On the Fox Sports web site, Dayn Perry has began his annual top 100 prospects list. He’s started posting his list with Prospects #91-#100. Homer Bailey is listed as #91.

91. Homer Bailey, RHP, Reds, Age 21
Acquired: 1st round, 2004, La Grange HS (La Grange, TX)

Another in a long lineage of raw, fire-balling Texas right-handers, Bailey sports a mid-90s fastball and a hammer curve that wows scouts. The problem right now (as it is with most young hard throwers) is that his off-speed stuff leaves much to be desired. He’s going to need that third pitch if he’s to succeed as a starter at the highest level. The Reds are handling him carefully in terms of workload, which is a point in his favor, but he struggled badly with his control last season in the Midwest League. If Bailey stays healthy, harnesses his stuff and cultivates a deeper repertoire, he’ll be a special pitcher. But those are a lot of “ifs.”

It will be interesting to see if any other Reds prospects make this list. I guessing that Denorfia may be the only other prospect to stand a chance. I don’t think Dayn Perry gives as much weight to potential as BBA does, so I’m doubtful that we will see Jay Bruce or Travis Wood here.

Also, there is an article on Baseball Prospectus (Subscription Required to see full article.) on breakout prospects for 2006, and Homer Bailey is the first prospect discussed there. I think you can see the beginning of their discussion on him without the subscription.

Later,
Tom

Join the conversation! 5 Comments

  1. Homer Bailey – SP – Cincinnati Reds – 20 (A+)

    Level IP ERA H/9 K/9 BB/9 HR/9 G/F
    A- 103.2 4.43 7.73 10.85 5.38 0.43 1.06

    A year later, I’m still confused that the Brewers drafted Mark Rogers before Bailey. There had been a consensus among scouts that Bailey had better stuff, poise and control. This season, as many expected, Rogers struggled mightily, walking 70 in 98.2 innings.

    What we didn’t see coming, however, was control problems for Bailey. The Texan right-hander had been praised for his control in high school, as he walked less than 20 hitters during his senior season. However, this year he walked 62 batters in 103.2 innings. Furthermore, only six times Bailey gave up less than two walks. His presence on this list is predicated on the belief that with more experience and maturity, Homer’s control will improve.

    Even if there is not a significant improvement in control, Bailey could become a dominant reliever. His two-pitch combination ranks among the best in the minor leagues. He also gives up very few home runs–just 5 all season. In fact, in his last 12 appearances (spanning 45 innings), Bailey did not allow a single long ball. If control prevents a future in starting, you can bet he is the closer of the Reds future.

    However, it’s way too early to begin giving up on the notion of Bailey as a starter. At times, he can be dominant, and may have just reacted negatively to being coddled in 2005. The Reds will likely give Bailey a little more room to grow in 2006, and as a result, he should start to blossom.

  2. This is going to be a key year for Bailey, and I look forward to seeing how he responds. I’d love to see a big step forward.

    Will the Reds start him in Chattanooga at the beginning of the season?

  3. No way. As much as the Reds nursed him last year, he’ll start the season in Sarasota. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was there all season.

    I saw him pitch, I think, 3 times last year. When he was on, he looked like a man against boys, but he didn’t seem to have he maturity to get himself out of trouble when it came his way.

  4. I agree with Bill that he will start the season in A+ Sarasota where he will again be in the 8 man rotation. If he matures and steps forward though, I see him getting a promotion to Chattanooga after midseason with the chance to throw a few games in the 5 man rotation there before seasons end.

    Later,
    Tom

  5. He’ll surely be in Sarasota to start the season. I’m interested in knowing whether the tandem starter system has anything to do with his lack of control. One way of figuring that out will be if Tyler Pelland starts the season in AA.

    I think it will be interesting to see some of the Reds prospects this year. One of them (I mean Germano, Lizard, or maybe even Basham) might make the rotation out of spring training if the Reds don’t acquire any more pitching, and the Reds might want to have one (perhaps Dumatrait) to take over Milton’s spot at midseason, or have one in place to replace him going into 2007. It will take some development for the latter to happen.

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