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Thread: Alex Gordon, or yet another reason why people need to stop overvaluing prospects

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    Alex Gordon, or yet another reason why people need to stop overvaluing prospects

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2010/0...gordon-go.html

    Let's face it: if the Royals aren't going to give Alex Gordon a chance to play regularly when they are 11-21, 10 games out of first, and weeks shy of Memorial Day, he has fallen out of favor with the club. After just 38 plate appearances, the Royals sent Gordon - the player they once selected him second overall - to Triple-A to make way for... Alberto Callaspo.

    But Gordon, still just 26, is a career .320/.433/.577 hitter in the minor leagues. Clearly, some team should take a flier on Gordon as a possible long-term answer at third base. Which teams are best suited to do so, and how much is it likely to cost?
    Gordon is 26 and has a career OPS over 1.000 in the minor leagues. What does that tell you about the Drew Stubbs' and Yonder Alonsos and Todd Fraziers of the world? (A wise-ass would say "nothing" and be semi-correct.)

    The point is that while great minor leaguers are fun to follow and dream about, their performance does not translate to major league success. I've been saying pretty vehemently for some time now that people on this board are dramatically overvaluing prospects (especially, surprise surprise, Reds prospects) and undervaluing actual Major League performance.

    Wladimir Balentien is a player with a career minor league OPS of .871. Josh Fields is another guy who's draft pedigree and minor league success has failed to translate to the big league level.

    Both Balentien and Gordon's OPS are significantly higher than Stubbs, Frazier, Francisco and Alonso, and yet people on this board absolutely refuse to trade these types of players for anything short of Albert Pujols. It would be one thing if these guys were unequivocal "can't-miss" type guys, but they're clearly not. People need to wake up and smell the coffee. If you have the opportunity to convert these prospects, especially the ones that don't play premium positions, into proven major league upgrades- you do it. Every. Single. Time.

    Now, let's give the Royals their choice of any reliever and hitting prospect in our system for David DeJesus and Alex Gordon.
    Last edited by Benihana; 05-11-2010 at 08:47 PM.
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    Smells Like Teen Spirit jmcclain19's Avatar
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    Re: Alex Gordon, or yet another reason why people need to stop overvaluing prospects

    Every fan drastically overestimates the value of their own team's prospects. It's pretty much a baseball truism.

    And the Reds certainly have a history of it - drastically overvaluing guys who show a little promise in the minors. Pokey Reese nearly derailed the Griffey Junior trade as the franchise corner stone of the future. Brandon Larsen, Brandon Claussen, Gooky Dawkins, and the list goes on and on.

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Alex Gordon, or yet another reason why people need to stop overvaluing prospects

    I understand your point about not reading too much in to minor league performance, but this thread could also be titled:

    Alex Gordon, or yet another example of stupid organizations reading too much in to small samples.

    He has a 26.1% LD% and a .227 BABIP this year. He has 7 BBs to 8 Ks. His demotion was an overreaction to disappointment and an unwillingness to let the guy get his feed back under him after missing half of last year and then this spring training to injuries.

    Ok, he's not George Brett. But after having moderate success as a 24 year old, he's not had much of a chance to be Alex Gordon.

    I would LOVE for us make a bigger play for a Dejesus and Gordon combo.
    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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    Re: Alex Gordon, or yet another reason why people need to stop overvaluing prospects

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    I understand your point about not reading too much in to minor league performance, but this thread could also be titled:

    Alex Gordon, or yet another example of stupid organizations reading too much in to small samples.

    He has a 26.1% LD% and a .227 BABIP this year. He has 7 BBs to 8 Ks. His demotion was an overreaction to disappointment and an unwillingness to let the guy get his feed back under him after missing half of last year and then this spring training to injuries.

    Ok, he's not George Brett. But after having moderate success as a 24 year old, he's not had much of a chance to be Alex Gordon.

    I would LOVE for us make a bigger play for a Dejesus and Gordon combo.
    Hence my trade offer. But regardless of whether or not Gordon is a bust or just a late bloomer (he turns 28 this year), there are plenty of Austin Kearns, Josh Fields, Wlad Balentiens, Lastings Milledges, etc. etc. etc. out there. I hope that we never have to add Jay Bruce to that list. And ditto for pitching (Homer Bailey).

    Yet all of those guys had much better numbers- and in some cases, pedigrees- than the same guys that people are currently trying to hoard on the farm. All I am trying to say is that none of our guys are "can't miss" and therefore they should all be incredibly movable, except for maybe Chapman.

    This team will hopefully be 18-15 after tonight. It is time to start making upgrades to the major league team, not hoarding prospects and waiting for the proverbial window that never comes.
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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Alex Gordon, or yet another reason why people need to stop overvaluing prospects

    Quote Originally Posted by Benihana View Post
    Hence my trade offer. But regardless of whether or not Gordon is a bust or just a late bloomer (he turns 28 this year)
    Your point is well taken, but this is his age 26 season and he just turned 26 in February. Let's not age him prematurely.
    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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    Re: Alex Gordon, or yet another reason why people need to stop overvaluing prospects

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Your point is well taken, but this is his age 26 season and he just turned 26 in February. Let's not age him prematurely.
    Sorry, you are correct (it was in my initial post)- I was looking at Fields' DOB.

