I have this friend who is always behind the times. It’s as though she’s five years behind the cutting edge of pop culture and general interests. I know that sounds as though I’m being snobbish and it would be if I was writing about one isolated event, but her entire like is being lived as though it’s 2005.
Recently, she asked me if I’d ever been to a tapas restaurant before.
Anyway, I don’t bring her up solely for the purpose of mocking. It’s just that with new General Manager Dan Duquette’s latest move in Baltimore, I was briefly reminded of her. You see, the Orioles are shaking up their scouting department, essentially dissolving the team’s professional scouting department, and reassigning those scouts to the amateur side.
It’s basically the opposite of the first move that Alex Anthopoulos did when he became General Manager of the Toronto Blue Jays.
As you get more video and statistical analysis on a player, the longer they’re in professional baseball, it’s not as vital to have them seen by eyes, professional eyes. Players establish a record of their work. Some of the trends that the statistics track, they’re not trends that professional scouts would normally see in a short look.
I agree with every thing that Duquette says there, but I don’t see it as a justification for getting rid of pro scouts. As far as trends go, you could say the exact same thing about statistics.
Yes, we use numbers a lot on this blog, but that’s not because we discount scouting reports. It’s simply because we’re not scouts and nor are we capable, try as we might, to watch every single game of baseball that’s played in a given season.
If Duquette feels as though there’s a lack of value being added to the organization from his pro scouting department, get new scouts.
Considering how much of a Major League roster is constructed out of players who didn’t come up through their team’s system and the very fact that you compete against other organizations on a nightly basis in the summer, I can’t understand why you wouldn’t want as much information as you can possibly get about players on other teams.