The Pittsburgh Pirates don’t use advance scouting any longer.
We received numerous emails asking about our video from PirateFest with John Russell’s explanation. I wouldn’t call it an explanation, more like a basic definition of the Pirates “strategy” as it pertains to (the lack of) advance scouting. Enjoy:
REPOST FROM FEB2010
Wouldn’t the Pirates want every possible advantage when they step on the field? Especially when more teams in MLB are increasing budget dollars? Teams are using new metrics and technology to increase their likelihood of winning baseball games. Why wouldn’t the Pirates combined their excellent technological system with a few pair of human eyeballs?
The Yankees didn’t just buy the 2009 World Series. They used their coaches and advance scouts to make the final cuts for their 25-man playoff roster. The advance scouts and video filmed by the coaching staff during the season were a key to the Bronx Bombers playoff success and eventual World Series championship. Read about the roster selection here:
"After Alexi Casilla’s game-winning hit, the Yankees’ coaches and advance scouts broke down the Twins’ roster and made the final choices. Girardi said that he got home at approximately 11:45 p.m. ET after a long day at the Stadium scouting Minnesota, against which New York was 7-0 in 2009."
The Pirates use a computerized system and JR speaks about it in the video below. Some teams have made both advance scouts and a computerized system work together. That makes sense.
The Red Sox it says here have just promoted Mike Cather as their ML Advance Scout and named Steve Langone Advance Scout Coordinator.
The Rays Manager Joe Maddon said: “that while there’s always some benefit “to have a guy in the stands to feel the heartbeat” and notice things that aren’t on camera — such as signs, players’ reactions and how a pitch actually breaks — so much information can be gleaned that he is excited about the possibilities. When an advance scout goes in there, he’s seeing it for three, four days,” he said.
"“The data we’re going to accumulate goes over a longer period of time, which would indicate it’s more correct and not as much one man’s subjective opinion. We feel as though this may be the next level of advance scouting.”"
Here’s the bottom line for us. The Rays tried it the new way in 2009. We have no way of knowing if the new computer system or the old advance scout system is better. Why bother debating it? Just do both!
It’s not like the Pirates haven’t done it before.
On Feb 14, 2006, Kent Tekulve was hired as the Pirates Advance Scout according to this article. So why the change? Neal Huntington is a bright man. There must be a logical reason.
In the video below, listen close when JR says that Neal told him,’ if they start winning games late in the year, then the Pirates will get an advanced scout, maybe two… ‘
JR says it in a way that it was rather obvious he must have had the conversation with Neal regarding the importance of advance scouts.
But isn’t the sentence backward? Shouldn’t it be this…. The Pirates have hired an advanced scout to assist the Pirates talented young team, its’ manager and his staff have as much possible information to win ballgames.
It seems from JR’s sentence that the issue is dead. But as crazed Pirate fans looking for any possible angle to get another victory, we believe an advance scout hired by the Pirates would help the team win.
And so many of us are dying to see a few more wins in 2010.