Amaro Hints at Analytics Incorporation

With the way Major League Baseball operates in the year 2013, little things like this shouldn’t necessarily be news. But given the organization’s stubbornness and obstinance vis a vis the incorporation of analytics into player evaluation, this quote from a piece by MLB.com‘s Todd Zolecki feels important:

“We’re going to make some changes,” Amaro said. “I think we’re doing some stuff analytically to change the way do some evaluations. Look, we are going to continue to be a scouting organization. That said, I think we owe it to ourselves to look at some other ways to evaluate. We’re going to build more analytics into it. Is it going to change dramatically the way we go about our business? No, but we owe it to ourselves to at least explore other avenues. We may bring someone in from the outside, but we have not decided that yet.”

Whether this is the first step toward a total renovation of player evaluation or merely a placation of a growing portion of the fanbase remains to be seen, but it’s encouraging nonetheless. A moment of lauding for the much maligned RAJ, either way.

Leave a Reply

*

15 comments

  1. joecatz

    September 30, 2013 01:52 PM

    I’m cautiously optomistic that its somewhere in the middle. reality is that at the very least he’s publicly acknowledging that theymade some moves recently that may have been avoided if they had analysed better, and at the same time the dipping into the international market and recent drafts signal some hope.

    but more than that, I hope tht this is something that came from above, and I believe it is. I think Monty and company finally realize that they have to deal with the budget as it stands and try and add talent, and the free agent market makes that difficult. Especially at the lower end of the spectrum. Hopefully this is a good case of meddling.

  2. Buzzsaw90

    September 30, 2013 02:01 PM

    Do teams do much in the way of teaching minor league players the offensive value of walks?

  3. BenJah

    September 30, 2013 02:27 PM

    they’ll screw it up

  4. bubba0101

    September 30, 2013 03:54 PM

    Didnt you hear RAJ? There is no value in walks and they dont add to production

  5. Bob

    October 01, 2013 07:20 AM

    What I heard is that, “We’re going to have an analytics dept. but if it disagrees with our scouts, then we go with our scouts.” Same old, same old.

  6. Dante

    October 01, 2013 07:46 AM

    Considering how awkward and vague he was in describing what they are going to do, I’d say more a placation than a full dive into analytics.

  7. Tom

    October 01, 2013 08:10 AM

    Any business should be interested in understanding how its competitors think. At a minimum, I hope they use analytics to better understand the marketplace and why some players may be more interesting to trading partners than others. This stubbornness has lasted way too long.

  8. JM

    October 01, 2013 08:18 AM

    analytics does not equal sabermetrics.

  9. Eric Longenhagen

    October 01, 2013 09:00 AM

    Two Phillies front office employees asked me about defensive statistics in earnest this past month. They were genuinely curious and open to it. It’s a great sign.

  10. hk

    October 01, 2013 11:09 AM

    Eric,

    I agree that it is a great sign that they are curious and open to it. However, what I can’t get past is that this front office has run this team for the past five years while bragging about the fact that they have ignored advanced analytics. If ownership is ready to embrace advancement, I don’t understand why they would do so with the current management team.

  11. GTown_Dave

    October 01, 2013 11:28 AM


    _

    ANALYTICALLY CORRECT

    SHIN-SOO CHOO
    MASAHIRO TANAKA
    BRIAN MCCANN & CHOOCH
    MATT GARZA

    Spend the DODGERS DOLLARS

  12. Frank

    October 01, 2013 02:23 PM

    Meh, I’m not sure we ought to really ‘laud’ a general manager for getting on the analytics bandwagon a decade late, and after he closed the window on the greatest era of Phillies baseball ever…kind of a low bar.

  13. Pencilfish

    October 01, 2013 11:53 PM

    hk,

    It’s not just RAJ that has ignored advanced analytics. Gillick, Wade and ownership did, too. Ownership has finally been hurt in the pocketbook, so they are paying attention.

    Albert Einstein said insanity is trying the same thing again and again and expecting a different result. The fans should be happy that ownership (and apparently the GM) are not insane anymore. Withhold judgment until we see if the 2014 team bears (or not) imprints of their new professed philosophy.

  14. hk

    October 02, 2013 06:59 AM

    Pencilfish,

    “The fans should be happy that ownership (and apparently the GM) are not insane anymore.”

    That’s why I wrote, “…it is a great sign that they are curious and open to it.”

    “Withhold judgment until we see if the 2014 team bears (or not) imprints of their new professed philosophy.”

    What choice do I have now that ownership is stupid enough to bring back RAJ? If this was your business – good old boy network and favoritism aside – would you honestly bring back the GM who you were hoping will prove that he is no longer insane – with insanity defined as annually trying to build a team while ignoring advanced analysis – or would you do a search for a new, sane person to be your GM? Are you seriously comfortable that two members of the front office had to ask Eric Longenhagen – and I mean no disrespect to Eric – about defensive statistics? Wouldn’t you rather that they team hired people who actually already knew about defensive statistics (and other advanced analysis)?

    In summary, yes this is good news that the Phillies are finally entering the 1990’s. My problem is that I think they should do so with a GM who has been in the 90’s for 20+ years, not one who just last year bragged about how his team was 20+ years behind the competition.

  15. Phillie697

    October 02, 2013 11:56 AM

    @Eric,

    They can’t even get the easy stuff right, things like wOBA and OPS+; offensive metrics are more mature and provide better predicative values. But instead, they want to know about the value of defensive metrics? That’s like someone buying gloves to protect his hands from the elements and asking the salesperson, “So, would this thing protect my hands if I stick my hands into a bonfire and hold it there for a few minutes?” Call me cynical, but I smell a rat.

Next ArticleThe Future Is Unwritten: Albert Cartwright Scouting Report