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Thread: What ever happend to Jeremy Brown?

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  1. #1
    Little Reds BandWagon Reds Nd2's Avatar
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    What ever happend to Jeremy Brown?

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/unfiltered/?p=761

    by Kevin Goldstein

    More than a year ago, an A’s official sent me an email asking me, half jokingly, to stop mentioning Moneyball. It was an understandable request. Baseball changes quickly, and the lessons from Moneyball, or maybe more accurately, the lessons that the readers often perceive from Moneyball, no longer really apply. In 2006, Oakland selected a high school pitcher with their first draft pick, shocking many of the book’s diehard fans, and if you look at their renewed system after all of the trades, the biggest strength of the system is now a plethora of those high-ceiling young arms that give many of the risk-averse shivers. Moneyball is a dead issue it seems, even to the A’s.

    And now comes word that one of the players, who often unfairly represented Moneyball, has hung them up, as Jeremy Brown has not reported to camp this year, and informed the A’s that he is retiring. For none of the right reasons, Brown was kind of forced to wear the jersey of Moneyball. The A’s gave him over $300,000 to sign when many teams would have never have drafted him. If you balance the scales in a certain way, Oakland was more right about him in many ways that some of the scouts were. He really could produce offensively, batting .268/.370/.439 in six minor league seasons, including a .276/.364/.469 line last year at Triple-A Sacramento. In 1904 at-bats, he delivered consistency on a secondary skills level, with 115 doubles, 68 home runs and 288 walks.

    In the end however, that body, the one that wasn’t selling jeans, worked against him. Brown was often injured, and a downright bad defensive catcher – anything but agile behind the plate, with an arm that wasn’t very strong. With the offensive profile of a backup, as he was never going to hit for much of an average, Brown ended up miscast for the role, as there is little room on a major league roster for an offensive-oriented reserve catcher.

    So while overall, I think it’s fair to say Brown turned out better than many thought he would, he still didn’t turn out good enough to be a big leaguer – so at best, it’s a moral victory, and in reality, it doesn’t mean much at all. And with that, I will now finally honor the request that came from that Oakland official.

    I’m done talking about Moneyball – and so should you be.
    "...You just have a wider lens than one game."
    --Former Reds GM Wayne Krivsky, on why he didn't fly Josh Hamilton to Colorado for one game.

    "...its money well-spent. Don't screw around with your freedom."
    --Roy Tucker, on why you need to lawyer up when you find yourself swimming with sharks.

  2. #2
    post hype sleeper cincinnati chili's Avatar
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    Re: What ever happend to Jeremy Brown?

    Well, the A's want them to stop talking about Moneyball, but I've heard Michael Lewis say a couple years ago that he plans to do a follow up at some point.

    Good story.
    How, then, are those people of the future—who are taking steroids every day—going to look back on baseball players who used steroids? They're going to look back on them as pioneers. They're going to look back at it and say "So what?" - Bill James, Cooperstown and the 'Roids

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    Re: What ever happend to Jeremy Brown?

    Quote Originally Posted by cincinnati chili View Post
    Well, the A's want them to stop talking about Moneyball, but I've heard Michael Lewis say a couple years ago that he plans to do a follow up at some point.

    Good story.
    I hope he does.

    MoneyBall II would sell at least two or three books.
    "...You just have a wider lens than one game."
    --Former Reds GM Wayne Krivsky, on why he didn't fly Josh Hamilton to Colorado for one game.

    "...its money well-spent. Don't screw around with your freedom."
    --Roy Tucker, on why you need to lawyer up when you find yourself swimming with sharks.

  4. #4
    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: What ever happend to Jeremy Brown?

    Maybe he's going to be the one selling jeans now.
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    Re: What ever happend to Jeremy Brown?

    Heh.

    I’m done talking about Moneyball – and so should you be.
    Why?

