What offseason coverage do you want to see? Doug Gray September 16, 2018 36 Comments Hey there guys and gals, hope things are going well for you whenever it is that you are reading this. It’s Sunday afternoon and well, during football season that means that hardly anyone (at least by comparison) is showing up to read what’s going on here at the site. But those of you that are, it probably means you are almost as crazy as I am about all of this. And that means that you probably have some ideas worth pursuing this offseason. First, let me throw out some of the ideas that I have for the offseason coverage so we don’t have overlapping ideas. Obviously there’s going to be the individual prospect write ups. Starting at some point in the next week to 10 days I will begin doing the season reviews and scouting reports on players. Starting in about 6 weeks I will release the Cincinnati Reds Top 25 Prospects list. Once that is completed I will jump right into doing season reviews and scouting reports on each of those 25 guys. That does mean that leading up to it, the players that I do the season review and scouting reports on will not be guys that I’m considering for the Top 25 – because I have not begun to really put that together yet. I do have a general idea, though, of what tiers guys will be in , though – so that will kind of be where things start out. The plan is always to do this stuff for somewhere between 75-100 players leading into spring training. There won’t be one every weekday, but there should be 2-3 per week at least. These will also be going out to the Patreon supporters of the site first (as well as the Top 25 prospect list). Speaking of the supporters on Patreon, let me just thank you guys and gals again. The support you provide, particularly in the “offseason” is immensely valuable. When traffic dips down because there’s not as much baseball going on, that puts a big hit on advertising revenue. Ideally, I’d love to get away from having any advertising on the site – but we just aren’t there at this point when it comes to the other income stream (Patreon). So having an idea that XYZ dollars are coming in on the 2nd of each month really allows me to sort of know and plan things out a bit easier than when things are more reliant on just advertising where the numbers – both in terms of visits and price paid per 1000 ads fluctuate in big ways. Also, if you are over at Patreon and have not requested your JOEY FOR PRIME MINISTER shirt yet, click here if you would like one. There’s also two of you out there who put in a request but didn’t supply your full address. I’ve emailed you both but have not received a reply in over a week now. So if your name is Phil or Michael, and you requested a shirt….. you may want to also double check your email. Back to some of the other ideas for the offseason. Baseball season is over. But it’s not really over. As always, I will be providing updates and coverage of fall and winter league stuff until that’s over, too. As noted last week, there will be plenty of baseball starting up in the next month. Starting in mid-to-late October there will be plenty of Rule 5 draft coverage. It’ll start with things from the Reds perspective and who they should look at protecting. Once teams make their protections and we know who is available to be picked, then there will be some coverage on possible selections by the Reds from other organizations. And of course, there will just be the day-to-day coverage/stories that come out over the course of the offseason. But, is there something that would like to see covered that isn’t listed there? I’m more looking for a series type of idea than “write more about player XYZ”. If you’ve got something share it below and we will see if it is something that makes sense for me to tackle. 36 Responses Kap September 16, 2018 Completely up to you, but an idea of your ideal simulation of the offseason. Who they should hire, sign, extend, trade for, ECT. It would be a good post for people to comment on and have good discussions about where us fans think the team should do Doug Gray September 16, 2018 I’ve put this into my calendar for a series that starts in October. I’ll break it down to a few parts. Joe September 16, 2018 Since Gona have another top 10pick maybe start looking at some of the top candidates going into th yr and some dark horses like India was Joe September 16, 2018 I kno info harder to get but select few dsl guys you think have the tools to actually make it when they get to th states..your thoughts on anybody worth mentioning that they signed during this yrs international signings Michael Smith September 16, 2018 1. I need a life since I pop in about 10 times a day. 2. Kap is likely on to a good idea. Anything that stimulates responses leads to more visits. Joe M September 16, 2018 I think it would be a good idea to try to stay on top of the rumor mill. I’m hoping we sign one to two starting pitchers even if they are in the Feldman type mold. I hope they sign Harvey. I believe he will only get better next year one more year removed from the injuries. MLB buries small market teams with guaranteed contracts. I know it won’t happen but, what do you think of this lineup on opening day? I think it gives us the best shot. Peraza was better in Center than short and Suarez first impressed us all at short. His contract would be a steal at shortstop. RF-Shebler CF-Peraza 1B-Votto SS-Suarez 2B-Gennett 3B-Senzel LF-Winker C-Barnhart/Casali P-Free agent Mjc September 16, 2018 Flashbacks … revisiting great seasons from the past .indidual players who had a great seasons.. Jeff Jones 4? something homer season .champ summers etc. (idea 2) revisiting great seasons by our teams. (Idea 3) where are they now? It would be interesting knowing what old players are doing now. Like Bruce Berenyi ,Paul Moskau etc. btw.i think frank pastore is a big radio guy on the west coast now. Red Thunder September 16, 2018 Sadly, Frank Pastore passed away a few years ago. James K September 16, 2018 Last year you started a series reviewing evaluating drafts from each year. I found that interesting. Stock September 16, 2018 I did so too. I thought is was pretty interesting Simon Cowell September 16, 2018 Player development in the offseason…. 