Two pairs of eyes, every guy they draft
From Jonah Keri’s Q&A with the Yankees’ Mark Newman over at Baseball Prospectus
If there are 50 rounds in the draft, you need to focus on a usable number of rounds, since the players in the late rounds are long shots. So you can look at the top three rounds for the cross-checker, since thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the focus of his job. Then you might look at the top five or six rounds for area scouts, where thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s still a reasonable chance that prospects will emerge.
To quote myself, writing about the massive buildup of the Bavasi-Fontaine group operation:
By putting more people on the ground, investing heavily in area scouts, cross-checkers, and so on, they know more about every person theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re looking at in the draft than their opposition. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s amazingly valuable information. We can talk a little about the depth/breadth distinction at some point (Rob Neyer wrote a really good column about this IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d like to dig up and revisit). It makes your picks more valuable than another teamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s. If youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re drafting a junior college guy in the 10th round that three good eyes have seen, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re much more likely to turn that into a player than essentially flipping a coin between single-scout reports.
I’ve been way down on the off-season, but it’s worth remembering that there are good reasons to be happy in the long-term. Advantages like this aren’t going to start showing up for another two years, but it should happen, and it should be sweet.