The words Prospect and Rookie have very specific meanings in the scouting community. Those meanings tend to slide by the wayside the further you get from the scouting community. If anybody knows of an online resource that states players ages at their rookie seasons, I really want to take a look at it.
Ryan Hannigan, Chris Dickerson, Adam Rosales, and Jay Bruce. Which of these doesn't belong?
Under Jim Bowden we saw a parade of young prospects, guys who were under 24 come up to the big team, enjoy limited success and then crash and burn. Most of these guys demonstrated a real lack of Baseball IQ. They threw behind the runner or to the wrong base. Footwork was atrocious. Pitchers usually didn't have more than two pitches. What you didn't see was a career AAAA player get a serious shot at playing time.
The reds don't do that anymore. Slowly the organization has changed away from that model. In the above example, Hannigan, Dickerson and Rosales are 28, 27 and 26. Bruce is 22, but Bruce busted his way into the lineup. The other guys...Well, I was convinced that the reds had forgotten about Dickerson and Hannigan.
Janish belongs here too. He was a college player that made it through a league a year and he's on the major league roster as a 26 year old.
Guys like that aren't on this roster just because there is a hole and we need a warm body to fill it.
What used to happen? Smitherman was 24. Hummell was 24. Olmedo was 22. Edwin was 22. Bergola was 22. Wagner was 20. The Lizard was 22. Wily Mo of course was 20.
Buys these guys are the anti-wily-mo's. They are putting in so much time in the minors, that by the time they get here, they know how to play and they play hard.
You don't see missed cutoff men or rainbows to the plate from the outfield. Tuesday night there was a rundown of a guy between first and second with a runner at third and two outs. The old reds would have found a way to let the run score and get neither runner. Two throws and it was all over with this crew.
Keep them in the minor's as long as you possibly can. Don't put them on the 40 man roster till you have to and even if they are on the 40 man roster, that doesn't mean you have to put them in the majors.
It's a very different way of doing things that pre-dates Jocketty. It's working.