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Parker Hageman
01-01-2013, 10:33 PM
You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.com/content.php?r=1278-Where-are-the-Twins-at-with-statistical-analysis

GoMNTwins
01-01-2013, 11:37 PM
This just reinforces my belief that the Twins are carrying beepers when the other teams are using smart phones.

righty8383
01-02-2013, 12:28 AM
Interesting that I happen to come across this article as I'm watching Moneyball on demand.

beckmt
01-02-2013, 12:48 AM
Wonderful article. Still you always will need the ground troops to evaluate people of the same level. How do they handle pressure? How are they in the clubhouse? Can the better players lead the clubhouse? These are not statistics, but qualities that need to be found out.

ndtwinsfan
01-02-2013, 01:45 AM
This just reinforces my belief that the Twins are carrying beepers when the other teams are using smart phones.
good article though

snepp
01-02-2013, 07:55 AM
It reads like Goin and this intern are the entire department, is that correct?

Brock Beauchamp
01-02-2013, 08:03 AM
Nice way to start off the New Year, Parker. Best article I've seen in awhile because the team is so tight-lipped about their evaluation tools.

JB_Iowa
01-02-2013, 08:51 AM
Thanks for the insight, Parker. And thanks to Mr. Goin for talking with you.

Mr. Goin and his intern may be very good at what they do -- the question is how much weight the "powers that be" give to their analysis (especially if the powers-that-be don't want to hear the analysis only want a capsulized result). I would hope, though, that if the results of their research are fruitful, they may gain a larger placehold within the organization.

Andrew Bryz-Gornia
01-02-2013, 09:08 AM
This seems to agree with what I've been told by Dave St. Peter... the Twins believe they are middle of the road when it comes to advanced statistics.

One thing I had St. Peter tell me is that the organization does not want other teams to know what they use. He doesn't mind that the fans think this team's sabermetrics is counting home runs and looking at ERA, because he feels that if the team has an advantage, they are not going to broadcast it to the world a la Billy Beane and Moneyball.

NealcpLA
01-02-2013, 09:23 AM
Great article...I was a little disappointed with the grammar in the headline. Not sure who is responsible for that but it should be, "Where Are the Twins with statistical analysis". The "at" is redundant and a really annoying misuse of language...Not normally something I'd mention in a comment but in a headline the error just jumps out at you....

jay
01-02-2013, 09:43 AM
This just reinforces my belief that the Twins are carrying beepers when the other teams are using smart phones.

TR: Do you know if the hotel is beeper friendly? [What do you mean?] I'm not getting a sig' on my beeper.

Later, TR: You probably get this a lot. This isn't the real Caesar's Palace, is it? [What do you mean?] Did, ummm... Caesar live here? [No.] I didn't think so.

Riverbrian
01-02-2013, 09:55 AM
Great article Parker!

At first blush... It seems that the department is too small. I say that with no idea how the department works exactly but yeah it seems that they would need a few more staffers because one guy and an intern would have to be getting overwhelmed with the mountains of data on the mountains of ball players across all organizations in and out of the professional ranks.

nicksaviking
01-02-2013, 10:19 AM
I'm sure, just like with all large corporations, that dedicated intern has a ton of sway with the decision makers.

Jim Crikket
01-02-2013, 10:36 AM
A guy like Goin has to have a lot of pressure on him. He needs more staff, but he's not going to get it until he proves his worth. He won't get more resources until his analysis has been "right" often enough that it gets noticed. That takes time.

Brock Beauchamp
01-02-2013, 11:24 AM
A guy like Goin has to have a lot of pressure on him. He needs more staff, but he's not going to get it until he proves his worth. He won't get more resources until his analysis has been "right" often enough that it gets noticed. That takes time.

Which is completely and utterly ridiculous. When you're dealing with a team that (should be) spending $100m on payroll a year, it's a good idea to back up that investment with a couple of $50k/year employees to give you another avenue of analysis. The combined total for two employees of that type is 1/1000th of payroll, even less when you factor in the minor league players. If it works out, hire more employees to do a better job (or pay the existing employees more). But you're not going to see real results until you give them more than bubblegum and matchsticks for tools with the mission "build me an atomic bomb".

Shane Wahl
01-02-2013, 11:39 AM
Kevin Correia. Who the hell is responsible for that?

Shane Wahl
01-02-2013, 11:45 AM
Anyway, great article Parker. That provides insight into the vast statistical machine that is the Minnesota Twins! They can't even have multiple INTERNS involved here!?

Jim Crikket
01-02-2013, 11:48 AM
Which is completely and utterly ridiculous. When you're dealing with a team that (should be) spending $100m on payroll a year, it's a good idea to back up that investment with a couple of $50k/year employees to give you another avenue of analysis. The combined total for two employees of that type is 1/1000th of payroll, even less when you factor in the minor league players. If it works out, hire more employees to do a better job (or pay the existing employees more). But you're not going to see real results until you give them more than bubblegum and matchsticks for tools with the mission "build me an atomic bomb".

I completely agree. I was just saying that the circumstances Goin finds himself in (though he probably knew what he was getting himself in to) present a real challenge. I don't think the Twins intentionally set him up to fail by limiting his resources, but they clearly aren't buying in yet, either. It's really tough to succeed in that kind of situation and almost impossible to do so quickly.

Brock Beauchamp
01-02-2013, 11:55 AM
I completely agree. I was just saying that the circumstances Goin finds himself in (though he probably knew what he was getting himself in to) present a real challenge. I don't think the Twins intentionally set him up to fail by limiting his resources, but they clearly aren't buying in yet, either. It's really tough to succeed in that kind of situation and almost impossible to do so quickly.

