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Thread: Player Development Philosophy

  1. #1
    Passion for the game Team Clark's Avatar
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    Player Development Philosophy

    I just had this question asked of me and I honestly thought this would be a great thread for Redszone. Here's the question concerning a Player Development Philospohy. This is 1 of 10 questions I was asked.

    Please identify two or three important areas where we would need to make a strategic choice about how we want to play the game as an organization. Describe the tradeoffs that would need to be understood, and any analysis that you would recommend doing to help point us in the right direction.
    I would love to hear some thoughts, opinions, ideas from you.
    It's absolutely pathetic that people can't have an opinion from actually watching games and supplementing that with stats. If you voice an opinion that doesn't fit into a black/white box you will get completely misrepresented and basically called a tobacco chewing traditionalist...
    Cedric 3/24/08

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Player Development Philosophy

    Base Running

    Aggressive, intelligent base running can lead to additional runs at very little additional financial or talent costs. Furthermore, it can be taught and isn't as talent dependent as most other offensive abilities; it is not merely a function of speed, but of good situational awareness and decision making.

    However, mistakes on the base paths can torpedo an offense. Worse than merely making an out at the plate which would have happened anyway based on that player's existing skills, they create additional outs pulling down the value of the player. The run value of a player on base is much greater than a player at the plate and thus outs are that much more costly.

    Lastly, the instructional time spent on base-running might not have as large as an impact of other things and, as shown above, might lead to fewer runs rather than more if not implemented properly.

    (BTW, love the thread concept TC)
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 10-26-2007 at 05:58 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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    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: Player Development Philosophy

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Base Running

    Aggressive, intelligent base running can lead to additional runs at very little additional financial or talent costs. Furthermore, it can be taught and is as talent dependent as most other offensive abilities; it is not merely a function of speed, but of good situational awareness and decision making.

    However, mistakes on the base paths can torpedo an offense. Worse than merely making an out at the plate which would have happened anyway based on that player's existing skills, they create additional outs pulling down the value of the player. The run value of a player on base is much greater than a player at the plate and thus outs are that much more costly

    Lastly, the instructional time spent on base-running might not have as large as an impact of other things and, as shown above, might lead to fewer runs rather than more if not implemented properly.

    (BTW, love the thread concept TC)
    Agree, Rick!
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
    Fame is man given: be thankful.
    Conceit is self given: be careful.

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    Member icehole3's Avatar
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    Re: Player Development Philosophy

    Every Reds team I can remember that made a dent in the post season had good speed and very very good if not great defense. Until the Reds of this generation can field a team with those quailities plus some solid above average pitching I wont expect them to make the playoffs. So come march if I see Jr in RF and Dunn in LF, I wont have high expectations, Im sorry. As far as the minor league philosophy the Reds have, I like the guys coming up thru A to AA, I would also like to see the Reds in 2008 draft pitchers in the first 6 rounds then go with some guys who have great speed and can make good contact for the next six rounds. I'll probably get slammed by our minor league experts but thats just my opinion.


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    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Player Development Philosophy

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Base Running

    Aggressive, intelligent base running can lead to additional runs at very little additional financial or talent costs. Furthermore, it can be taught and isn't as talent dependent as most other offensive abilities; it is not merely a function of speed, but of good situational awareness and decision making.

    However, mistakes on the base paths can torpedo an offense. Worse than merely making an out at the plate which would have happened anyway based on that player's existing skills, they create additional outs pulling down the value of the player. The run value of a player on base is much greater than a player at the plate and thus outs are that much more costly.

    Lastly, the instructional time spent on base-running might not have as large as an impact of other things and, as shown above, might lead to fewer runs rather than more if not implemented properly.

    (BTW, love the thread concept TC)
    I actually think that's a reason to spend more time on baserunning instruction. Teams that can do it well (the Angels for instance) can take huge advantage of the more plodding defenses and underpowered arms of this power-laden age.

    On the SB side of things, the NL average was 75.6% last season, the AL average was 73.2%. If you've got speed, a stolen base has never easier to take or more profitable from an offensive standpoint.

    I love the thread concept too.

    My pet development theory is not rushing pitchers. It's real simple to show why. Go back over the past 10 years and look at how pitchers perform by age, break it down into one year slices. Year-in, year-out you'll notice starting pitchers at ages 20, 21 and 22 get ripped. All of them are supposed to be prodigies at those ages, but they collectively stink every year. It starts to get better at age 23 and turns the corner in the mid 20s. So what's the rush with a kid arm? It's helping no one to elevate a kid to the majors and have him get his clock cleaned.

