Thursday, December 11, 2008

Rule 5 for Fighting

I don't know what that headline means, but all the other good puns seem to have been used.

Today, Jim took another step towards completing his mint set of ex-Reds by grabbing Terrell Young, whom I will have a hard time rooting for because every time I see that name it makes me think of Darren Sharper playing too deep on Terrell Owens and giving up the game-winning touchdown pass from Steve Young in the NFC Wild Card in 1998. (Young was not actually a Bowden property in Cincy, having been drafted in 2004 while JimBo was on Cold Pizza.)

Here are the evals of Young I've found around the tubes.

From Baseball America's John Manuel:
We’re hearing that the Nationals will take Reds righthander Terrell Young with the first pick in the Rule 5 draft. Young, 24, went 2-5, 2.88 in 59 innings between low Class A Dayton and high Class A Sarasota last year. A 10th-round pick out of Grenada (Miss.) High in 2004, Young signed for $40,000. He dropped in the draft that year because of concerns about his makeup. He has always had an outstanding loose arm, but he also has struggled to show consistency and an ability to take coaching.

Partly because of that, Young didn’t make it to full season ball for good until 2007 in his fourth pro season. Command has always been an issue, as he walked 59 batters in his first 83 innings, but he did show some improvement this year, as he walked 28 batters while striking out 47 this year.

Young’s fastball is a potentially plus pitch. When he’s on, Young’s 93-95 mph fastball will touch 98 mph on good days. His breaking ball however is fringy and he struggles to locate it. Without solid secondary stuff, Young will have to show he can locate his fastball consistently to stick with the Nationals.
(Was there discussion of turning around and trading him?) "No, we drafted him for him to compete for a bullpen job with us."
From Baseball Prospectus's Kevin Goldstein:
By the time you read this, chances are good that Young has already been sold, for as much as $200,000. It's easy to argue that he's the best pure arm in the draft, with a plus-plus fastball, but he's also a guy with a very long injury history, command problems, and no real second pitch. He offers plenty to dream on, but it's a pretty distant dream and no sure thing.
We also get this in an article by Baseball America's Kary Booher:
Young, a 24-year-old reliever, went 2-5, 2.88 in 59 innings between low Class A Dayton and high Class A Sarasota last season. He is the first Rule 5 No. 1 pick not to have reached Double-A since Fabio Castro, taken by the Royals from the White Sox in 2005.

"I saw him twice and knew he had injury history. He had a labrum issue in 2006, and they treated it with rehab instead of surgery," said Bill Singer, special-assignment scout and coordinator of Pacific Rim operations for the Nationals. "In 2007, he was better and threw, but he had command issues. In 2008, he let it go, and the walk trends were better. We didn't see the 98 (BA) reported but we saw a lot of mid-90s. The first time I saw him, the breaking ball wasn't what it needed to be, and the changeup was just OK. When I saw him later, the breaking ball—it's a slider—had made improvements, and the changeup was much further along. It was a legitimate second pitch for him."

Makeup issues had chased Young in recent years, but the Nationals are satisfied with his growing maturity.

"We've heard that he's had those concerns, but he's street-smart and he got better, which shows me that he can absorb instruction," Singer said. "He has shown some aptitude. Our scouts who went into the home when he was in high school told us there were questions but that he's a good kid, and he's grown up some."
Here's R.J. Anderson from Fangraphs:
Naturally, Jim Bowden takes a Red. Young is 23 and spent last season in High-A ball. Young’s FIPs have improved in increments, but his strikeout and walk rates are bad, and that is bad meaning bad not bad meaning good. From rookie ball up: 7.71 BB/9 (23.3 IP), 8.10 (6.6), 5.60 (35.3), 5.26 (25.6), and 3.48 (33.6). Young is a career reliever and throws his fastball hard.
Young was not mentioned among John Sickels's top 36 prospects in the Reds' system.

And, finally, Mike Rizzo, via WaPo:
"What we like is he's a tremendous athlete and a tremendous talent. His fastball is 93 to 96 [mph], and he has a developing slider and a tremendous changeup. He's always had the good delivery and the good arm, but his walk trend has really improved in the last three years. He strikes out about 8 ½ [batters] per nine [innings] and is walking about three, which is a big jump up from the last three years.... He's a power pitcher and he has a power arm. The whole secret to Terrell is to throw enough strikes to compete in the major leagues, and we like the way he's trending that way.

"He's strictly a reliever. He's been a reliever his whole career, and we and see him competing in spring training for a bullpen job with us."

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