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Homer Bailey

Cincinnati Reds — No. 34
Starting pitcher
Born: May 3, 1986 (1986-05-03) (age 23)
La Grange, Texas
Bats: Right Throws: Right 
MLB debut
June 8, 2007 for the Cincinnati Reds
Career statistics
(through 2009 season)
Win-Loss     12-13
Earned run average     5.45
Strikeouts     132
Teams
Career highlights and awards

David Dewitt "Homer" Bailey, Jr. (born May 3, 1986 in La Grange, Texas) is an American Major League Baseball starting pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds.

The Reds selected Bailey in the first round (seventh overall) of the 2004 Major League Baseball Draft. Prior to the 2007 season, both Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus named Bailey the top prospect in the Reds' farm system.[1][2] Because of his success at the minor league level, Bailey's debut was highly anticipated when he was called up to the Major League level in June 2007.[3] He made his Major League debut on June 8, 2007, against the Cleveland Indians. At the time of his debut, Bailey was the youngest player in the National League.

Contents

Early life

Bailey, nicknamed "Homer" after his great-grandfather,[4] attended La Grange High School. During La Grange's 2004 baseball season, Bailey won 15 games and lost none. Additionally, he had a 0.68 earned run average and 201 strikeouts in 92 2/3 innings pitched. That year, USA Today, named Bailey as a member of that year's USA Today All-USA high school baseball team and their High School National Player of the Year.[5] Bailey completed his high school career with 41 wins, 4 losses, a 0.98 ERA, and 536 strikeouts in 298 innings pitched. In 2004, the Cincinnati Reds selected Bailey with the seventh pick in the Major League Baseball amateur draft.

Minor League career

In 2004, Bailey made his professional debut with the Gulf Coast Reds, a Rookie Class franchise in the Gulf Coast League. That season, Bailey appeared in six games, started three, and lost his only decision for the GCL Reds.

In 2005, the Reds promoted Bailey to the Dayton Dragons, the Reds' Class A franchise in the Midwest League. Bailey appeared in 28 games that season and compiled a record of 8-4. After the season, Baseball America named Bailey as the second-best prospect in the Midwest League.[6]

In 2006, the Reds promoted Bailey to the Sarasota Reds, their Advanced Class-A franchise in the Florida State League. Although he won just three games and lost five, Baseball America named him as the best prospect in the Florida State League.[7] After he had appeared in 13 games, the Reds promoted Bailey to the Chattanooga Lookouts, their affiliate in the Double-A Southern League.

While at Chattanooga, Bailey put up the best statistics of his minor league career. He won seven games, lost just one, and had a 1.59 ERA in 13 games. Additionally, in 68 innings, he struck out 77 batters. As a result, Bailey averaged in excess of 10 strikeouts per nine innings while with each of his last three minor league teams.

In 2007, Bailey appeared in three spring training games for the Reds. He lost his only decision and had a 19.64 ERA when the Reds sent him to their minor league camp on March 16. He started the regular season with the Louisville Bats, the Reds' Triple-A affiliate in the International League. Bailey was touted as the best prospect in the Reds' farm system, and one of the best pitching prospects in baseball. In early June 2007, the Reds called up Bailey to make his debut against the Cleveland Indians.

Major League career

On June 8, 2007, Bailey made his Major League debut as the starting pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds in their home game at Great American Ball Park, an interleague game against the Cleveland Indians. In that game, Bailey pitched five innings, allowing two runs on five hits and four walks with three strikeouts, and qualifying for the win. On July 8, 2007, the Reds sent Bailey down to Triple-A Louisville.[8]. On September 20, 2007, Bailey returned to the Reds to pitch 5.2 innings against the Giants. Bailey gave up one run on three hits and a walk while striking out three for his third win of the season.

On March 26, 2008, the Reds optioned Bailey to Louisville to start the 2008 season.[9] On June 5, 2008, Bailey was called up to join the Reds rotation. On June 18, 2008, the Reds optioned Bailey back to Louisville after he went 0-3 with an 8.76 ERA in his three starts and called up Daryl Thompson [10] On July 11, 2008, Bailey returned to the Reds, to pitch against the Milwaukee Brewers, replacing the injured Aaron Harang.

Bailey began the 2009 season with the Triple-A Louisville Bats after failing to earn a spot on the Reds' roster.[11]

Bailey with the Reds in 2009.

On May 23, 2009, Bailey made a spot start for the Reds. Regardless of his performance, he was going to be sent back down to Triple-A Louisville. After being sent back down Bailey shut down Triple-A hitters, holding hitters to an ERA well below 2.00 over his next six starts. On June 27 Bailey was recalled and again faced the Cleveland Indians. Despite walking seven batters Bailey picked up the win. One start later Bailey shutdown the St. Louis Cardinals for 7.1 innings. The two runs credited to Bailey were a result of a grand-slam given up by reliever David Weathers.

Being considered a "can't miss prospect", Bailey's first 2 seasons with the Reds were seen as disappointing, and the 2009 season didn't start off much better. As the season progressed, however, Bailey began to become more consistent, and as a result, began to be more effective, allowing only 3 runs or less in his final 9 starts.

Philanthropy

In 2008, Homer Bailey released a charity wine called "Homer Bailey's Chardonnay" with 100% of his proceeds supporting Outdoors Without Limits, an organization committed to help reduce the barriers that prevent disabled people from enjoying the great outdoors.

References

  1. ^ Cooper, J.J. (2007-01-28). "Top 10 Prospects: Cincinnati Reds". Baseball America. http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/features/263234.html.  
  2. ^ Goldstein, Kevin (2007). Baseball Prospectus. p. 582.  
  3. ^ Erardi, John (2007-06-06). "Homer's odyssey". Cincinnati Enquirer. http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/AB/20070606/SPT04/706060377/.  
  4. ^ "Homer Bailey Info". mlb.com. http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070219&content_id=1808414&vkey=spt2007news&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin. Retrieved 2007-06-09.  
  5. ^ "USA Today 2004 Baseball Awards". usatoday.com. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/preps/baseball/2004-06-29-all-usa_x.htm. Retrieved 2007-06-09.  
  6. ^ "2005 Top 20 Prospects: Midwest League". baseballamerica.com. http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/minors/05league20s/mwl.html. Retrieved 2007-06-09.  
  7. ^ "2005 Florida State League Top 20 Prospects List". baseballamerica.com. http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/features/262551.html. Retrieved 2007-06-09.  
  8. ^ ""Notes: Bailey optioned to Triple-A"". MLB.com. 2007-07-08. http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070708&content_id=2075167&vkey=news_cin&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin.  
  9. ^ The Official Site of The Cincinnati Reds: News: Bailey cut from Reds camp
  10. ^ ""The Official Site of The Cincinnati Reds: News: Reds option Bailey to Triple-A Louisville"". MLB.com. 2008-06-18. http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080618&content_id=2956017&vkey=news_cin&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin. Retrieved 2008-06-19.  
  11. ^ Reds Send Bailey to the Minors SI.com, April 5, 2009

External links

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