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The Orioles have shaken up their scouting department

Dec 16, 2011, 11:34 AM EDT

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Ken Rosenthal reports that new Orioles’ GM Dan Duquette has basically dissolved the Orioles’ professional scouting department, reassigning the pro scouts to the amateur side:

“As you get more video and statistical analysis on a player, the longer they’re in professional baseball, it’s not as vital to have them seen by eyes, professional eyes,” Duquette said. “Players establish a record of their work. “Some of the trends that the statistics track, they’re not trends that professional scouts would normally see in a short look.”

If you don’t think that isn’t gonna get some old anti-sabermetric writers grumbling, you’re crazy.  Looks like we’re gonna have some 2003-era “Moneyball” debates all over again.

Thanks, Dan!

  1. Old Gator - Dec 16, 2011 at 11:43 AM

    Not good to shake up orioles. They’ll just shit on your car.

    • 1historian - Dec 16, 2011 at 11:53 AM

      Thumbs up!

      good one

  2. APBA Guy - Dec 16, 2011 at 11:53 AM

    Well, maybe. But the A’s tried this approach a few years ago and very quietly have expanded their scouting department over the past few years. Because they learned that there a few things that the eye can see that are forward looking that statistics about past performance can’t tell you, especially with a lot of younger pro-athletes whose sample sizes have large standard deviations, the kind who are likely to be included in trades, for example, of ostensible front-line pitchers.

    In any event, this may be all Duquette’s doing, but one always suspects the hand of Angelos in any action that promises to have negative consequences for the club.

    • paperlions - Dec 16, 2011 at 1:09 PM

      Even the most sabermetrically inclined FO would want to have a scout’s take. Having a record of the events is great, but if there are trends in the data (improving or declining production/results)….you want to know WHY….and the data won’t give you any hint to that.

    • Reflex - Dec 16, 2011 at 3:52 PM

      I guarantee you that the things the scouts are looking for now are very different than what they were looking for in the 80’s and 90’s. Its not like ‘scouting’ is a term that automatically means ‘anti-Saber’. If a scout isn’t looking at the numbers and using them to figure out what to look for in a player, they won’t be a scout for long nowadays.

  3. Detroit Michael - Dec 16, 2011 at 12:02 PM

    It’s interesting to see different organizations try different approaches.

    For example, the Blue Jays have massively increased their scouting staff since JP Ricciardi left.

    • cur68 - Dec 16, 2011 at 1:15 PM

      Ricciardi was trying to wag the dog: telling batters to induce walks by watching pitches sail past. Don’t need scouts for that approach. Anthopolous is looking for guys who have high upside: guys who his scouts and coaching staff say can be taught and will improve. Guys with good eyes for a pitch, some power but bad mechanics and limited playing time. Those guys hit a lot of foul balls, strike out swinging on strikes, and hit homers or hard liners when they make contact. He hit the jackpot with Bautista. Indications are that, as far as hitting goes, he knows what he’s doing. Pitching remains the problem.

  4. benandjerrysberryhorny - Dec 16, 2011 at 12:05 PM

    Yet another non-story for the O’s. What else is new. Sick and tired of it.

    • lapsncaps - Dec 16, 2011 at 12:55 PM

      Then don”t read it!

      • benandjerrysberryhorny - Dec 16, 2011 at 1:13 PM

        I think you missed the point buddy. But yeah preciate the advice.

      • lapsncaps - Dec 16, 2011 at 1:22 PM

        I do get it, as someone who has and still lives in Baltimore for the past 28 years, I am to the point where a story on the Os is worthless, but DD has already done more in shaking up the scouting than McFail did in his three years here.

  5. boh930 - Dec 16, 2011 at 1:25 PM

    Dammit, who let Angelos watch Moneyball? Well, at least O’s fans can look forward to being as good as the Athletics in 10 years (I tried to say this sarcastically, but I realize that, sadly, it’s still an improvement)

  6. dowhatifeellike - Dec 16, 2011 at 3:57 PM

    I never fully understood the need to scout professionals in this era… everything they do is on tape. Between the stats and the tape, you only need to add an interview and some character references to round out the report.

    Scouting the amateurs is much more difficult but can also be much more rewarding.

  7. arrooo - Dec 16, 2011 at 11:05 PM

    After watching the O’s minor league system the past 6 yrs or so, I have found the player movement mind boggling. There are guys who out perform others but remain lost in the system because they are not a high draft pick. I think some players actually hope to be traded because of this.

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