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An unprecedented look inside the world of baseball scouting and evaluation from two of the industry's top prospect analysts
For the modern Major League team, player evaluation is a complex, multi-pronged, high-tech pursuit. But far from becoming obsolete in this environment—as Michael Lewis' Moneyball once forecast—the role of the scout in today's game has evolved and even expanded. Rather than being the antithesis of a data-driven approach, scouting now represents an essential analytical component in a team's arsenal.
Future Value is a thorough dive into baseball's changing world of talent acquisition and development, a world with its own language, methods, metrics, and madness. From rural high schools to elite amateur showcases, from the back fields of spring training to major league draft rooms, Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel break down the key systems and techniques used to assess talent. It's a process that has moved beyond the quintessential stopwatches and radar guns to include statistical models, countless measurable indicators, and a broader international reach.
Practical and probing, discussing wide-ranging topics from tool grades to front office politics, this is an illuminating exploration of how to watch baseball and see the future.
About the Author
Eric Longenhagen is the lead prospects analyst for FanGraphs. Kiley McDaniel covers prospects for ESPN and previously wrote for FanGraphs. He has worked as a scout and in the front office for major league organizations. Keith Law is a Senior Baseball Writer for the Athletic. He’s covered baseball since 2006. Before that he was a Special Assistant to the General Manager for the Toronto Blue Jays. He is the author of Smart Baseball: The Story Behind the Old Stats That Are Ruining the Game, the New Ones That Are Running It, and the Right Way to Think About Baseball and The Inside Game: Bad Calls, Strange Moves, and What Baseball Behavior Teaches Us About Ourselves.