1. What are key players doing to improve their game 2. Follow any that continue on to instruct 3. A day in the life of some of these minor leaguers would be interesting 4. Documenting a few off season work out routines would be nice. Bill September 16, 2018 I like the concept of your state of the farm series. But rather than going league by league and recapping how the players did by position during the season, I suggest just honing in on the top players by position (simply list honorable mentions if the position is very deep). I recommend keeping these relatively short and focus on each player’s strengths, what they need to work on and your expected timeline for each player reaching majors. The summary would yield a grade for the position. I would suggest top 3 for corner outfield, CF, corner infield, middle infield and catcher and top 5 for starting and relief pitchers. Finally, fall 2018 would be an ideal time to run this series as there will be little Reds/minor league news until after the World Series concludes with a target of being complete by the Rule 5 draft. If you wait until spring training it will get lost as there is typically plenty of news at that point. RedsinWashst September 17, 2018 Nice Bill. Numbers September 16, 2018 Advanced statistics and how they predict success. Compare with some of the current best players in the majors and who if anyone in our system matches or comes close. Things like pitches/AB vs OPS, k-bb% vs ERA, etc. This would give us some other players to follow and be excited about Redsvol September 16, 2018 Doug you do a wonderful job on your own and I like 2 things in offseason; 1) in depth analysis of our 40 man roster situation and which players are worthy of being added to it. 2) evaluation of past drafts (others mentioned also) Mparker September 17, 2018 It’s time for your article on the state of the rebuild. Earlier this year you were reluctant as you mentioned needing more time for players to develop. Given Pereza’s further development this year, time was on our side. Maybe a good, bad and ugly on the rebuild and scenarios where it could turn out nice and conversely how it could go all wrong. RedsKoolAidDrinker September 17, 2018 “Discussion Starters” wouldn’t take much time for you to do and then you chime in w responses to ours. Can start them out such as: “Who do you think is the best 5…” or “What do you think the Reds should do about…” Also I’d like to see a lot of “Off the top of my head Top 10 lists” IMHO September 17, 2018 Info on guys that ate not favorites or top prospects – theyvare all out there for a reason why not give us info on them – you may a diamond in the rough Shawn September 17, 2018 I would like to see a more in depth scouting report on some of the pitchers you think have a real chance to someday play for the Reds. What pitches they throw and how hard they throw. IMHO September 19, 2018 All of them – not just the top prospects. Cguy September 17, 2018 The Reds will be able to sign the top international prospects after, I believe, June of next year. Profiling some of the top international prospects available to be drafted, plus analyzing which of those prospects might best complement the Reds current prospects would be interesting. Billy September 17, 2018 I think an article about other teams’ top prospects could be interesting. In particular, take a look around the league at positions of need for the Reds, and identify the prospects you’re salivating over at those positions and what it would take to get them. I’d like to see the completely unreasonable (what would it take to get Vlad Jr.?) as well as more realistic (prospect-for-prospect swap in the back half of the top 25 for someone that you think is underrated?) scenarios. SultanofSwaff September 17, 2018 If you know scouts or other people inside the game it would be pretty cool to read an interview with them, even if anonymously. I’d be curious to hear their perspective on things that the numbers can’t tell you—developing an offspeed pitch, mental maturity, deciding when to promote a player, projecting tools, etc. Fangraphs is good that way…..it would be neat to take that approach from a Reds-centric perspective. Jim Delaney September 17, 2018 I would like some serious focus on REDS organization versus other small market organizations on how they do things there are some small market teams having great success, are the REDS setup like them or are they totally different. Also, will REDS make changes this off season to be more like other small market teams going forward. The team I have been watching and amazed at all year are the TB Rays and how Kevin Cash maybe redefining how to use a pitching staff. The RAYS are 16 games over .500 after trading away many major league players prior to the start of the season (Odorizzi, Dickerson), or during the season (Colome, Span, Archer, Ramos, Venters, etc.). I know the AL overall has a lot of BAD teams but TB has played well against Boston, Yankees and just won a series vs the A’s. I know they have a dominant number one starter in Snell but outside of him, they are mainly using bullpen arms to start every other game and only using them for two to four inning stints. Is this the new norm? Or this potentially way for Small Market teams to do it? Milwaukee uses starters but there success has been on the back of having a GREAT bullpen where they are able to use HADER as a big time weapon. Do to this you need to be willing to go this route and have a manager who knows how to handle staff like this and communicate this to the pitching staff. Will be interesting to see if the REDS buy in to what TB and Cash are doing if/when they make changes with front office, manager and coaches. Will Castellini be willing to think outside the box and do this or will he continue to go with the status quo and keep the minority Williams brothers happy?!!! Brad September 17, 2018 1) A top 10 list of Doug’s off-season activities (ex: nap, epic staredown with a plane, etc) 2) Review of FA contracts and player performance that followed to show what Reds are really looking at in market and what we should expect from player – specifically SP and CF 3) Review Reds use of 40-man roster over last 