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Frobby

Sig talks analytics and player development

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Mejdal said he’s pretty excited by how far his analytics department has come as he is about to begin his second season with the Orioles.

“I think the skills of the students and recent graduates coming out into the analytics world has surprised me,” he said. “They are so much more skilled than half a decade ago. So, the people we have are top-notch.

“We’ve got about nine or 10 full-timers and 12 or 13 with the interns, and these people are impressive. Think that is one thing. The Matt Blood hire (as Orioles director of player development last September) has been such a help with the people he knows in baseball, and the coaches he was able to bring in has been amazing. It’s really changing the makeup of our coaches in the minor leagues. I know that’s often not really noticed and perhaps it’s hard to get excited about coaches in the minor leagues, but we are.”

https://www.masnsports.com/steve-melewski/2020/02/sig-mejdal-on-more-technology-for-hitters-coming-in-2020.html
 

Some other good stuff from Sig and Grayson Rodriguez in this article.   

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A philosophical question I would like to have answered is this:

Does providing "analytics" to prospects to improve their performance in the MiLs, actually translate to improved skills/abilities and better ML outcomes?

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7 minutes ago, Pickles said:

A philosophical question I would like to have answered is this:

Does providing "analytics" to prospects to improve their performance in the MiLs, actually translate to improved skills/abilities and better ML outcomes?

I assume Elias and Sig think it does.   Otherwise, why spend the time and money doing it?   They are empirical about other things, so presumably they’re analyzing whether or not this stuff actually gets results, rather than just assuming it does.

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Just now, Frobby said:

I assume Elias and Sig think it does.   Otherwise, why spend the time and money doing it?   They are empirical about other things, so presumably they’re analyzing whether or not this stuff actually gets results, rather than just assuming it does.

I guess I should have been more specific.

I can see the advantage of some of the high-def cameras, etc.

But I remember reading last year about increased advanced scouting for MiLs, particularly pitchers.  That's what I want to know about.  Does knowing that non-prospect on Durham can't hit a curveball, so throw him curveballs, actually lead to a guy being a better ML pitcher, or just lead to better MiL stats, like we saw almost across the board last year?

They must think it does.  I guess I want to know why.  Other than maybe increased trade value of our players, which I think wouldn't be a lasting thing.

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28 minutes ago, Pickles said:

I guess I should have been more specific.

I can see the advantage of some of the high-def cameras, etc.

But I remember reading last year about increased advanced scouting for MiLs, particularly pitchers.  That's what I want to know about.  Does knowing that non-prospect on Durham can't hit a curveball, so throw him curveballs, actually lead to a guy being a better ML pitcher, or just lead to better MiL stats, like we saw almost across the board last year?

They must think it does.  I guess I want to know why.  Other than maybe increased trade value of our players, which I think wouldn't be a lasting thing.

My assumption was the rise in k-rate in the minors last year was less about advance scouting and more about pitch selection and tweaking the repertoire. In other words: "Hey, our data shows your curve is a great pitch, but you don't throw it a ton. Let's use it more and while you're at it, throw your 4 seamer in this part of the zone", etc. 

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1 minute ago, interloper said:

My assumption was the rise in k-rate in the minors last year was less about advance scouting and more about pitch selection and tweaking the repertoire. In other words: "Hey, our data shows your curve is a great pitch, but you don't throw it a ton. Let's use it more and while you're at it, throw your 4 seamer in this part of the zone", etc. 

Well it may have been both. But still, that kind of leads to the same question: Does pitching to your strengths improve your future ability to be a MLer?

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This is a great article, by the way. Some other tidbits that get my jimmies rustled:

Grayson:

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“Coming into spring training, being with the old regime for the half season after I was drafted (No. 11 overall in 2018) we didn’t really use technology. Coming into spring training (last year) we had hour- and two-hour-long classroom sessions about what the stuff meant.

“First started throwing bullpens and we saw the cameras all around. We had Edgertronic cameras and Trackman machines and all kinds of analytical stuff. Being able to use that has really helped me. I started throwing a changeup this past year. I didn’t know how you throw a changeup, I never threw one. And being able to look at it on camera and see it on a computer, all kind of different charts, it’s a game-changer to be able to use stuff like that.”

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“Yeah, that is the hope,” Mejdal said. “Chris Holt (director of pitching) jump-started what we were able to do with the pitchers. We didn’t have the hitting equivalent of that last year. But with the hitting coaches we’ve hired - I suggest you go meet them. You’ll see what I mean. These are experienced, internally motivated persons all in search of getting better and questioning whatever convention is out there. And they are trying to responsibly look at what will enable them to be better coaches and our players to be better hitters.

