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Ruben Amaro relied on seven-year-old scouting reports to sign Delmon Young? What?

Mar 29, 2013, 4:30 PM EDT

Delmon Young

If this was reported at the time of the signing I missed it, but Matt Gelb of the Philly Inquirer writes something fairly shocking today. The basis on which Ruben Amaro decided to sign Delmon Young:

To evaluate [Young], the Phillies relied on seven-year-old scouting reports from the outfielder’s days as a Tampa Bay farmhand. Two of Amaro’s assistants, Scott Proefrock and Bart Braun, were members of the Rays organization when Young was selected first overall in the 2003 draft. They vouched for Young’s ability.

I know it was a small contract, but wow. That can’t have been all of it, right? This had to be a situation in which they looked at his production in Detroit and then just completed a loop with some first-hand info on Young from the old Rays people, didn’t it? Delmon Young seven years ago is probably about as different from Delmon Young today than Delmon Young seven years ago is as different from a can of lima beans.

All that said, that’s just an anecdote the leaps into a larger story about how the Phillies use advanced metrics. The upshot: more scouting than sabermetrics. Interesting stuff, and a nice companion piece to yesterday’s stuff about the Washington Nationals.

  1. Bryz - Mar 29, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    Supposedly the Twins used scouting reports on Edwin Jackson from when he was a high schooler to determine not to sign him (I believe that was mentioned on Gleeman’s podcast a few months ago).

  2. natsattack - Mar 29, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    Based, on the headline, I though they had 7 year old scouts, which would have made a whole lot more sense.

    • Sorbet Te Charta Saccus - Mar 29, 2013 at 4:59 PM

      ^ this times 1000. What a stupid signing. I’d rather have Ruf out there in left learning the position on the fly and Brown in Right than have this fat worthless fool clogging up a spot on the field.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 29, 2013 at 5:04 PM

        No, it was brilliant.

      • unclemosesgreen - Mar 29, 2013 at 7:20 PM

        I’ve been out-Easter trolled. Game, set and match.

    • tfbuckfutter - Mar 29, 2013 at 5:22 PM

      Kids do love Delmon.

      He always has a nice assortment of King Size candy bars in all of his pockets.

      And sometimes he shares.


  3. kyzslew77 - Mar 29, 2013 at 4:43 PM


    • tfbuckfutter - Mar 29, 2013 at 5:24 PM

      It’s funny because Delmon Young is filled with jelly.

  4. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 29, 2013 at 4:46 PM

    RAJ has to be trolling us now, right?

  5. starvingardens - Mar 29, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    Yeah… he is totally different from 7 years ago. Most noticeably he’s 700 pounds heavier.

  6. steelers88 - Mar 29, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    Wow! This sounds like something the Pirates would do!

  7. DelawarePhilliesFan - Mar 29, 2013 at 5:02 PM

    As always, read the article.

  8. evanwins - Mar 29, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    What a stupid misinterpretation of the actual article. How do you run a “news site” if you lack the ability to read for comprehension.

    You are either really, really stupid or you are really, really desperate to make someone, some team or some player look bad, so desperate that you’ll make stuff up and completely misconstrue and flat out deceive in order to make a case for your bias.

    Are things that great with the Phillies that you need to stoop to this level to pick on them?

    I’m embarrassed for you.

    • tfbuckfutter - Mar 29, 2013 at 5:37 PM

      “Amaro said those words during an interview with 97.5 The Fanatic in response to his signing of outfielder Delmon Young. To evaluate him, the Phillies relied on seven-year-old scouting reports from the outfielder’s days as a Tampa Bay farmhand. Two of Amaro’s assistants, Scott Proefrock and Bart Braun, were members of the Rays organization when Young was selected first overall in the 2003 draft. They vouched for Young’s ability.”

      What has been misconstrued?

      At least clarify what mistake you think is being made. You posted a fairly long message and I was assuming you would at least have a point.

      How is this post deceptive?

      Frankly, if he wanted to mock the team based on the article he would have pointed out this hilarious tidbit:

      “This winter, Amaro responded by signing Delmon Young (3.3 percent walk rate) and trading for Ben Revere (5.2) and Michael Young (5.1). They were among baseball’s worst in drawing walks. (The league average was 8 percent.) The moves followed Amaro’s credo.