5 years – anything different from Jocketty to Williams? Doug Gray September 17, 2018 1. I think this would make for a great VLOG series. Me versus the plane. Who blinks first?! Big Ed September 17, 2018 I sense that the Reds, for the first time in a long, long while, have finally started to make progress in the system with several promising Dominican and other Latin American players. I’d like to see some background and analysis on what they’ve done differently, and some info on who in management is responsible for international scouting and development. And some analysis of whether the Reds can sustain the progress that they’ve made in Latin America. MikeD September 17, 2018 How bout doing an allstar team of players from the Reds system. Not necessarily top prospects, but the allstars from 2018. Make some rules like minimum games played at a position and others that challenge your selection process. Might be fun! Doug, I have been with this site since near conception and I believe it is the best site on the internet. Your work has grown each passing year and I am proud of you. I will not only continue to support you through Patron, but I will head over and bump it up by 5 bucks. You are a true professional and you should be allowed into every venue. Thank you! Doug Gray September 17, 2018 I actually did a minor league all-star team for my Redleg Nation column two weeks ago – https://redlegnation.com/2018/09/05/minor-league-all-star-performers-in-2018/ Appreciate the support! 76&90openingdays September 17, 2018 How about a multi-part series (like the Tommy John surgery series) on pitcher development, from draft, or draft-age free-agent signing, through becoming a reliable MLB pitcher? Such a series holds the possibility of drawing a wide audience, and might include, but need not be limited to: 1. For the entire MLB (including all MiLB personnel and players), excluding the Reds: A. what is the pitcher development process / how are they developed, starting with how new pitchers are initially on-boarded; what are they uniformly taught (especially concerning in-game pitch strategy), how are their mechanics analyzed/worked on/tinkered with, or left alone? how are Sabremetric data used in the development process, if at all? do teams use Rapsodo to help pitchers add or refine secondary pitches? etc. B. what teams are good at pitcher development? what are best practices in pitcher development? what generally are the model/normative/industry standard development timetables? C. who are the best pitcher development people in the MLB/MiLB? What specifically do they do, and what characteristics do they have, that make them the best? 2. Then do all the same for the Reds (i.e., as to what their take is on the above questions and the many more I’m sure you will have), and lastly compare the Reds to the league-wide standards/best practices/timetables, etc. and opine as to what they appear to being doing right, wrong, or missing the boat on Another potentially interesting story might be about two Greeneville rookies who pitched for the same college, one of which was drafted and the other of which was a free-agent signing: Cory Heitler and Jerry D’Andrea redleggingfordayz September 17, 2018 Similar to what a few others have put forth, I would love to read a Doug Gray version of the Shed Long thing “A day in the life” series of someone else from the Reds minor league system. I will be here no matter what you put out though :)! Doc September 17, 2018 Slighty off topic but since you mentioned fall leagues coverage: When you announced instructional leagues rosters or schedules, you mentioned that you weren’t sure whether fans could attend the games. I wonder if you have any further information. I’ll be in AZ during the entire fall instructional league and would like to take my grandson. I agree with a lot of the topics suggested. I like more information about Rule 5, including how many are generally drafted, who among Reds players are at risk this fall, and how drafted players have done, especially those drafted from the Reds or by the Reds over the last few years. Actually similar information about free agent signings, especially over some threshold $$ amount, and how they have done. Did they have above, below or league average seasons? Subjectively, did a team get its money worth. redlegs4ever September 17, 2018 I saw an interesting question posed on Twitter a month or so back. It was fix the Reds with 3 moves and 20 Mil dollars (I assume that means the ability to spend 20 Mil for next season). I think that would make an interesting article to get your take on it and then everyone could post their moves in the comments. ptaylor2112 September 18, 2018 I’d be interested in some comparisons with other farm teams, in terms of who has over/underperformed. The thinking is that we overvalue our prospects… how true is that for other farm teams? Also, +1 for a day in the offseason life of minor leaguers would be great. It would keep up the visibility of the issue of low pay. icehole3 September 19, 2018 I love when you do your weekly Q&A chat sessions and you leave the results up. I like reading those. Billy September 19, 2018 I’m late getting this in, but I think we need an article about what we’ve learned during the rebuild and where we currently stand. I’d argue that we’re in worse shape this year than we were last year. Last year, I felt like we had a lot of options in contention for starting spots, and enough of those options had enough upside that there was reason to believe that we were close to a .500 club that could surprise some people with a few positive developments. The bullpen took a step forward, and the offense proved legit, but the rotation has been terrible. I feel like the farm system is stronger, and that it had a good year. That said, I feel that we learned that the young pitchers at the MLB level are just not that good. We’re not going into the new year with the hope that they’ll figure it out; we’re going with the expectation that they aren’t good enough. I’m afraid that it is also looking like the next wave of prospects are too few and too far away to provide a light at the end of the tunnel. When can this team reasonably be expected to compete again?