Comments on: A Behind the Numbers Look at Jameson Taillon’s 2012 Season Your best source for news on the Pittsburgh Pirates and their minor league system. Sun, 16 Nov 2014 11:52:00 +0000 hourly 1 By: Lee Young Sun, 19 Aug 2012 12:34:00 +0000 I felt the debate was just as informative as the article…lol

By: Tim Williams Sat, 18 Aug 2012 17:44:00 +0000 No worries. I’m just trying to point out the difference. Articles on the main part of the site are more news driven. The purpose of this article was to explain what is going on with Taillon’s season and what might have led to his numbers at various points in the year. It’s not really meant to draw a conclusion, or be the final word. It’s just pointing out what’s happening in his development.

Specifically in this case, Taillon has the stuff, but has been struggling with confidence and decision making, which has led to poor numbers. And recently he’s done a better job with that, which started a turnaround his last 4-5 games. Whether that continues remains to be seen. It could carry over to Double-A, or it could revert back to him throwing his pitches without confidence. But right now, he’s shown progression in that area.
On the other side, the blogs section is for personal opinions. Those can be based on numbers, or behind the scenes information, but they’re just the opinion of one player. When I’m writing my First Pitch articles, or when Randy is writing an article, those are just the opinion of the writer. But stuff on the site isn’t opinionated. It’s meant to provide a look at the system without personal opinions mixed in. Sometimes I write stuff that I don’t personally agree with, such as when a few scouts like a player more than I do, or dislike a player that I’m higher on.

I think a prime example of the difference between the two sections of the site would be Robbie Grossman. On the main part of the site I talked about him as someone who people were split on. Whether it was scouts, or people in the organization, there was a divide on whether he could be a starter. He didn’t have the defense for center, and didn’t have the power for the corner spots. That was the feeling on him. But one side felt that the total package was enough, while the other side felt he was more of a 4th outfielder. I was on the side that felt the total package was enough, and I expressed that on my blog. But when it came to news articles on the site, I gave consideration to both arguments, even though I only agreed with one, because that was how he was viewed in the industry.

To answer your original question on which article you should believe, I don’t know if there’s a good answer to that. I can only point out the difference in the articles. One is a personal opinion, and the other is a news story reporting on what has been going on with Taillon’s development, but not meant to draw any conclusions.

By: RandyLinville Sat, 18 Aug 2012 14:27:00 +0000 No sweat, Lee. I’m a fan of healthy debate.

By: Lee Young Sat, 18 Aug 2012 13:18:00 +0000 Tim/Randy….I didn’t mean to get you two into a battle of words…but it was very informative. Just another reason this is the best site for Pirate news!!

By: szielinski Sat, 18 Aug 2012 02:32:00 +0000 So, you wrote a journalistic piece instead of a analytical piece meant to get to the last word on the subject.

Nothing wrong with that.

By: Tim Williams Sat, 18 Aug 2012 01:14:00 +0000 That doesn’t really make sense, saying an opinion is going to be more positive than negative. It’s a blanket statement, when truthfully each situation is different. It kind of implies that they shouldn’t issue more positive statements than negative statements. I think it’s easier to just look at each situation individually and asking whether you trust that situation, rather than trying to make sure the amount of positive statements on one side match the number of negative statements on the other.

By: RandyLinville Sat, 18 Aug 2012 01:05:00 +0000 If you want to look at only the last ten games, then, yes, his ERA is better but his peripherals are worse – fewer whiffs per nine and more walks per nine compared to his season stats. Is that improvement?

You are right – it isn’t only black and white. But it is always going to be verbally more positive than negative.

