Table of Contents

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Minor League Season Ends

A few comments as the minor league season winds up. First, accolades:
  • Congrats to Joey Votto for being named Southern League MVP. Final stats: 0.319/0.408/0.547. Will be in AAA next season, and will almost certainly (saving an implosion) make his major league debut next year, probably late in the season.
  • Congrats to Chris Valaika for his recognition as the Pioneer League MVP. Valaika is definitely raising some eyebrows this season. A 32-game hitting streak can do that. Final stats: 0.324/0.387/0.520. Promote to Dayton, baby.
  • BP's Kevin Goldstein ranks Homer Bailey as the #2 right-handed pitching prospect in baseball...just barely behind the Yankees Philip Hughes. Combined stats: 138.2 IP, 2.47 ERA (1.59 at AA), 156/50 K/BB. 'Course, his season might not be over yet, even though it probably should be. I'd give him a 50:50 chance of making the rotation next year. Otherwise, he'll be in AAA.
  • Jay Bruce cooled a bit from his midseason form, but he ended up with a superb first full season with Dayton: 0.291/0.355/0.516. I'm sure he'll be in be in High-A Sarasota next year as a young 20-year old.
It's great to see so many Reds farmhands doing so well this year! Thanks to Doug Gray at for much of this news.

Commentary on Stubbs and Lincecum

Reds' #1 selection Drew Stubbs wrapped up his season by hitting 0.252/0.368/0.400 for the Rookie-league Mustangs. Not exactly what we'd hoped, though his on base percentage and high walk rates are still promising. Kevin Goldstein had this to say about him recently:
I gave Stubbs neither a plus nor a minus as his scouting reports were so mixed; there are many who thought he'd dominate the Pioneer League, and many who thought he'd immediately crash and burn as a pro. A strikeout for roughly every three at-bats is a concern, but he's showing all sorts of secondary skills.
Stubbs can still turn out to be something, but as a college hitter, he is already getting on the old side (22 in October) to be in rookie ball. By comparison, Joey Votto is 22 (23 in September) and just raked through AA. I'm sure that Stubbs will play in Dayton next year, hopefully with better success than the soon to be 24-year old B.J. Szymanski (0.239/0.309/0.415).

...maybe this is playing "I told you so" a bit too much, but I wrote in my piece on the '06 amateur draft that I was surprised that the Reds didn't go for one of the available college pitchers instead of Stubbs. In particular, Tim Lincecum was available at the Reds pick. Well.... today, Goldstein rated Lincecum as the #5 right-handed pitching prospect in baseball, saying this:
Lincecum is quickly becoming one of the hardest players to rank in all of minor league baseball. While it's only 26.2 innings, the raw statistics are ridiculous, and the stuff is as well; Lincecum has already touched 100 mph as a pro, and his curveball is among the best in the minors. The only issues here are some control problems in his past and his size--but at what point do we stop caring about the fact that the guy is 5-foot-10 and 160 pounds? He showed a rubber arm in college, never having injury problems despite some ridiculous pitch counts on Fridays and frequent relief appearances on Sundays. He's an aberration, and he's seemingly proven that what is normally a concern shouldn't be in this individual case. Yet, I put him fifth here--on stuff alone, he might deserve a ranking as high as No. 1.
Lincecum's combined line: 31.7 innings, 1.71 ERA, 12 bb, 58(!!!) k's combined in short-season A-ball and High-A ball in the Giants' organzation. That's filthy. ... Sure would be nice to have him right now.

...By the way, has made a huge improvement to its player stats pages. They now include a host of splits and game logs from the last 10 games. Still more to be done there, but it's a big improvement.