Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Pirates’ Spring Training Primer: 21st century player development

Although the Pirates believe a common goal is important, they also believe in specificity. Benedict didn’t know any of the players when he took over as pitching coordinator. He gathered the members of the organization who had worked with the pitchers and began investigating. The team speaks to the parents and former coaches of players entering their organization as well as to the scouts who signed them. They watch any video available and scour the Internet for interviews or statistics that may hint at the pitcher’s personality or previous workload.

“It’s the first I’ve heard of that type of deep investigative work to get to know the kid prior to even talking about pitching or delivery,” said minor league pitching coordinator Scott Mitchell, who joined the Pirates after nine years in the Marlins organization.

Once the staff members have an idea of what they have to work with, they begin to tinker. As an 18-year-old in 2005, Andrew McCutchen hit .310 in a season split between rookie ball and short-season Class A but only hit two home runs. When McCutchen reached low-A Hickory in 2006, manager Jeff Branson taught him to harvest more power from his legs during his swing. McCutchen hit 17 homers that season and retained that power, hitting 31 for the Pirates in 2012.

No set formula governs the players’ progress through the minors. Statistics and performance help, but the Pirates believe a player’s foundation and fundamentals, regardless of the results they produce, are equally important.

“Typically when a player gets stressed, when a player gets challenged, he’s going to revert back to his foundation,” Stark said. “If his foundation’s not strong, that’s where you’re going to see guys really struggle or go backwards.”

Thanks to Harry Strauss.

Repoz Posted: February 10, 2013 at 08:24 AM | 1 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: sabermetrics, scouting

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Walt Davis Posted: February 10, 2013 at 05:00 PM (#4366637)
Once the staff members have an idea of what they have to work with, they begin to tinker. As an 18-year-old in 2005, Andrew McCutchen hit .310 in a season split between rookie ball and short-season Class A but only hit two home runs. When McCutchen reached low-A Hickory in 2006, manager Jeff Branson taught him to harvest more power from his legs during his swing. McCutchen hit 17 homers that season and retained that power, hitting 31 for the Pirates in 2012.

Maybe it's just bad writing, but this is the sort of thing that makes me think all this background checking is having little/no impact.

The story to this point was about pitchers and about digging deeper to get to know them so you could potentially tailor an approach that will work for them. But our example is a hitter. From 2006. Being assessed based on his performance in the organization at age 18, not on deep information they've dug up. A hitter being taught what surely every team tries to teach every hitter -- how to hit for more power.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
tshipman
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogMLB’s Biggest Star Is 40 (And He Just Retired). That Could Be A Problem.
(58 - 3:58pm, Sep 30)
Last: The Good Face

NewsblogFangraphs/Cistulli: Post-trade WAR for deadline trades
(13 - 3:57pm, Sep 30)
Last: Ray (RDP)

NewsblogThe Economist: The new market inefficiencies
(2 - 3:51pm, Sep 30)
Last: AROM

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread, September 2014
(451 - 3:50pm, Sep 30)
Last: Baldrick

NewsblogMadden: How dare the sabermetrics crowd and others try to diminish Derek Jeter’s greatness
(170 - 3:46pm, Sep 30)
Last: Misirlou's been working for the drug squad

NewsblogAL WILD CARD GAME 2014 OMNICHATTER
(93 - 3:39pm, Sep 30)
Last: Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman

NewsblogOT: Politics, September, 2014: ESPN honors Daily Worker sports editor Lester Rodney
(4062 - 3:26pm, Sep 30)
Last: Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora

NewsblogThe Calm-Before-The-Storm and Postseason Prediction OMNICHATTER, 2014
(96 - 3:21pm, Sep 30)
Last: john_halfz

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-30-2014
(14 - 3:20pm, Sep 30)
Last: stanmvp48

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1959 Discussion
(1 - 3:09pm, Sep 30)
Last: DL from MN

NewsblogOT: NFL/NHL thread
(8167 - 3:01pm, Sep 30)
Last: Kurt

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1958 Ballot
(12 - 2:55pm, Sep 30)
Last: Mark Armour

NewsblogThe Captain’s Log: Derek Jeter’s Lady-Killing Past, From ‘Yeah, Jeets!’ to Gift Baskets
(31 - 2:48pm, Sep 30)
Last: SoSHially Unacceptable

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - September 2014
(398 - 2:43pm, Sep 30)
Last: Der-K and the statistical werewolves.

NewsblogBrown: Winners And Losers: MLB Attendance In 2014, Nearly 74 Million Through The Gate
(15 - 2:17pm, Sep 30)
Last: Misirlou's been working for the drug squad

Page rendered in 0.2064 seconds
52 querie(s) executed