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View Poll Results: Name the top 15 "Most Talented"

Voters
44. You may not vote on this poll
  • Alonso

    33 75.00%
  • Bailey

    29 65.91%
  • Bucholz

    12 27.27%
  • Cozart

    14 31.82%
  • Dickerson

    25 56.82%
  • Dorn

    16 36.36%
  • Duran

    30 68.18%
  • Carlos Fisher

    6 13.64%
  • Francisco

    29 65.91%
  • Frazier

    28 63.64%
  • Lotzkar

    25 56.82%
  • Mesoraco

    18 40.91%
  • Y. Rodriguez

    32 72.73%
  • Roenicke

    19 43.18%
  • Soto

    31 70.45%
  • Stewart

    20 45.45%
  • Stubbs

    30 68.18%
  • Sulbaran

    10 22.73%
  • Valaika

    23 52.27%
  • Other (if you have more than 1 other, list them)

    8 18.18%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Thread: Raw Talent

  1. #61
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    Re: Raw Talent

    I only saw the Dayton team this season, but if you want to talk strictly tools, without a doubt, the top guy on the club was Justin Reed. Unfortunately, those tools did not translate into production at the plate. Reed, I believe, once rushed for 400 yards in a high school football game. He made some catches in center field this season that I still can't believe. He has home run power. But his inability to recognize the breaking ball is something that will be tough for him to overcome (137 Ks in 410 ABs).

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  3. #62
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    Re: Raw Talent

    I have to admit I don't see these guys at all. So as far as assessing raw talent I really can't bring anything to the discussion.

    What I do look at very closely is statistics. When a minor league ballplayer hits .300 at various levels as he climbs through the organization I believe he is destined for the big leagues. I also look at errors especially for the infielders.

    I don't believe a ballplayer can fake a .300 average. In order to hit .300 you have to hit the ball. It is very rare for a player to hit .300 and get a lot of walks besides.

    Although walks put potential runs on the bases, it is hitting that actually brings them in.

    I also look at errors. Arm strenth is important, but it is more important for an infielder to be accurate with his throws. Okay so he may not throw the guy out, but the ball doesn't end up in the dugout or seats. (I would say that most errors are the results of bad throws than dropped balls.)

  4. #63
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    Re: Raw Talent

    Quote Originally Posted by flash View Post
    I have to admit I don't see these guys at all. So as far as assessing raw talent I really can't bring anything to the discussion.

    What I do look at very closely is statistics. When a minor league ballplayer hits .300 at various levels as he climbs through the organization I believe he is destined for the big leagues. I also look at errors especially for the infielders.

    I don't believe a ballplayer can fake a .300 average. In order to hit .300 you have to hit the ball. It is very rare for a player to hit .300 and get a lot of walks besides.

    Although walks put potential runs on the bases, it is hitting that actually brings them in.

    I also look at errors. Arm strenth is important, but it is more important for an infielder to be accurate with his throws. Okay so he may not throw the guy out, but the ball doesn't end up in the dugout or seats. (I would say that most errors are the results of bad throws than dropped balls.)
    I am with you, flash. I too am forced to rely primarily on statistics. I was looking not only at athleticism, but also some indication that it would translate to the kind of baseball skills that would provide a high ceiling. Of the two, however, I considered a demonstrated superior baseball skill more important.

    I also considered Means, Ravin, and Reed. Ravin, though said to have one of the best arms in the system, has shown little improvement in three seasons. I have no idea of the likelihood of a player suddenly finding it, but I suspect it is a long shot. IIRC, Sandy Koufax struggled with control for years before putting it all together.

    Redsof72 summed up Reed nicely. Means is a more difficult call because of the small sample size at Billings. Had he put up Indiana numbers, I would have included him.

  5. #64
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    Re: Raw Talent

    I'm surprised no one has mentioned Junior Arias yet. I know we only have limited info on him so far, but he's been described as being great athlete. He's supposedly a slick fielding shortstop with solid potential with the bat. I'll be keeping a close eye on him in the GCL next season.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

  6. #65
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    Re: Raw Talent

    I must admit catchers and pitchers throw my system out of whack. Pitchers have to face a steep learning curve. There are some who do confound all probability. There are the Nolans', Brownings' and Valenzuelas' that come out of nowhere to have great rookie seasons, and the the Seavers' that are great from the start. Usually a pitcher gets banged around at first though.

    I think catchers may face the same learning curve to a certain extent. Bench, great as he was threw a few balls into center field in his initial battles with Lou Brock. But there doesn't seem to be a good place to get minor league stats on that. Even if you could, they might be skewed because you don't know if the minor league pitchers have a clue about holding runners on.

