Thursday, March 13, 2014
Searching for Impact Talent
Impact talent is one of the most misunderstood concepts in prospecting. How much there is, the distribution of it and how it is acquired. Most teams are carefully nurturing yoots you can count on one hand.
A common refrain about the Giants is they are lacking "impact". They've gone back to their ninja ways, they're all hopped up on pitchers. There are two things here: tinstaap, and the fact that even though fans and analysts should know better by now, hitting still rules a lot of discussions. Mainly its all about draft position. All about draft position, all the time.
But there is a new guy on the block, his name is Tony Blengino, the guy who was apparently the guy behind the curtain in Jack Z's land of Oz up there in Seattle. He don't have a gig, so he's writing for the stats nerds crowd over at fangraphs. Here is his #16-30 farm rankings based on "Impact Talent".
He gets it. This is a great ranking. You have teams that are way too overhyped in saber circles getting dinged for not getting their talent lined up. You have the Giants at #18 and the entire 2013 SJ staff is mentioned. A shout-out to Clayton Blackburn and a warning about Chris Stratton.
If you want to see just how few "impact talent" guys there are in the minors... just read the series, look at the guys in all-caps. The Giants are grinding along just fine. They take their shots, just like every other team in the majors. And they're actually doing quite well. To have a former MLB executive recognize that is a good indication of some of the things I've been blathering about on yougottalikethesekids!