Oh, I wasn't suggesting that you were supporting the decision, Jim... Just pointing out that the thinking behind a decision like that is rather asinine.

Shane Wahl
01-02-2013, 12:01 PM
Any guesses on who the pitcher (and his sinker) under scrutiny was?

B-Webb???????

Willihammer
01-02-2013, 12:19 PM
Goin has expressed interest in affixing Pitch F/X cameras through the team’s affiliates to better capture their prospects’ developments. Of course, the cost of installation and an annual fee for having the system may prohibit this from becoming a reality.


How many other organizations have Pitchf/x in all their affiliate parks? It would seem something that owners, and players would agree on, to install Pitchf/x in as many minor league ballparks as possible and share all the data. That would allow orgs to cut down on scouting costs while allowing lesser known players to be more visible to other teams. Are the startup costs such a barrier, or what?

Seth Stohs
01-02-2013, 12:36 PM
I'm actually completely comfortable with St. Peter's comments to you, ABG. I don't feel like the Twins owe it to anyone to give away their inside secrets. Just because Billy Beane was willing to let an author follow him around and see pretty much everything doesn't mean that's how it should be done. Don't get me wrong. I too want to know all of the inner workings of the front office, but it would be silly for them to do that.

I think it's silly to think that HR, RBI and ERA and Wins are all that the team looks at. If Goin was willing to talk about Pitch F/X, that likely means there are about a dozen or more things that he didn't want to talk about.

I won't pretend to understand the Correia signing, but I'm also not going to pretend I'm smarter than the people in the Twins front office either. I have to believe that they make their decisions based on many different factors, some statistical.

Maybe that's naive, and since they don't share their secrets it's obviously debatable with every transaction/decisions, but again, I have no problem with them keeping their secrets to themselves.

Fire Dan Gladden
01-02-2013, 01:32 PM
I'm actually completely comfortable with St. Peter's comments to you, ABG. I don't feel like the Twins owe it to anyone to give away their inside secrets. Just because Billy Beane was willing to let an author follow him around and see pretty much everything doesn't mean that's how it should be done. Don't get me wrong. I too want to know all of the inner workings of the front office, but it would be silly for them to do that.

I think it's silly to think that HR, RBI and ERA and Wins are all that the team looks at. If Goin was willing to talk about Pitch F/X, that likely means there are about a dozen or more things that he didn't want to talk about.

I won't pretend to understand the Correia signing, but I'm also not going to pretend I'm smarter than the people in the Twins front office either. I have to believe that they make their decisions based on many different factors, some statistical.

Maybe that's naive, and since they don't share their secrets it's obviously debatable with every transaction/decisions, but again, I have no problem with them keeping their secrets to themselves.

And yet many people posting on TD seem to believe that TR only looks at HR, RBI, ERA, and Wins. If anybody out here really believes that, I have a bridge to sell them.

The article was interesting, but Seth hits it on the head about keeping secrets. We know of one guy with an assistant providing "statistical analysis" to the Twins. Do we really believe a business that size with only 2 guys providing this type of data? We have no clue what they really do in this area. Whatever his faults, TR is extremely intelligent. He could care less that the fans think him a country bumpkin. He would actually probably prefer it.

Willihammer
01-02-2013, 01:55 PM
That Goin and his <strike>staff</strike> intern have to dumb down their analysis for the scouts and translate their findings into scoutting grades suggests that they are still relying primarily on the older model of evaluation. That they haven't invested in pitchf/x equipment in their affiliates suggests that implementing and expanding into new models isn't a priority. Heck, their recent history of pitching signings and extensions suggests at the very least that the decisionmakers don't value the same statistics that other front offices value, the Cardinals included.

jorgenswest
01-02-2013, 02:58 PM
It is encouraging to know that they consider the new data including Pitch F/X.

Perhaps analysis led them to believe that pull hitters would be more effective at Target Field and signing Willingham followed the analysis.

Perhaps recent analysis has led them to see the value in power pitchers with the acquisition on May and Meyer.

Perhaps they have chosen to disregard the current research about the value of defense and defensive metrics. While the other teams strive to improve their defense, the Twins have loaded the roster with some of the poorest defenders in baseball in Willingham, Doumit, Plouffe and Parmelee. Their bats may make them look like a bargain. However if the Twins want to get back any value in trade, they have to find another team that doesn't value defense. Doumit and Willingham might be a tough sell to NL teams.

Perhaps analysis has led them to believe that Doumit and Willingham will not decline and instead maintain their current level of play through the end of their contracts in 2014.

Perhaps their analysis has led them to a gem and elite fielder in Florimon where no other team saw the value. No one wanted Mastroianni? The Twins see a starting center fielder and lead off hitter.

Many words have been written about the analysis that led them to the current construction of the starting rotation.

I hope that the Twins are correct. The fastest way out of this hole is to find contributing players among those rejected by other teams. Do you trust the Twins management to lead us out of the hole?

Jim Crikket
01-02-2013, 03:01 PM
I think "dumbing it down" is perhaps a bit strong, but yeah... Goin does have to take the analysis and communicate the results in a way that Terry Ryan and others in senior management with the Twins understand. That's hardly unusual. My staff does the same thing for me because I don't understand all of the details of the analysis they do in their areas of expertise. Similarly, I take what's important and communicate it to my boss in ways he'll understand. If Ryan didn't need someone to translate the data in to ideas he can understand, he could simply run the data himself. The tough part isn't running data, it's figuring out what it means AND communicating the meaning to those who need it.