    Regardless of what Jeremy Brown does, the A's 2002 1st Round produced Nick Swisher, Joe Blanton, and Mark Teahen in the first 40 picks. Seems to me that when you start drafting in the second half of the first round and then hit on a majority of your selections, you've done a really good job.
    "The problem with strikeouts isn't that they hurt your team, it's that they hurt your feelings..." --Rob Neyer

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    post hype sleeper cincinnati chili's Avatar
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    Re: What ever happend to Jeremy Brown?

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelSD View Post
    Heh.



    Why?

    Regardless of what Jeremy Brown does, the A's 2002 1st Round produced Nick Swisher, Joe Blanton, and Mark Teahen in the first 40 picks. Seems to me that when you start drafting in the second half of the first round and then hit on a majority of your selections, you've done a really good job.
    I didn't take the comment to be a slam of Moneyball. By "done," I think he means that the A's have moved on to exploiting different irrational behaviors in the baseball market. For example, by the time the book came out, they were already using more sophisticated defensive analyses than their peers. The term "Moneyball" has taken on a life that neither the author nor the A's predicted. I think that's what we're supposed to move away from.

    Goldstein knows that the draft went well for them, even if Brown didn't work out.
    How, then, are those people of the future—who are taking steroids every day—going to look back on baseball players who used steroids? They're going to look back on them as pioneers. They're going to look back at it and say "So what?" - Bill James, Cooperstown and the 'Roids

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    Re: What ever happend to Jeremy Brown?

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelSD View Post
    Heh.



    Why?

    Regardless of what Jeremy Brown does, the A's 2002 1st Round produced Nick Swisher, Joe Blanton, and Mark Teahen in the first 40 picks. Seems to me that when you start drafting in the second half of the first round and then hit on a majority of your selections, you've done a really good job.

    Way I see it this, in a industry that finds some one is getting an advantage. Teams with boat loads of money close that gap quickly. It is the old live and learn approach. With teams that must maximize there money assets I am sure mid level teams wised up slowly but finally even the dinosaur guys figured it out,
    2006 Redzone mock Draftee's- 1(st) Daniel Bard(redsox), 1(st sup)( Jordan Walden (Angels), 2(nd) rd.- Zach Britton(Orioles), 3(rd) Blair Erickson(Cardinals), 3(rd) Tim Norton( Yankees),(cuz its a Tim Hortons thing

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    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: What ever happend to Jeremy Brown?

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelSD View Post
    Heh.



    Why?

    Regardless of what Jeremy Brown does, the A's 2002 1st Round produced Nick Swisher, Joe Blanton, and Mark Teahen in the first 40 picks. Seems to me that when you start drafting in the second half of the first round and then hit on a majority of your selections, you've done a really good job.
    But what do those picks have to do with inefficiencies in the marketplace at the time the picks were made?

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    Re: What ever happend to Jeremy Brown?

    Why?

    Regardless of what Jeremy Brown does, the A's 2002 1st Round produced Nick Swisher, Joe Blanton, and Mark Teahen in the first 40 picks. Seems to me that when you start drafting in the second half of the first round and then hit on a majority of your selections, you've done a really good job.
    The As had 7 first-round picks (including the supplemental first round, where Teahen was picked), so it's not exactly true they hit on the majority of their 1st round choices. Still, I think you make a fair point. 3 out of 7 solid-above average major leaguers is a very nice haul.

    However, it should also be pointed out that the As have gotten zero from the rest of that draft. Not a single major league inning, nor a single sweetener to bring back talent in trade -- and none of the players who are still around appear to have a big league future. The one other player who has made it seems to have been poorly evaluated by the As while he was with them -- Jared Burton.

    It was a solid draft for the As -- but it did not serve to revolutionize the draft in any way. They got what they did because they let free agents go and stockpiled picks.
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: What ever happend to Jeremy Brown?

    I agree that anybody who thinks Jeremy Brown = Moneyball should probably stop talking.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  11. #11
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    Re: What ever happend to Jeremy Brown?

    I agree that anybody who thinks Jeremy Brown = Moneyball should probably stop talking.
    I don't think this is quite fair. I read Moneyball last year for the first time, and I was surprised at how prominent Brown is in that book. He is used as one of the main referents for the Beane's/the A's "out of the box" thinking, so I think it's an exaggeration to say Brown does not in some important way represent what the Moneyball approach was about.

