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Thread: Tough to break into the majors

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    Tough to break into the majors

    Lots of talk on the minor league forum about how this prospect or that prospect is better than this veteran or that veteran. Not so fast.

    The Reds have a lot of young players and, almost to a man, they have struggled to succeed at the major league level. It takes time, sometimes exposure to a second or third organization.

    I have no doubt that Jay Bruce will be a good major leaguer, and he is so young, but he is hitting .216 with an OBP around .300.

    Adam Rosales -- dominated AAA, but after a good start is hitting .223 with a .631 OPS.

    Chris Dickerson -- good OBP, knows how to take a walk, great defender. But his .239 BA and .359 SLG are not a good starting player's numbers.

    Janish -- great fielder but the hitting is starting to show.

    Hanigan -- Of the young hitters, he's shown the most consistency. And as a catcher, his numbers are all the more impressive. .793 OPS. Notably, though, he will be 29 this summer and had a lot of minor league experience.

    Pitching -- Cueto is just above and beyond. Of course, he had a rocky first year, lots of homers allowed. It took that year for him to get it together, he has been consistent and tremendous this year. But Volquez took a step back with his control in the second year.

    And of the relievers, the mainstays on the staff are veterans. No reliever with limited experience has become a late innings mainstay. Burton slipped back with injury. Perhaps Massett is ready to become an eighth or ninth inning guy, but he is fairly experienced.

    Not knocking the young players just commenting that minor league success is only the first step. It's tough out there.

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    High five! nate's Avatar
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    Re: Tough to break into the majors

    Jay Bruce: struggling a bit, BABIP tells part of the story
    Adam Rosales: sample size
    Chris Dickerson: sample size
    Paul Janish: SAMPLE SIZE
    Ryan Hanigan: sample size
    Johnny Cueto: he good!
    Jared Burton: he's hurt!
    Nick Masset: more please
    "Bring on Rod Stupid!"

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    Re: Tough to break into the majors

    And yet the guys who give you the best PA's despite their inexperience and somewhat a lack of productivity happen to be some of those you have listed. I know I'd much rather see Hanigan, Dickerson, Rosales at the plate over Gomes, Gonzales and Taveras. Geez even Matt Maloney has had better PA's than Gonzo normally has. Sure I wish they were more productive but playing intelligently everywhere on the field has helped make up for the lack of offense. I have no doubt in my mind that Chris Heisey could outplay Wily Taveras right now, none. I also think that Yonder Alonso could give you another Bruce type at this level right now. I don't think he would hit for as many HR's as Bruce but he'd give you a better PA and could be quite productive. Certainly the thing I'd worry about with him is making proper defensive decisions and being as good over there as has Votto and Ramon this season. But would a botched defensive play here and there be worth what he brings to the plate I think it might be. Assuming of course he is a quick learner.

    In the end though I'm all for allowing Yonder to continue on in the minors for the time being but Heisey IMO is as ready as he will ever be. Just like Joey & Ryan were well before they were called up.
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    Re: Tough to break into the majors

    Quote Originally Posted by nate View Post
    Jay Bruce: struggling a bit, BABIP tells part of the story
    Adam Rosales: sample size
    Chris Dickerson: sample size
    Paul Janish: SAMPLE SIZE
    Ryan Hanigan: sample size
    Johnny Cueto: he good!
    Jared Burton: he's hurt!
    Nick Masset: more please
    You probably mean that these players are really better, but so far sample size has kept down the numbers. One could argue the opposite -- that players like Rosales, Dickerson, even Bruce were initially helped by small sample size and over time the pitching has caught up with them.

    In some cases, players need more exposure and maturity. In other cases, the minor league success doesn't translate. We'll find out which, but it's definitely tough to succeed in the majors for many good AAA players.

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    Re: Tough to break into the majors

    Dickerson is better than the veteran. Hes Adam Dunn but instead of the 560 home run power he has D and the speed. High K high BB. Some people dont think he could actually keep a walk rate that high once he made it to the majors because he doesnt have the power numbers and pitchers would expose holes in his swings but he sure seems to be doing a good job at it. Sample size is 1 thing but you can see he has a very good eye.