If Goin isn't very strong with those translation and communication skills, his difficult task becomes impossible.

drjim
01-02-2013, 05:54 PM
I generally think using statistical analysis when evaluating players is very overrated, especially by fans on chat boards. I found it interesting that the example he used was pitch f/x which doesn't strike me as stats per say but more of a way to enhance scouting analysis. Statistics at their best work to confirm or build upon what is noted through traditional scouting. I would be quite surprised if any team in baseball used statistics as a leader for analyzing players.

I don't really find the examples cited by people all that convincing in suggesting that the Twins are ignorant of stats when it comes to evaluating players, more that they are cheap, and only willing to spend a limited amount in free agency. This is of course a different issue.

To me, the area where the Twins should be more scrutinized is general strategy and use of assets. The example I would use is the draft. The team had a unique chance, based upon the amount of picks they had, to outspend all other teams significantly last draft but they chose to pass and leave some money on the table. The team wasn't cheap in the draft, they outspent every other team, but did miss an opportunity to spend more to acquire talent (perhaps by selecting some additional overslot guys after round 10). Other teams, such as Toronto/Boston/Houston seemed to be more strategic in how they allocated funds. The reason I think people are frustrated with the Twins is because they tend to be more conservative and methodical as opposed to some other teams that appear more progressive and creative. Both styles can be successful (the Twins had a pretty damn good run for a decade), but obviously one is generally more appealing to chat boards like this. There are strengths in the Twins way but it is not nearly as sexy.

After everything is stripped away it still comes down to evaluating talent. The Twins are conservative in statistical analysis but I think there is a lot of derp derp in the complaints. They use all information that they can, but probably trust their scouts above all else.

drjim
01-02-2013, 05:55 PM
As a side note I like that he cited the Cardinals as the example, they are model franchise in my mind.

Thrylos
01-02-2013, 05:56 PM
Any guesses on who the pitcher (and his sinker) under scrutiny was?

B-Webb???????

Pelfrey probably...


Interesting stuff.

The big question is: Who is in the driver's seat and who is in a supporting role:

- Are the scouts driving and the analytics people supporting them?
- Is it 50-50%?
- Are the analytics folks driving and the scouts supporting them?

Methinks that (based on the number of the staff - ie. the "dedication" of the organization to analytics - a guy and an intern-kid, compared to that of the number of scouts and the background of the people in the decision making positions) this is all for show: They got a guy because they did not want to be seen that they did not have one like the other organizations do. Unless they invest in it, data analytics capabilities do not grow on trees.

Alex
01-02-2013, 06:06 PM
This seems to agree with what I've been told by Dave St. Peter... the Twins believe they are middle of the road when it comes to advanced statistics.

One thing I had St. Peter tell me is that the organization does not want other teams to know what they use. He doesn't mind that the fans think this team's sabermetrics is counting home runs and looking at ERA, because he feels that if the team has an advantage, they are not going to broadcast it to the world a la Billy Beane and Moneyball.

I wouldn't mind this if this were in evidence by most of their moves. However, last year's presented a number of red flags in this area from the Jason Marquis signing (and now Correia) evaluation of players using spring training numbers (ex. Jeff Gray)....

The Wise One
01-02-2013, 06:57 PM
Pitch F/X when I have looked at it on fangraphs is not so much about a statistics as much as it looking at location,or speed of pitch. That is a much more usefull thing to know than FIP as it would show you the quality of pitches thrown.

snepp
01-02-2013, 07:18 PM
Brooks Baseball Home of the PitchFX Tool - The Front Page (http://brooksbaseball.net/)

A great pitchf/x resource.

Thrylos
01-02-2013, 07:27 PM
How many other organizations have Pitchf/x in all their affiliate parks? It would seem something that owners, and players would agree on, to install Pitchf/x in as many minor league ballparks as possible and share all the data. That would allow orgs to cut down on scouting costs while allowing lesser known players to be more visible to other teams. Are the startup costs such a barrier, or what?

"or what" is more like it. The startup costs are < $50-100 K a ballpark and, even though most affiliates will whine about it, the MLB clubs can foot the bill (and write it off) in a jiffy.

You mention "owners" and "players". The big issue is the party you don't mention and the one that will get the most exposed by it: Umpires.
PitchF/X knows the strike zone and can show how bad home plate umpires suck
It is all politics

clutterheart
01-03-2013, 02:51 AM
This article shows the twins still know nothing about advanced statistics.Pitch f/x is a tool just like a radar gun. But it has nothing to do with advanced metrics.

Embarrassing.

Willihammer
01-03-2013, 01:14 PM
Pitch f/x is a tool just like a radar gun.

Its a little more than that. Here is the pitchf/x data for one pitcher for one game

http://www.brooksbaseball.net/pfxVB/tabdel_expanded.php?pitchSel=434538&game=gid_2012_09_25_clemlb_chamlb_1/&s_type=&h_size=700&v_size=500

edit: and here is a key: http://webusers.npl.illinois.edu/~a-nathan/pob/tracking.htm

birdwatcher
01-03-2013, 02:03 PM
The SABR stuff has become glamorized. It's a bit overrated by us chatters.

Your run-of-the-mill data analysts DO practically grow on trees these days. We're all proof of that. We have two dozen contributors to TD who are pouring through mountains of statistics, using all the latest software technology, and then communicating the results quite succinctly to anyone who will listen. For free.

