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Matt700wlw
08-16-2007, 01:44 AM
Maybe this goes in the minor league forum...I don't know

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/7125094

Eric_Davis
08-16-2007, 02:34 AM
Maybe this goes in the minor league forum...I don't know

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/7125094

I was ready to toss the guy's credibility out the window, but he got the most important thing right.

jojo
08-16-2007, 08:39 AM
I was ready to toss the guy's credibility out the window, but he got the most important thing right.

What's wrong with Dayn Perry in your mind?

Johnny Footstool
08-16-2007, 10:59 AM
Principle No. 7: Can he stay healthy?

At some point, staying healthy must be regarded as a skill. This is especially the case for young pitchers. There are any number of ways for a promising young hurler to go off the rails, but injury is the greatest of these. Remember Ryan Anderson, the Mariners' farmhand who was often compared to Randy Johnson? His potential was unassailable, but his left shoulder wouldn't permit him to realize that greatness. He's just one of countless examples. A penchant for injury can't be ignored when gauging a prospect, and with young pitchers, the injury risk should always be assumed.

I agree with almost all of his points, but this one needs a caveat. What types of injuries does a player tend to suffer? Is it the same type of injury over and over again?

Chronic bad shoulders, elbows, and knees are a huge red flag. However, if the guy just had bad luck, like getting hit on the hand by a pitch, bitten by a spider, or mauled by dogs, you shouldn't worry too much.

I hate it when a guy gets labeled as "brittle" after two or three freak occurrences put him on the DL.

BRM
08-16-2007, 11:05 AM
Principle No. 2: Know what stats are important.

Too many fans are reliant upon comfy and misleading measures like RBI and pitcher wins and losses. These are inadequate at the major league level and even more so when dealing with prospects. Don't worry about a minor league hitter's RBI total or a minor league pitcher's record; they don't mean anything at that level. Look for repeatable skills like run prevention and command in pitchers and, in hitters, the ability to reach base, hit for power and run well.


This one gets discussed regularly on these forums.

redsmetz
08-16-2007, 12:00 PM
I agree with almost all of his points, but this one needs a caveat. What types of injuries does a player tend to suffer? Is it the same type of injury over and over again?

Chronic bad shoulders, elbows, and knees are a huge red flag. However, if the guy just had bad luck, like getting hit on the hand by a pitch, bitten by a spider, or mauled by dogs, you shouldn't worry too much.

I hate it when a guy gets labeled as "brittle" after two or three freak occurrences put him on the DL.

Hand in hand with that is if one sees the same injuries occurring, a hard look needs to be made at the organization's practices, don't you think? I think that was a problem for the Reds there for a while particularly with pitchers.

PuffyPig
08-16-2007, 12:09 PM
Hand in hand with that is if one sees the same injuries occurring, a hard look needs to be made at the organization's practices, don't you think?

Good point.

For example, if a number of our propsects had been injured by mauling dogs, I'd suggest we rethink the practice of having mauling dogs on the field during practive.

But that may be just me.

nate
08-16-2007, 12:12 PM
Good point.

For example, if a number of our propsects had been injured by mauling dogs, I'd suggest we rethink the practice of having mauling dogs on the field during practive.

But that may be just me.

Our MbD/9 (Mauled by dogs per 9 innings) is way down this year:

2006: 0.023
2007: 0.009

And some people think we're not better.

Johnny Footstool
08-16-2007, 12:15 PM
Hand in hand with that is if one sees the same injuries occurring, a hard look needs to be made at the organization's practices, don't you think? I think that was a problem for the Reds there for a while particularly with pitchers.

Agreed. A rash of shoulder, elbow, and knee injuries among the organization's young pitchers should make you re-evaluate the way pitching mechanics are being taught.

I'm also thinking in more specific terms. An outfield prospect with sore knees is probably not going to get healthier as he ages.


Good point.

For example, if a number of our propsects had been injured by mauling dogs, I'd suggest we rethink the practice of having mauling dogs on the field during practive.

But that may be just me.

"We have to keep the dogs around to control the poisonous spider population. We can't have our players being bitten by spiders all the time."

MWM
08-16-2007, 02:33 PM
Overall, a great read. I think it's very accurate.


Principle No. 1: Pay attention to what the scouts say.

Scouts have acuities and insights that you can't find in a box score. The statistical approach is essential to the process, but there's no reason to choose one over the other. For instance, "four-pitch" hurlers — the kind of pitchers with deep repertoires but no true out pitch — often rack up obscene numbers in the minors, but can run into trouble once they hit the bigs. If you've never read a scouting report or watched the guy yourself, the numbers might mislead you. Use all the information you can get your hands on, including what the scouts say about a particular prospect. They have much knowledge to impart.

