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Indian Prospects


BRob51

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  • 3 weeks later...
Here's a nice story about two kids from India becoming pitching prospects.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/2008-11-04-india-pitchers_N.htm

I hope the O's are scouting him, East Windup Chronicle said 20 teams were looking at them.

Both were signed by the Pirates today.

http://www.npbtracker.com/2008/11/non-npb-news-pittsburgh-sign-indian-pitchers/#content

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Pirates are simply getting crucified for this in the local media. Even some fairly patient, knowledgeable fans regard this as a Bill Veeck-ian publicity stunt.

As camden yardbird points out, this is a low-risk move. It's highly unlikely these guys pan out ... but it's a smart move for them to stake early claims in untapped markets. (They signed a South African prospect, Mpho Ngoepe, earlier this offseason as well.) It bears noting that the Pirates' pioneering involvement in drafting and development in Latin America in the 50s helped build them into perennial contenders in the 60s and 70s.

Hell, just last year at OH, Drungo was arguing for the O's to take just such an approach.

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Pirates are simply getting crucified for this in the local media. Even some fairly patient, knowledgeable fans regard this as a Bill Veeck-ian publicity stunt.

As camden yardbird points out, this is a low-risk move. It's highly unlikely these guys pan out ... but it's a smart move for them to stake early claims in untapped markets. (They signed a South African prospect, Mpho Ngoepe, earlier this offseason as well.) It bears noting that the Pirates' pioneering involvement in drafting and development in Latin America in the 50s helped build them into perennial contenders in the 60s and 70s.

Hell, just last year at OH, Drungo was arguing for the O's to take just such an approach.

I've been a big advocate of getting in early in emerging talent markets. The Pirates are actually doing it. I look at this as getting scouts and contacts on the ground in Japan in 1985, or in Korea in 1990. Back then no one was doing it, and the conventional wisdom was that the prospects were uncertain and the payoffs too far out. Now the teams that got in early in Asia have been rewarded with all kinds of talent. The Mariners, Dodgers, Yanks, and others have star-level talent from Asia while the O's are just getting started figuring out what the continent is all about.

If you're a desperate franchise, looking to build for the future, what in the world does it hurt to put a presence in India, and South Africa, and Australia? Or China? Or the West Indies? This game show that found these two pitchers offered up, what, $1M? Do this every year, maybe several times a year. Use $500k or whatever and basically hold an open tryout for 50,000 people. Downselect to 10 or five or two guys who can throw 90, or show some potential with the bat. Maybe even broadcast the thing on the MLB channel, or Spike TV or something and recoup a little of the money.

If I were a team in the O's situation I'd have a million dollars set aside every year for international talent competitions. If you find one decent major leaguer every five years it pays off. And if you get lucky you become the team that gets a reputation for taking care of guys from India/S. Africa/wherever and has a leg up on everyone else. What can it hurt? You have a $million less to sign a random free agent? I know what I think is a better long-term investment.

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