Statistics verify the story. They don't tell it. Give me the qualitative assessment, often hugely enriched by experience-based intuition, from scouts. Verify their story with a look at the statistical stuff.

I mean, you guys are great and all, but...

drjim
01-03-2013, 02:28 PM
The SABR stuff has become glamorized. It's a bit overrated by us chatters.

Your run-of-the-mill data analysts DO practically grow on trees these days. We're all proof of that. We have two dozen contributors to TD who are pouring through mountains of statistics, using all the latest software technology, and then communicating the results quite succinctly to anyone who will listen. For free.

Statistics verify the story. They don't tell it. Give me the qualitative assessment, often hugely enriched by experience-based intuition, from scouts. Verify their story with a look at the statistical stuff.

I mean, you guys are great and all, but...

Yes. I think the reason it is very overrated by us chatters is that it allows us to tell the story of a player when we have watched him only a handful of times at most as opposed to scouts who will watch many repetitions of the same thing.

I find it pretty funny that just because the Twins front office doesn't speak in the same language that writers here do that all of a sudden the Twins don't know baseball or understand what they do. Statistical analysis basically breaks down everything to this:
Pitching - maximize Ks, minimize BBs, shoot for more GBs and less FBs
Hitting - don't swing at pitches outside the strike zone and put a good swing on those in the strike zone - then determine appropriate tradeoffs between contact rate and pop
Defense - large amounts of range, the ability to catch the ball, and strong, accurate arms = good
Baserunning - take extra bases when possible at an appropriate risk

I am actually much more interested that the Twins are using pitch f/x and the like to enhance scouting operations than I would be in finding out they have multitudes of people crunching numbers to find new and creative ways to say the above.

snepp
01-03-2013, 02:36 PM
Well hell, if that's all there is to it why would any team ever bother?

old nurse
01-03-2013, 02:45 PM
This article shows the twins still know nothing about advanced statistics.Pitch f/x is a tool just like a radar gun. But it has nothing to do with advanced metrics.

Embarrassing.

What "advanced" statistic has predictive value. They only describe what happened for that year.

Thus to you it is insignificant to know what the pitches thrown do. It is far more useful to know the skills of the player than just the outcome.

Embarrassing is that people still do not get the notion that the front offices do not talk about the methods they use to analyze players. People like Beane do it for whatever reason. The 14 people on this board who complain have no clue if the Twins use metrics or not. They make the assumption that because they don't talk about it it is not done.

drjim
01-03-2013, 02:59 PM
Well hell, if that's all there is to it why would any team ever bother?

I still think there is huge value in it that is being exploited by more progressive clubs in terms of in game strategy such as defensive shifts, matchups, etc. This is where I think the Twins have great room for improvement, though I'm not sure if there is even thought of using more advanced statistics in that matter, which is a shame.

I also think that it is useful as an enhancement to scouting (which is how the Twins seem to most be utilizing it), but I would still say it is vastly overrated as a primary method of player evaluation - which is where much of the weeping and gnashing of teeth as it concerns the Twins front office is found.

mike wants wins
01-03-2013, 03:13 PM
We have no idea by whom or how decisions are made. We can only see the outcomes, and speculate. It was a nice article.

Willihammer
01-03-2013, 04:00 PM
Exactly, it is the outcomes. If pitching boils down to this:


Pitching - maximize Ks, minimize BBs, shoot for more GBs and less FBs

Then how do you explain Kevin Correia?

Goin's remarks are evidence that there are very smart people in the organization with advanced ideas. Jr's actions evidence that Goin and his like are being, to some degree, ignored.

Willihammer
01-03-2013, 04:05 PM
Five theories regarding the Minnesota Twins - Baseball Nation (http://mlb.sbnation.com/2012/12/11/3755290/minnesota-twins-kevin-correia-rumors-facts-signing-interests-likes-dislikes-married-pictures-fan-fic)

ThePuck
01-03-2013, 04:18 PM
Five theories regarding the Minnesota Twins - Baseball Nation (http://mlb.sbnation.com/2012/12/11/3755290/minnesota-twins-kevin-correia-rumors-facts-signing-interests-likes-dislikes-married-pictures-fan-fic)

That was pretty good. Thanks for posting that.

TheLeviathan
01-03-2013, 04:28 PM
Five theories regarding the Minnesota Twins - Baseball Nation (http://mlb.sbnation.com/2012/12/11/3755290/minnesota-twins-kevin-correia-rumors-facts-signing-interests-likes-dislikes-married-pictures-fan-fic)

The only thing I don't like about this is that it wasn't BYTO born. Otherwise.....christ that was brilliant.

70charger
01-03-2013, 04:34 PM
Five theories regarding the Minnesota Twins - Baseball Nation (http://mlb.sbnation.com/2012/12/11/3755290/minnesota-twins-kevin-correia-rumors-facts-signing-interests-likes-dislikes-married-pictures-fan-fic)

9/10. Would lulz again.

Jack Torse
01-03-2013, 06:49 PM
Stat's are extremely valuable with placing value or determining ability in respect to their peers with major league players. They say less about minor league players and absolutely nothing about amatuer players. (The article headline mentions "statistical data" but only pitch fx is discussed in relation to that. I will assume it means newer sabermetrics too.)

None of this really matters because the Twins always seek out the cheapest talent available. Stats or Scouting is always trumped by who can do the job for the cheapest possible price.