    What would be useful is to find what separates successful young pitchers from the larger group of batting tees. My guess is it boils down to control and physical maturity more than raw stuff, but it would be instructive to put some organized research into it.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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  7. #6
    Passion for the game Team Clark's Avatar
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    Re: Player Development Philosophy

    Quote Originally Posted by icehole3 View Post
    Every Reds team I can remember that made a dent in the post season had good speed and very very good if not great defense. Until the Reds of this generation can field a team with those quailities plus some solid above average pitching I wont expect them to make the playoffs. So come march if I see Jr in RF and Dunn in LF, I wont have high expectations, Im sorry. As far as the minor league philosophy the Reds have, I like the guys coming up thru A to AA, I would also like to see the Reds in 2008 draft pitchers in the first 6 rounds then go with some guys who have great speed and can make good contact for the next six rounds. I'll probably get slammed by our minor league experts but thats just my opinion.

    I would tend to agree with you on drafting pitchers in at least the first 5 of 10 rounds. Maybe as many as 7. Depending on what your true needs are position wise in say 4 or 5 years I would have to back off a position player in rounds 1-3. He would have to be a Jeter, Josh Hamilton, Delmon Young, BJ Upton type to take a chance on. Those guys do come up in a draft. You have to look at them. Really good arms are just so hard to come by. Not that hitters are not. Just sayin' I would get as much pitching as I could. You have enough pitching and you can trade for any position you need.

    I personally think drafting a Catcher in the first three or four rounds is a waste. He would have to be exceptional. I do mean Exceptional. There are pleanty of good catchers available in rounds 10-20.

    Great discussion all.
    It's absolutely pathetic that people can't have an opinion from actually watching games and supplementing that with stats. If you voice an opinion that doesn't fit into a black/white box you will get completely misrepresented and basically called a tobacco chewing traditionalist...
    Cedric 3/24/08

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    Beer is good!! George Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Player Development Philosophy

    I am not a real big Dusty Baker fan but one thing he did experience being a part of the Dodgers for so many years is just how they developed their players. It seems like the Dodgers of the 70's and 80's just year in and year out had one of the top notch farm systems in all of baseball. Maybe Dusty can clue in the Reds as to what the player development focus should be.
    "Boys, I'm one of those umpires that misses 'em every once in a while so if it's close, you'd better hit it." Cal Hubbard

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    BobC, get a legit F.O.! Mario-Rijo's Avatar
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    Re: Player Development Philosophy

    There are some really good ideas here. My thoughts on the subject are this. All champions (that's what you are building for right) at every sport, competition or even meaningless banter have one thing in common. Competitive fire!

    I have seen more guys with less talent win more championships than I care to write. But it's the one thing that sets champions apart. Most every guy in baseball will tell you he loves to win, but how many tell you he hates to lose even moreso.

    These are the guys who put in the work to be the best and usually end up that way. So if I had to target one thing that would improve an organization/team it would be to make that the #1 criteria for potential players in our organization competitive desire.

    How competitive is this guy, on a scale of 1 to 10? #1 being, I don't care how talented he is, he won't be someone I have interest in whatsoever. And 9 Being he won't roll out of bed without trying to get his feet on the floor before his significant other. That kind of drive cannot be underestimated.

    The tradeoff is you probably are gonna lose some degree of talent which means you will always be the team that doesn't look as good on paper. I.E. the Patriots for example, they always have looked beatable prior to this year but they just find ways to beat you. They have a lot of guys like that but none greater than Brady and Bruschi. Now I am not a fan but these guys get it done and it's their competitive desire that makes them so good.

    Of course you need talent, I mean if a guy can't walk my dog without losing him he sure can't be my featured RB or in this case CF. So you need a balance but teams really need to start stressing that part of the player.

    Now some guys are so competitive (#10) that they cannot get out of their own way. So a neandrethal with a strong desire for winning to the point they go beyond what's smart, fair or right is a neandrethal and that's it. So he must also have a strong and healthy sense of respect for competition. Knowing that if winning at all costs means not really winning at all, then you have your guy(s).

    You couple that with hiring instructors/coaches/managers of the same ilk who actually understand the game and you have a winning combination, IMHYVCO.

    Ironically enough that's one of the reasons this board is such a success. It has far more meaningful analysis because of the fire in the bellies of the writers on the board. They work in their spare time to be right about the Reds because, that's what now drives them.