      When discussing Delmon Young, Amaro said, “If I’m not mistaken, even in a year when he didn’t have his best year, he drove in more runs than anyone on our club.”

      This was true; Young had 74 RBIs, and the Phillies’ leader was a tie between Jimmy Rollins and Carlos Ruiz at 68.

      But that is misleading. Young batted with 415 runners on base in 2012, the 20th highest amount in all of baseball. He drove in 13.5 percent of those runners, which ranked 100th among hitters with at least 500 plate appearances. Using a formula for expected RBI totals given Young’s opportunities, just a major-league average player should have amassed eight more RBIs than Young did. If Ruiz batted with the same opportunities as Young, he would have had 31 more RBIs.”

      • ptfu - Mar 29, 2013 at 5:59 PM

        More from RAJ: “”I don’t care about walks,” Amaro said in January. “I care about production. To be frank with you, I’ve said this all along. All of the sabermatricians and all of the people who think they know exactly what makes a good club . . . to me, it’s more about run production and being able to score runs and drive in runs.””

        Baseball has been aware of the link between drawing walks and scoring runs since Branch Rickey started promoting on-base percentage in 1947. Forget the seven-year-old scouting reports. Let’s mock RAJ for using ideas that were disproven before he was born.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Mar 29, 2013 at 6:03 PM

        The misleading part is that it implied that was all they looked at, when in fact that was an article that A) isn’t really about Delmon Young, and B) discusses far more that that “report”. Your own copy above notes that Amaro liked what he saw last year.

        BTW, I was not a fan of this signing

      • evanwins - Mar 29, 2013 at 6:08 PM

        No, you’re right. Amaro signed Delmon Young based solely on 7 year scouting reports. Nothing else, just the 7 year old reports. AS PER THE WRITER OF THAT ARTICLE, NOT ACTUALLY AMARO.

        And that’s a quote from another writer, not Amaro. CC took a writers quote and then re-used it as his headline to make it seem as if it were fact, not merely some other writers opinion.

        So a writer comes to some conclusion and then another writer uses that 1st writers opinion as his headline, not the actual truth mind you, but someone’s opinion on the situation.

        Then the 2nd writer writes a story about the 1st writers piece.

        You see there Einstein, what’s actually in quotes in this piece is THE WRITER, NOT AMARO, yet it’s presented like it’s Amaro’s quote. MISLEADING. DECEPTIVE.

        Look at your comment, what “words did Amaro use”? That they used 7 year old scouting reports? No. Granted you presented it like that, but YOU LEFT OUT THE ACTUAL “WORDS AMARO USED”.

        Are you really that inept that you can’t see how that’s deceptive and misleading? I’ll bet you are.

      • tfbuckfutter - Mar 29, 2013 at 6:11 PM

        How is that misleading?

        He even stated in his write up he HOPES they relied on more than just that.

        And that was ALL the article had to say about the process by which Delmon was signed (words taken directly from an interview Amaro gave).

        Is it misleading for him to sum up a point made in the article, without going to a bunch of external sources to answer a question HE POINTS OUT about the point made by the article? Should he have conducted his own interview with Ruben to clarify?

      • tfbuckfutter - Mar 29, 2013 at 6:16 PM

        The headline says “Ruben Amero relied solely on seven-year-old scouting reports”?

      • dluxxx - Mar 29, 2013 at 6:16 PM

        There was nothing misleading about it at all. The post talks about a part of the article where it is noted that RAJ used 7 year old scouting reports and word of mouth from scouts who worked for the Rays when Delmon was drafted to make his decision. I read the article. I’m not seeing anything that talks about any other method of evaluating Delmon Young.

        That’s what the post was about. That sentence and quote. As a matter of fact, now that I think about it, it’s kinda funny that you bash Craig’s reading comprehension when you actually didn’t bother to try to comprehend what he wrote. I realize you’re not going to be unbiased and defensive based on your handle, but still.

      • tfbuckfutter - Mar 29, 2013 at 6:18 PM

        Here’s the interview if anyone would like to hear what is or isn’t left out.

        I don’t care to listen personally.