I agree with this completely, but I have one addition. I would also scout the scouts. From everything I've read there's a big disparity in quality of scouting in major league organizations. Don't rely on something simply because a "scout" said it. If I were in charge of a major league organziation, I'd constantly be evaluating how good or poorly scouts are performing and I'd be constantly looking for better, more innovative, and more reliable means to scout minor league players.

jojo
08-16-2007, 02:39 PM
Overall, a great read. I think it's very accurate.



I agree with this completely, but I have one addition. I would also scout the scouts. From everything I've read there's a big disparity in quality of scouting in major league organizations. Don't rely on something simply because a "scout" said it. If I were in charge of a major league organziation, I'd constantly be evaluating how good or poorly scouts are performing and I'd be constantly looking for better, more innovative, and more reliable means to scout minor league players.

There is a considerable amount of cross checking that goes on in major league organisations.

Eric_Davis
08-17-2007, 03:54 AM
What's wrong with Dayn Perry in your mind?

Not him personally,...can't remember reading his stuff before, though the name sounds and looks familiar. Just the "title" sounded like it was going to be some magic formula for evaluating minor league talent.

I was glad to see that he recognized that the most important thing is what the scout sees with his eyes. A good scout can tell in a couple of plate appearances nearly everything he needs to know.

Eric_Davis
08-17-2007, 03:57 AM
Overall, a great read. I think it's very accurate.



I agree with this completely, but I have one addition. I would also scout the scouts. From everything I've read there's a big disparity in quality of scouting in major league organizations. Don't rely on something simply because a "scout" said it. If I were in charge of a major league organziation, I'd constantly be evaluating how good or poorly scouts are performing and I'd be constantly looking for better, more innovative, and more reliable means to scout minor league players.


That's it in a nutshell. It's not a coincidence that the Expos organization' scouts regularly found gems in Latin America while other clubs who had scouts there missed the opportunities.

jojo
08-17-2007, 08:33 AM
I was glad to see that he recognized that the most important thing is what the scout sees with his eyes. A good scout can tell in a couple of plate appearances nearly everything he needs to know.

I think you're attributing more trust in the ability of scouts than the author would... In fact, Perry is advocating a balanced approach and would likely argue that relying solely on scouting reports is a flawed approach to evaluating talent.

MWM
08-17-2007, 11:50 AM
Any scout who claims they can tell you everything you need to know in a couple of plate appearances should be fired immediately. Actually, I'd say you need to see a player against several different types of pitchers, in several different situations, and over a period of time where you can see him when he's hot an when he's not so hot. There's way to many random variables that come into play in a small sample of ABs. Scouts aren't mythical characters with magical abilities. Even thebest need to see a player over a long period of time.

MWM
08-17-2007, 11:53 AM
There is a considerable amount of cross checking that goes on in major league organisations.

Yes, I know. I'm not talking about cross checking individual scouting reports. I'm talking about constantly scrutinizing a scout's abilities. Admittedly, I don't have the knowledge that some on it, but from what little insight I have been able to gain about the scouting world, there's just not a great deal of accountability within many of the organizations. Once you become a scout, it's almost like getting tenure at a University.

jojo
08-17-2007, 12:12 PM
Any scout who claims they can tell you everything you need to know in a couple of plate appearances should be fired immediately. Actually, I'd say you need to see a player against several different types of pitchers, in several different situations, and over a period of time where you can see him when he's hot an when he's not so hot. There's way to many random variables that come into play in a small sample of ABs. Scouts aren't mythical characters with magical abilities. Even thebest need to see a player over a long period of time.

Yep.

Eric_Davis
08-17-2007, 08:09 PM
Any scout who claims they can tell you everything you need to know in a couple of plate appearances should be fired immediately. Actually, I'd say you need to see a player against several different types of pitchers, in several different situations, and over a period of time where you can see him when he's hot an when he's not so hot. There's way to many random variables that come into play in a small sample of ABs. Scouts aren't mythical characters with magical abilities. Even thebest need to see a player over a long period of time.

Not true at all. A good scout can tell in a couple of plate appearances Major League potential and Major League probability. If you want to be in the Marge Schott camp of underestimating the value of a good scout, then I guess, yes, you're right.

Eric_Davis
08-17-2007, 08:17 PM
Here's a quote from Ed Hinkle, a scout for 20 years in the Majors (He signed Randy Johnson for the Montreal Expos and recruited Ozzie Smith when he was an assistant coach at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo.):

"Good grapes make good wine. You have to know what a good grape is," says Hinkle while holding a radar gun as he scouted a recent A's game in Oakland. "It's like looking at these guys out here. They're all good. But you have to make fine distinctions, between different levels of good."