    In fact I think we could field one heck of a men's (or co-ed even, sorry VP, Kitty, etc.) softball team, assuming we didn't kill each other in practice I mean after practice discussing Reds baseball ! Of course I should add that we might search for some actual working talent in the midst of this, some of you have been at the computer so long you might pull a hammy getting up to go to the facilities.
    Last edited by Mario-Rijo; 10-27-2007 at 02:03 AM.
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  10. #9
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    Re: Player Development Philosophy

    "Pitch to contact."

    "All batters must take the first two pitches, no matter what."

    "Minor league pitchers will pitch only three innings a game."

    Most organization-wide philosophies seem to do more harm than good if they're too specific.

    But I kind of like the idea of "Come back with first-round pitching or don't come home at all."

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    Member Ron Madden's Avatar
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    Re: Player Development Philosophy

    Quote Originally Posted by George Anderson View Post
    I am not a real big Dusty Baker fan but one thing he did experience being a part of the Dodgers for so many years is just how they developed their players. It seems like the Dodgers of the 70's and 80's just year in and year out had one of the top notch farm systems in all of baseball. Maybe Dusty can clue in the Reds as to what the player development focus should be.
    Dusty was brought up through the Braves organization, it's pretty good at developing talent too.

  12. #11
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Player Development Philosophy

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    My pet development theory is not rushing pitchers. It's real simple to show why. Go back over the past 10 years and look at how pitchers perform by age, break it down into one year slices. Year-in, year-out you'll notice starting pitchers at ages 20, 21 and 22 get ripped. All of them are supposed to be prodigies at those ages, but they collectively stink every year. It starts to get better at age 23 and turns the corner in the mid 20s. So what's the rush with a kid arm? It's helping no one to elevate a kid to the majors and have him get his clock cleaned.
    My sentiment exactly. I'm really not looking for or expecting any great "breakthough" with Bailey this year, who turns 22 next May.

    Isn't it the Braves organization that drafts young arms and starts them at the bottom tier regardless, doesn't rush them, nor allow them to jump levels?

    To those that follow the draft far more closely then I - do the Reds draft many college level pitchers?
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

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    Re: Player Development Philosophy

    Quote Originally Posted by GAC View Post
    My sentiment exactly. I'm really not looking for or expecting any great "breakthough" with Bailey this year, who turns 22 next May.

    Isn't it the Braves organization that drafts young arms and starts them at the bottom tier regardless, doesn't rush them, nor allow them to jump levels?

    To those that follow the draft far more closely then I - do the Reds draft many college level pitchers?
    Interestingly, Homer Bailey is EXACTLY the cookie cutter mold pitcher the Braves have been known to draft. They go for a tall, lanky righthander-right out of high school-who can throw hard and throw a decent curveball. And you are correct. The guy will spend five years meandering through their farm system before he ever sees the light of day in Atlanta.

    To me, on the issue of development, I think the first need is to identify those skills that can be taught versus the skills that are solely "God-given" abilities. A guy who throws 98 mph fastballs has a God-given ability that a guy who throws 88 mph fastballs does not. However, good development looks at the 88 mph guy and sees a mechanical flaw that, if corrected, could make the 88 mph guy throw 90-91 mph.

    There are a number of skills I see as subjective and influenced by good coaching. Things like fielding, range, and base-stealing - how much is ability and how much is taught?
    Opinions are like belly buttons. Everybody has one, and they don't want someone else's shoved into their face.

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    Beer is good!! George Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Player Development Philosophy

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Madden View Post
    Dusty was brought up through the Braves organization, it's pretty good at developing talent too.
    Yea I knew Dusty came up through the Braves organization, he should however have a little bit of insight as to how the Dodgers developed players even though he himself was developed through a different farm system.
    "Boys, I'm one of those umpires that misses 'em every once in a while so if it's close, you'd better hit it." Cal Hubbard

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    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Player Development Philosophy

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Madden View Post
    Dusty was brought up through the Braves organization, it's pretty good at developing talent too.
    The Braves were declining when Dusty came on the scene. His best playing days were with the Dodgers.

  16. #15
    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: Player Development Philosophy

    Dusty came up with a pretty good group of everyday players with the Braves. Darrell Evans, Ralph Garr, and Earl Williams. The only pitcher of any note with that group was Tom House, who was not much of a pitcher but turned out to be a decent pitching coach.
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
    Fame is man given: be thankful.
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