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Thread: 11 principles for judging minor league talent...

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    Making sense of it all Matt700wlw's Avatar
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    11 principles for judging minor league talent...

    Maybe this goes in the minor league forum...I don't know

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

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    Member Eric_Davis's Avatar
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    Re: 11 principles for judging minor league talent...

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt700wlw View Post
    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.
    Rob Neyer: "Any writer who says he'd be a better manager than the worst manager is either 1) lying (i.e. 'using poetic license') or 2) patently delusional. Which isn't to say managers don't do stupid things that you or I wouldn't."

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    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: 11 principles for judging minor league talent...

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric_Davis View Post
    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?
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: 11 principles for judging minor league talent...

    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.
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

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    Let's ride BRM's Avatar
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    Re: 11 principles for judging minor league talent...

    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.

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    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: 11 principles for judging minor league talent...

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool View Post
    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.

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    Re: 11 principles for judging minor league talent...

    Quote Originally Posted by redsmetz View Post
    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.

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    High five! nate's Avatar
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    Re: 11 principles for judging minor league talent...

    Quote Originally Posted by PuffyPig View Post
    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.
    "Bring on Rod Stupid!"

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    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: 11 principles for judging minor league talent...

    Quote Originally Posted by redsmetz
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by PuffyPig View Post
    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."
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

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    Pre-tty, pre-tty good!! MWM's Avatar
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    Re: 11 principles for judging minor league talent...

    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.
    Grape works as a soda. Sort of as a gum. I wonder why it doesn't work as a pie. Grape pie? There's no grape pie. - Larry David

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    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: 11 principles for judging minor league talent...

    Quote Originally Posted by MWM View Post
    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.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    Member Eric_Davis's Avatar
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    Re: 11 principles for judging minor league talent...

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    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.
    Rob Neyer: "Any writer who says he'd be a better manager than the worst manager is either 1) lying (i.e. 'using poetic license') or 2) patently delusional. Which isn't to say managers don't do stupid things that you or I wouldn't."

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    Member Eric_Davis's Avatar
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    Re: 11 principles for judging minor league talent...

    Quote Originally Posted by MWM View Post
    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.
    Rob Neyer: "Any writer who says he'd be a better manager than the worst manager is either 1) lying (i.e. 'using poetic license') or 2) patently delusional. Which isn't to say managers don't do stupid things that you or I wouldn't."

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    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: 11 principles for judging minor league talent...

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric_Davis View Post
    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.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    Pre-tty, pre-tty good!! MWM's Avatar
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    Re: 11 principles for judging minor league talent...

    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.
    Grape works as a soda. Sort of as a gum. I wonder why it doesn't work as a pie. Grape pie? There's no grape pie. - Larry David


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