write:Jeremy Brown made thescouting lists just. His name appears on the last page; he is a lesser member of the rabble regardedby the scouts as at best low-level minor league players.

whoever he is
to Jeremy Brown
whoever he is
Billy Beane
in thescouting mind
had gone from the remotely plausible to the ridiculous. Jeremy Brown made thescouting lists
just. His name appears on the last page; he is a lesser member of the rabble regardedby the scouts as
at best
low-level minor league players. He’s a senior catcher at the University ofAlabama. Only three of the old scouts saw him and none of them rated him even close to a bigleaguer. Each of them has about a thousand players ranked above him.Jeremy Brown is a bad body catcher
says the most vocal of the old scouts.A bad body who owns the Alabama record books
says Pitter.He’s the only player in the history of the SEC with three hundred hits and two hundred walks
looking up from his computer.It’s what he doesn’t say that is interesting. No one in big league baseball cares how often a collegeplayers walks; Paul cares about it more than just about anything else. He doesn’t explain why walksare important. He doesn’t explain that he has gone back and studied which amateur hitters made it tothe big leagues
and which did not
and why. He doesn’t explain that the important traits in a baseballplayer were not all equally important. That foot speed
fielding ability
even raw power tended to bedramatically overpriced. That the ability to control the strike zone was the greatest indicator of futuresuccess. That the number of walks a hitter drew was the best indicator of whether he understood howto control the strike zone. Paul doesn’t say that if a guy has a keen eye at the plate in college
he’lllikely keep that keen eye in the pros. He doesn’t explain that plate discipline might be an innate trait
rather than something a free-swinging amateur can be taught in the pros. He doesn’t talk about all theother statistically based insights—the overwhelming importance of on-base percentage
thesignificance of pitches seen per plate appearance—that he uses to value precisely a hitter’scontribution to a baseball offense. He doesn’t stress the importance of generalizing from a large bodyof evidence as opposed to a small one. He doesn’t explain anything because Billy doesn’t want him to.Billy was forever telling Paul that when you try to explain probability theory to baseball guys
youjust end up confusing them.This kid wears a large pair of underwear
says another old scout. It’s the first time in two days thatthis old scout has spoken. He enjoys
the unusual attention accorded the silent man in a bigmeeting. The others in the room can only assume that if the scout was moved to speak it must bebecause he had something earth-shatteringly important to say. He doesn’t.Okay
says Billy.It’s soft body
says the most vocal old scout. A fleshy kind of a body.Oh
you mean like Babe Ruth? says Billy. Everyone laughs
the guys on Billy’s side of the roommore happily than the older scouts across from him.I don’t know
says the scout. A body like that can be low energy.


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