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Thread: Player Development Philosophy

  1. #16
    Passion for the game Team Clark's Avatar
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    Re: Player Development Philosophy

    Good discussion so far but I have not heard much discussion about this part of the question:
    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.
    As often as I see analysis and overwhelming opinion on what's wrong with the farm system I haven't seen anyone post to this question.
    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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  3. #17
    The Boss dougdirt'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.

    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.
    Well, maybe these guys who struggled at 20-21-22 were ready to pitch at 23 becuase of what they learned at those other ages. Its all a learning curve, and you are going to learn more, for the most part, by struggling. The guys that are breaking in at those ages, are for the most part, the most talented guys, and likewise, they got away with a lot more in the minor leagues than guys with lesser stuff. So when they get to the majors, they aren't getting away with it as much, and they have to then make adjustments that lesser stuff guys were making in A+ at the same age as they are now making in the majors. Thats just my opinion on it anyways.

  4. #18
    Titanic Struggles Caveat Emperor's Avatar
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    Re: Player Development Philosophy

    Quote Originally Posted by Team Clark View Post
    As often as I see analysis and overwhelming opinion on what's wrong with the farm system I haven't seen anyone post to this question.
    I've always been an advocate of spending backwards in the minor leagues -- the most money should be spent on the lowest levels.

    Open the wallet and hire not one, but multiple quality coaches to be instructors in low minor league levels. These people can not only help shape the talents of players to fit team needs but they can also be valuable resources to management in determining who are the real deal and who are the guys that will hit their ceilings before the major league level. The way to "win" trades is always to know more about your own guys than anyone else. If the best coaches are in other organizations, target them and offer them as much money as it takes to get them working with your young players.

    People complain, especially around here, that players have bad plate approaches, bad mechanics with their pitching, poor defensive skills -- the time to make a difference isn't in spring training with more PFP or defensive drills. The time to make a difference was when those players were 19 and 20 and just learning how to be professional ballplayers. Spend the money when it matters.

    Thats my take, at least.
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  5. #19
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Player Development Philosophy

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor View Post
    I've always been an advocate of spending backwards in the minor leagues -- the most money should be spent on the lowest levels.

    Open the wallet and hire not one, but multiple quality coaches to be instructors in low minor league levels. These people can not only help shape the talents of players to fit team needs but they can also be valuable resources to management in determining who are the real deal and who are the guys that will hit their ceilings before the major league level. The way to "win" trades is always to know more about your own guys than anyone else. If the best coaches are in other organizations, target them and offer them as much money as it takes to get them working with your young players.

    People complain, especially around here, that players have bad plate approaches, bad mechanics with their pitching, poor defensive skills -- the time to make a difference isn't in spring training with more PFP or defensive drills. The time to make a difference was when those players were 19 and 20 and just learning how to be professional ballplayers. Spend the money when it matters.

    Thats my take, at least.
    Great post. I don't know if it was you who said it somewhere else, probably was, but I have heard that theory before.

  6. #20
    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: Player Development Philosophy

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor View Post
    I've always been an advocate of spending backwards in the minor leagues -- the most money should be spent on the lowest levels.

    Open the wallet and hire not one, but multiple quality coaches to be instructors in low minor league levels. These people can not only help shape the talents of players to fit team needs but they can also be valuable resources to management in determining who are the real deal and who are the guys that will hit their ceilings before the major league level. The way to "win" trades is always to know more about your own guys than anyone else. If the best coaches are in other organizations, target them and offer them as much money as it takes to get them working with your young players.

    People complain, especially around here, that players have bad plate approaches, bad mechanics with their pitching, poor defensive skills -- the time to make a difference isn't in spring training with more PFP or defensive drills. The time to make a difference was when those players were 19 and 20 and just learning how to be professional ballplayers. Spend the money when it matters.

    Thats my take, at least.
    Terrific post. One additional benefit: If you can find those quality coaches for the lower minors, they will probably cost you much less than one failed free agent starting pitcher such as Eric Milton.
    I also like RedsMan Rick's suggestion re baserunning. Pete Rose was a terrific baserunner (not basestealer) who rarely made a mistake on the bases and always took the extra base despite not being blessed with exceptional speed.
    While the Reds made a stupid way of implementing the idea a few years ago, teaching hitters to be patient, make the pitcher work, and, with less than two strikes to wait for a pitch to drive is fundamental Ted Williams hitting that anyone should be able to learn to do to the best of his ability.
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."

  7. #21
    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
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    Re: Player Development Philosophy

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Great post. I don't know if it was you who said it somewhere else, probably was, but I have heard that theory before.
    Ahem.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
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  8. #22
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Player Development Philosophy

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Well, maybe these guys who struggled at 20-21-22 were ready to pitch at 23 becuase of what they learned at those other ages. Its all a learning curve, and you are going to learn more, for the most part, by struggling. The guys that are breaking in at those ages, are for the most part, the most talented guys, and likewise, they got away with a lot more in the minor leagues than guys with lesser stuff. So when they get to the majors, they aren't getting away with it as much, and they have to then make adjustments that lesser stuff guys were making in A+ at the same age as they are now making in the majors. Thats just my opinion on it anyways.
    You can go back and check it out yourself if you care to. You'll find out that you couldn't be more wrong about the early callup being a superior major league apprenticeship. In fact it looks to be the inferior route. That might just be because the early callups are a smaller group that invariably will be outdone by the larger group of guys who weren't pitching much in the majors until they were 23 or 24 (or even older). The top 27-30 pitchers are almost never the same guys you'd have picked as the top 18-21 guys nine years earlier. Some kids make it through, but most don't. History's pretty clear about this. We could learn from it.

