"Pitching has got to be the foundation in the organization. Everybody wants a good pitcher. The more pitchers we have, the stronger our organization will be."
- Dayton Moore, Kansas City Royals General Manager

Monday, January 14, 2008

2008 Cincinnati Reds Organizational Depth Report

1. homer bailey, RHSP
2. johnny cueto, RHSP - june 2008
3. matt maloney, LHSP - july 2008
4. alexander smit, LHSP - may 2010
5. logan ondrusek, RHSP - july 2009
6. ramon ramirez, RHSP - august 2008
7. bobby livingston, LHSP
8. travis wood, LHSP - september 2010
9. elizardo ramirez, RHSP
10.travis webb, LHSP - september 2010

i'm giving an aggressive ranking to alexander smit, because i think cincinnati is the perfect organization for his development. smit has a live arm, and from what i've seen of the way the reds develop their arms, they'll allow him to pitch to his strengths, while gently guiding him towards improving his control. he's not really a sleeper, but some of the prospect hounds have already started to write him off. i think that could be a big mistake.

travis wood's ETA is pushed back because of apparent shoulder issues.

i really liked elizardo ramirez when he first debuted with the phillies in 2004, and he is still young enough that he could reestablish himself, but i think his best days are behind him. he made his bones in the minors as a control and command type, but both have gone downhill these last couple of years, and even if he regains the BB rate that made him stand out as a 20 year old, i don't know that he still has the arm to be successful at the major league level.

Spotlight: Homer Bailey

it's not a surprise that bailey got smacked around in his major league debut. compared to the scouting reports that preceded him, he must have looked like a AAAAer to the major league hitters he faced. the reports called for him sitting in the mid 90s with his fastball, touching 98, but the bailey that showed up sat 90-93, and couldn't touch 96.

this has been explained away by a groin injury that struck him in his third start, and i'll give him the benefit of the doubt, for now, but there is some data crunching i want to do.

bailey had two horrendous games, @PHI, and vs.STL. he was hit hard, and he gave up too many walks. in the philadelphia game, he got behind two good hitters from the first pitch, and both reached base. bailey then got preoccupied with the baserunners, and lost focus on the batter, which resulted in him getting the richard gere.

looking at it, i find it hard to buy the injury excuse. sure it might have played into his struggles, but after watching him on MLB.TV, it looks like he just had some bad luck, lost focus, and then cowered into his shell. that calls into question more his makeup than his stuff, but even then, it could also be explained away by it being his 4th major league start, and him having never faced basestealers as good as jimmy rollins, michael bourn, and shane victorino.

i think bailey is a solid bet going into 2008 and beyond with potential for greatness if he could reign in his BB rate. even failing that, though, he's going to be good, and i greatly prefer him to his future rotation mate johnny cueto.

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