      • dluxxx - Mar 29, 2013 at 6:26 PM

        Oh, you’re right. Sorry. He also based it off of Delmon’s RBI total last year…. My bad.

      • snowbirdgothic - Mar 30, 2013 at 3:18 AM

        I think what this debate needs is MORE RANDOMLY CAPITALIZED sections of VARIOUS COMMENTS THAT try don’t really make much sense but DO SHOW SOME SORT OF IRRATIONAL HATRED of both writers and math.

        The takeaway here – from Craig’s distillation of the article, from the article itself, and from the interview the article referenced, is that RAJ based a baseball decision in at least significant part on seven year old scouting reports. And seven years ago, people still knew who Semisonic were.

    • dluxxx - Mar 29, 2013 at 5:59 PM

      This isn’t a “news site” it is a “Sports Blog.” You are reading the work of bloggers, not reporters. Is that really so hard to understand? There is no unbiased opinion. It’s just opinions…. about matters vaguely related to baseball in some form or another.

      Granted, there is some really good content, and posts about breaking news in the world of baseball, but overall it is a blog. Plain and simple. If you want “news” go to a “newspaper” website and get the same old same old.

      • El Barvo - Mar 29, 2013 at 7:23 PM

        This should be the disclaimer at the top of every post for those who can’t seem to grasp the difference.

  9. officialgame - Mar 29, 2013 at 6:11 PM

    The Phillies are well run respected organization and in the short time I have been following this blog it seems like the author has some type of personal agenda against the team? I am certain the Phillies had all the information they needed to make a level headed decision on Delmom Young before they signed him. If Scott Proefrock and Bart Braun never worked for the Jays then they wouldn’t have been privy to those reports. If anything it looks like Amaro had extra information not less.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 29, 2013 at 6:41 PM

      So you don’t think there’s anything wrong with relying on 7 year old scouting reports? And considering the team eschews advanced metrics, to say nothing of using RBI totals, I’d say that they don’t have all the information.

    • Francisco (FC) - Mar 29, 2013 at 7:16 PM

      Pfft, personal agenda. I’m a Phillies’ fan. Craig writes a lot of stuff about the Phillies to troll the fan base because it’s super easy to get the crazies to respond. Last year he expanded his trolling to the Nats.

      That’s said, this is not all that much of a troll, it’s a genuine question on how exactly did they evaluate Delmon Young that they decided to sign him. 7 year-old scouting reports and last year’s RBI total are not encouraging. Neither is Amaro’s statement dissing walks.

      I think I now prefer it if the Phillies simply fail as fast and as catastrophically as possible to force a change of leadership that’s more in line with the 21st century way of managing a baseball team.

      • johnstjc - Mar 29, 2013 at 10:11 PM

        glad to see there are reasonable philly fans out there

      • johnstjc - Mar 29, 2013 at 10:12 PM

        i think a quick rebuild could happen if they can get something for halladay if he gets off to a good start and lee

      • Francisco (FC) - Mar 30, 2013 at 10:39 AM

        That would depend on whether by July they are out of contention, Halladay to the Jays for one last hurrah? Someone has to take Ricky’s place. Actually I can get behind the idea that the want to do quick reloads as opposed to rebuilds, it’s basically what the Cardinals have been doing. The idea is to plug in new talent in dribs and drabs instead of all at once, so as put in new talent, you don’t have too many ineffectual Veterans around, but boy you have to make better evaluations of the talent you want to get.

  10. mungman69 - Mar 29, 2013 at 9:19 PM

    Oh my goodness, the crazy people are out early.

  11. officialgame - Mar 30, 2013 at 9:28 AM

    “I think I now prefer it if the Phillies simply fail as fast and as catastrophically as possible to force a change of leadership that’s more in line with the 21st century way of managing a baseball team”.

    You are a Phillies fan? The Phillies won a World Series, lost a World Series, and have won a bunch of division titles all in the 21st century. There are many ways to skin a cat in baseball.

    • Francisco (FC) - Mar 30, 2013 at 2:53 PM

      I’ll point out that the roster that achieved all that was actually drafted and built by Amaro’s predecessors. Under his stewardship we have yet to see the first impact position player graduate.

  12. jrbdmb - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:16 AM

    And how is that DY signing working out so far? :)

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