SpiritofVodkaDave
01-03-2013, 11:54 PM
Twins always seek out the cheapest talent available.

Except that time in 2011 when they had the 9th highest payroll in baseball, or when they gave Mauer one of the biggest contracts in baseball history of course. Don't let facts get in the way of your complaining though :)

FrodaddyG
01-04-2013, 08:52 AM
Except that time in 2011 when they had the 9th highest payroll in baseball, or when they gave Mauer one of the biggest contracts in baseball history of course. Don't let facts get in the way of your complaining though :)
There's always outliers.

old nurse
01-04-2013, 09:13 AM
There's always outliers.

Always outright liars, too.

FrodaddyG
01-04-2013, 09:56 AM
Always outright liars, too.
Good... one?

GCTF
01-04-2013, 12:14 PM
Five theories regarding the Minnesota Twins - Baseball Nation (http://mlb.sbnation.com/2012/12/11/3755290/minnesota-twins-kevin-correia-rumors-facts-signing-interests-likes-dislikes-married-pictures-fan-fic)

Awesome, my favourite part...that's a strikeout eating a pigeon.

drjim
01-04-2013, 04:13 PM
Exactly, it is the outcomes. If pitching boils down to this:



Then how do you explain Kevin Correia?

Goin's remarks are evidence that there are very smart people in the organization with advanced ideas. Jr's actions evidence that Goin and his like are being, to some degree, ignored.

I think Correia is best explained by a combination of cheapness and desire to fill innings more than a lack of understanding of what makes a good pitcher. The Twins, despite our hopes and what they may have hinted at, were never really on planning on dipping too far into the free agent pool for a pitcher nor guarantee more than a couple of years, so they went for the guy who can fill the most innings at the cheapest rate. I don't especially agree with this plan but I still don't think it shows a lack of understanding on what makes a pitcher valuable.

I think a better example is seen in Meyer/May/Worley, the type of pitchers that they acquired when they traded away assets rather than spent assets.

drjim
01-04-2013, 04:18 PM
I am too lazy to look it up, but in the 05-07 range the Twins obliterated the record for K/BB ratio for a staff over an entire season (maybe multiple times). Even though a bigger part of the equation was limiting BBs over high K rates, I would say that shows some understanding of what is necessary for successful pitching.

ThePuck
01-04-2013, 04:41 PM
I am too lazy to look it up, but in the 05-07 range the Twins obliterated the record for K/BB ratio for a staff over an entire season (maybe multiple times). Even though a bigger part of the equation was limiting BBs over high K rates, I would say that shows some understanding of what is necessary for successful pitching.

It helped having that one guy...you know...the guy who should have won three Cy Youngs in a row for us.

ThePuck
01-04-2013, 04:43 PM
Ryan said after the draft that they drafted some 'power arms' because people had been harping on it for so long. It was like he was saying I don't agree, but I give in.

Oldgoat_MN
01-04-2013, 05:38 PM
I'm actually completely comfortable with St. Peter's comments to you, ABG. I don't feel like the Twins owe it to anyone to give away their inside secrets. Just because Billy Beane was willing to let an author follow him around and see pretty much everything doesn't mean that's how it should be done. Don't get me wrong. I too want to know all of the inner workings of the front office, but it would be silly for them to do that.

I think it's silly to think that HR, RBI and ERA and Wins are all that the team looks at. If Goin was willing to talk about Pitch F/X, that likely means there are about a dozen or more things that he didn't want to talk about.

I won't pretend to understand the Correia signing, but I'm also not going to pretend I'm smarter than the people in the Twins front office either. I have to believe that they make their decisions based on many different factors, some statistical.

Maybe that's naive, and since they don't share their secrets it's obviously debatable with every transaction/decisions, but again, I have no problem with them keeping their secrets to themselves.

Terry Ryan should tell me, because I would like to know. And no one listens to me.
He can't tell you! You're Seth Stohs!

FrodaddyG
01-04-2013, 05:43 PM
The article doesn't mention the other wing of Twins stat analysis. JR has this one guy on his Friendster account that really seems to like sabermetrics. Or maybe it was that he owned a Buick Lesabre. Either way, if that guy ever logs back into his account, JR's going to pepper him with questions.

PseudoSABR
01-05-2013, 12:05 AM
Five theories regarding the Minnesota Twins - Baseball Nation (http://mlb.sbnation.com/2012/12/11/3755290/minnesota-twins-kevin-correia-rumors-facts-signing-interests-likes-dislikes-married-pictures-fan-fic)I actually think the humor is pretty poor, but whatever, the guy's going for it. We get that there's a traditional sense that the Twins are strikeout adverse, but acquiring Meyer and May undercut the comic premise here. So, Meh.

PseudoSABR
01-05-2013, 12:08 AM
Just to add to the ongoing discussion, of course people are going to overvalue the information they have easy access to (stats) as opposed to the information they don't (game film, scouting).

Alex
01-05-2013, 02:42 AM
I am too lazy to look it up, but in the 05-07 range the Twins obliterated the record for K/BB ratio for a staff over an entire season (maybe multiple times). Even though a bigger part of the equation was limiting BBs over high K rates, I would say that shows some understanding of what is necessary for successful pitching.

The fact that they've gotten so far away from it shows that they don't quite get which part of the equation is the important one, or for that matter, that they even realized what they had.

TopGunn#22
01-05-2013, 09:16 AM
Shane, I think you're spot on with your guess that the free agent pitcher is B. Webb. He fits the profile. Some years ago he had one of the best power sinkers in MLB. Injuries have affected his ability to pitch, much less his performance when able to pitch. Plus, like Rich Harden, he's the type of high risk/high reward pitcher the Twins should be taking a chance on.

