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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Major League Scouting Bureau Restructuring Under Bavasi - BaseballAmerica.com

More info about changes to the MLB Scouting Bureau.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 14, 2016 at 07:15 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: major league scouting bureau, scouting

For MLB scouts, it’s getting harder to avoid force-out

The may have to resort to selling jeans.

Baseball’s close-knit scouting fraternity has been besieged by wholesale layoffs this winter, with many pro scouts still unemployed one month before the start of spring training.

Never before has the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation received so many formal applications for financial assistance, said executive director Cindy Picerni, with 20 scouts alone seeking help since October.

The Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau, which once employed 58 scouts, has been stripped down to 17, and getting smaller, with scouts advised to start looking elsewhere. The bureau is not closing down, contrary to industry rumors, but director Bill Bavasi acknowledged that changes are being made. The bureau will star focusing more on providing video and medical information on players, Bavasi said, spending more attention on international players.

“It’s just a terrible time for scouts,’’ said Dennis Gilbert, chairman of the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation, who is being honored with the Dave Winfield Humanitarian Award at Saturday’s annual dinner. “I’m getting 15 to 20 calls a week from scouts who don’t have jobs. It’s really been difficult for the older scouts.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 14, 2016 at 04:58 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: scouting

Monday, December 21, 2015

AFL Team Review: Scottsdale Scorpions | 2080 Baseball

Joe Hamrahi’s new web site is worth bookmarking.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 21, 2015 at 06:52 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: afl, scouting

Thursday, December 10, 2015

PrintMore MLB Seattle Mariners hire MLB’s first female full-time scout in 60 years

The Seattle Mariners have hired Amanda Hopkins as a full-time amateur scout, making her the first female to hold that position in Major League Baseball in almost 60 years.

Susan Slusser of The San Francisco Chronicle first reported the news on Monday.

Hopkins is following in the footsteps of her father, Ron Hopkins, who spent eight seasons as a national cross checker for the Oakland Athletics before becoming the Texas Rangers‘ scouting director from 2003–09. He was also the special assistant to Rangers general manager Jon Daniels in 2010.

Hopkins’ brother, Ross Hopkins, was selected in the 40th round of the 2007 MLB draft by the Cincinnati Reds. He has since spent several seasons in the minor leagues.

Hopkins played softball at Central Washington University before joining the Mariners in the front office last season.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 10, 2015 at 01:38 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: females in baseball, mariners, scouting, women in baseball

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Spd: scoring speed among top prospects | MiLB.com News | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball

Sam Dykstra compares Speed Scores and players’ scouting ratings.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 03, 2015 at 08:17 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: minors, sabermetrics, scouting

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Same Scout Once Drafted Both Of Today’s Cy Young Winners

Neither Arrieta nor Keuchel were high-round, can’t miss prospects. Milwaukee drafted Arrieta in the 26th round of the 2005 draft, after his freshman season at Weatherford Junior College. Instead of signing he opted to transfer to TCU, and after two solid years Baltimore selected him in the fifth round of the 2007 draft.

Keuchel’s signing was much more straightforward. Houston drafted him in the seventh round of the 2009 draft, and he immediately signed and began playing Single-A ball for the club. And according to Keith Law, Stevenson was also responsible for signing current Rangers stud Yovani Gallardo.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 18, 2015 at 10:08 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dallas keuchel, jake arrieta, scouting

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Sunday Notes: Dyson’s Theft, Yost, Collins, Cubs, Madson, more | FanGraphs Baseball

I wonder whether Nick Cafardo classifies video work as analytical or scouting?

You’ve probably read about the role scouting played in Jarrod Dyson‘s 12th inning stolen base in Game 5 of the World Series. The Royals knew that New York’s Addison Reed would slow his delivery in certain situations, and “a little shimmy with his hip” was going to be Dyson’s key to run. First base coach Rusty Kuntz shared that bit of info after the game, and I touched on it my recap.

Mark Topping, the team’s video coordinator, had a hand in the theft. As Kuntz explained, “Topper gives me 20 moves to the plate, and 20 pick-offs, for every pitcher.”

The video, Topping told me, allows Kuntz to “See if there’s any kind of tell; a guy moves his front front, or his toe, or whatever.”

The information is supplied via iPad, and it includes pitchers’ times to the plate. More than eyeball scouting is at play. Software is used to calculate the measurements, so they’re “extremely precise.”

At home, Topping is watching from a video-coaching room next to the clubhouse, where the Royals have “12 different angles.” On the road, he’s either watching from the visiting clubhouse or in an adjacent room.

