Why are the Reds still drafting high school pitchers?
One of the Billy Beane’s Oakland A’s philosophies espoused in Moneyball was by drafting college age pitchers he knew:
1) more of what they could do (measurable competetion and success rates)
2) more information on their usage patterns and injury history
3) that the pitcher was that much closer to the big leagues without suffering injury
4) could make a faster impact
So, we draft Ryan Wagner and Richie Gardner from the college ranks using the above philosphy ..only that drafting relief pitchers leaves little room for error. Wagner was promising in his initial year, but in the Reds efforts to prove their drafting prowess, rushed him to the majors…now we have a project on our hands with the option clock ticking.
Meanwhile, Richie Gardner has become one of our top prospects and I’m anticipating a September preview this year.
So, what do we do? We draft another high schooler in the first round…Apparently, our pitching staff is stronger than I think and we have time to wait…
I’ve never seen Homer Bailey (who gave the pitcher THAT nickname?) pitch, and I have precious little doubt that he’s a “high ceiling” talent…that is, if he makes it, he could make it big. But, he’s years away from impact, and we’ve had an abysmal health record (Ty Howington and Chris Gruler are the two most recent) when it comes to high school #1 picked young pitchers making it through the low minors.
It’s not unusual for pitchers to get hurt in the minors…that’s why it makes more sense to me to go the college route until our major league staff is solid.