    Since it would be hard to come up with worse success rate for the supposed 18-21 gems, I figure you've got just about nothing to lose by taking a more conservative approach to promoting them. That you're not giving so many major league innings to bad pitchers isn't a bad bonus either.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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  9. #23
    Member icehole3's Avatar
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    Re: Player Development Philosophy

    Quote Originally Posted by Team Clark View Post
    Good discussion so far but I have not heard much discussion about this part of the question:

    As often as I see analysis and overwhelming opinion on what's wrong with the farm system I haven't seen anyone post to this question.
    I thought I had addressed it. This would be my approach for the next few seasons anyway

    Team clark wrote: 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?
    my answer: 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.

  10. #24
    Passion for the game Team Clark's Avatar
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    Re: Player Development Philosophy

    Quote Originally Posted by icehole3 View Post
    I thought I had addressed it. This would be my approach for the next few seasons anyway
    I see where you are coming from. I posted a follow up to your post and totally supported it. I was looking for some direct input on ways to analyze the approaches being discussed. I have really started digging into and trying to get my hands around SABR approaches. I have read a few articles in the last week that are eye opening to say the least concerning baserunning and fielding.
    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

  11. #25
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    Re: Player Development Philosophy

    Good idea for a topic, TC. Here are my primary frustrations with today's pitchers:

    1. Throw Strikes. Babe Ruth's Dead-- The Importance of the First-Pitch Strike
    Advantage:
    Pitchers who throw first pitch strikes have a BAA of over 200 points below those that throw first-pitch balls over the course of an entire at-bat. This should improve not only base runners, ERA, RA, and wins, but should also keep starters in games longer, thereby decreasing the dependence on relievers, especially long relievers who typically struggle. In short, the more strikes thrown early, the more successful a pitcher typically is.
    Implementation:
    There need not be a focus area in the draft on movement and command while sacrificing velocity. That would mean more of the Kirk Saarlooses of the world and fewer old-school Nolan Ryans. That's assinine. No, the implementation of this philosophy would begin after draft. Pitching coaches would hammer home the importance of that first pitch. Pitchers not starting would chart first pitch strikes and results. Pitchers-- as a staff-- would watch video focusing on good first pitch strike throwers throughout recent baseball history (i.e., Sandy Koufax, Steve Carlton, Tom Seaver, Whitey Ford, Luis Tiant, Orel Hershiser, Rick Rhoden, Ron Guidry, Jack Morris, et al).
    Tradeoffs/ Negatives:
    While a first-pitch strike is almost always beneficial, there are times when effective wildness is necessary. Early in professional careers, pitchers may begin to groove those first offerings, with disastrous results. This may lead to a fear of taking the plate back from the hitter and astronomical early ERA's. This too may lead to a questioning of talent by the individual, especially with those that have less than healthy professional egos.

    2. Hitting 'Em's Only One Pitch-- A Walk Is Four: The Importance of Pitching Inside
    Advantage:
    Again, pitching to the inside part of the plate is a necessary part of most dominant pitching repetoires. Pitchers that aren't afraid to pitch inside should see an increase in K's, more effective fastballs, and better overall "pitchability".
    Implementation:
    Again, the need for draft implementation is unnecessary. (It may prove beneficial; it may not.) After drafting pitchers, focus at each rung of the minor league ladder on the importance of pitching inside. Hire pitching coaches who believe primarily in pitching inside. Chart HBP's, K's, and quality starts.
    Tradeoffs/ Negatives:
    Pitchers who pitch inside tend to have some hurdles to overcome. One of the disadvantages is the addition of extra baserunners in terms of hits batsmen. This could in turn cause doubts about the program and hinder individual success. Too, a serious injury caused could shatter the confidence and ego of an erstwhile ace.

    3. Begin at the Beginning: The Importance of Relievers Beginning Innings
    Advantage:
    Relievers are there to do two things: put out fires or eat innings. In today's game, this usually means an adherence to The Book, the unwritten rules all teams blindly follow. But the book not being read is the preponderance of success for all relievers when they start an inning on their own, rather than come in only after a starter has allowed one or two baserunners. If allowed to start innings, relievers tend to be much more effective, thereby saving innings on starters and other relievers. This should also mean a fresher bullpen and fewer injuries throughout the pitching staff. Too, as pitchers mature and experience success, they blossom. This system allows for better numbers for minor league relievers and starters, meaning more opportunities for quality trades.
    Implementation:
    When at all possible, allow relievers to start innings, rather than come in with runners on base. Throughout the organization, focus on giving relievers the best of all worlds-- one in which opposing baserunners clog no bases-- while pitching. Starters would work a set number of innings, rather than pitches. (If they're close at 92 pitches after the fifth, they sit, despite not throwing 100 pitches exactly.)
    Tradeoffs/ Negatives:
    Relievers won't be as familiar with high stress areas, thus possibly influencing or exacerbating those times in which starter suddenly struggle. If the wheels come off, the wheels come off. There's little you can do about it. However, if possible, give those relievers a chance. They may turn into closers. Low inniing counts for starters may also mean a higher reliance on lesser pitchers coming out of the pen.


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