By: Tim Williams Sat, 18 Aug 2012 00:48:00 +0000 What about his last ten starts? He’s got an ERA under 3 in that time. He’s showing improvement. It’s all about development. He’s made some strides this year. This is the first time he’s had to pitch late in the game, every five days, for a full season. He’s using his changeup more. And most importantly, he’s getting to the point where he’s trusting his pitches.
The problem with looking at his season stats is that they’re quickly obsolete. He’s not the pitcher he was when he went through that rough stretch in late May and June. He’s not even the pitcher he was at this time last month. The season numbers show what he’s done. And overall you want to see better. But the overall season numbers don’t say anything about what kind of pitcher he is today, because they don’t tell how he’s progressing.
As for the organization expressing concern, I think you’re looking at it in a black and white scenario. Like there’s some point where they’d just say “we’re disappointed” and nothing else. That’s not the best approach with prospects. Prospects are always developing. There’s always something to work on. There’s always an adjustment that could be made. They usually point that out, focusing on what players need to improve on. It’s not as easy as a black and white analysis of disappointed or not disappointed.
Two comments on the quotes. First of all, with scouts I typically use their information to back up what I’ve seen and what I’ve been told from the organization. Things like the grade on Taillon’s changeup, or how his curve looks this year were things I heard from scouts, and the organization.
Second, not every comment from the organization makes it to articles. In some cases they’ll talk about a prospect who is improving or playing well. Except the numbers don’t match that, and what I’ve seen doesn’t match that, and what scouts have said doesn’t match that. So I don’t include the comment.

You can write these comments off in a “they have to say this, even if it’s not true” manner. But I wouldn’t just include information if it was only them saying it. I’m going to go off what I’ve seen, and what I’ve been told from people outside of the organization. If it matches what they’re saying, I’ll write about it.

Also, I’ve been talking to Taillon for the last two years. He’s very accountable, and he says when he’s doing something wrong. Most players in my experience are the same way. They’ll say they’re not playing well, when they’re not playing well. If they’re not showing improvement, they’re not going to say they’re showing improvement. And everything the organization said, Taillon also said.

There’s no guarantees here. This is just telling what’s going on. Taillon’s biggest issue this year has been his decision making and his confidence. He’s wasn’t throwing his pitches as well as he could, because he wasn’t fully trusting the pitch. That has changed in the last 4-5 starts. He’s learning what pitch to throw, when to throw it, and he’s trusting that it will be effective. And that’s what this article is pointing out: what is going on behind the numbers.

By: RandyLinville Sat, 18 Aug 2012 00:23:00 +0000 Of course there is reason to be disappointed. He hasn’t dominated. Wouldn’t the organization rather see his ERA a run lower with another three or four whiffs per nine innings? Of course they would. Wouldn’t you rather have him put up numbers like Cody Buckel at Myrtle Beach or Jose Fernandez at Jupiter did this year in A+ at roughly the same age? This path of development could be exactly what he needs to develop into a stud pitcher. Time will tell. And I’m certainly pulling for him.

Playing devil’s advocate, at what point – maybe a 5.00 ERA with 5 BB/9? – would the organization openly express concern to the media? Other than cases where it is completely obvious (like Allie), how often does an organization actually come out and say they are disappointed in someone’s progress? I’d venture almost never.

My post was based on stats. Your post is based on the opinions of people in the organization and they have nothing to gain by being negative and everything to lose by being negative. I take both at face value. The stats aren’t telling the whole story. Neither are the opinions of people who are so heavily invested in Taillon’s success (I just re-read the post and didn’t see any quotes from an opposing scout).

Prospects miss. It happens every year even as organizations tell the fans and the media that all is well. Hopefully Taillon won’t miss.

By: Tim Williams Fri, 17 Aug 2012 23:43:00 +0000 In response to your 100% certainty that no one would say they are disappointed with his season, I’d ask if there’s a reason they should be disappointed with his season?

I’m not trying to knock your post here. Other than scanning through it, I haven’t really read it to see what you’ve said, other than just the general message that his stats are disappointing. But these two articles aren’t “in the same bucket”. One article is a person’s opinion based on nothing more than numbers in high-A. The other article has information about what is actually going on, based on conversations (both on and off the record) with people in the organization, plus conversations with scouts from other organizations, and personally watching Taillon develop since he entered the system.