For much of this season, I’ve been working on and off on a substantial story about the Reds’ development process. It was published today and you can read it here.

Here’s an excerpt about DeShields to give you some incentive:

He also notes, in verbiage that will make stat-savvy fans squeal, “You have more of a sample size when you get to the big leagues. Down here, we maybe see a guy’s tendencies, but it’s 60-100 at bats.” The point he is making is that it can be too easy to get wrapped up in stats at the minor league level, where players are not always with one club for a long time. And even if they are, they are constantly working on things, so their approach may change. Analytics can help determine what a player needs to work on, but just looking at a prospect’s stat line doesn’t always tell you what you need to know.

Sometimes soon, I’ll do an out-takes post somewhere with stuff that didn’t make it into the story.

About The Author

Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing at Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel, When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at

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14 Responses

  1. RedsFanForLife

    Renda is not even in the Reds organization anymore. As of the time of this article, he has been traded a third time and is in the Diamondbacks organization now.

    • earmbrister

      And by Renda’s own explanation, once you’ve been traded 3x your status as a prospect goes away.

      His trade has a lot to do with the strength of the Reds’ farm system. The Reds have so many prospects in the mix, particularly in the middle infield.

  2. Bill

    Good article. The part about Bailey helping out the other pitchers is promising. Especially from someone who struggled initially and seems to have a bad reputation with many Reds fabs

    • VaRedsFan

      When Bailey was with the club, I always noticed how he was talking with a young pitcher in the dugout. Particularly Lorenzen.

  3. VaRedsFan

    Interesting the mental aspects at the minor league level that DeShields brought up. It’s not about where you hit in the lineup. It’s about the process and how they adapt, and their approach.

  4. greenmtred

    Really good, Jason. You put a new perspective on things that a lot of us complain about. Fine writing, too.

  5. Chuck Schick

    Very nice work.

    De shields is often a punching bag for his lineup construction, yet he seems to understand and even value metrics. I wonder if he’s choosing to not apply the information to many of his decisions or does the information he sees conflict with the information we see?

    • greenmtred

      It might be that DeShields is prioritizing player development and winning is a secondary consideration. I assume that that could affect the application of metrics in, say, line-up construction.

  6. james garret

    Great article especially the human side of what is going on.Was surprised by the comment about the stat line to some degree but it may explain some things when we see a guy perform and not be rewarded or not perform and be rewarded.Certainly each player should have an individual plan but I relish the day when we here the Reds way as we now do with the Cards way or the Yankee way.This only comes with having a model of consistentcy up and down the organization that all adhere to and I believe it will under the DW regime.As for De Shields I see a man that does look at the data but if it doesn’t match what he sees or thinks then he goes his way.I am an old school guy myself so I can relate but if too much of that goes on by him and others why look at the data?My experience is anytime you say this is how we run things then right after that you throw out the word but,all anybody remembers is the but.Very nice article.

  7. brunsfam

    Thanks for a well-done article Jason. There is so much going on that we just can’t see from our computer desks and living rooms.
    And RN staff, thanks for including Jason as a “line to Louisville”.