    Rosales is a weird player. He really has had his double power sapped since coming up to the majors. In his minor league career he had a double every 16 PAs, hes only hit 4 this year in 121.

    Hannigan is exactly what everyone expected. Single hitter, good contact rate resulting in a solid OBP, and very little power. Pretty much everyone expected a mid .700 OPS.

    I dont think anyone expected Janish to hit. Id be surprise if some people didnt think he needed more time at AAA, but then again hes was never going to be a solid hitter at the majors so it probably doesnt matter.

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    Re: Tough to break into the majors

    None of those hitters you have listed, KC, other than Bruce, really had the top prospect pedigree in terms of stick that the ones people are advocating for do. They are, at best, fillers.

    For this team to be successful, we best hope that Stubbs/Heisey, Alonso, Frazier, at the least, are more than just fillers.

    And while Bruce is struggling at this point in time, he is already showing at age 22 the power and defense to be a legit major league ballplayer.
    Last edited by membengal; 06-08-2009 at 10:52 AM.

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    Re: Tough to break into the majors

    To be fair though, only Bruce and Cueto were considered the true prospects out of that bunch KC listed. The others are considered backup/role player types.

    Janish is a defensive replacement. Hanigan was a non-drafted player who has defied all odds by making the majors and has turned himself into a solid player. Dickerson is a platoon CF/4th outfielder. Rosales is a utility guy.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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    Re: Tough to break into the majors

    What I think is the biggest thing is that at one point Rosales probably would have been a top 5 prospect for this team if it was only a few years ago.

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    Re: Tough to break into the majors

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    You probably mean that these players are really better, but so far sample size has kept down the numbers.
    No. With regard to my "sample size" comment, I'm saying it's hard to authoritatively say _what_ these guys are capable of doing. Dickerson is an excellent example. Is he the guy we saw last year? The guy we saw for the first month of the season or the guy we've seen recently? Is he the guy that misplayed a couple balls in LF or is he the guy that was a human "web gem" the past few games? He's had 266 PAs in the big leagues. I'm suggesting, we don't know exactly what he is.

    If it were possible to composite all of the players I wrote "sample size" next to into a single player and tally what they've done, you _might_ be able to start drawing some conclusions based on the sum of their production.

    Is it likely some of these players are on the verge of (as Chuck Brown might say) "Bustin' Loose?", no. I don't think Mike Cameron is Grady Sizemore and I don't think Adam Rosales is Pete Rose. But I do think it's worth seeing more of them to find out exactly what their "mezzanine" is and how they adjust to the league's adjustments against them.

    One player I'd really like to see play more: Paul Janish.
    "Bring on Rod Stupid!"

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    Re: Tough to break into the majors

    Quote Originally Posted by membengal View Post
    None of those hitters you have listed, KC, other than Bruce, really had the top prospect pedigree in terms of stick that the ones people are advocating for do. They are, at best, fillers.

    For this team to be successful, we best hope that Stubbs/Heisey, Alonso, Frazier, at the least, are more than just fillers.

    And while Bruce is struggling at this point in time, he is already showing at age 22 the power and defense to be a legit major league ballplayer.
    I agree, many are backup types, but some folks early on declared Rosales as the answer at third base. I was quite enamored with his early hitting myself, and I do think he plays good defensive third base. He's just an example of the need for time to see if these guys can cut it. (BTW, not a knock on Rosales, just that the jury is still out on how successful he'll be.)

    This is why it's not a great idea to have too many inexperienced guys breaking in at the same time. It's just a tough process. Sure, if you just want to "let the kids play" it's fine, but to win you really need to mix in youngsters gradually along with starting veterans and backup veterans.
    Last edited by Kc61; 06-08-2009 at 12:54 PM.

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    Re: Tough to break into the majors

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    I agree, many are backup types, but some folks early on declared Rosales as the answer at third base. I was quite enamored with his early hitting myself, and I do think he plays good defensive third base. He's just an example of the need for time to see if these guys can cut it.

    This is why it's not a great idea to have too many inexperienced guys breaking in at the same time. It's just a tough process. Sure, if you just want to "let the kids play" it's fine, but to win you really need to mix in youngsters gradually along with starting veterans and backup veterans.
    I don't believe anyone declared Rosales the answer for 3rd base. Instead the current answer for 3rd base, until the answer is developed (Frazier) or acquired (Beltre and the like).
    "You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."

