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Value of superior scouts and minor league coaches

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Poll: How important is it to have above-average scouts and minor league coaches? (12 member(s) have cast votes)

How important is it to have above-average scouts and minor league coaches?

  1. Not very important (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  2. Somewhat important (3 votes [25.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 25.00%

  3. Important (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  4. Very important (1 votes [8.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.33%

  5. Vital unless your team can afford high priced free agents (8 votes [66.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 66.67%

Vote Guests cannot vote

#1 glunn


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Posted 16 November 2012 - 12:29 AM

I sometimes think that the Twins scouts and minor league coaches may be below average. Lots of other teams seem to have better prospects in their systems, especially starting pitchers. And as others have noted, finishing last in the weakest division in baseball suggests that something is wrong.

My questions:

1. How important is it to have above-average scouts and minor league coaches? (the poll question)

2. Is there any way that fans can discern whether a teams scouts and/or coaches are below average? (for extra credit)

#2 Rosterman


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Posted 16 November 2012 - 12:43 AM

Scouting is important. But the amount of information that can be quickly obtained and kept on file and reviewed and the number of "guys" that physically watch a player mare obscene these days because of the amount of money that can be spent. You want lots of players, ut there is a pecking order for signing. Finding that "Kirby Puckett" is not so easy anymore. And, if you look at the Twins drafting in the past, maybe 3 guys a season from the draft class get a major league look. A couple more may find a home elsewhere. Maybe an additional 2-4 each season were scouted and traded or signed out of other organizations. Minor league coaches and such follow a program set by the major league team and carried from spring training thru winter ball. Development of players also depends on the home of minor league teams and the competition you face. Happily, the lower leagues do have age and time-served limitations. The ultimate factor is, though, it takes work.

Joel Thingvall
rosterman at www.twinscards.com

#3 joeboo_22


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Posted 16 November 2012 - 12:58 AM

Scouts are more important than many believe with the new SABR style. I'm a big believer in sabr-metrics but I don't believe in them replacing scouts. Scouts are meant to see more then those type of things, they are meant to spot possible injuries, mechanical problems and personal makeup. Is the guy showing up late, having terrible at-bats, limping as he rounds second, and getting lucky because of competition? That is where the scout is needed. And yes good scouts are worth their weight, though I believe the new scouts that are willing to accept the new style of evaluations and blend it with the old.

As far as minor league coaching? IDK, I'm not one of those guys that says a good coach will be a savior or a bad one will destroy one. Its like teaching where 80% will do what they do in spite of teachers. same goes with coaching, roughly 80% are either going to prosper or decline whether the best minor league coach is coaching or your dad who knows little is coaching. The issue is with the other 20%, the foreign players, the younger players, the lower draft picks. What can coaches do for them. Add in the managerial factor, if a team is winning or in games it helps the entire team more.

Kirby Puckett was drafted I believe 3rd overall. Though the story is good, its not like Mike Piazza whose dad told Lasorta to draft him, and did with the last pick.

#4 beckmt


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Posted 16 November 2012 - 01:08 AM

I believe minor league managers and coaches make a great deal of difference. They have to teach and make sure the players understand the little things that make a bigger difference at higher levels. Twins had some issues with this in 2011 when comments from Justin Morneau on a rehab assignment in Rochester about things not being the Twins way got a lot of air time. It also led to the dismissal after the season of most of the Rochester coaches.
Scouts also are very important unless the major league club has money to burn. Just finding the talent and the makeup of the talent is important to having very good drafts and getting players (especially in the lower rounds, that have been missed by other clubs). Twins are getting better again, but still have a ways to go.

#5 Seth Stohs

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 01:15 AM

Kirby Puckett was drafted I believe 3rd overall. Though the story is good, its not like Mike Piazza whose dad told Lasorta to draft him, and did with the last pick.

Puckett was the 3rd overall pick in the JANUARY draft which has been gone for like 25-30 years ago. The January draft was kind of for those hidden gems in jucos and such. The signing bonuses were nothing. The story is still great.

#6 Seth Stohs

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 01:21 AM

I think that the amateur scouting is incredibly important. That's where you get the players that you'll get through their minor league time, to develop, and then when they come up, they're under team control for 6 years, the best years (usually) of their career.

I think it's impossible for us to measure how good the scouts are. We don't get to see their scouting 'lists' or reports. A scout could be immensely high on a player who is taken two picks before the Twins pick.The Twins could have had a glowing scouting report on Mike Trout but decided they needed pitching after draft OF Revere and Hicks the two previous years in the 1st round and decided Kyle Gibson (a very good pick) was less risky than Trout, a talent outfielder, but one from a northern state. Every scout is going to have some wins and some losses. That's just the nature of the job.

#7 Cody Christie

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 07:04 AM

I voted for somewhat important. In this new age of baseball, scouts and minor league coaches have some value. The coaches are working with these players at the lowest level and they can make the small adjustments needed to fix a player. Obviously the player would need to have talent for these little fixes to be worth a darn. The scouts have to find that talent.

Cody Christie

#8 JB_Iowa


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Posted 16 November 2012 - 08:14 AM

I think scouting must be very important. But I also wonder if the nature of scouting hasn't changed? Do scouts (or should scouts) do their job the same way they did it 20 years ago? Or should the scout be blending in the wealth of available statistical information to make a decision?

Where do the 2 approaches (old school scouting and sabrmetrics) come together? Is it at the scouting level or is it higher up? Where should they come together for the best result? Should scouting be untainted by what the statistics may tell them or should the organization be trying to "blend in" statistical analysis at the scouting level?