In the 12th inning of Game 5, he was “looking at a high-first angle,” as Dyson took his lead off of first base. Given the situation, and knowing the information that had been communicated via Kuntz, Topping knew what to expect. He wasn’t disappointed.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 08, 2015 at 08:16 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, notes, scouting

Baseball’s battle between scouting and analytics continues - The Boston Globe

Oh dear.

In the AL West, the Astros were always more analytical, but they’ve acknowledged scouting is still important. Billy Eppler, Cashman’s longtime assistant who is the new GM of the Angels, leans analytical, though he embraces scouting. Now the question is, can Eppler and manager Mike Scioscia co-exist? Scioscia may be the last of the old-fashioned managers who consider analytics taboo. Scioscia will eventually lose this battle.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 08, 2015 at 07:27 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: get off my lawn, sabermetrics, scouting

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Yoenis Cespedes and the Mike Trout Treatment | FanGraphs Baseball

Why does Fangraphs hate the Mets?

Few players looked less like themselves against the high heat than Yoenis Cespedes this season. It’s always been something of a problem for Cespedes, but this year, that problem was exacerbated. Cespedes’ weakness appears almost identical to Mike Trout’s, and we know how the league responded to that. The league, maybe surprisingly, hasn’t responded quite the same way to Cespedes, but then again no two players are the same. Cespedes has another problem area, so pitchers have at least have another option. The elevated fastball feels like the bigger weakness, the one that’s more exploitable, but maybe it’s also riskier. The interesting part, now, is seeing which route the Royals choose to take.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 28, 2015 at 06:15 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, royals, sabermetrics, scouting, world series, yoenis cespedes

Friday, October 09, 2015

The Curious Case Of The Extra .2 Seconds - BaseballAmerica.com

How does this impact companies which do a lot of analysis based on video?

Look at Arrieta’s front foot and his glove in this progression. Yes, Jake Arrieta is an amazing pitcher. He combines a plus-plus fastball with a wear-you-out slider and impeccable command. But even more impressively, Arrieta has managed to figure out a way to bend the laws of time and space. How do you hit a pitcher who manages to reverse time in the middle of his delivery?

OK, maybe that’s not the best explanation. There has to be another explanation that doesn’t refute Albert Einstein.

A call to TBS this morning offered something that doesn’t violate the laws of physics: that live broadcast you’re watching, well, it’s a little less live than you think.

The technology MLB uses to serve those virtual ads behind home plate? They require a little pause that refreshes when switching to the center field camera. This is true no matter if it’s ESPN, TBS, MLB Network or Fox Sports 1 broadcasting the game. The Sportvision technology requires the shot to back up .18 seconds to put the ads in the right place. That Bleacher Report ad isn’t actually there. It only exists in bits and bytes and the tech needs a little time to get it served up properly, apparently.

I’m not saying I fully understand why the technology needs a delay. I’m not sure the person explaining it could have explained it any better. But we know enough.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 09, 2015 at 09:08 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, scouting, technology

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Behind the Scenes of Major League Baseball’s Futuristic Player Tracking System | Motherboard

Statcast is the wrong name. It should be StatScout because all Statcast does is quantify what scouts have been trying to accurately judge since the first scout watched his first ballgame.

So, have the stats nerds won? Legendary Sports Illustrated reporter Tom Verducci says the system is “not trying to get rid of the mythology” of baseball, but really, that’s a fair concern here. We might not know if Bob Feller actually threw harder than Jacob DeGrom, but that’s kind of the point, isn’t it? Many a mid-ballgame discussion have centered on these kinds of questions, and it’s admittedly part of the fun.

This tech probably won’t filter out the crotchety old men on message boards who insist that, let’s say, Derek Jeter is good at defense. But at the very least, it’ll make us enlightened ones all the more smug in knowing we’re right, and that’s not a bad consolation prize.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 27, 2015 at 08:07 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: scouting, statcast

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

2015 Scouting Report - By the Fans, For the Fans

It’s that time of year again.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 23, 2015 at 09:48 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: scouting

Friday, September 11, 2015

Using Batted Ball Data in Scouting – The Hardball Times

I have always thought putting sabermetric ratings on the scouting scale makes a lot of sense.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 11, 2015 at 01:28 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, scouting

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Astros’ pro scouting strategy hits big on Francis Martes, David Paulino - Ultimate Astros

It usually doesn’t hurt to talk up a team’s prospects.

