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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Nats and VORP

I was tipped to this article by Will Carroll. The fascinating paragraph follows:

The Nationals, too, are deploying more tools and ideas. Over the weekend, a group of the club's statistical analysts -- "I'll call them our 'Mod Squad,' " Kasten said -- made a presentation to scouts detailing trends in the draft, using such modern stats as "VORP" (Value Over Replacement Player), the kind of analysis that can make old-school scouts shudder.

It would be interesting to see just how they're applying VORP to amateur players... In any case this is just the kind of thing I was thinking about when I wrote the following in an interview with Baseball Digest Daily last year.

It seems to me that one of the ways in which a team could gain an advantage is to more tightly marry their statistical analysis to their scouting departments in a kind of Hegelian Synthesis. It's just my sense of things (being an outsider after all), but I would guess that most scouts still have little understanding of some of the core sabermetric principles and conclusions. For example, in a roundtable discussion Alan Schwarz had with Eddie Bane (Angels) and Gary Hughes (Cubs) published in 2005, it was clear that Hughes had never even heard of Defense Independent Pitching Statistics (DIPS). While I know that everybody can't know everything, and I'm not throwing Hughes under the bus, I can't imagine that it wouldn't help any team to have their staffs educated on the big picture items like this.

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