J.J. Cooper has a fascinatingÃ‚Â article up at Baseball America (free) about the Reds’ improvements in developing young pitchers. It’s mostly about organizational veteran Mack Jenkins (now Pitching Coordinator for the system). Ã‚Â Lots of great insight and unknown-to-me facts, like:
From the day that 1995 draftee Brett Tomko was traded after the 1999 season (for Ken Griffey Jr.) until Johnny Cueto and Bailey arrived for good in 2008, Cincinnati developed only one homegrown pitcher who made more than 20 starts for the Reds. That was righthander Jose Acevedo, who went 16-21, 5.59 in his four years with the Reds.
In 2005, the Reds finished first in the National League in runs scored and dead last in the league in ERA. They won 73 games.
On that team, not one of the 162 games was started by a pitcher the Reds had signed and developed. Of the 22 pitchers who pitched an inning for Cincinnati that year, relievers Todd Coffey and Ryan Wagner were the only ones originally signed by the Reds.
“When we were scouting Gruler in high school, there were 10 Reds scouts at one game,” one scout with a National League organization said. “That’s poor mechanics of our job. All 10 of their people saw him the same way. Too many chefs spoil the soup.”