BOSTON — Everyone says they use analytics, and you need to combine scouting reports and numbers and all that. Take some of this, take some of that. Every. Body. Says it. Front office, coaches, etc.
When it comes to analytics on the field, the trick is to have people who can communicate the information well, make everything digestible for coaches and players and so forth. But ultimately, it’s quite difficult to tell from afar how well this occurs behind the scenes — particularly when it’s not exactly clear what’s going on behind the scenes everywhere else.
Yeah, you’re doing it, but could you be doing more of it, or applying it more efficiently? Doing it better?
As new Red Sox manager Alex Cora shapes his coaching staff, there’s tangible evidence the Sox were lagging.
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They’ve hired former Sox infielder Ramon Vazquez to be a “liaison between the major league club’s advance scouting and statistical analysis efforts, for the purpose of presenting information to players and coaches.”
Another ex-big leaguer, Alex Cintron, filled that role behind the scenes in Houston, Cora explained Wednesday.
“He was right next to our advance [scouting] team and he was a filter and a guy that helped the players connect with the advanced team,” Cora said Wednesday of Cintron. “There was certain information that players sometimes get scared of, but the way we communicate the information to the players was very positive and Alex was a very big part of it. I always envisioned my staff to have somebody like that.
“Ramon, we played winter ball together since 1996. We see the game the same way. We were taught the game by the same coaches. I talk about Sandy Alomar Sr., and Ramon sees the game the same way.”
Ex-players who are up to speed fill this type of role well because they speak the players’ and coaches’ language.
Vazquez is going to be working closely with Steve Langone, who is now the team’s manager for advance scouting. J.T. Watkins is the advance scouting assistant.
What’s next for the Sox? They should consider that the Astros have had similar positions to this one in their minor league system for a couple years now.