Yesterday the Pioneer League and Arizona Rookie League Top 20 prospect lists were released at Baseball America. There were a few notes in the chat about some of the Cincinnati Reds prospects that missed out on the list. One of the bigger omissions in my mind was that of Miles Gordon from the Pioneer League list. Bill Mitchell addressed it in the chat:

Mike (Cincinnati): Notably missing from the Pioneer League Top 20 is Miles Gordon. What kept him off of the list?

Bill Mitchell: Gordon had a good summer in Billings in his third pro season after being drafted by the Reds in the fourth round in 2015. Pioneer League scouts and managers were concerned with his swing mechanics and how well he’ll be able to handle more advanced pitchers when he gets to full-season ball.

I’ve gone back and watched some video from the Mustangs season and I just can’t see where there are swing mechanic issues. If there is something, it’s incredibly small that is impossible to pick up on the video. That would lead me to believe that it’s not nearly as serious as it’s being made out to be here. There are a few more Reds related questions in the chat if you wanted to go check it out.

Minor League coaching

David Laurila has up an interesting article up on Fangraphs that was posted yesterday. He asked an interesting question: Does coaching age matter in player development?

The question was asked to many different types within baseball. Players in both the Major and Minor Leagues, coaches, managers, front office types. The most common thing that came up was the ability to communicate with the players. That, of course, makes tons of sense. Players have questions. Even when they don’t, coaches want to be able to share with them ideas, changes to plan, approach, mechanics – things that will be enhanced by good communication of both the how and the why. It’s a real good read with a lot of takes from different people in the game. Go give it a few minutes.

7 Responses

  1. MK

    Reading the Fangraphs article I think the points made correlate to any business. Young or old the best communicators and relaters are the best supervisors or teachers.
    I have gotten to know many Dragons Managers and coaches over the years and this has been the case. My top two Managers as far as success are current Manager Luis Bolivar and former Manager Donnie Scott. Players liked them and respected them and both had to fight their way through the minors with work ethic. The least successful from a performance standpoint and both very disconnected from the players were Todd Benzinger and Dick Schofield. Pitching coaches that truly connected have been Tom Browning and Tony Fossas. Hitting coaches Bolivar again and current coach Daryl award. The successful onesreally connected with the players. An example on Bolivar, when he was sworn in as a Naturalized U.S. Citizen this summer the whole team showed up,on their off time, for the ceremony. You could tell by the team performance this year that the players had bought into the teaching. The Dragons bench coach Kevin Mahar was also a coach you tell the players liked and respected. It would not surprise me a bit the see him get the Greeneville Managers job.

      • MK

        There are coaches who have been very effective that I have not seem a big connect, There was a guy like DeShields who was excellent but when he came into the area you knew the boss was there at the same time they knew he really cared about them. I remember a time when Delino had to release a player. They had loaded all their gear on the bus to leave for Iowa. Management wanted to be sure the replacement got there before the next game before telling him. Rather than doing that Delino did it right then so the young man did not have to make that long bus ride there only to be released and then make the same trip back.Darren Ebert, current pitching coach also connects with his boys similarly.A guy like Ken Griffey Sr. got instant respect and a following immediately just because who he was and the guys who had no idea of his history knew who Junior was.

  2. sultanofswaff

    I’ve coached a lot of sports over the years. If I had to sum it up, it would be the saying “they have to know you care before they care what you know.”

    • Doug Gray

      Not sure if you read the article or are just on the same page, but someone absolutely brought that up in the article.

  3. Wes

    is BA consistent on not listing other teams guys on lists who are old for their league? Prob 99% that if so and that makes a lot of sense to me on these short lists

  4. Billy

    It seems to me like there were two different perspectives on the age question. Neither seemed to suggest that age itself was all that relevant.

    On the one hand, there seemed to be a group that focused on a coach’s ability to relate to the players – the culture, work ethic, etc. Benintendi, Blanton, Cishek, Cole, Dombrowski, Holt, Johnson, Kapler, Kim, and Luplow seemed to be in this camp, which seemed to emphasize communication with the players. This seemed to be the perspective that players had.

    The other group seemed to focus more on the coach’s ability to relate to today’s game – the data, the technology, the changing nature of how the game is played, etc. I would put Cline, Emerson, Harris, Luhnow, and even Romero in this camp, which I would say focused on expertise. This appears to be more of a front office perspective.

    I suppose one interpretation is that the front office is looking for different things than the players in a coach, which would seem to make this dichotomy make sense. The other interpretation is that the coaches may not be getting the front office’s message across to the players all that well, which would suggest that the front office and the players may not really be all that in sync. Cash and Madison seemed to hit on both angles pretty well, but I felt like they were exceptions.