As a couple guys here have noted already, a significant portion of Team FanGraphs descended (literally, via iron bird) this past weekend upon the waterless dreamland that is Phoenix, Arizona.
The result was a super-good time, as we got to watch a whole bunch of baseball (including the Royals, twice!) and make a bunch of incredibly nerdy jokes that made on-lookers very jealous. If I have one complaint, it’s that my deluxe hotel room looked absolutely nothing like my mother’s basement, a fact I found incredibly disconcerting.
One thing that this past weekend allowed me to do is to get a better sense of the writers here — what greases their respective wheels, what gets their respective goats. It occurs to me that this sort of information might be of interest to our Wide Readership. Thus, I present here the scouting report for Team FanGraphs (or, for that portion of Team FanGraphs that made the trip).
How to evaluate a sabermetric blogger, though? That’s the question I asked myself — and which I think I’ve answered adequately, if not excellently. With deference to our scouting friends, I’ve decided to embrace the Five Tools framework. Here are the tools I believe are essential to the sabermetric blogger:
Number Stuff (NS) – Encompasses a few skills, including: database skills, math skills, player valuation skills, and (duh) nunchuck skills. I call it “stuff,” on account of my own rating in this tool is pretty bad — about a 30 or 35, probably.
Nerd Cred (NC) – Pale skin and glasses are important factors here, as is the possession of an advanced degree or some other nerdy non-baseball specialization.
Baseballing Cred (BC) – A measure of actual baseballing knowledge. A high-ish rating requires not only an encyclopedic knowledge of major leaguers, but also actual knowledge from the various horses’ mouths. For example, if you think Eric Byrnes will get starts against lefties, that’ll net you a 50 rating. If Tony Frigging Blengino tells you that Eric Byrnes will get starts against lefties, that’s closer to a 70 or 75.
Range (RA) – Maybe or maybe not overlapping with Nerd Cred, this measures the blogicator’s comfort in dealing with topics non-baseball. In particular, pop culture references are important here.
Want To (WT) – An assessment of the writer’s industry. Making multiple daily posts — that, or contributing to multiple sources — will help the blogicator’s rating in this category. The WT rating are generally high around here.
For each tool, I use the standard 20-80 scouting scale, a brief explanation of which you can read here via Erik Manning’s Prosect Primer at Future Redbirds:
The 20-80 Scale is a tool that is used to measure various aspects of a given player’s tools. The tools they measure would obviously vary by group. 50 would be considered to be MLB average, while a “plus” tool would be any tool that is graded at 60, and “plus-plus” would be rated 70 or higher.
It’s important to remember that (a) 50 is a good score, as it suggests that the writer in question has league-average skills for the tool in question and that (b) many FG-ers score in the above-average range because, well, they write for FanGraphs.
And with that, I present the much-ballyhooed Team FanGraphs Scouting Report. Mind you, these numbers aren’t set in stone (and Moore’s especially could take a dip if he keeps belittling my math skills), but intended more as a first pass.
Dave Allen, Heat Mapper
NS NC BC RA WT 75 70 55 70 70
David Appelman, Dark Overlord
NS NC BC RA WT 80 80 80 80 80
Dave Cameron, Sworn Enemy
NS NC BC RA WT 70 65 75 40 80
Matthew Carruth, Ace of Database
NS NC BC RA WT 80 65 55 60 70
Matt Klaassen, Philosophizer
NS NC BC RA WT 65 70 55 70 70
Brian Joura, Strong and Silent Type
NS NC BC RA WT NA NA NA NA 80
Jack Moore, Math Snob
NS NC BC RA WT 75 60 55 65 70
Patrick Newman, NPB Expert
NS NC BC RA WT 55 60 70 70 70
Bryan Smith, Prospect Maven
NS NC BC RA WT 50 40 70 NA 70
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