesy of the University of Washington.

    But it's that second sentence you've got there which isn't so much stuck inside the box as it's buried in the center of a Russian nesting doll. I'll tell you what the idea for a small market team shouldn't be -- basing your organization on a trite canard. We've been told for a decade the Reds are developing pitching. Where's the pitchers? Meanwhile the Yankees and Giants just went out and drafted three pitchers last year who didn't need much in the way of development. It had nothing to do with small or big market, just the ability to figure out who was ready and who wasn't.

    Imagine if the Reds had that skill, the ability to identify pitchers rather than projects. They could have had Jeff Francis instead of Chris Gruler. They could have had Jered Weaver instead of Homer Bailey. They could have had Tim Lincecum instead of Drew Stubbs.

    How do you think the team might be doing right now with a rotation of Harang, Arroyo, Francis, Weaver and Lincecum? I'm thinking first place with a bullet. And that's not just revisionist history. We've had a lot of people here who made the case that the team should have taken the above-mentioned arms (based on the notion that the best advanced arm available is usually the smart pick).

    Acquistion doesn't mean you spend top dollar for free agents. It means you identify pitchers with the ability to make a difference in the majors in the near team and you go get them. The Mets plucked John Maine and Oliver Perez in that fashion. Think about that, the two New York teams have beaten the Reds at what should be the small market game. They found inexpensive, readily available pitchers while the Reds keep paying lip service to a plan that never seems to reach fruition.

    That's the crime. Other teams do what the Reds could do, but don't. There's really no mystery to it. We're rooting for Deputy Dawg.
    As I asked earlier in this thread, who is responsible? Sounds like the scouts who are evaluating the pitching prospects are charged with task of recommending them to be signed. So, who are they and why hasn't change already happened?


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