    Delmon Young and Elijah Dukes are two more examples. Believe me, I (like JimBo) am a sucker for buying low on all of these ex-prospects. But they should serve as cautionary tales for what goes on on this board- especially down on the Minor League Forum. Lot of overvaluing going on down there. Someone needs to pop the bubble and regulate the market.
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    Re: Alex Gordon, or yet another reason why people need to stop overvaluing prospects

    Dave Revering was my lesson

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    Re: Alex Gordon, or yet another reason why people need to stop overvaluing prospects

    The Pirates, or yet another reason why people need to stop overvaluing prospects.
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    Re: Alex Gordon, or yet another reason why people need to stop overvaluing prospects

    Without looking at any kind of data, or in other words, just completely making this up based on my own observations- it seems like a 1 in 3 rule applies generally to prospects. In other words, about 1 out of every 3 "legitimate" prospects will become an above average major leaguer. Of course, there is a lot of arbitrariness in what makes up a legit prospect, but let's just call it a BA Top 100 prospect.

    That means that between Alonso, Frazier and Francisco, only one of those players will turn out to be above average at the major league level. A good team will figure out which one, and cash in the other two for value while they still have some value. A bad team will let all three "play it out" and never recover the value they could have if they trusted their scouts and had the cajones to try to succeed.

    The Reds did this successfully with Kurt Stillwell in 1988, did it again with relatively less success with the corner infield logjam in the 1998 (Paul Konerko), and probably haven't done it since. Maybe once a decade is what they are comfortable with? Not coincidentally, the Reds had their best season of the decade within 1-2 years of making those deals, with the very solid yet unspectacular pieces that they acquired playing huge roles in that success.

    I'll see your Drew Stubbs and raise you a Chris Heisey that they should have done it last year.
    Last edited by Benihana; 05-11-2010 at 10:38 PM.
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    Re: Alex Gordon, or yet another reason why people need to stop overvaluing prospects

    The Pirates, or yet another reason why people need to stop overvaluing prospects.
    The pirates just suck.

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    Re: Alex Gordon, or yet another reason why people need to stop overvaluing prospects

    Quote Originally Posted by Benihana View Post
    Without looking at any kind of data, or in other words, just completely making this up based on my own observations- it seems like a 1 in 3 rule applies generally to prospects. In other words, about 1 out of every 3 "legitimate" prospects will become an above average major leaguer. Of course, there is a lot of arbitrariness in what makes up a legit prospect, but let's just call it a BA Top 100 prospect.

    That means that between Alonso, Frazier and Francisco, only one of those players will turn out to be above average at the major league level. A good team will figure out which one, and cash in the other two for value while they still have some value. A bad team will let all three "play it out" and never recover the value they could have if they trusted their scouts and had the cajones to try to succeed.

    The Reds did this successfully with Kurt Stillwell, did it again with relatively less success with the corner infield logjam in the 1998 (Paul Konerko), and probably haven't done it since. Maybe once a decade is what they are comfortable with? I'll see your Drew Stubbs and raise you a Chris Heisey that they should have done it last year.
    I would be ill-suited to place a number on the chances for MLB success, but yeah, there's a flat-out iron-clad determinism that I think I lot of sanguine true believers fail to consider when looking at prospects. An insane majority amount to zilch. That's not an insult or even pessimism. It's just brute reality.

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    Re: Alex Gordon, or yet another reason why people need to stop overvaluing prospects

    I feel like this thread was made because I said I wouldn't deal Alonso for Sizemore.
    "Since I've been with the Reds in 1989, we've never had a farm system this loaded," Bowden said. "If we were the New York Yankees and had unlimited dollars, we could have traded for Colon, (Jeff) Weaver, Rolen, (Cliff) Floyd, (Kenny) Rogers and Finley and gotten them all -- and still held onto our top five prospects. That's an amazing statement."

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    Re: Alex Gordon, or yet another reason why people need to stop overvaluing prospects

    How about this? I'd take a flier on Gordon for our bench next year. Spell Rolen, have Scotty groom him to be the heir aparent, let him spell Votto at first, play some outfield and be the LH pinch hitter off the bench..... could be a gem on the cheap and GABP could jumpstart him. Crazier things have happened.
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    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: Alex Gordon, or yet another reason why people need to stop overvaluing prospects

    Quote Originally Posted by mdccclxix View Post
    The Pirates, or yet another reason why people need to stop overvaluing prospects.
    Yea the Pirates are a bad, bad team right now. But when you get back to the prospect debate, it isn't exactly a 1 in 3 rule or any other rule. Its about getting top value for your prospects. To be honest the Pirates would have a pretty darn good defensive and offensive outfield if you take the three of Morgan, McCutchen, and McLouth. But they only have 1 of those three and really haven't replaced the other two's overall production. If your going to develop and trade prospects/legit major leaguers, you better get top dollar for that.

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Alex Gordon, or yet another reason why people need to stop overvaluing prospects

    Quote Originally Posted by Benihana View Post
    Sorry, you are correct (it was in my initial post)- I was looking at Fields' DOB.

    Delmon Young and Elijah Dukes are two more examples. Believe me, I (like JimBo) am a sucker for buying low on all of these ex-prospects. But they should serve as cautionary tales for what goes on on this board- especially down on the Minor League Forum. Lot of overvaluing going on down there. Someone needs to pop the bubble and regulate the market.
    Delmon Young was always overhyped because he never had command of the strikezone. Dukes was and could still be a productive major leaguer, he's just insane. Again, not a new development.

    Again, I get your point. There is no such thing as a sure thing, you can't predict stardom, and we shouldn't assume guys will outgrow their warts. But we should be careful not to paint with too broad a brush. Gordon was as can't miss as can't miss gets and hit and did hit .260/.351/.432 in his last full season. The guy can hit. The Royals are just too stupid to leave well enough alone.
    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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