  7. #66
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    Re: Raw Talent

    Ravin has gotten some mentions here and continues to get attention once in a while because of reports from a couple of years ago that he hit 100 a few times. Whether it is because he is taking something off his fastball to try to get it in the zone or for some other reason, he no longer throws at a velocity that would grab anyone's attention. He is generally in the 90-91 range with horrendous command. The hardest throwers on the Dayton team were Stewart, Arias, Valiquette, and Young and all threw quite a bit harder than he did. Also, Parch and Lotzkar would pop a 95 once in a while despite generally being in the 90 range. And even Klinker, not a guy with a reputation as a hard thrower, would top out in the 92-93 range if I remember correctly. Jeffords also could do that. Ravin, unfortunately, would rank at the bottom in terms of make-up and maturity. Maybe the light will come on for him but he is far from the profile of having some blazing fastball that he just needs to learn to control.

  8. #67
    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Raw Talent

    Quote Originally Posted by redsof72 View Post
    Ravin has gotten some mentions here and continues to get attention once in a while because of reports from a couple of years ago that he hit 100 a few times. Whether it is because he is taking something off his fastball to try to get it in the zone or for some other reason, he no longer throws at a velocity that would grab anyone's attention. He is generally in the 90-91 range with horrendous command. The hardest throwers on the Dayton team were Stewart, Arias, Valiquette, and Young and all threw quite a bit harder than he did. Also, Parch and Lotzkar would pop a 95 once in a while despite generally being in the 90 range. And even Klinker, not a guy with a reputation as a hard thrower, would top out in the 92-93 range if I remember correctly. Jeffords also could do that. Ravin, unfortunately, would rank at the bottom in terms of make-up and maturity. Maybe the light will come on for him but he is far from the profile of having some blazing fastball that he just needs to learn to control.
    Thank you for the info, as always. We really appreciate it. And that's good to know about Ravin. I put him on my list based on those reports. I'm surprised that you didn't mention Jeffords as one of the flame-throwers. Does he just not throw hard enough? I ask because I've seen a report or two that claims he throws in the mid-90s.

  9. #68
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    Re: Raw Talent

    Quote Originally Posted by redsof72 View Post
    The hardest throwers on the Dayton team were Stewart, Arias, Valiquette, and Young and all threw quite a bit harder than he did.
    redsof72, can you enlighten us a bit further on Valiquette? He seems sort of a mystery man. I know he was drafted young and throws pretty hard, but his numbers have been generally uninspiring. Is he much of a prospect?

    (btw, redsof72 is one of my favorite posters. The man definitely seems to know what of he speaks.)

  10. #69
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    Re: Raw Talent

    Quote Originally Posted by mace View Post
    (btw, redsof72 is one of my favorite posters. The man definitely seems to know what of he speaks.)
    Mine too. He's very informative. I wish he would post more...
    I miss Adam Dunn.

  11. #70
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    Re: Raw Talent

    Thanks. One thing I do not do is comment on any player that I have not seen personally, so that cuts down on the number of posts.

    Jeffords had a pretty good year and he has a chance. He has a good fastball, though not in the mid-90s. The only guy on that club that consistently was in the mid-90s was Zach Stewart. He tried to work on developing a breaking ball last season with Doug Bair and seemed to make some progress. He is worth keeping an eye on.

    Valiquette has one of the better arms in the organization, especially for a lefty. I would say he is a textbook example of why you don't try to advance a guy too fast through the system. They had him in Dayton as an eighteen year old and they have bounced him around like a rubber ball. In his four years, he has never spent a season with one club where he could have some success and gain some confidence. The big thing he has to overcome is just massive inconsistency. He went to Sarasota last year and had a 2.43 ERA in mid-August and then had three bad games and finished at 3.92. You take away his two worst appearances of the 31 he made and his ERA there would have been 2.19 for a 21 year old in a high-A league. I would like to see him go to Sarasota in 2009 and spend the whole year there and see what he can do. This is a very quiet kid who was pitching in a foreign country in front of 8,000 fans a night as an 18 year old and didn't really speak the language well and struggled and it took a toll on him when he should have been playing in the GCL against other 18 year olds.

  12. #71
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    Re: Raw Talent

    Quote Originally Posted by mace View Post
    redsof72, can you enlighten us a bit further on Valiquette? He seems sort of a mystery man. I know he was drafted young and throws pretty hard, but his numbers have been generally uninspiring. Is he much of a prospect?
    Valiquette is certainly a prospect. He is a 21 year old lefty who can throw 93-95 consistently. His offspeed stuff still needs work, but it is dramatically improved over just the last year. He still has a ways to go, but he certainly is someone you shouldn't brush off and not keep an eye on.

  13. #72
    BobC, get a legit F.O.! Mario-Rijo's Avatar
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    Re: Raw Talent

    Quote Originally Posted by redsof72 View Post
    Thanks. One thing I do not do is comment on any player that I have not seen personally, so that cuts down on the number of posts.

    Jeffords had a pretty good year and he has a chance. He has a good fastball, though not in the mid-90s. The only guy on that club that consistently was in the mid-90s was Zach Stewart. He tried to work on developing a breaking ball last season with Doug Bair and seemed to make some progress. He is worth keeping an eye on.