“At the same time, a lot of technology is sort of becoming ready for prime time. Bat sensors, body sensors, force plates. So, we’re involved with that and hope to put it to good use this year.”

 

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8 minutes ago, DrungoHazewood said:

Might want to bookmark this thread for the next time we have someone suggest that Elias and his team have spent the last year-plus playing Xbox and smokin' doobies.

It's insane when atomic and others are like, "they're just here to lose!!!" It's like, do you understand how much WORK these guys have done in one single calendar year? It's stunning. Entire brand new departments, up and running. Swaths of new technology, installed. Entire development philosophies, implemented. Vast proprietary databases, compiled. Scores of talented individuals, hired. 

Like Moose says, the guy pisses excellence. But not only is he smart, he and everyone around him are motivated and appear to work extremely hard. Their message so far has been unified. Unity is not a word we could have used to describe the last tenure. The culture is a complete 180. 

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2 hours ago, Pickles said:

A philosophical question I would like to have answered is this:

Does providing "analytics" to prospects to improve their performance in the MiLs, actually translate to improved skills/abilities and better ML outcomes?

I would think so. I view it kind of like prepping for a test. The more prep / relevant information you're privy too prior to taking the test then the better you'll do (in theory). Also, in terms of managerial analytics it's kind of like playing black jack. If you make certain decisions at certain times it statistically improves your chances of winning. It's doesn't guarantee it, but the odds are in your favor. 

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22 minutes ago, DrungoHazewood said:

Might want to bookmark this thread for the next time we have someone suggest that Elias and his team have spent the last year-plus playing Xbox and smokin' doobies.

I just know they didn't invite me to the party ... LOL

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Behind the Mejdal and Rodriguez interviews, this is the third best thing from the article:

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My little mini recorder is loaded with interviews with the likes of Elias, Austin Hays, Hanser Alberto, Ryan McKenna, Mike Bordick, Trey Mancini, Ryan Mountcastle, Eddie Murray, Rio Ruiz, Dwight Smith Jr., Rodriguez and more, and I’ll be rolling out their thoughts and quotes all this week.

 

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4 hours ago, Pickles said:

A philosophical question I would like to have answered is this:

Does providing "analytics" to prospects to improve their performance in the MiLs, actually translate to improved skills/abilities and better ML outcomes?

Well, it certainly can't hurt.  Seems like it would both help persuade young kids to "buy in" to suggestions going forward, as well as boosting their confidence.  Are those things plusses for future performance?  I believe so.

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2 hours ago, scOtt said:

Behind the Mejdal and Rodriguez interviews, this is the third best thing from the article:

 

It's fun having a GM and Asst. GM who are willing to talk about nerdy baseball stuff, and who are simply available as much as they are.

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11 hours ago, Pickles said:

I guess I should have been more specific.

I can see the advantage of some of the high-def cameras, etc.

But I remember reading last year about increased advanced scouting for MiLs, particularly pitchers.  That's what I want to know about.  Does knowing that non-prospect on Durham can't hit a curveball, so throw him curveballs, actually lead to a guy being a better ML pitcher, or just lead to better MiL stats, like we saw almost across the board last year?

They must think it does.  I guess I want to know why.  Other than maybe increased trade value of our players, which I think wouldn't be a lasting thing.

I think this is a great question and I’m so curious to have it answered but it’s an open ended question as of today.   If DL Hall learns where his secondary stuff is best utilized and his stats reflect it, isn’t he improved by the ability to use it smarter? Isn’t ‘learning how to pitch’ a necessary step in his growth curve?

I think there’s a balance of this and the coaches that Mejdal mentioned in the minors are much closer to teachers.  The idea of maximizing skills this way seems logical for any era of baseball but it’s at the front now.  
If I’m a 3 pitch pitcher, I want to know the exact situations and specific hitters to exploit with my weakest pitch and not get hit hard because of using it that one wrong time. That intelligence and confidence in the instructors can lead to more willingness on the mound to trust stuff, risk less (or almost never) and succeed ultimately.  
I think that risk minimization is a huge priority in general with this administration but especially with pitch usage and when to swing, etc.  
 

We’ll be able to see what they do and how they implement their methods with their own guys as there’s been a draft class with them in place.  The positive results could definitely be the story of 2020.

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