Eric_Davis
08-17-2007, 08:19 PM
How a Baseball Scout Evaluates a Hitter

by Jeff Edwards, Scouting Supervisor for the Colorado Rockies Baseball Club

One of the most difficult things for a scout to do is project who will and who will not hit at the Major League level. However, there are some common traits that professional baseball organizations look for when evaluating hitters. These traits include certain intangibles as well as specific qualities that are evident in the best prospects. The intangibles include size, build (both current and projected) and make-up. The qualities that are evaluated include strength, bat speed, extension and follow-through and aggressiveness. This article provides an overview of the aspects of evaluating a hitter as well as the informative “how to” guide to the art of hitting.

First we must further define the intangibles that are evaluated in certain hitters.

Size and build: What is his current size and how much more will he likely grow over the next five years? In the scouting profession, this is known as a player’s “projection.”
Make up: This important area relies on the scout’s judgment of a player’s passion for the game. We must answer certain questions about a player’s level of dedication. How much extra time does he spend in the cages all year long? How well does he deal with failure? Is he able to compete and make adjustments? Is he unselfish? Does he have the ability to evaluate his own abilities? Can he separate off the field priorities from his game? What is his “baseball intelligence?” And finally, is he a leader?
When describing the specific qualities that are evident in the baseball hitters, we are reminded that there are many different ways to describe what a great hitter looks like. However, there is one good common thread: they all combine their strength, bat speed, extension/flow-through and aggressiveness to make the ball jump off the bat. These are the common characteristics that flow from slow, sustained, incremental-increase, six month off-season, SWINGBUILDER training. Let’s paint a picture of what a successful hitter would look like:

Hitters must have rhythm, balance and an effortless swing. The stance needs to be simple with a tall, relaxed body that has some softness. The elbows and shoulders should be relaxed and the hands should be somewhat high with the eyes on the level plane. The hands should also be relaxed and not choking the bat. Be leery of an awkward stance or grip because that is an indication that the player is trying to compensate for a weakness.
In addition to the importance of a good swing there are some very important “little things” that scouts look for in the best hitters. But remember that the “little things” can make a big difference.

Early readiness and early load: This translates into an aggressive hitter who is basing his timing on the pitcher rather than on the ball
Less movement in stance = max action contact
Back foot pivot: allows hip to be more rotational
Straight line with hands from load to contact
“Elbow and in the slot:” elbow of top arm should contact the back leg hip
Top hand should be “palm up” at contact and through extension
Quick follow –through: finish should have no deceleration
The bottom line is that a professional caliber hitter can consistently put the fat part of the bat on the center of the baseball. In the following “how to” guide, we will discuss a successful hitter’s approach and philosophy on hitting.

“Approach” can be defined as how one ball gets the bat to the ball – or simply stated: how you hit. The approach must remain simple. There are four steps in the process of developing a good approach to hitting. They are as follows:

Be “loosey-goosey” in your stance
Begin the swing with a cocking action (also known as the load)
Have a small stride to transfer weight back to enable you to hit against the front side vs. on the front side
Be loose in the swing
To summarize be loose in the beginning, loose in the end and say to yourself “cock, stride, swing.”

The philosophy is the mental preparation one must have to be a successful hitter. There is a five – step process in developing a strong hitter’s philosophy.

“Next pitch is mine” attitude. The perfect self talk here is: “YES, YES, YES, NO.” Always step in the batter’s box with the idea that the next pitch is the one you will hit. When you realize that “NO” I don’t want that pitch, it is only because it is out of the hitting zone.
“Wait, Wait, Wait – Quick.” The hitters can wait the longest are the best.
Use the whole field. The belly button should point to where you want to hit the ball.
Hit line drives and hard ground balls. Only 2 of every 20 fly balls become hits while 13 of every 20 line drives and ground balls become hits.
Drill, Drill, Drill. The SWINGBUILDER, tee work, short toss, front toss, dry swings in front of a mirror, cage work, live BP tracking drills, etc… The drills are endless, but critical. 10-30 swings on the field each day will not afford you the opportunity to attain your ultimate goal.
It should be noted that he average major league hitter is only a .270- .285 hitter with a wood bat in his hand and facing the best pitching in the world. When averaging all 30 players from each team at each position, the rightfield, leftfield and firstbase were the only 3 positions in the major leagues that the hitters averaged better than .285 during the 2001 season. Keep in mind that the SWINGBUILDER helps you build power and strength. Power and strength are two key qualities needed in hitting homeruns. Consider the following stats (HR’s on average by each position during the 2001 season in the big leagues):

1b…28…99 RBI’s
2b…12…63
3b…22…84
SS…14…63
C…14…59
LF…24…84
CF…20…77
RF…28…98

In closing, let me say that hitting doesn’t start when you step in the box. It starts when you wake in the morning ends after you have lay in bed and visualized hitting a round ball with a round bat, SQUARELY. Then, you close your eyes. Hitting is the single hardest thing to do in sports; therefore, it requires many hours to perfect the art of hitting. So, remember that perfection in hitting is failing 7 out of every 10 bats. The only way to be successful is to focus on how many times you make good hard contact in 10 at bats as opposed to how many hits you get in 10 at bats.

