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Thread: Article: Scouting with Sean Johnson

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    Twins Contributor All-Star Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
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    Article: Scouting with Sean Johnson


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    Senior Member Triple-A
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    Thank you for answering my question. So if I understand you correctly, the Twins haven't really changed their philosophy in the drafting of pitchers. It just so happened that the pitchers they liked best this year, were mostly relievers. Ok, I agree that getting an ace is either drafting early or getting lucky. It is also true that the power arms drafted by the Twins over the last 20 years haven't worked out very well.

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    Twins Contributor All-Star Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
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    That's my understanding, yes, in the terms of that they relieved in college and won't necessarily be relievers in the pros

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    Great Q&A...I may not agree with every decision, but the Twins seem more available lately. As a fan, that is appreciated. Thanks.

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    Owner MVP Seth Stohs's Avatar
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    I thought it was a very fun read. I enjoyed behind-the-scenes view of the draft room and the process. It's fun to know.

    The Twins have had a lot of picks come out of California. Hicks, Parmelee, Guardado, Harrison. Summers. Robertson. Plouffe.

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    Good stuff Very insightful including the total disregard of the Twins' organization about analytics in drafting...

    and this was a hidden gem:

    Since moving to Target Field it’s like we moved to Taj Mahal. We have a room with a projector. We can watch film. We have a place to make coffee and can bring some food in. It’s got air-conditioning. It’s not the biggest room in the world either, but it’s adequate. So we’ll have about ten of our scouts and Terry Ryan is there for the whole thing.
    that's for the ones who thought that TR had nothing to do in the Bill Smith years... Glad to hear the truth from an insider.

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    Owner MVP Seth Stohs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98 View Post
    Good stuff Very insightful including the total disregard of the Twins' organization about analytics in drafting...

    and this was a hidden gem:



    that's for the ones who thought that TR had nothing to do in the Bill Smith years... Glad to hear the truth from an insider.
    I can't imagine analytics being terribly important in the scouting realm, and none of the questions asked anything about that topic. Also, I read the Terry Ryan comment as now that he's back as GM, he's there. I think it'd be reading too far into it to say that he and not Bill Smith was there in those years. Also, Ryan's role during the Smith years was scouting. He's said that. I don't know what more you want.

  8. #8
    Twins Contributor All-Star Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
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    I specifically didn't ask the analytics questions because we've all read/seen Moneyball and I didn't want to make it a compare/contrast real life vs the book/movie.

    I'm not even going to comment on the GM thing.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Twins Twerp's Avatar
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    Great read. He didn't dodge questions. Good time to be a scout with high picks in the past year and near future (next year more than likely too)

  10. #10
    Wait where did the projected lineups of all affiliates get posted? I must have missed it....

  11. #11
    Excellent article. Being exposed to the inner working of scouting has always interested. I have coached numerous teams over the years from t-ball to high school to travel and the more a coach can be exposed to the way the pros think the better they can prepare their (high school and travel) kids to compete at the next level. Years ago we were at a travel tournament in Myrtle Beach, SC and had a break in the schedule so we took the team to see the local minor league team play. Well the game was the day before the MLB trading deadline and the stands were full of scouts. I had many informative conversations with these guys and so did my kids. I was hoping to run into a Twins scout, but no luck. These guys are the salt of the earth and Sean Johnson is very much like those I have met. Good luck in finding more jewels in the bushes.

  12. #12
    Twins Contributor All-Star Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
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    Wait where did the projected lineups of all affiliates get posted? I must have missed it....
    It's been an ongoing discussion on the message boards since the end of last season.

    You can see my projections here.

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    Senior Member Big-Leaguer jimbo92107's Avatar
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    Question for Sean Johnson: If a fan thinks he sees a promising HS player, is there a way to get video to a place where a Twins scout can see it? Would 30 seconds of medium resolution video be enough to make a quick judgment?

  14. #14
    Twins Contributor All-Star Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
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    I'll let you know, Jimbo.

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    Twins Moderator MVP ashburyjohn's Avatar
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    Great interview, with credit to both interviewer and interviewee. As for the nugget that he and other scouts sometimes read here: I can't imagine ever writing a comment that would be worth their attention, so if by chance I get 10 seconds of their attention all I'll say is an echo of other sentiments here: thanks for your work, guys!

  16. #16
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    Fun read, great work!

  17. #17
    Twins Contributor All-Star Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. It was a lot of fun and, at least in my mind, something different, yet interesting.

    Probably - ok, DEFINITELY - one of the least glamorous jobs in all in off sports, yet the future of every franchise depends entirely on it.

  18. #18
    How about the sweet shout out to Seth Stohs! I love that the Twins actually keep their finger on the pulse of informed writers like the guys on this site. Awesome! it will be interesting to see what we get out of a draft class that Sean doesn't appear to be too impressed with.

  19. #19
    Twins Contributor All-Star Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
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    In response to thrylos, I talked to Sean to address your "gem".

    Long story short, the draft is a big deal and the guys on top are going to be there. They are not making the call on picks, they employ people to do that. They aren't out scouting, so they're not going to step on toes. Scouts are on the road all year, spending the other 364 days thinking about "Draft Day", the guys on top are going to let them make decisions on the guys they've spent all year watching. Simple as that.

    So regardless of who the GM was at that particular time, he wasn't calling the shots in the draft room, but he was present...
    Last edited by Jeremy Nygaard; 02-10-2013 at 02:45 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy Nygaard View Post
    In response to thrylos, I talked to Sean to address your "gem".

    Long story short, the draft is a big deal and the guys on top are going to be there. They are not making the call on picks, they employ people to do that. They aren't out scouting, so they're not going to step on toes. Scouts are on the road all year, spending the other 364 days thinking about "Draft Day", the guys on top are going to let them make decisions on the guys they've spent all year watching. Simple as that.

    So regardless of who the GM was at that particular time, he wasn't calling the shots in the draft room, but he was present...
    Thanks for the clarification. So the decisions on who the Twins are drafting are made by Deron Johnson's group of scouts based of what they see without any sort of analytics input or projections. Correct?

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