Shane Wahl
01-05-2013, 09:58 AM
Five theories regarding the Minnesota Twins - Baseball Nation (http://mlb.sbnation.com/2012/12/11/3755290/minnesota-twins-kevin-correia-rumors-facts-signing-interests-likes-dislikes-married-pictures-fan-fic)

Haha. I like that a lot.

drjim
01-05-2013, 11:45 AM
It helped having that one guy...you know...the guy who should have won three Cy Youngs in a row for us.

No doubt, but it wasn't like Santana had the greatest K/BB ratio ever (he didn't even have the best on the team). The point is they built a staff like that in the past, its not like they forgot that is what is a successful formula. They just haven't been able to develop talent, have made poor trades, and won't spend the type of money on free agents that is required for these type of pitchers.

drjim
01-05-2013, 11:48 AM
The fact that they've gotten so far away from it shows that they don't quite get which part of the equation is the important one, or for that matter, that they even realized what they had.

If you honestly believe this I don't know what to tell you.

Shane Wahl
01-05-2013, 12:47 PM
The manager doesn't pay attention to OBP and the GM signed Kevin Correia. That is the status of respect for statistics in this organization.

ThePuck
01-05-2013, 07:30 PM
No doubt, but it wasn't like Santana had the greatest K/BB ratio ever (he didn't even have the best on the team). The point is they built a staff like that in the past, its not like they forgot that is what is a successful formula. They just haven't been able to develop talent, have made poor trades, and won't spend the type of money on free agents that is required for these type of pitchers.

During the '05-'07 range, Santana averaged 5Ks to 1BB. That's FANTASTIC, especially for a high strikeout guy. Only one qualifying starting pitcher this year was better than 5:1, Cliff Lee. Verlander was less than 4:1. Your comment sounded like Santana's K/BB ratio wasn't that impressive.

Santana's worst K/BB ratio during that 3 year range was '07 when he had 230+Ks and only 52BB in 233 innings...that got him the 4th best K/BB ratio in the majors that year after having the 2nd best K/BB ratio in the majors in 2005(Silva #1...with like 77 Ks) and 2006 (Schilling #1). I'm pretty sure that made Santana's ratio the best in the majors in that 3 year span for qualifying pitchers. Who was the best at that on our team during that three year span? It wasn't Silva.

Now, with Santana averaging 5:1 for that three year span, the team had a K/BB ration of 2.77:1 in 2005, 3.27:1 in 2006, and 2.60:1 in 2007. His 5:1 wasn't a huge contributer to that team K/BB ratio?

Alex
01-05-2013, 10:22 PM
If you honestly believe this I don't know what to tell you.

They focused on pitchers who don't give up walks. That's important, obviously, but the important part of the ratio is the K part.

This offseason was the first time they've tried to add prospects that have the potential to strike out batters. At the major league level, though, they continue to add pitchers that have some of the worst K/9 in the game. Worley may be the exception.

drjim
01-06-2013, 04:26 PM
During the '05-'07 range, Santana averaged 5Ks to 1BB. That's FANTASTIC, especially for a high strikeout guy. Only one qualifying starting pitcher this year was better than 5:1, Cliff Lee. Verlander was less than 4:1. Your comment sounded like Santana's K/BB ratio wasn't that impressive.

Santana's worst K/BB ratio during that 3 year range was '07 when he had 230+Ks and only 52BB in 233 innings...that got him the 4th best K/BB ratio in the majors that year after having the 2nd best K/BB ratio in the majors in 2005(Silva #1...with like 77 Ks) and 2006 (Schilling #1). I'm pretty sure that made Santana's ratio the best in the majors in that 3 year span for qualifying pitchers. Who was the best at that on our team during that three year span? It wasn't Silva.

Now, with Santana averaging 5:1 for that three year span, the team had a K/BB ration of 2.77:1 in 2005, 3.27:1 in 2006, and 2.60:1 in 2007. His 5:1 wasn't a huge contributer to that team K/BB ratio?

Thanks for the stats, I was going more from a hazy memory. I didn't mean to imply that Santana was anything short of great, but I was also remembering Silva's contribution. My point was that an entire staff was built, and that as great as Santana was it took the rest of the staff to obliterate the K/BB record. I don't think the Twins have forgotten how to do this, or that they don't want strikeout pitchers, it is just that they haven't developed those type of pitchers and won't pay free agent prices for them, which is why it has all falling apart the past couple of years.

drjim
01-06-2013, 04:30 PM
They focused on pitchers who don't give up walks. That's important, obviously, but the important part of the ratio is the K part.

This offseason was the first time they've tried to add prospects that have the potential to strike out batters. At the major league level, though, they continue to add pitchers that have some of the worst K/9 in the game. Worley may be the exception.

I would say a couple of things to this:
1. They have made a concerted effort to add high velocity (and hopefully high K guys) in the past couple of drafts.
2. This offseason is the first time in several years (maybe since '04) that they Twins have traded established players with significant value for prospects, so it was their first opportunity to add high ceiling guys through trades.
3. I still think the major league signings have to do with cheapness and an unwillingness to pay market value for Ks, while also trying to get bulk innings, not a misunderstanding of what makes a successful pitcher.

