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Padres: Scouting and stats

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#1 Parker Hageman

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 09:58 AM

Here's a great piece from MLB.com's Corey Brock on how the San Diego Padres use both scouting and stats to improve their team. I suggest you take the time to read the whole thing but if you don't have that kind of time, here's some great excerpts:

Padres' assistant GM AJ Hinch on the scouting department:

[QUOTE]"We're in a big room, we're going to rally the troops and go out and watch our morning workouts, and I'm sitting there and I look around and see [scouts with] one year [of] experience, two years' experience, 20 years' experience, 30 years' experience."I'm supposed to blend this together into one way of doing things? You try telling a scout who has been doing it one way for 20, 30 years that he now has to type this information into a computer and fill out a scouting report. You want him to balance [statistical] performance with tools and skills? Good luck."[/QUOTE]
Hinch on who to hire for the scouting positions:

[QUOTE]"That's something that's always a trick for us," Hinch said. "Factor that into a new scout you're hiring ... which way to do want him to go? Do you want him to lean on modern day analytics? That's a difficult question to answer."[/QUOTE]

Cubs director of professional scouting Joe Bohringer on using analytics:

[QUOTE]"As far as we've come with the analytics that are available to us in baseball, trying to evaluate players is still is a battle between pure gut [instincts], pure look and trying to trust your instinct," Bohringer said.

{snip}

"There was a point in time when it was a competitive advantage for teams if they were interpreting the available data better than the other 29 teams," Bohringer said. "Now, everyone is struggling to find the new competitive advantage ... find that metric no one else is using.

"If you need 2,000 plate appearances to feel comfortable about a player and I can do it in 1,000, while also augmenting it with scouts I trust, that's my competitive advantage. So in some respects, the new competitive advantage actually gets back to traditional scouting."[/QUOTE]

It's clearly a dedicate balance of how to introduce analytics to an industry that has been built on gut instinct. Some teams have found it challenging to adapt to the new world balance and it sounds as if the Twins, who are trying to learn and apply more analytic thought into the decision-making process, have struggled to fully embrace it.

#2 Cody Christie

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 10:12 AM

It will be interesting to see how much the Padres can improve in the coming years with the system they have put together. They seem to be moving in the right direction and the division they are in could make it easier for them to get into the playoff picture.