    I was also surprised to read the As take (at least as interpreted by Michael Lewis) on the drafting of Scott Kazmir and Prince Fielder. If I recall correctly, the As were quite pleased that other teams were selecting Kazmir and Fielder because, as high schoolers, these players did not appeal in the least to Oakland. Probably one of the reasons the Oakland folks are now trying to distance themselves from the book.
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

  12. #12
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: What ever happend to Jeremy Brown?

    The As might be tired of talking about Moneyball because it's often used as an irrelevant cliche. Basically Moneyball suggests the As generally value stats over scouting and that approach has helped them identify market inefficiencies to exploit in the past. Michael Lewis used Brown as a the poster boy for the As approach. The As themselves might not agree exactly with Lewis' depiction of them in the book. Also as many clubs have begun integrating sabermetrics into their player development efforts, it's probably safe to assume any snapshot in time of the As represented by Moneyball has become dated and less accurate.


    IMHO, any draft pick the results in a player posting .276/.364/.469 in AAA can't really be considered a failure. Drafting is a huge crapshoot even under the best of conditions. A traditional scouting approach would've suggested Brown had no chance to accomplish what he did in his professional career (reach the 99.99999999th percentile in his field).

    This kind of stuff makes for great debate/discussion but I guess if the choice has to be between one or the other pole (and I don't think it really has to be defined that way) I find Brown to be more of an indictment of a "scouting alone" approach than he's an indictment of Moneyball.
    Last edited by jojo; 02-18-2008 at 11:36 AM.
    "This isn’t 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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    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: What ever happend to Jeremy Brown?

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post

    IMHO, any draft pick the results in a player posting .276/.364/.469 in AAA can't really be considered a failure. Drafting is a huge crapshoot even under the best of conditions. A traditional scouting approach would've suggested Brown had no chance to accomplish what he did in his professional career (reach the 99.99999999th percentile in his field).
    But the scouting approach would have yielded a better end result, which would have been spend a 1st round pick on the player most likely to make it to the major leagues, which would not have been Brown. I really do not see the gain in rolling the dice longer if the end result of the game is still craps and you lose the bet. The object of the game is not to predict who will have a better minor league career. One could also argue that the injury excuse might have been part of the scouts' success/failure prediction, considering Brown's known physique. It seems to point out that skewing things too far one way or the other is most likely to yield poor results.

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    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: What ever happend to Jeremy Brown?

    Quote Originally Posted by traderumor View Post
    But the scouting approach would have yielded a better end result, which would have been spend a 1st round pick on the player most likely to make it to the major leagues, which would not have been Brown. I really do not see the gain in rolling the dice longer if the end result of the game is still craps and you lose the bet. The object of the game is not to predict who will have a better minor league career. One could also argue that the injury excuse might have been part of the scouts' success/failure prediction, considering Brown's known physique. It seems to point out that skewing things too far one way or the other is most likely to yield poor results.
    That's circular reasoning made possible by hindsight though....

    BTW, the original point wasn't that the end game is simply to predict who will have a better minor league career........ Concerning Brown, the As were much closer to accurately projecting Brown than the traditional scout crowd was.
    Last edited by jojo; 02-18-2008 at 12:41 PM.
    "This isn’t 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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    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: What ever happend to Jeremy Brown?

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    That's circular reasoning made possible by hindsight though....
    Um, no, two different ways of making predictions. You admitted the scout would have not made Jeremy Brown a first round pick and then dinged him because he would not have predicted Brown being as successful as he was in the minors. Besides being faint praise, I don't think the goal of scouting or statistically based predictions is to project the minor league career, esp. with a first round pick. There is nothing circular or hindsight about that. The scout would not have recommended Jeremy Brown to be picked in that spot, and he would have been right. That is not hindsight, that is evaluating a prediction.

    Although what I quoted is a quick and easy way (since you did not demonstrate why you consider it to be circular and hindsight) to dismiss what someone is saying...it just happens to be inaccurate.


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