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    Re: Tough to break into the majors

    Well, I certainly have been an advocate of the let the kids play, approach, but that, for me, was with the caveat that it be the kids who have a chance to be legit major league ballplayers. I never thought of Rosales that way, for instance. I don't think of Janish that way, at least in terms of being a starter, except that as between him and Alex G, I would like to give Janish an extended look so the team knows for sure.

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    Re: Tough to break into the majors

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    I agree, many are backup types, but some folks early on declared Rosales as the answer at third base. I was quite enamored with his early hitting myself, and I do think he plays good defensive third base. He's just an example of the need for time to see if these guys can cut it.

    This is why it's not a great idea to have too many inexperienced guys breaking in at the same time. It's just a tough process. Sure, if you just want to "let the kids play" it's fine, but to win you really need to mix in youngsters gradually along with starting veterans and backup veterans.
    You bring up a very good point. The most successful minor to major transitions that the Reds have had developed on their own schedule. Both Votto and Hannigan were kept in the minors a bit longer than many wanted, but both seemed to be fully developed at their position. Unfortunately for many injuries dictate when the call up and extended major league time occurs. IMO this is a large reason why journeymen major leagues will continue to have a job. There is just no assurance that a minor leaguer will be able to transition quickly into a major league quality player.

    Take Carlos Fisher for example. He has looked very good since his callup. Many were clamoring for him and Roenkie to replace Weathers and Lincoln in the pen at the start of the season. No one knows, but I would imagine it was substantial, how helpful the beginning couple of months in AAA were for Fisher. Very few players are successful when they are called to the majors before they are ready.

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    Re: Tough to break into the majors

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    Lots of talk on the minor league forum about how this prospect or that prospect is better than this veteran or that veteran. Not so fast.

    The Reds have a lot of young players and, almost to a man, they have struggled to succeed at the major league level. It takes time, sometimes exposure to a second or third organization.

    I have no doubt that Jay Bruce will be a good major leaguer, and he is so young, but he is hitting .216 with an OBP around .300.

    Adam Rosales -- dominated AAA, but after a good start is hitting .223 with a .631 OPS.

    Chris Dickerson -- good OBP, knows how to take a walk, great defender. But his .239 BA and .359 SLG are not a good starting player's numbers.

    Janish -- great fielder but the hitting is starting to show.

    Hanigan -- Of the young hitters, he's shown the most consistency. And as a catcher, his numbers are all the more impressive. .793 OPS. Notably, though, he will be 29 this summer and had a lot of minor league experience.

    Pitching -- Cueto is just above and beyond. Of course, he had a rocky first year, lots of homers allowed. It took that year for him to get it together, he has been consistent and tremendous this year. But Volquez took a step back with his control in the second year.

    And of the relievers, the mainstays on the staff are veterans. No reliever with limited experience has become a late innings mainstay. Burton slipped back with injury. Perhaps Massett is ready to become an eighth or ninth inning guy, but he is fairly experienced.

    Not knocking the young players just commenting that minor league success is only the first step. It's tough out there.
    That's exactly what was expected and why any record over .500 by the team this year would be a bonus. It's all about 2010, not 2009. If we happen to be close at the end of June, then Jockety might try something, but he won't sell the farm or sacrifice 2010 and beyond to try to win in 2009.

    Just watch the growth and enjoy it is what I say. There's no better season than the ones right before the Championship where you can still get a great seat in the stands before all the bandwagon jumpers climb aboard.

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    Re: Tough to break into the majors

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    This is why it's not a great idea to have too many inexperienced guys breaking in at the same time. It's just a tough process. Sure, if you just want to "let the kids play" it's fine, but to win you really need to mix in youngsters gradually along with starting veterans and backup veterans.
    It's toughest in the late innings. While we have a very experienced bullpen that's been tremendouse, our hitting with RISP and late-inning hitting has been atrocious, but typical of what you'd see of youngsters. EE's absence has been huge. Forget that he was hitting poorly before. By now, he'd be hitting as well as he always does by this time of the year.


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