“When I hired Kevin, one of the things I asked him to do was think about what the right strategy should be for us given the fact that we were on a slightly longer time frame than other clubs,” Luhnow said. “Normally when you’re dealing players, I found this now being on the acquiring side, when you’re dealing players, the team wants players that are close to the major leagues back in return. Which is why we trade (Domingo) Santana and (Brett) Phillips and those types of guys.

“We were, we knew we were in a position where we had a lot of already interesting prospects at the upper levels and we could afford to take some fliers on some guys that were further away. And so when Kevin set up the department, he set it up in a way that was pretty balanced where scouting was across all levels and not necessarily focused on the upper levels.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 10, 2015 at 11:30 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, scouting

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Hey, data data: MLB teams face challenge delivering info to players

Some great points in this article.

Some still choose to do their trend-spotting homework themselves. In addition to video and heat maps, Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki said he delves into the raw data while scouting opposing hitters.

“You look at exit speed velocity,” he said. “You look at tendencies in certain counts and certain pitches and quadrants of the zone. Velocity comes into play.

“You try to match it up with your pitcher that you have that day.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 27, 2015 at 11:53 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, scouting

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Dodgers part with several international execs | MLB.com

This is a little odd.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 18, 2015 at 08:15 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: scouting

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Beasley: Bryce Harper “can handle” starting season with Nationals

Beasley: Bryceslist: Killer job.

New Triple-A Syracuse manager Tony Beasley believes Harper could use some more seasoning but has also demonstrated hints of the complete package
.
“I would hate to see him come all the way through the system quickly, skip levels and then get the major league level and really skid,” Beasley said. “The thing he has that is special, and I have talked to him about it, is his mindset - the way he believes and the level of confidence he has and his ability to play the game of baseball. I don’t think you want to shake that, especially at this age. I don’t think you want to take the chance of shaking that.”

...But all you can go on is what you have seen and Beasley believes in what Harper has produced in one season. He believes it is a very positive sign for what lies ahead for the Nationals and their top prospect.

“I think so far he has done outstanding. That is the tough call for general manager Mike Rizzo and manager Davey Johnson (to make). All we can do as a minor league field staff is to prepare him as best we can for on and off field situations. I think so far he is way, way ahead of his years and he gets it. I think (Harper) really understands it,” Beasley said.

So, is Harper ready?

“If he gets the call out of spring training this year,” Beasley said, “I have a feeling that he can handle it.”

Repoz Posted: January 21, 2012 at 11:03 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, nationals, prospect reports, scouting

SI.com: Economic considerations at heart of Carmona’s decision

An interesting analysis of signing ages, signing bonuses, and success rates in the Dominican Republic, by Melissa Segura of Sports Illustrated ...

Teams pay premiums for 16-year-olds for two primary reasons: One, because teams often want to be the first to sign a promising player and, thus, avoid bidding wars with other teams; and two, clubs prefer to develop their players’ skills under the watchful eyes of their own club personnel rather than under those of unqualified and unaffiliated coaches or trainers.

But are 18-year-old Latin American players really worth 70 percent less than their 16-year-old counterparts? Here’s another data analysis that calls into question the industry practice of placing a premium on youth. Let’s assume the most basic marker of a successful signing is making it to the majors. We’ll make it simple and look at the 79 players who have made their major league debuts from 2008-2011 from Carmona’s Dominican Republic. Of those 79, only six were signed as 16-year-olds. The debuts suggest older players were more likely to advance to the majors. ...

[...]

What’s more, SI tracked down the bonus data for 60 of the 79 players. Fernando Martinez, signed by the Mets in 2005 for $1.3 million, was the only one to receive a seven-figure bonus. Only nine others signed for six figures and one — the Rockies’ Juan Nicasio — received nada to sign, according to the data obtained by SI. The median signing bonus among them tallied a paltry $35,000.

Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 21, 2012 at 04:09 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, international, mets, miami, minor leagues, rockies, scouting

Friday, January 20, 2012

Kevin Goldstein: Indians Top 11 Prospects

System in 20 Words or Less: This is the youngest, riskiest, most volatile Top 11 I’ve ever done.

