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Obando

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  1. I have no sources to back this up, so this is purely speculation, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Mike Elias is targeting Jaron Madison from the Cubs to be an Assistant GM/Senior VP in charge of Scouting & Player Development. The reasons why I think this are many. Madison worked with Elias & Sig (and even Koby Perez, for that matter) in the St. Louis scouting department for 2 years, so he’s well versed in how their scouting operation is structured, and what they expect from their scouts. He also has a long history with Brandon Hyde, having been college teammates at Long Beach State and having worked together with the Cubs for 5 or 6 years. Madison has been a scouting director, and is currently the director of player development for the Cubs. He works under Jason McLeod, who is the Cubs’ Senior VP of Player Development & Amateur Scouting, so I could see the Orioles hiring him to essentially act in the same role that McLeod has with the Cubs, which would be a promotion for him. If you notice, Sig Mejdal’s title is Assistant GM, Analytics, which indicates to me that Elias has plans to hire another assistant GM that heads up a separate department, and in this case, it would be scouting & player development. So Madison’s title could be Assistant GM, Amateur Scouting & Player Development. Under this scenario, Brad Ciolek could remain as the Director of Amateur Scouting, reporting to Madison, and either Kent Qualls could remain as director of player development/minor league operations, also reporting to Madison, or the O’s could replace him with an outside hire. I think Ciolek is more likely to remain with the organization than Qualls, but the fact that both were retained after the recent firings tells me that maybe Elias values Qualls and wants to keep him around in some capacity. Could be that Qualls goes back to being in more of a minor league administrator/operations role, as he was when Brian Graham was in charge of player development, and they hire someone else to essentially replace Graham in that role. Once again, this is pure speculation on my part, but I think if you connect the dots, it makes a ton of sense, and I would not be surprised if this is what Elias is planning to do.
  2. I think the only reason Witt & Amaral are staying is because they both signed 2-year contracts last summer, so if the O’s fired them, they would still have to pay them, so they might as well put them to use as needed. I would assume the 10 scouts & Tripp Norton all were on expiring contracts, and the O’s simply aren’t renewing them. Is it rare for scouts to sign multi-year contracts like Witt & Amaral did? Seems like most front office, scouting & player development personnel sign 1 year contracts, unless they are the GM, assistant GM, or a department head, but I could be wrong about that. Anyone know how these contracts typically work?
  3. That may be true, but baseball as a whole didn’t value Altuve & Keuchel at that time either. The Astros used data to help make both of them better, and added a ton of value to the players and the team in the process. When Luhnow, Mejdal and Elias arrived in Houston, Altuve was a good hitter for average, but hit for no power whatsoever, which limited his value. They used data to help him tap into his power and become a perennial 20-25 HR hitter while maintaining and even improving his batting average. Keuchel was nothing more than a back of the rotation pitcher at best that the Astros helped turn into an ace with the use of data. If the Astros would have traded both of them to other organizations, it’s much less likely they would have turned into the players they became. Sure, they messed up by releasing JD Martinez before giving him a real chance to show them the swing changes he made that helped turn him into the dominant slugger he has become, but they definitely learned from that mistake and it has made their process better because of it. In fact, I would argue that it took making that mistake in order to change their entire player development process and become the organization that they are today, in terms of being at the forefront of the data-oriented player development movement.
  4. If you read Astroball, and understand how Sig Mejdal’s draft system works, it factors in both traditional scouting and statistical analysis. The draft system he built in St. Louis was called STOUT, which stands for stats and scout. Sure, there is more predictive data available on college players, but it’s not like the Astros completely ignored high school players in their drafts. The Luhnow-Mejdal-Elias team drafted Carlos Correa number 1 out of high school in 2012, and also took Lance McCullers & Rio Ruiz out of HS in the top 4 rounds of that draft. They drafted Brady Aiken first overall out of HS in 2014, even though they didn’t sign him due to what turned out to be legit concerns about his elbow that were discovered after he was drafted. They drafted Kyle Tucker out of HS within the top 5 picks in 2015, and they drafted Forrest Whitley in the 1st round out of HS in 2016. So I think it’s pretty clear that the Astros had a pretty strong draft model that included assessment of high school players, and you can’t tell me they didn’t rely on scouts for feedback on these player, which is even more necessary for high school players with less accessible data available on them compared to college players. Sig Mejdal and the Astros under Luhnow tried to make the draft more of a science than an art by incorporating a lot of data into their decisions, but that doesn’t mean that they ever ignored the scouts’ assessments in the field. What Mike Elias did today is consistent with how the Astros operate, and is essentially all about making the scouting operation more efficient and cohesive to fit his vision. He got rid of the scouts and a FO member that he didn’t think fit his philosophy, and stated that he will be hiring new scouts, analysts, and front office assistants that do fit his philosophy. I don’t see why anyone should have an issue with this, and if anyone didn’t see this eventually coming when Elias was hired, then you never understood what this rebuild was going to be all about in the first place.
  5. Thanks for the detailed analysis! This is very helpful. Is it a forgone conclusion that the O’s & MASN will continue to appeal until they either get the ruling overturned or run out of appeal opportunities? Let’s say, hypothetically, that the decision is final and the O’s accept the ruling. How does this impact their future moving forward, in terms of a potential sale of the team? Haven’t the O’s been holding this money in escrow for themselves and the Nationals for 2012-2016 rights fees while the dispute plays out, and thus, the club would get an even larger fee than the Nats for that time period?
  6. So the fact that Baltimore is the Angelos family’s hometown and they have been staunch supporters and defenders of Baltimore since purchasing the team, both verbally and financially, isn’t reason enough to believe that they won’t move the team? Other than the fact that John Angelos owns a home in Nashville, and his wife is a country music artist that’s based in Nashville, I just can’t see a move happening (not to mention it can’t happen without MLB approval anyway). A sale however, is very believable and likely, in my opinion, but wouldn’t occur until Peter passes away for estate tax reasons. And all things being relatively equal in terms of offers, I think the Angelos family will sell to a local buyer that is committed to keeping the team in Baltimore, rather than risk selling to a buyer with no ties to the Baltimore area who would be more inclined to move the team.
  7. Very true. I had mono when I was 15 and felt like I was going to die. It hits you like a ton of bricks. Even if Adley’s case was mild, I’m sure it was still bad enough to sap him of a lot of energy and resulted in weight loss. That is the likely explanation for why he looks skinnier than he did this year in college, as Luke alluded to. He probably couldn’t work out for at least a week or two while dealing with mono, so that put him behind and he’s probably still getting his strength back. Even so, those swings look good in the 2080 video that Luke linked, so I have no doubt that Adley is going to come back even stronger next year and show us all that the results we are seeing right now are not an accurate reflection of the hitter he really is.
  8. I’m not worried about Adley. The guy has hit everywhere he’s been the last 2 years, both at Oregon State and for Team USA. Every player transitions differently into pro ball, and Adley has more on his plate than your typical draft pick. Let’s not discount the fact that he had a bout of mononucleosis after getting drafted, which I’m sure sapped a lot of his energy, so he’s probably still working his way back to full strength while simultaneously learning a pitching staff and adjusting to pro pitching. Adley didn’t just suddenly forget how to hit. I have a feeling we’ll see the real Adley next year once he has a full offseason to rest, get back to full strength and prepare for the rigors of full season baseball.
  9. Obando

