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Old 07-20-2005, 11:43 AM
rdivaldi rdivaldi is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Chicago - Mayfair
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Originally Posted by ballclub3
I have a bias toward taking guys with great arms because if they are able to add a couple of decent pitches to go with a great fastball, then you could have something special. Not every pitcher you draft is going to have 3 quality pitches that he can throw consistently for strikes at the time he is drafted. But it is possible to teach a youngster a changeup and a breaking ball and to have command of those pitches. That's not to say that every prospect will be able to do those things even after years of development. But the farm system is such a numbers game anyway. Most prospects you sign will never make it to the big leagues. An even smaller number will accel at the big-league level. I do prefer taking guys with a high "ceiling" and that includes both pitchers and position players. I never thought Ring had a particularly high "ceiling" and I agreed that it was a reach to draft him that high.

When you sign these players, you have years to develop them. Many will fail but that is the nature of the business. Since many of these players won't make it anyway, I think there should be a tendency to skew your selections towards players with great potential.
The problem is that you're equating velocity to potential. There's sooo much more to pitching than lighting up a radar gun and there's no historical evidence to suggest that guys that throw hard have a better chance to be successful than guys that do not. You have to look at mechanics, mental makeup, movement, control, etc., etc., etc. Most major leaguers can hit a straight 95 mph fastball with ease.

Velocity does not equal potential IMO and I think most scouts would concur. It is also extremely hard to teach a 20 something year old a new pitch. If it was so easy, everyone would be able to throw changeups and curveballs for strikes with consistency.
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