Inside the Giants' Baseball Operations
Fangraphs.com's Eno Sarris has put up a very interesting read on the inner workings of the San Francisco Giants.
In speaking with Bobby Evans, the Giants' Vice President of Baseball Operations, we find that the organization is very savvy and has taken advantage of the local computer nerds:
In any case, on-base ability is something that is attractive to the team. “It’s one of the things that attracted us to Brandon Belt,” Evans said. The Giants’ scouts are well incorporated, but it’s all part of their proprietary information system that helps the team make their decisions.
Proprietary information system?
Apparently, the Giants have taken advantage of Silicon Valley — their IT department is celebrating it’s 20th birthday. They’ve been building an internal scouting system since the early 90′s, at the behest of current General Manager Brian Sabean. Crucial to the system is video — Vice President, Player Personnel Dick Tidrow has been pushing the envelope on video usage since he came to the Giants 16 years ago — as well as a collection of “publicly available data resources and articles,” PITCHf/x and HITf/x data, and eventually FIELDf/x data.
I was told that the Twins have their own proprietary databases and - as recently as this past spring - were exploring measures to implement systems like the Giants or the Indians' DiamondView (which was in operation back in 2003). Still, while no one in the organization was absolutely forthright on their current capabilities, you get the sense the team lags behind many others in this technological arms race.