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How do you define rushing a prospect?


Sports Guy

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I think people in message boards throw around words without really using them in a literal sense. 

 

For me, rushing would be promoting a player and not giving them adequate time to adjust to a new level before panicking and then demoting them. Also something that would seemingly happen daily on a message board.

 

Is rushing a player as bad as slow rolling one? I would say yes.

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Matt Riley, I guess. It’s been a long time, so I had to refresh my memory. Looks as though he was dominant at Frederick as a nineteen-year-old, made the jump to Bowie and more than held his own for about 125 innings, skipped Rochester (pretty sure AAA was still Rochester then), and got rocked in a handful of starts with Baltimore. Didn’t make it back up to Baltimore until 2003, when he was good in two starts, then got rocked in limited action in 2004 with us and 2005 with Texas.

Can’t recall whether there might have been an injury or what. I do recall being really excited about a nineteen-year-old debuting in our rotation, and bummed when it seemed he was being outclassed by a league he didn’t belong in yet.

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7 minutes ago, Babkins said:

Matt Riley, I guess. It’s been a long time, so I had to refresh my memory. Looks as though he was dominant at Frederick as a nineteen-year-old, made the jump to Bowie and more than held his own for about 125 innings, skipped Rochester (pretty sure AAA was still Rochester then), and got rocked in a handful of starts with Baltimore. Didn’t make it back up to Baltimore until 2003, when he was good in two starts, then got rocked in limited action in 2004 with us and 2005 with Texas.

Can’t recall whether there might have been an injury or what. I do recall being really excited about a nineteen-year-old debuting in our rotation, and bummed when it seemed he was being outclassed by a league he didn’t belong in yet.

 

Sadly, Matt Riley had a million dollar arm but a 10 cent head.  I interviewed him for the CL Beat, a small rag that was around for only a couple of years.  After my interview I could only shake my head.  He was spending money he didn't have yet and thinking he was a BIG STAR as he was blowing away Single A hitters.  He was basically a 2 pitch thrower with the high heat fastball and knee buckling curve.  As he moved up and couldn't find the strike zone that curve was useless as you could sit on red and feast.  He had one of the nicest catchers that i ever met there in Frederick in Cesar Devares, whom i credit a lot of his success to.

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Rushing a prospect means pushing him into a situation he can’t yet handle, from a level he can’t yet handle. That is why we speak of prospects being young for their level. They might do well despite being young for the level( “Joe Schmedlap is young for this level but is really playing well against the older and more experienced competition!”)but the concept exists because it is a risk.

A player is ready for the next level if he’s doing well or better in his current one. If he is promoted and does poorly it doesn’t necessarily mean he was rushed. Sisco wasn’t rushed, he was just unable to make the transition.

If a player is NOT doing well at his current level, promoting him could be called rushing him…and other things as well.

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10 minutes ago, Philip said:

Rushing a prospect means pushing him into a situation he can’t yet handle, from a level he can’t yet handle. That is why we speak of prospects being young for their level. They might do well despite being young for the level( “Joe Schmedlap is young for this level but is really playing well against the older and more experienced competition!”)but the concept exists because it is a risk.

A player is ready for the next level if he’s doing well or better in his current one. If he is promoted and does poorly it doesn’t necessarily mean he was rushed. Sisco wasn’t rushed, he was just unable to make the transition.

If a player is NOT doing well at his current level, promoting him could be called rushing him…and other things as well.

Very solid post.

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Lowther is a good example of being a little rushed this year. He has a fine line to tip toe to be successful. He’s never pitched in AAA. They should’ve let him establish himself in AAA, get on a roll, get a feel for all his pitches, get his confidence up, then call him to the show.  

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If you have a too large an ability gap I feel the ability to learn is impaired.  For instance if you took 20 year old me and tossed me into a basketball camp with college players I would have been completely lost and overwhelmed to the point that I wouldn't be able to improve.

If you do that to a baseball player that would be rushing them.  Aggressively promoting someone like Adam Hall or Darrell Hernaiz would be an example of that.

With pitchers it is a bit more difficult because you want to control their workloads and they need to work on specific pitches which is not something that can be done in a more challenging environment.

 

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33 minutes ago, Philip said:

Rushing a prospect means pushing him into a situation he can’t yet handle, from a level he can’t yet handle. That is why we speak of prospects being young for their level. They might do well despite being young for the level( “Joe Schmedlap is young for this level but is really playing well against the older and more experienced competition!”)but the concept exists because it is a risk.

A player is ready for the next level if he’s doing well or better in his current one. If he is promoted and does poorly it doesn’t necessarily mean he was rushed. Sisco wasn’t rushed, he was just unable to make the transition.

If a player is NOT doing well at his current level, promoting him could be called rushing him…and other things as well.

This is certainly something Elias and company don't seem to do. That's a good thing. If anything, they are sometimes a little slow to promote guys, at least in my lowly opinion. 

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21 minutes ago, sportsfan8703 said:

Lowther is a good example of being a little rushed this year. He has a fine line to tip toe to be successful. He’s never pitched in AAA. They should’ve let him establish himself in AAA, get on a roll, get a feel for all his pitches, get his confidence up, then call him to the show.  

Do you feel his fine line will still exist even if he does the things you say here?

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1 hour ago, sportsfan8703 said:

Lowther is a good example of being a little rushed this year. He has a fine line to tip toe to be successful. He’s never pitched in AAA. They should’ve let him establish himself in AAA, get on a roll, get a feel for all his pitches, get his confidence up, then call him to the show.  

