Homer Bailey - #1 draft pick, fireballer, Texan. The next big stud pitcher...there's been a lot of talk here and elsewhere about Homer Bailey...mechanically flawed, limited usable pitches at the MLB level , head case, know it all boy with a 'tude...or is he a 23 old kid who needs some time and hard work to mature as a teammate, a player, a pitcher and a sports professional....
Lots of folks on the talk shows, in the newspapers and on the blogs want to trade Homer - get rid of him while he still has some value, a change of scenery could do him a world of good and the Reds could get a MLB serviceable player in return - right now. Lots of talk about how the Reds have screwed with Homer's delivery, the pitches that he is and is not allowed to throw or develop and that the Reds haven't developed many great pitchers recently so maybe they should stop with Homer before he's a total lost cause.Others view him as a head case who isn't coach-able, doesn't work well with his catchers and isn't interested in anything or anyone but Homer.
I too am frustrated with Homer and his last outing although not terrible was still pretty dissapointing. Yet when I think about his raw power - throwing 92 - 98 MPH and striking out 15 in one game at AAA and his occasional flashes of near greatness in his MLB starts over the past couple of seasons...I am not ready to give up on him. His stats are not that consistent or that good. All of his wins, losses, era, whip etc do not mean much when I look at this kid's raw throwing ability. I believe that Homer still has a tremendous upside and could well develop in a #1 or #2 starter for Major League Club. When ? Don't know..maybe he could blossom by the end of this year or sometime next year. When (I say when and not if) he does get it together some team is going to have a hell of a pitcher, His temper, arrogance and ridiculous self confidence will turn into a highly competitive advantage once he begins to mature, To give up on him or to trade him at this stage in his very young career is a very short sighted and poor business decision.There are a fair amount of MLB pitchers who were given up on by a team and then turned out to be pretty damn great...for example Edison Volquez and Aaron Harang come to mind. Doesn't mean Homer Bailey is the next Aaron Harang or Sandy Koufax or Bob Gibson...but then again he may be.
The question is HOW to go about developing this kid into a pitcher...How... because when the light comes on for Homer it will be the light of a 98 MPH fastball, about chest high and striking fear into some overmatched MLB hitter. Lets hope it is one of their hitters and not one of ours.