By Jeff Edwards, Scouting Supervisor for the Colorado Rockies Baseball Club, 14515 Southern Magnolia Circle, Houston, TX 77044, (281) 225-2747, crjedwards@aol.com

IslandRed
08-18-2007, 01:03 AM
Not true at all. A good scout can tell in a couple of plate appearances Major League potential and Major League probability. If you want to be in the Marge Schott camp of underestimating the value of a good scout, then I guess, yes, you're right.

I don't underestimate scouting's value or importance at all, but I don't believe it's as easy as you're making it out to be. I mean, if that's your standard of a good scout, I don't think there are any good ones, because they all have a lot of misses on their resumes. Maybe they need to stick around longer than a couple of at-bats? :p:

jojo
08-18-2007, 01:49 AM
Not true at all. A good scout can tell in a couple of plate appearances Major League potential and Major League probability. If you want to be in the Marge Schott camp of underestimating the value of a good scout, then I guess, yes, you're right.

Nothing in your previous two posts supports or even suggests the above assertion.

cincinnati chili
08-18-2007, 02:38 AM
Often, the same scouts who are adept at picking the "good grapes" are the very same scouts who fail to notice that they're staring right at wine that's already pretty damn good.

Apparently, a plethora of top scouts said that Dustin Pedroia wouldn't be any good in the majors, Kevin Youkilis wouldn't be any good in the majors, that the 2002 Anaheim Angels would never win the world series with a minimum-salary bullpen from the independent leagues. I'm not saying that a guy with great college or low-minors stats should be given 8-figure signing bonuses, but perhaps they should be given incremental chances to advance from level to level.

Finally, I had to chuckle that the aforementioned scout's claim to fame was discovering Randy Johnson. Boy, he really beat the bushes to find that guy! A 7-foot-tall flamethrowing southpaw who looks like a troll. The funny thing is, the reason Randy Johnson is so good has less to do with scouting than Randy Johnson himself. Don't get me wrong, I hear he's a complete buttdart. But he worked his tail off at the major league level to refine his release point and become what he is. He was a freakshow in college and early in his major league career. At his career crossroads after 1989, he very easily could have become a left handed Daniel Cabrera had he not had the perseverance to put it all together.

In other words, nothing is predetermined. A good scout can help you ascertain the odds. Most of it is up to the player, his coaching staff, and luck.

GAC
08-18-2007, 07:15 AM
I agree with these two completely....

Principle No. 1: Pay attention to what the scouts say.

Scouts have acuities and insights that you can't find in a box score. The statistical approach is essential to the process, but there's no reason to choose one over the other. For instance, "four-pitch" hurlers the kind of pitchers with deep repertoires but no true out pitch often rack up obscene numbers in the minors, but can run into trouble once they hit the bigs. If you've never read a scouting report or watched the guy yourself, the numbers might mislead you. Use all the information you can get your hands on, including what the scouts say about a particular prospect. They have much knowledge to impart.

Principle No. 6: Be aware of mitigating circumstances.

Were a player's numbers depressed because the organization jumped him past a level? Did that lingering wrist injury sap his power numbers for the season? You need to know a player's backstory and present circumstances to be able to evaluate him properly. Some organizations have a habit of skipping their top prospects over some of the lower levels. This can often cause a performance lag in an otherwise top-shelf young player. If a hitter is playing through an injury, his numbers might not reflect his true potential. If a pitcher is under strict orders to, say, throw his changeup when behind in the count, then that can very much affect his stat line.

jojo
08-18-2007, 08:53 AM
I thought all 11 were pretty much spot on....

Outshined_One
08-18-2007, 11:15 AM
Considering it's an introductory article, I think he did a pretty good job.

Thanks to the miracle of the internet, accessing information on prospects is easier than ever. If I am in a fantasy baseball dynasty league or if I'm really curious about who might be playing for the team I cheer for 2-3 years down the road, I can easily go to Baseball America's website or to the Minor League Baseball website and comb through stats and articles. I can also go to a variety of baseball message boards and read what other people have to say about upcoming prospects.

However, those people most likely do not have a good idea as to how they go about filtering out the white noise from the information that would benefit them best. It's kind of funny talking about prospects with people who think Wins for a pitcher and Runs Batted In for a hitter can really tell you a lot about a prospect's future. I'd like to have those people in my Dynasty League some day with a $150 buy-in. :D

In any case, this article does a pretty good job of laying out how those people can go about doing that. I could certainly nitpick the article, but overall, he wrote a decent piece.