From Dugout Central:
Let me first start off by saying that “busted prospect” is a relative term. It is still quite possible that Homer Bailey will go on to have a fine Major League career, and even if he never sees Cincinnati again, he did in fact have a Major League career, which is more than most of us can say.
But when you consider the “can’t-miss” label that the baseball world placed on the young fire-baller form LaGrange, Texas after he was drafted 7th overall in the 2004 draft, it is certainly looking more and more like Bailey will at the very least be considered a bust compared to what he was expected to achieve.
Coming on the heels of Reds’ manager Dusty Baker’s announcement that Bailey is a serious option for the Reds’ long-relief role this year, it appears the luster is completely off the Homer Bailey star.
This despite Baker’s comparison of Bailey to the likes of Nolan Ryan, Bob Welch, and Pedro Martinez, all pitchers who went on to great careers after beginning as long-relievers.
With the knock on Bailey being lack of fastball command, how is he supposed to fix his problem pitching once a week?
But putting aside Dusty’s judgment (we don’t have time for that debate), the real question is whether Bailey’s problems be fixed at all? And should we be surprised if the answer is no?
The sad thing is, we really should have seen this coming. How many times are we going to get excited when that third digit appears on the radar gun even though the guy making the ball whiz walks a batter every other inning?
Our thought is, Homer Bailey is 23 years old. If the kid was 28 or 29, this guy would have a lot more ground to stand on. But Homer has 101 more innings at the big league level then Tim Lincecum did at his age (Lincecum had none). The guy’s main point is that Homer Bailey will never live up to expectations, and to a point we agree. At the same time, he was drafted by the Reds. Don’t blame Bailey. They’ve made a living out of ruining young arms.
Anatomy of a busted prospect. [Dugout Central]