Alex
01-06-2013, 04:49 PM
With regard to #3, I'd think you could argue that not being willing to pay for something, especially when you have the money and it's their biggest need, is precisely the definition of not seeing value in it, ergo not understanding how important it is to a successful pitcher. If you think it is important, you pay for it. Their obsession with supposed inning eaters and their willingness to pay them is even more evidence to me that what they value in pitchers is misplaced.

drjim
01-06-2013, 09:00 PM
With regard to #3, I'd think you could argue that not being willing to pay for something, especially when you have the money and it's their biggest need, is precisely the definition of not seeing value in it, ergo not understanding how important it is to a successful pitcher. If you think it is important, you pay for it. Their obsession with supposed inning eaters and their willingness to pay them is even more evidence to me that what they value in pitchers is misplaced.

That's a good point. The only thing I would respond with is I question how wise it would be aggressive in signing free agents when the team is a year or two (at least) away from being competitive. I don't like the Correia signing at all, would rather have seen McCarthy or perhaps Marcum, but don't have a huge problem with the Twins avoiding the 4 and 5 year deals even though they have the money. The rest of the pitchers being signed are all a huge meh to me.

I wish the Twins were better in free agency, but I think to truly understand what type of pitchers they value it is best to look at who they acquire in trades and who they are trying to draft.

Kobs
01-08-2013, 10:34 PM
They focused on pitchers who don't give up walks. That's important, obviously, but the important part of the ratio is the K part.

That's nonsense. If one of the components were the important part, you wouldn't have the other component.

Kobs
01-08-2013, 10:38 PM
There's nothing quite as exhilarating as a fan than reading that your team aspires to be a middle of the pack team on a major branch of player evaluation.

snepp
01-09-2013, 12:10 AM
There's nothing quite as exhilarating as a fan than reading that your team aspires to be a middle of the pack team on a major branch of player evaluation.

I read they aren't willing to overpay for above-average analysis.

East Coast Twin
01-09-2013, 05:54 AM
Phil Mackey wrote about this last night. Below are couple of quotes from and a link to the article.

". . . Ryan now runs every personnel move by the team's manager of baseball research, Jack Goin, who manages the team's Pitch F/X database among other tools."

"Back when I was over at the Metrodome in '07, we did a lot of stat work, but it wasn't with the depth that he certainly provides for us. It's different. And he's got some statistical things that I don't believe in, and he's got a lot of things that I do believe in."

Notebook: Twins likely done making significant moves this offseason (http://www.1500espn.com/sportswire/Notebook_Twins_likely_done_making_significant_move s_this_offseason010813)

mike wants wins
01-09-2013, 08:16 AM
He also stated in that interview that scouts he trusts said Correia was better than his numbers. From that I inferred that Ryan trusts scouts more than numbers.

CDog
01-09-2013, 09:17 AM
There's nothing quite as exhilarating as a fan than reading that your team aspires to be a middle of the pack team on a major branch of player evaluation.

That's absolutely a twisting of what was actually said...which many fans obviously do find to be an exhilirating thing to do.

nicksaviking
01-09-2013, 09:27 AM
Phil Mackey wrote about this last night. Below are couple of quotes from and a link to the article.

". . . Ryan now runs every personnel move by the team's manager of baseball research, Jack Goin, who manages the team's Pitch F/X database among other tools."

"Back when I was over at the Metrodome in '07, we did a lot of stat work, but it wasn't with the depth that he certainly provides for us. It's different. And he's got some statistical things that I don't believe in, and he's got a lot of things that I do believe in."

Notebook: Twins likely done making significant moves this offseason (http://www.1500espn.com/sportswire/Notebook_Twins_likely_done_making_significant_move s_this_offseason010813)

He runs acquistions through Goin's department (he and the intern I guess) but I don't think this team truely is embracing any advanced metrics if they don't initiate a large amount of their acquisitons based on this data.

ThePuck
01-09-2013, 10:33 AM
He runs acquistions through Goin's department (he and the intern I guess) but I don't think this team truely is embracing any advanced metrics if they don't initiate a large amount of their acquisitons based on this data.

Basically he said, 'I go in there with my mind already made up, I listen to Goin, and if he agrees with me I trust his stats. If he doesn't agree with me, I don't trust his stats.'

70charger
01-09-2013, 10:38 AM
Basically he said, 'I go in there with my mind already made up, I listen to Goin, and if he agrees with me I trust his stats. If he doesn't agree with me, I don't trust his stats.'

So kind of like you when you come to TwinsDaily?

ThePuck
01-09-2013, 10:54 AM
So kind of like you when you come to TwinsDaily?

Not at all. I admitted I was wrong just yesterday...and it wasn't the first time. I've also said to more than one poster that I appreciated his view and it gave me stuff to think about....when the poster gives a very convincing argument that at least makes me doubt my view. I care more about getting to the truth than whether or not I'm right. Not to say I don't believe strongly in my opinions, but when debating, I'm always open to the fact that I could be wrong.

Riverbrian
01-09-2013, 11:13 AM
I don't believe it's Black and White. Very little in life is simply black and white. Grey area has to be considered.

The Scouting department is not made of robots... They are not all eyes and gut. I don't believe that they steadfastly refuse to consider any metric analysis and simply toss aside the potential tools. I'm sure they do some of their own stats work to compliment what they do. It doesn't have to come from Goin and the intern.

They will want to use every tool they can to make the right calls and recommendations. Eventually they will be replaced if the guys they recommend keep failing.

I guess... I don't believe any organization should be all eyes and gut... nor should any organization be all Metric analysis.