I feel like the majority of the board felt Lowther was being slow played the last few years so when he finally got to the bigs it didn't feel like he was rushed. But I'm not exactly sure why he was pegged to be the yo-yo guy over anyone else. I think they probably just thought he had enough experience.

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2 hours ago, Sports Guy said:

I have seen a lot of people use the word “rushing” a lot lately.  
 

How are you defining that and with whatever definition you are using, do You feel that your version of rushing means it’s a detriment to the player?

Rushing can, at least to me, mean a few different things.  

1) Moving up a prospect before their production at the current level shows they 'deserve' said promotion.  This move can be done for any number of reasons (team needs, being pushed, fan impatience, etc) but if a player is barely holding their own against A pitching, then it doesn't make much sense to move them to AA when they will be facing even better and more challenging pitchers.  Give them the time to figure things out at the 'lesser' level being giving them a further challenge.  And frankly I think that's it right there, we want them to be challenged, but not overwhelmed.  If a lower level is still a challenge for them, moving them higher is rushing them in my opinion.  Of course words like 'challenge' and 'overwhelmed' is a bit subjective, but for the most part we know it when we see it.

2) It can also mean from the team perspective, as in service time manipulation.  While it's very a much a case by case basis, the needs of the franchise can come before the needs of the player.  While we may argue if that's right or wrong, it IS part of the current system.  In some cases it makes sense to bring up a phenom and start their clock early...in some cases it doesn't make sense.  Clearly we've been arguing this at the hangout for a long time, and will continue to do so as long as it is in the rules and keeps happening, but a player can be rushed from a team perspective...just because a player is dominating AAA or whatever, does not automatically mean he should be with the MLB club.  At the end of the day a GM is responsible for BOTH the well being of his players and the needs of his franchise.  Service time manipulation and preventing super 2 status, etc, needs to be a factor in the decision making process.  Bringing them up 'too soon' could also be rushing them from a franchise standpoint.

3) Finally rushing could also happen if it screws with other players in the system.  With a smaller minor leagues, there are only so many spots, only so many at bats.  If you have good prospects at a position in all levels (A, AA, AAA) then when you move a guy up you either need to move the person he's taking at bats away from up also, or possibly down.  What you don't want to see is top prospects riding the bench as there are too many quality players at that level.  I'm not saying that currently applies to the Orioles as AAA doesn't have much talent.  But as we've seen with the shuffling in positions in our A and AA squads among the many talented infielders (I love having to say that) having too much at one level can hinder the growth of those around them.

 

Long and short I think it depends on perspective.  Some only seem to look at what's best for the player, some seem to only look at what's best for the long term franchise, some only look at what's best for the current team, and some look at all factors.  I'm not sure there is a clear cut 'this is a rushed player', though we can clearly find examples of players that were rushed historically.

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1 hour ago, forphase1 said:

Rushing can, at least to me, mean a few different things.  

1) Moving up a prospect before their production at the current level shows they 'deserve' said promotion.  This move can be done for any number of reasons (team needs, being pushed, fan impatience, etc) but if a player is barely holding their own against A pitching, then it doesn't make much sense to move them to AA when they will be facing even better and more challenging pitchers.  Give them the time to figure things out at the 'lesser' level being giving them a further challenge.  And frankly I think that's it right there, we want them to be challenged, but not overwhelmed.  If a lower level is still a challenge for them, moving them higher is rushing them in my opinion.  Of course words like 'challenge' and 'overwhelmed' is a bit subjective, but for the most part we know it when we see it.

2) It can also mean from the team perspective, as in service time manipulation.  While it's very a much a case by case basis, the needs of the franchise can come before the needs of the player.  While we may argue if that's right or wrong, it IS part of the current system.  In some cases it makes sense to bring up a phenom and start their clock early...in some cases it doesn't make sense.  Clearly we've been arguing this at the hangout for a long time, and will continue to do so as long as it is in the rules and keeps happening, but a player can be rushed from a team perspective...just because a player is dominating AAA or whatever, does not automatically mean he should be with the MLB club.  At the end of the day a GM is responsible for BOTH the well being of his players and the needs of his franchise.  Service time manipulation and preventing super 2 status, etc, needs to be a factor in the decision making process.  Bringing them up 'too soon' could also be rushing them from a franchise standpoint.

3) Finally rushing could also happen if it screws with other players in the system.  With a smaller minor leagues, there are only so many spots, only so many at bats.  If you have good prospects at a position in all levels (A, AA, AAA) then when you move a guy up you either need to move the person he's taking at bats away from up also, or possibly down.  What you don't want to see is top prospects riding the bench as there are too many quality players at that level.  I'm not saying that currently applies to the Orioles as AAA doesn't have much talent.  But as we've seen with the shuffling in positions in our A and AA squads among the many talented infielders (I love having to say that) having too much at one level can hinder the growth of those around them.

 

Long and short I think it depends on perspective.  Some only seem to look at what's best for the player, some seem to only look at what's best for the long term franchise, some only look at what's best for the current team, and some look at all factors.  I'm not sure there is a clear cut 'this is a rushed player', though we can clearly find examples of players that were rushed historically.

With regards to your #1, I have a few issues.

First of all, you can’t necessarily judge fully on results.  Perhaps the defense behind the pitcher sucks or maybe the hitter has hit into a lot of bad luck.  There are things that don’t always show up in the box score or their stat line that could indicate things aren’t as bad as they appear.  And the flip side is maybe their stat lines look far better than what the performance would seem to say.  Much like @Moose Milligan, it goes both ways.

As for the subjective part and “knowing it when you see it”, I think that is dangerous because most people don’t know it when they see it and eyes lie because of biases.

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