Five-Star Prospects
1. Francisco Lindor, SS
Three-Star Prospects
2. Dillon Howard, RHP
3. Ronny Rodriguez, SS
4. Austin Adams, RHP
5. Tony Wolters, SS
6. Nick Hagadone, LHP
7. Dorssys Paulino, SS
8. Luigi Rodriguez, OF
Two-Star Prospects
9. Scott Barnes, LHP
10. Robel Garcia, INF
11. Elvis Araujo, LHP

Nine More
12. Jake Cisco, RHP: This 2011 third-round pick has size and stuff, but he’s raw.
13. Zach McAllister, RHP: He has command and fastball movement, but little else. His ceiling is a fifth starter.
14. Felix Sterling, RHP: This young righty has a power arm and big potential, but he needs refinement.
15. Jorge Martinez, SS: He’s yet another teenage Dominican with loud tools. He profiles as a third baseman with power.
16. Chen Lee, RHP: This undersized righty has an electric fastball. He should pitch in big leagues this year, and has a seventh- or eighth-inning ceiling.
17. Levon Washington, OF: He’s still a great athlete, but his swing fell apart in 2011.
18. Jesus Aguilar, 1B: This massive first baseman is a bat-only prospect, but there are questions about what he can do other than hit for power.
19. Chun-Hsui Chen, C: He has impressive offensive skills, but he’s well below average behind the plate.
20. Zack Putnam, RHP: Like Lee, Putnam should reach the big leagues this year, but he profiles as a solid reliever, not an impact one.

 

Tripon Posted: January 20, 2012 at 12:33 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, minor leagues, prospect reports, scouting

Thursday, January 19, 2012

IIATMS: Jim Callis of Baseball America Talks Yankees Prospects

(checks fine print for Calvin Riggar update)

CB:  Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances are two of the brightest and most highly sought after pitching prospects in the Yankee system.  While they each miss a lot of bats and generate big strikeout numbers; both have exhibited difficulties in limiting walks.  After watching each struggle with their command in 2011, are you still projecting both pitchers to be top of the rotation starters?

JC:  I don’t think I’ve ever projected Betances as a frontline starter. That may be his ceiling, but given his slow development path and still less-than-stellar command, I’ve suspected for a while that he’s going to end up as a reliever. I still see Banuelos as a starter, however, but again, I don’t think I’ve ever called him a No. 1 starter. He’s a No. 2 or 3 if everything comes together.

CB:  After being listed as Baseball America ’s 108th best prospect prior to the 2011 amateur draft, the Yankees selected Dante Bichette, Jr. with the 51st pick.  He signed quickly and promptly set the Gulf Coast League afire hitting .342/.446/.505 and winning league MVP honors.  Looking back, do you think your initial evaluation was accurate?  If not, what has changed?

JC:  Our initial evaluation was based in part about suspicions that he’ll eventually wind up in the outfield. If he can stay at third base, and the Yankees think he can, then he’ll have more value. Bichette has boosted his stock since the draft with his strong debut and his initial play at third base.

Repoz Posted: January 19, 2012 at 05:13 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, prospect reports, scouting, yankees

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Baseball America’s Top 10 Prospects: Chicago White Sox

Leapin’ Lukevics! What a mess!

1. Addison Reed, rhp
2. Nestor Molina, rhp
3. Simon Castro, rhp
4. Trayce Thompson, of
5. Jake Petricka, rhp
6. Keenyn Walker, of
7. Jhan Marinez, rhp
8. Tyler Saladino, ss
9. Juan Silverio, 3b
10. Ozzie Martinez, ss

With his farm system failing to supply impact players, GM Ken Williams constantly has had to be on the lookout for OPT—other people’s talent. He has chosen poorly in recent years, hamstringing Chicago with bad contracts for Adam Dunn, Jake Peavy and Alex Rios.

...The club could struggle to contend in the immediate future because it has done a poor job of signing and developing its own talent. Chicago has the worst farm system in baseball, and it’s no coincidence that it ranks last in draft spending in the last five years ($18.3 million) and has had little presence on the international amateur market in that time.

Repoz Posted: January 18, 2012 at 06:20 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, prospect reports, scouting, white sox

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Kevin Goldstein: Cincinnati Reds Top 11 Prospects

System In 20 Words Or Less: Considering the trades made for a 2012 run at the National Leaugue Central, there is still some strength in the system.

