Homer Bailey: Is Cincinnati Reds Pitcher Finally Living Up to the Hype?

Scott L. HutchinsonCorrespondent IMay 30, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 29:  Homer Bailey #34 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the game on May 29, 2012 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Since being selected seventh overall in the 2004 MLB draft, starting pitcher Homer Bailey has been one of the most highly touted prospects in the Cincinnati Reds organization.

Unfortunately, he has also been one of the most painstakingly inconsistent Reds in recent memory.

The bill on Bailey has always been the same throughout his five-year career: His talent is unquestionable, but his ability to display that talent on a regular basis is shaky at best.

Fortunately, things seem to be looking up for the young righty.

After recording his second career complete game on Tuesday night and improving his all-time record against the division rival Pittsburgh Pirates to 6-0, Bailey is now 4-3 on the season with a respectable 3.73 ERA and an equally impressive 45-18 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

As for that nagging consistency issue? Bailey is now riding a three-game winning streak and has lasted at least six innings in all but two of his 2012 appearances.

Furthermore, his control seems to have improved drastically as well, as he has walked only five batters over his last four starts (only nine BB in the month of May).

While he may never develop into the ace Cincinnati envisioned back in '04, Bailey is slowly but surely becoming a productive, reliable starter, and perhaps most importantly, he appears to be getting better with each and every start.

That's what matters most.