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Ask Jack: Minnesota Twins' Jack Goin Answers Your Questions

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#1 Parker Hageman

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 02:20 PM

Jack Goin, the Twins' Manager of Major League Administration and Baseball Research, has been kind enough to field question from the Twins Daily community.

Naturally, Mr. Goin cannot answer any specifics regarding payroll, player movement and free agents -- so don't bother asking if the Twins will sign Ervin Santana, as an example -- but if you have questions about functions of the front office, analytics or processes, he will do his best to answer them here.

Feel free to leave your questions in the thread below and stop back soon.

"You spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time." -- Jim Bouton, "Ball Four"


#2 mike wants wins

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 02:22 PM

What do you think of front offices starting to sign guys away from "stats websites"?

Why aren't there more/any women in stats work (or ar there)? There are certainly women actuaries....so it isn't all "fear of math".

What is your favorite color?

What I just typed is probably an opinion, not a fact. I mean, I'm usually right, so you should maybe assume it is or will be a fact soon, but that's up to you. :) Also, I am NOT trying to convince anyone I am correct, I'm just talking here, not arguing.


#3 jay

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 02:34 PM

Hi Jack, if forced to choose just one, what is your single favorite publically-available stat to measure offensive performance and why? (ie - BA, OBP, SLG, OPS, RC, RAA, OBA, VORP, TAv, any of their weighted brethren, etc)

#4 mike wants wins

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 02:38 PM

Again, thanks,

Ok, if you can answer this....if 1 is the smallest stats department in MLB, and 10 is the largest, the Twins fall in what range. I won't hold it against you if you can't answer.

edit: to be clear, I'm not asking for a range of how many people you have.....but a ranking compared to other MLB teams. So, if 15 teams have 10 guys, and you have 4, then you are probably in the 2-3 ranking....or something like that.

Edited by mike wants wins, 01 November 2013 - 02:47 PM.

What I just typed is probably an opinion, not a fact. I mean, I'm usually right, so you should maybe assume it is or will be a fact soon, but that's up to you. :) Also, I am NOT trying to convince anyone I am correct, I'm just talking here, not arguing.


#5 DaveW

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 02:43 PM

What was the main reason the Twins let David Ortiz go after he hit 38 HR in his last 700 at bats as a 25/26 year old, posted a 120 OPS+, and a .950 OPS in the 2nd half of his last season in Minnesota?

#6 mike wants wins

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 02:48 PM

What was the main reason the Twins let David Ortiz go after he hit 38 HR in his last 700 at bats as a 25/26 year old, posted a 120 OPS+, and a .950 OPS in the 2nd half of his last season in Minnesota?


Objection your honor, leading the witness.....(trying for some humor here).

What I just typed is probably an opinion, not a fact. I mean, I'm usually right, so you should maybe assume it is or will be a fact soon, but that's up to you. :) Also, I am NOT trying to convince anyone I am correct, I'm just talking here, not arguing.


#7 jay

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 02:52 PM

That'd probably be a better question for TR (which he has answered) given that Jack had nothing to do with that decision back then.

In line with mike's wit... motion to strike the question from the record.

#8 Jack Goin

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 02:57 PM

What do you think of front offices starting to sign guys away from "stats websites"?

Why aren't there more/any women in stats work (or ar there)? There are certainly women actuaries....so it isn't all "fear of math".

What is your favorite color?

It's a good avenue to evaluate their work and understand their skill sets and interests.

I can't answer that question. The Orioles Coordinator of Analytics is a woman. After that I'm not sure.

I think grey.

#9 daanderson20

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 02:59 PM

Do you find the higher-ups are receptive to your recommendations? Has it been tough to get your thoughts/strategies on to the field?

#10 Jack Goin

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 03:01 PM

Again, thanks,

Ok, if you can answer this....if 1 is the smallest stats department in MLB, and 10 is the largest, the Twins fall in what range. I won't hold it against you if you can't answer.

edit: to be clear, I'm not asking for a range of how many people you have.....but a ranking compared to other MLB teams. So, if 15 teams have 10 guys, and you have 4, then you are probably in the 2-3 ranking....or something like that.

I CAN tell you this. I believe the largest department is nine. The smallest is 0. We are somewhere in-between.

#11 Willihammer

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 03:01 PM

Your title is "Manager, Major League Administration and Baseball Research," how big is the staff you manage?

How much of your effort is dedicated to scouting, minor league development, research, mechanics, and whatever else we might associate with analytics, and how much is dedicated to Major League Administration?

#12 daanderson20

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 03:02 PM

What are your thoughts on defensive shifts? Have you done any studies similar to what has been done in Pittsburgh?

#13 jay

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 03:02 PM

Having taken a lot of criticism due to recent on-field results, is this part of a larger effort from the Twins to shed light on their process and operations that leadership is confident in?

#14 Jack Goin

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 03:02 PM

That'd probably be a better question for TR (which he has answered) given that Jack had nothing to do with that decision back then.

In line with mike's wit... motion to strike the question from the record.

Terry has answered this question repeatedly. Let it go!

#15 Jack Goin

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 03:03 PM

Having taken a lot of criticism due to recent on-field results, is this part of a larger effort from the Twins to shed light on their process and operations that leadership is confident in?

I don't think I quite understand the question but I think the answer is no.

#16 Jack Goin

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 03:11 PM

Your title is "Manager, Major League Administration and Baseball Research," how big is the staff you manage?

How much of your effort is dedicated to scouting, minor league development, research, mechanics, and whatever else we might associate with analytics, and how much is dedicated to Major League Administration?

I scout the AL Central and I work closely with our pro scouting director and VP, Player Personnel on professional scouting - maintaining knowledge of the 29 other clubs. I work closely with Terry and Rob Antony on issues pertaining to the big league club. I am not involved our Minor Leagues much. Our Minor League Director, Brad Steil, does a great job with our farm system. I am always involved in Major League administration (waiver/option rules, contract rules, arbitration, CBA issues, etc.)

#17 daanderson20

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 03:15 PM

Are you guys starting to put a greater value on catcher framing? Who is the best framer in the Twins system? I know Mauer has a tough time getting low strikes, does he work on this much?

#18 Craig in MN

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 03:17 PM

The Twins have long had a propensity to go after control pitchers who don't walk batters....finding a lot of value in that. It makes sense that on offense, going after hitters that can/will work a walk would have the same value, but the Twins haven't put nearly as much effort on that side. Is there anything to that?



The Twins (and every team really) plays lefty/righty matchups constantly with relievers from a pitching perspective....presumably knowing that the platoon advantage is a big deal in those at-bats. Doesn't it make as much sense to make an effort to platoon hitters to take advantage of that on the offensive side? Or is the idea of a platoon really just overrated because of roster limitations? Maybe swapping one less lefty reliever would allow for one more lefty hitter to allow for a platoon?

#19 DaveW

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 03:18 PM

What player has been the most "positive" player brought in that you suggested? Which player did you recommend yet the Twins didn't bring in that you regret?

(sorry for the poorly worded sentence...long day)

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 03:38 PM

What is your opinion of publicly available defensive statistics, such as UZR and similar measurements? Do the Twins use any/all? Do the Twins use any proprietary defensive evaluation system (s)?