Homer Bailey was the only member of the Reds Class A division Dayton Dragons to make the BBA Midwest League Top Twenty list. Can Bailey avoid the knife and develop the command he is lacking to become the head of the Reds rotation in 2009? Only time will tell. Here’s what BBA had to say about him:
2. HOMER BAILEY, rhp, Dayton Dragons (Reds)
Age: 19 Ht: 6-3 Wt: 190 B-T: R-R Drafted/Signed: Reds ’04 (1)
Bailey and Burlington’s Luis Cota had the most electric arms in the league, but there was no comparison between them as pitchers. While Cota relies mainly on sheer arm strength, Bailey shows more aptitude and consistency. He has a legitimate chance to become a No. 1 starter in the majors.
He has a lean but strong frame and an arm stroke that almost looks too easy to be delivering one 92-94 mph fastball after another to the bottom of the strike zone. When he stays on top of his curveball, it’s a dynamic 12-to-6 breaking ball. Like most teenagers, he’s still refining his changeup and his command.
The Reds haven’t been able to keep their top pitching prospects healthy, so they’ve turned to a tandem-starter system in the lower minors. They exercised extreme care with Bailey, who worked just 104 innings and was allowed to go as many as five innings in just six outingsÃ¢â‚¬â€earning victories in each.
G GS W L SV ERA IP H R ER HR BB SO AVG
28 21 8 4 0 4.43 103.2 89 64 51 5 62 125 .232
It was also interesting to note their top ten prospects from the Midwest League five years ago:
FIVE YEARS AGO
1. *Josh Beckett, rhp, Kane County (Marlins)
2. *Juan Cruz, rhp, Lansing (Cubs)
3. *Chris Snelling, of, Wisconsin (Mariners)
4. *Austin Kearns, of, Dayton (Reds)
5. *Albert Pujols, 3b, Peoria (Cardinals)
6. *Ramon Santiago, ss, West Michigan (Tigers)
7. *Jacob Peavy, rhp, Fort Wayne (Padres)
8. *Adam Dunn, of, Dayton (Reds)
9. Gerik Baxter, rhp, Fort Wayne (Padres)
10. Mike Nannini, rhp, Michigan (Astros))
*Has played in major leagues