Sunday, April 6, 2008

Overheard on Extra Innings: Impossible to Rush a Prospect

On this afternoon's FSN Ohio broadcast of the Reds-Phillies game, George Grande mentioned an FSN interview with Mario Soto, a former Reds' hurler who now helps the team as an informal pitching coach.

In the interview, according to Grande, Soto said that Edinson Volquez was rushed to the major leagues three years ago in the Texas system, and that it was a disservice to him.

To which Chris Welsh replied:

"You know, George. I'm not so sure if I buy into that argument. You know, it seems like people want to make excuses later on as to why a player didn't fulfill his potential by saying we rushed him along. I hear that about Corey Patterson; I hear that about a lot of other players. You don't hear that about Ken Griffey, Jr., when he broke in at age 19."

Um, okay.

Couple things, though.

One, Ken Griffey, Jr. is a second-generation major leaguer, a precocious natural talent who was selected #1 overall in the 1987 MLB draft, one of the greatest players of all-time and a sure first-ballot Hall of Famer despite losing parts of each of the last eight seasons to injury. Edinson Volquez is...not any of those things. Nor is Corey Patterson.

Two....well, do I really need a two?

If you're using Ken Griffey, Jr., as your player development template, you're probably going to be disappointed by the progress of every player in your system for the next fifty years.

Now that's a disservice.

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