Homer Bailey, Jay Bruce, and Joey Votto are 1-2-3, and it’s difficult to argue with that. Here is the comment on Bailey:
The Reds have tried to be cautious, but Bailey, the NL’s top pitching prospect, is on the cusp of the majors following a dominant stint in Double-A during the second half of last year. The seventh overall pick in the 2004 draft throws 94-97 mph with movement and features a curveball that ranks as one of the top breaking pitches in the minors. With his walk rate down significantly last year, the only thing missing from his game is a plus changeup. It looks like he’ll get a month or two to work on the pitch in Triple-A at the start of this year, but if the Reds want to contend, Bailey will have to be in the rotation by June 1.
I think that’s right. In order for the Reds to have a rotation that is anywhere close to playoff-worthy, I think we need Bailey performing at least at a league-average rate. Then, if Eric Milton and Kyle Lohse can just be somewhat decent, the Reds could be alright.
That’s ignoring the bullpen, of course. I like to ignore the bullpen, since it makes my head hurt to think about it for any length of time.
Go check out Rotoworld’s analysis of Bruce and Votto, as well. I agree with their take, and I am really excited about Bruce, in particular. On Votto, I think the Reds may need him earlier than we would think. Scott Hatteberg was awesome at first base last year, but expecting him to repeat that performance is not realistic. (Though it should be noted that I don’t expect Hatteberg to regress to his 2005 level).
Drew Stubbs is rated number four on the Rotoworld list, which seems high, and is entirely based on how he “projects,” methinks. I’m not a scout, so I can’t comment either way. I hope he justifies all the hype one day.
UPDATE: JinAZ continues to regret the fact that the Reds drafted Stubbs rather than Tim Lincecum:
I’ve been a bit hard on the Reds for taking a pass on Tim Lincecum in last year’s amateur draft in favor of Drew Stubbs (0.252/0.368/0.400 in rookie ball). Lincecum has been nothing but brilliant for the Giants (31.7 IP, 58/12 k/bb, 1.73 ERA across A- and A+ ball last season), who took him two picks after the Reds, and there is even word that he might compete for a spot in the rotation this season. He’s look awfully good in the Reds’ system right now.
He’s right, of course, but you know what they say about hindsight. Stubbs still has the opportunity to turn into an outstanding major leaguer, though I don’t know if anyone would claim that his upside is as high as Lincecum.
If we’re going to void old draft picks, though, I think I’ll start with taking Scott Kazmir over Chris Gruler in 2002. Is it too late to change our minds? It’s all speculation, but how would you like a 2008 rotation of Kazmir, Harang, Arroyo, and Bailey? Wow.