    Toby Welk

    The Cardinals found guys like this in the draft a lot when Mike & Sig were there. They would scrape stats from all levels of college baseball, go scout the players based off the stats, and then draft some guys that fit their STOUT model that they created. Guys like Matt Adams, Trevor Rosenthal & Jaime Garcia come to mind in particular. All 3 were taken after the 20th round and went on to become productive major leaguers.
  10. I assume that Elias felt the quality of the prospects the O’s were getting in the deal made it worth agreeing to pay half of Cashner’a remaining salary for this year and his signing bonus. Otherwise, why make the deal? Don’t judge the trade based on how far away these prospects are from the majors or what they signed for last J2. If Elias & Koby like these players, I’m willing to trust them on this and see how it plays out. If anything, it’s clear the O’s just wanted to get rid of Cashner as quickly as they could, and there were only 2 teams showing legit interest. Elias probably felt it was too risky to wait another couple weeks to hopefully increase his value further, when the opposite could happen and Cashner has been pitching great the last 2 months. Trade him while he’s hot.
  11. Plenty of international players that got paid on the cheap have gone on to have successful major league careers. A current example is Ronald Acuna Jr., who signed for $100k with the Braves. I think Luis Severino signed with the Yankees for like $70k. Just because these guys weren’t highly thought of at the time they signed doesn’t mean they can’t develop into very good players, as they have. We see plenty of players get big bonuses and bust (both domestic & international). That’s why none of us can say for sure that this was a bad trade, because we can’t judge these guys based on what dollar amount they signed for. I trust Mike Elias & Koby Perez on this one. Do you think the White Sox regret trading Fernando Tatis Jr. in the deal for James Shields back in 2016? At the time, Tatis Jr. wasn’t considered a stud prospect and was far away from the big leagues (and he was only 17), which is why the White Sox were willing to give him up and take on a past-his-prime Shields and his big salary. But look what happened once Tatis got to San Diego? He developed into a stud, and now the White Sox look pretty bad for making that trade, especially considering they were a fringe contender that year to begin with and Shields wasn’t going to suddenly turn back into the ace he was 3-4 years before that. Cashner is probably at the same level now that Shields was at that time (maybe even slightly better), only with a much more manageable salary and a pending FA versus a long term albatross of a contract that Shields had.
  12. Are both of these guys original 2019-2020 signings by the O’s, or was Sanchez signed after being released by another organization?
  13. This is awesome! Thanks for doing this SoxHotCorner14! Can’t wait to see the rest of this scout’s answers. What are the chances that Elias tries to poach this guy from Houston to be our scouting director?
  14. I would think so, unless one of the high school guys decides they want to play badly enough and are willing to accept less than they might receive in 3 years with some college development.
  15. Thanks. The Araujo trade was made before 7/2/19, so the bonus slot would have had to be for the 2018-2019 signing period.
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