Five-Star Prospects
1. Billy Hamilton, SS
2. Devin Mesoraco, C
Three-Star Prospects
3. Zack Cozart, SS
4. Robert Stephenson, RHP
5. Daniel Corcino, RHP
6. J.C. Sulbaran, RHP
7. Didi Gregorius, SS
8. Todd Frazier, UT
9. Neftali Soto, 1B
10. Henry Rodriguez, 2B
Two-Star Prospects
11. Yorman Rodriguez, OF

Nine More:
12. Kyle Lotzkar, RHP: Can’t stay healthy, but continues to tease with some of the best stuff in the system.
13. Kyle Waldrop, OF: Athletic outfielder impressed Pioneer League scouts in 2011, has excellent chance to move up.
14. Donnie Joseph, LHP: Lefty reliever has bat-missing arsenal; could reach big leagues in 2012 with more strikes.
15. Gabriel Rosa, 3B: 2011 second-round pick is raw, but has the potential for plus power and defense.
16. Tony Cingrani, LHP: 2011 third-rounder has crazy number in pro debut, but projects for many as reliever.
17. Ryan LaMarre, OF: 2010 second-rounder has speed and contact ability, but leaves scouts underwhelmed with overall hitting.
18. Tucker Barnhart, C: Will get to the big leagues on defensive chops alone, but backup bat.
19. Juan Duran, OF: Finally began to untap the power in 2011, but is still uncoordinated after growing to six-foot-seven.
20. Ryan Wright, 2B: Overachiever with more skills than tools, but hard not to like.

Tripon Posted: January 17, 2012 at 06:26 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, prospect reports, reds, scouting

Monday, January 16, 2012

Kevin Goldstein: White Sox Top 11 Prospects

System in 20 Words or Less: Two words: Not good.

Four-Star Prospects
1. Addison Reed, RHP
Three-Star Prospects
2. Nestor Molina, RHP
3. Trayce Thompson, OF
4. Jake Petricka, RHP
5. Simon Castro, RHP
6. Keenyn Walker, OF
Two-Star Prospects
7. Eduardo Escobar, SS
8. Jhan Marinez, RHP
9. Myles Jaye, RHP
10. Tyler Saladino, SS
11. Andre Rienzo, RHP

Nine More
12. Juan Silverio, 3B: He’s a third baseman who has the ability to hit, and could move forward in 2012.
13. Jared Mitchell, OF: This former first-rounder still has tools, but the results have been disastrous.
14. Brandon Short, OF: His plus hit tool is matched with a poor approach and a lack of corner-outfield power.
15. Pedro Hernandez, LHP: He was acquired from the Padres in the Carlos Quentin deal. Martinez could pitch in the big leagues this year, but he has a seventh-inning ceiling.
16. Gregory Infante, RHP: Infante is another potential 2012 bullpen piece. He has a power arm, but does not have much to go with in.
17. Erik Johnson, RHP: This 2012 second-round pick has a plus fastball and slider, but he needs to refine his changeup and command.
18. Michael Blanke, C: He has raw power and a good arm, but there are big questions about his bat.
19. Dylan Axelrod, RHP: His ceiling is a fifth starter, but he might already be there.
20. Ozzie Martinez, SS: Martinez arrived from Florida in the Ozzie Guillen deal. He’s a future utility player.

Tripon Posted: January 16, 2012 at 02:15 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, prospect reports, scouting, white sox

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Kevin Goldstein: New York Mets Top 11 Prospects

Five-Star Prospects
1. Matt Harvey, RHP
2. Zack Wheeler, RHP
Four-Star Prospects
3. Jeurys Familia, RHP
Three-Star Prospects
4. Brandon Nimmo, OF
5. Juan Lagares, OF
6. Jordany Valdespin, 2B
7. Jenrry Mejia, RHP
8. Reese Havens, 2B
9. Cesar Puello, OF
10. Michael Fulmer, RHP
11. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF

Nine More:
12. Cory Mazzoni, RHP: 2011 second-rounder was great in brief debut; will move to rotation in 2012.
13. Akeel Morris, RHP: 20-year-old Virgin Islands native has big, but unrefined, power arm.
14. Darin Gorski, LHP: Had arguably the best stats of any pitcher in the system, but he’s older and has more finesse than stuff.
15. Phillip Evans, SS: Over slot 15th-rounder profiles as offense-oriented second baseman
16. Wilmer Flores, INF: Bat has never taken expected move forward while scouts see big moves down defensive spectrum.
17. Jefry Marte, 3B: Age and strong showing in Arizona Fall League saves him; some scouts still believe in the bat.
18. Juan Urbina, LHP: Shows flashes of high-ceiling potential, but not enough of them.
19. Chris Schwinden, RHP: Reached the big leagues, but what you see is what you get with potential to be a number-five starter.
20. Darrell Ceciliani, OF: Plus speed and a leadoff man’s approach, but never got going with the bat in full-season debut.

Tripon Posted: January 14, 2012 at 03:28 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, minor leagues, prospect reports, scouting

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