    Valiquette has one of the better arms in the organization, especially for a lefty. I would say he is a textbook example of why you don't try to advance a guy too fast through the system. They had him in Dayton as an eighteen year old and they have bounced him around like a rubber ball. In his four years, he has never spent a season with one club where he could have some success and gain some confidence. The big thing he has to overcome is just massive inconsistency. He went to Sarasota last year and had a 2.43 ERA in mid-August and then had three bad games and finished at 3.92. You take away his two worst appearances of the 31 he made and his ERA there would have been 2.19 for a 21 year old in a high-A league. I would like to see him go to Sarasota in 2009 and spend the whole year there and see what he can do. This is a very quiet kid who was pitching in a foreign country in front of 8,000 fans a night as an 18 year old and didn't really speak the language well and struggled and it took a toll on him when he should have been playing in the GCL against other 18 year olds.
    Thanks for the info, especially on Valiquette. Mace had it right he was a bit of a mystery. And since you are offering info what about my favorite arm down there Horst? What's he throw and what's your take on him? Unfortunately I didn't get to see many Dayton games this past season and none of Horsts.
    "You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."

    --Woody Hayes

  14. #73
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    Re: Raw Talent

    I really like Horst. He is a big lefty with an average fastball of 89-90. His best pitch, by far, is his change-up, which is such a good pitch that even the better Midwest League hitters looked silly against it. Like most pitchers who rely on a change-up, he is more effective against hitters from the opposite side of the plate (more effective against right-handers). His change-up is not as effective against lefties. Right-handed batters hit .185 against him and lefties hit .247. For that reason, he has been working on a breaking ball to use against left-handers and if that becomes a good pitch, look out.

    For whatever reason, it took the Reds a while to warm up to Horst. They finally put him in the starting rotation three months into the season, almost out of necessity when Josh Ravin got hurt, and Horst was dominant. He went 5-0, 1.64 as a starter in 10 starts. Here is a stat I really like: when the going got tough, Horst was too much for opposing hitters. With runners in scoring position and two outs (moments when games are decided), they combined to hit .146 against Horst for the season, and had only one extra base hit against him all year in those situations.

    Near the end of the season, when the Reds announced their invitations to instructional league, Horst somehow was not on the list. However, Walt Jockety attended the Dragons first playoff game, and Horst was absolutely brilliant, giving up no runs and three hits over 6.2 innings before he hit his pitch limit, and got a tremendous standing ovation from the 7,500 fans when he left the game, which was one of the most memorable moments of the year, because everyone in the house was standing. According to media reports, Jockety immediately informed others that it might be a good idea that they go ahead and add Horst to the instructional league list, and based on that game in front of the GM, he got invited.

    The only knock against Horst is that when he moves up, hitters might start laying off that change-up, and his fastball is just average. It is possible, as big as he is, that he might add a mile or two to the fastball. Horst is a good guy and works hard and it has been an uphill climb for him but he has met every challenge so far.

  15. #74
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    Re: Raw Talent

    Quote Originally Posted by redsof72 View Post
    I really like Horst. He is a big lefty with an average fastball of 89-90. His best pitch, by far, is his change-up, which is such a good pitch that even the better Midwest League hitters looked silly against it. Like most pitchers who rely on a change-up, he is more effective against hitters from the opposite side of the plate (more effective against right-handers). His change-up is not as effective against lefties. Right-handed batters hit .185 against him and lefties hit .247. For that reason, he has been working on a breaking ball to use against left-handers and if that becomes a good pitch, look out.

    For whatever reason, it took the Reds a while to warm up to Horst. They finally put him in the starting rotation three months into the season, almost out of necessity when Josh Ravin got hurt, and Horst was dominant. He went 5-0, 1.64 as a starter in 10 starts. Here is a stat I really like: when the going got tough, Horst was too much for opposing hitters. With runners in scoring position and two outs (moments when games are decided), they combined to hit .146 against Horst for the season, and had only one extra base hit against him all year in those situations.

    Near the end of the season, when the Reds announced their invitations to instructional league, Horst somehow was not on the list. However, Walt Jockety attended the Dragons first playoff game, and Horst was absolutely brilliant, giving up no runs and three hits over 6.2 innings before he hit his pitch limit, and got a tremendous standing ovation from the 7,500 fans when he left the game, which was one of the most memorable moments of the year, because everyone in the house was standing. According to media reports, Jockety immediately informed others that it might be a good idea that they go ahead and add Horst to the instructional league list, and based on that game in front of the GM, he got invited.

    The only knock against Horst is that when he moves up, hitters might start laying off that change-up, and his fastball is just average. It is possible, as big as he is, that he might add a mile or two to the fastball. Horst is a good guy and works hard and it has been an uphill climb for him but he has met every challenge so far.
    Thanks for the info. He definitely dominated that league and yes I hope we see him add 2-3 MPH and solid breaking pitch if so he is a solid mid to back of the rotation option.
    "You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."

    --Woody Hayes


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