Originally Posted by Kingspoint
The most I ever got into it was 9 years ago.
I had memorized everything there was to know about 1700 hitters and 1900 pitchers from the Majors throughout the entire minor league system along with some top College prospects. I had excel spreadsheets on everyone, and spent about 700 hours putting it together over 6 months (I was between jobs and always wanted to do this, and put it together). You spend that much time and you can quote anything about anyone, from their OPS last year, to their expected OPS in 3 years and where they should be in 3 years, who's in front of them on the organization chart at every level including projecting what has to happen at each level ahead of them for them to progress, assuming they don't remain stagnant at a level or regress because they were moved up too soon. It's always better to be cautious on the side of too late than too soon. Destroying the confidence of a player is the number one problem next to injuries of any organization. That where I miss Krivsky the most, as he was an expert in handling promotions in my opinion. I know that others don't agree with this, but that was his greatest strength in my opinion. It added to his ability to put the REDS organization in a balance (though he didn't get to finish the pitching part of it). Walt's not bad, but he's a far cry from Krivsky (and from what I glean from Walt, I think he spends about 1/3rd the time as Krivsky spent giving his attention to the minors.)) I saw as many games as I could and watched all the games that I could on video. It was easy to add the new draft results into the research in June as I only had to learn them, having already memorized the other 3600 players, whom I only had to watch their growth.
And, I didn't get paid for it. I imagine someone who gets paid for it, concentrates on fewer players (picks a section of the country or world) and spends more time on each player. Basically, sifting through the straw more, where I instead just learned about everyone who was already drafted, or were for sure Top-5 Round draft picks. I'm using their information and tweaking it to my own judgements.
I stopped the heavy research after 6 months and did very little research at all after that. But, those 6 month carried me through for the next 6 years on players, where most of them projected out to very close to what they should have. There weren't a lot of surprises, except for the expected drops once steroids started to be used less often.
I know right now about 1/250th of what I knew then. But, there are certain players I've seen in person a few times (before they were drafted) that I knew were destined for good Major League careers, and Alonso is one of those.
It'd be nice to have knowledge like Doug and some others have, who make the time to see these players. There are a lot of bad scouts out there over the years, especially now. There's worse ones now than there ever were. A good Scout can spot a good hitter or pitcher after watching him for just a couple minutes. The rest of his time is spent working on finding his weaknesses that need to be worked on so that he progresses smoothly towards the "good" that he sees in him.
Thank you, Kingspoint, for taking the time to describe the process. I have a much better understanding of the process and appreciation of the work involved in doing it right.
IIRC, one of the primary reasons for the Reds success in the 70's was the work of Chief Bender who served as farm system director. His departure from the job coincided with the Reds decline. For a small market team, it is not just helpful, it is critical to be able to evaluate minor league talent. The scouting staff is the wrong area to save money. It seems to me that beginning with Krivsky, the Reds have made great strides in rebuilding the farm system. Would you be willing to rank the Reds current scouting system?