I was lucky enough to speak to Sandy Alderson privately for 10-15 minutes last week about a number of different topics. Unfortunately, no audio for this chat as we were walking back to the stadium from the minor league fields but there's some interesting stuff in here nonetheless:
- In terms of his preferred player valuation methods, the old standard of on-base ability came up of course, which he pointed out he looks for even over power. In terms of the process, he likes to cast a wide net using a couple of general tools like OBP or WHIP and continue to drill down using more subjective things like scouting reports or power potential to thin the group.
- When asked about more in-depth SABR-metrics Alderson stated that though he certainly keeps tabs on the cutting edge stuff, he doesn't regularly utilize the newer, extremely high-level statistics stating that sometimes you can 'lose the forest for the trees.'
- I asked about guys like IF Justin Turner and RHP Manny Alvarez in terms of the balance between fielding the 'best 25' vs. optimizing transactional flexibility (ie options, waivers, etc) when making roster decisions. He stated that things like options will be taken into account pretty heavily as it's not just about the 25-man roster but also the depth you can accumulate -- and hold on to -- in the minors. And so if sending a guy like Turner down means keeping a Rule 5 draftee like Brad Emaus then that's going to be considered. Sounds pretty obvious but this was clearly not a strength of the previous regime. Also, this is a big reason why I see Brad Emaus as a near-lock to make the team.
- On the Rule 5 Draft, Sandy said he deferred a lot to the Toronto group -- Former Jays GM JP Ricciardi and a number of former Jays scouts -- when deciding to take Emaus with their first pick as they had obviously seen a lot of him and everyone was impressed with his mix of patience and power. As for Beato, he was another guy that many in the organization were familiar with who they felt he was a good mix of stuff -- he specifically mentioned the velocity -- and major league readiness. He also outlined a June Draft-light methodology when discussing the course of action for the Rule 5 Draft, emphasizing that the potential importance of the event should not be downplayed.