Originally Posted by SoxxoS
I think this is just a myth fueled by anecdotal evidence.
1. No prospect has came back to really bite us.
2. Prospects are given AMPLE opportunity to succeed, as so many teams are enthralled with statistics and measureables. How many chances did Joe Borchard get? Point being, even if the Sox did screw them up, if they had the talent it should EVENTUALLY show up - Even if the Sox "allegedly" delayed it b/c of "rushing" the prospect.
I'm guessing most of this talk centers around pitching prospects, like Kip Wells as an example, who was touted as being a lot better than he ended up. I think the idea is that by rushing prospects and/or not giving them ample time to prove themselves they tear up a pitcher's confidence and that pitcher becomes a lost cause from that point on.
That is kind of a hard thing to prove though. Let's take Gavin Floyd for example, does anyone think he'd have found "it" if he had stayed in Philly? If Gavin stays in Philly and keeps doing what he'd been doing then he might end up getting picked up off waivers, sent to another team's pen to fail, and maybe he ends up being a bust with no MLB career to speak of. Gavin's failures and then his emergence over the second half of '07 through '08 could among other things be a combination of horrible player development and mismanagement on the Phillies side as well as him finding the absolute perfect fit personnel-wise in Chicago. You can also say Gavin simply figured it out mostly on his own and would have broken out no matter where he ended up.
Personally, I think Gavin as an example ends up being a bust if he doesn't come to the Sox. The atmosphere, the personnel - including a manager that let him pitch deep into games and work out of jams, one of the best if not the best pitching coach in the game, veteran starters to learn from, loose clubhouse, etc. - and the change of scenery was exactly what he needed. It's important for a player to go through the minor leagues and reach the major leagues with the same things being stressed all the way through the system. You can't have different managers and different pitching coaches saying and doing different things at each level, and I know there are Philly fans that said some things about their farm system that closely mirror what Sox fans say, being that there wasn't a uniform baseball philosophy from low-A to the major leagues.
It's tough to say where things have gone wrong for the Sox and with what players. Some guys will never make it under the best of circumstances, some will make it no matter what, and others I think can be led one way or another by player development, management, and front office staff.