With that said... The department seems too small based on my impression from the article. Tons of Baseball being played... Tons of players and Tons of data to collect and sift through.

COtwin
01-09-2013, 01:17 PM
I agree with many that think we should be pursuing more pitchers with higher strikeout numbers. But... It seems to me that Ks can be overrated. Walks, in my opinion are a very bad thing for a pitcher. I think we all agree that OBP and OPS are better metrics by which to judge a hitter. Well how about judging pitchers by their opp OBP or OPS? I think that this is happening much more than we think. For pitcher with more than 120IP Correia is number 106 in K/BB ratio, 70 in OBP and 75 in OPS. Which is a better metric by which to judge a pitcher? How often he lets men on base (to potentially score) and how hard is he hit? Or, a ratio that is affected by HOW an out occurred not THAT it occurred. I don't like the Correia signing or letting Baker walk. I don't like the Pelfrey and Harden signings with nothing else but hope. I don't like that we didn't pursue more quality. But, maybe Correia is actually not as disastrous as we think.

70charger
01-09-2013, 02:08 PM
Not at all. I admitted I was wrong just yesterday...and it wasn't the first time. I've also said to more than one poster that I appreciated his view and it gave me stuff to think about....when the poster gives a very convincing argument that at least makes me doubt my view. I care more about getting to the truth than whether or not I'm right. Not to say I don't believe strongly in my opinions, but when debating, I'm always open to the fact that I could be wrong.


This was supposed to be good-natured ribbing, but the internet filters tone (a big problem for me, apparently).

But it was supposed to be ribbing nonetheless. After all, it's ironic that you assume that Terry Ryan has his mind made up on things before he consults the evidence. Since you have no evidence for this assumption, it seems as though you have your mind made up on it before consulting the evidence.

If it makes you feel better, I think a willingness to admit when one is wrong is a hugely important trait.

ThePuck
01-09-2013, 02:15 PM
This was supposed to be good-natured ribbing, but the internet filters tone (a big problem for me, apparently).

But it was supposed to be ribbing nonetheless. After all, it's ironic that you assume that Terry Ryan has his mind made up on things before he consults the evidence. Since you have no evidence for this assumption, it seems as though you have your mind made up on it before consulting the evidence.

If it makes you feel better, I think a willingness to admit when one is wrong is a hugely important trait.

Sorry for misinterpreting the ribbing :-) My assumption on him is based on what I read...and I read it quite a few time. That's how it read to me...but I can see your point.

drjim
01-13-2013, 08:45 PM
Does anyone listen to the ESPN Baseball Today Podcast and hear the interview with Keith Law and Nate Silver this week? I thought they made some really interesting points about some of the potential new uses of statistical analysis.

Basically Silver suggested using regression analysis to cross check scouts using similar analysis that he used to evaluate polling. Keep a database to find out how scouts consistently rate players (ie are they tough graders or more optimistic) and then use that to better hone in on a true analysis of a player.

This is an example of a way that I would like to see the Twins be more progressive with statistical analysis. I still think a lot of the criticism of Twins being behind in using statistical analysis to analyze players is vastly overrated but there are more cutting edge ways to incorporate analysis that is not being used by the Twins (and probably 25 other teams). If I ever find the time I may expand these thoughts on a blog post.

Willihammer
01-13-2013, 09:12 PM
That would seem to describe the fatal flaw with scout-heavy analysis. You never get a true analysis. Just cut straight to the data and analyze that. I don't know how the figures line up, but at some point it would seem more cost effective to just carpet bomb baseball fields around the world with pitchf/x and fieldf/x cameras, and then sit back, collect and analyze the data remotely, rather than paying all these staff people for travel and whatnot to run around and make biased and subjective judgments.

drjim
01-13-2013, 09:21 PM
That would seem to describe the fatal flaw with scout-heavy analysis. You never get a true analysis. Just cut straight to the data and analyze that. I don't know how the figures line up, but at some point it would seem more cost effective to just carpet bomb baseball fields around the world with pitchf/x and fieldf/x cameras, and then sit back, collect and analyze the data remotely, rather than paying all these staff people for travel and whatnot to run around and make biased and subjective judgments.

I disagree completely with this and every baseball team does as well. Even the progressive, stat-heavy organizations invest heavily in scouting. There are things that can be observed that are not captured by this cameras or through statistics. The best use is as a supplement to scouting and to cross-check what has been observed.

I think there is room for intuition with scouting and that could very well be the separator. There is great value in experience and seeing things over multiple decades. I would suggest that this is one of the hidden strengths that Terry Ryan brings to the Twins - that he is extremely talented at gathering large amounts of data from scouts and more objective statistical measures and making evaluations on talent, especially on the minor league level.

Willihammer
01-13-2013, 09:33 PM
To me, any system that relies on grades for the guys who grade the players, in order to account for their biases, strikes me as inefficient and probably not very accurate. But maybe I'm just not understanding Silver's idea.

I would think that after the initial install, you can then get by with a fraction of the scouting staff on hand to go out and look at guys who have triggered themselves onto your radar. Let the players pay for their own travel into and out of ballparks with the cameras setup, let the blogosphere do the analysis. Heck you wouldn't even need to keep statisticians on staff, only need to pay the electricity bill.

Alex
01-13-2013, 09:35 PM
That's absolutely a twisting of what was actually said...which many fans obviously do find to be an exhilirating thing to do.

I'm not convinced this puts them even in the middle of the pack. It would be interesting to see how many stats guys other teams have in comparison and I think that would give us a better idea.