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Musings From The Scou Ting Dynasty


Alas no, this post is not about Angel Villanova. Or Lincecum. Or Loaiza. Goodness gracious, does anyone play baseball and still obey the law? You know you jaywalk, Mark Ellis. Admit it -- just admit it! I'd make a terrific district attorney.

Are you currently in the process of trying to avoid thanksgiving leftovers? The best way is to quit cold turkey. That's not funny on so many levels.

Don't jump! OK do, and we can talk about scouting, not "metrics" and not "eyeballing," but that third way...Intrigued? Well, jump anyway and let's talk...

When deciding whether an A's player is going to be any good, I use a third method besides examining the numbers and checking what my eyes tell me: I listen to what the A's say and do about him.

For example, I have been bearish about Ryan Sweeney's ability to develop power (and by "bearish" I mean I can't bear to look at his HR totals), because the minor league track record says he never has hit for power and my eyes see an all-fields swing that can't hit HRs the other way. Yet the A's clearly seem to believe Sweeney will develop power and it's not just "happy talk" spin. They have said, consistently, they believe in Sweeney's ability to develop power, they dealt Carlos Gonzalez, and they are building their next contender with Sweeney at the core.

This affects my opinion. If the A's truly believe Sweeney will develop power, and are putting their money where their mouth is, that's the opinion of people who have access to more information than I do, people who see him more, people who know more about scouting than I do, people who have more riding on the accuracy of their beliefs than I have on mine.

Now of course it could be that the A's have no such belief about Sweeney -- that he's who they have so they're talking him up, or that they think he can be an excellent corner OFer without hitting for power. Who knows? My point isn't about Sweeney in particular. It's about all situations where I can use the A's opinion to help form my own.

The A's think Wallace might be able to stick at 3B. The A's felt it made sense to put Cahill into the rotation in 2009. At draft time, the A's thought more highly of Weeks than of Wallace. The A's feel Souza is worth protecting on the 40-man roster. The A's think Rajai Davis can hit well enough to start in CF. Rather than ever just "disagree," I always try, first, to ask myself, "Why?" Because there's often an answer that involves more complex insight, or  more information, than I have or have access to.

Should "the A's believe..." be a "top 3" consideration when forming your own scouting opinion? I weigh it pretty highly. But then I'm in the position of knowing I'm rarely the smartest person in the room. Right, Poochini? Cindi?