Rates & Barrels - The Top Five MLB Teams for the Next Five Seasons & Ronel Blanco Makes History!

Episode Date: April 2, 2024

Britt Ghiroli returns to Rates & Barrels (regularly on Tuesdays, all season!) with Eno and DVR to discuss Ronel Blanco's no-hitter, and the start of a new chapter in Baltimore with an ownership change... accompanying the organization's rise toward multi-year success. The trio then discusses the five MLB teams best position for the next five seasons. Is the Astros' window coming to a close, or will Dana Brown's front office begin to thrive in the first-year player draft? Plus, if there are a consensus three teams that belong in the group of five, which two teams are the most deserving of the remaining spots. Rundown 1:40 Ronel Blanco Throws a No-Hitter 8:36 Yainer Diaz's Big Night At and Behind the Plate 11:44 The Next Chapter of Orioles Baseball 22:21 Which Organizations Are Best Positioned for the Next Five Years? 30:42 Agreement About the Dodgers, Braves & Orioles? 36:52 Buying Britt's Case for the Rangers? 45:01 Eno's Ideas for the Fifth Spot 56:54 Getting Buy-In with New Voices Follow Eno on Twitter: @enosarris Follow DVR on Twitter: @DerekVanRiper Follow Britt on Twitter: @Britt_Ghiroli e-mail: ratesandbarrels@gmail.com Join our Discord: https://discord.gg/FyBa9f3wFe Join us on Fridays at 1p ET/10a PT for our livestream episodes! Subscribe to The Athletic for just $2/month for the first year: theathletic.com/ratesandbarrels Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Discussion (0)
Starting point is 00:00:00 Welcome to Rates and Barrels. It's Tuesday, April 2nd. Derek Van Riper, Enos Saris, Britt Chiroli, the gang is back together. Brit, welcome back to Rates and Barrels. Are you guys regretting this decision immediately? Cause it took a half an hour for me to set up a computer. Yeah, we took the long road to getting the show started today. It happens, it's tech, it's just life. I thought it'd be my fault. I'm here in San Diego.
Starting point is 00:00:39 I've got this on a dresser. I've got like a light bulb that's blinding me in my eye instead of a ring light, but we made it happen. We're here. We did. Don't stare at the light. It will make you go crazy if you try that. On this episode, a lot of ground to cover.
Starting point is 00:00:58 Britt has been writing a lot of great stories since we last spoke. I think our last episode was a 3-0 show episode back in the winter, after the winter meetings, maybe like January or something. A few things have happened in baseball since then. We've got some big picture stuff we're going to get to. René Blanco threw a no hitter on Monday.
Starting point is 00:01:16 So we're going to start there in just a few minutes. We're going to dig into the next chapter of Orioles baseball, and then take a look league wide and discuss which organizations are in the best position for success over the next five years. So a lot of ground to cover today and a reminder if you have not joined our Discord yet, you can do that. Get the link in the show description. Let's get startedbable no hitters that we will ever see. Ronel Blanco gets the 17th no hitter in Houston Astros history that includes the postseason. The 17th, the Padres have won.
Starting point is 00:01:56 Yeah, they got one. It was recent, right? It was Musgrove. Yeah, Musgrove, yeah. Ouch. Where'd this come from? I know we thought Ronel Blanco was kind of interesting
Starting point is 00:02:07 as a fill in starter, but a no hitter in his eighth big league start is just ridiculous. And this isn't a young guy. This guy's been in the org for a long time. Who's just finally getting this opportunity.
Starting point is 00:02:19 Yeah, he's 30. You know, so it is interesting that Stuff Plus always said his change-up was his best pitch and what we saw yesterday was the sort of coming of age story of his change-up. I mean, it was really was the pitch that separated himself last night. Look at that bute. Let's see it again. Oh, Vlad Guerrero swung and missed that thing, that same thing three times.
Starting point is 00:02:46 And you had a quote from somebody after the game about the change up. But I would say the word of caution is that, you know, we've had people, I forget there was like a Rockies, like Rockies Cardinals pitcher that threw a no hitter with like six walks. I mean, Edwin Jackson threw one like that, and he probably played for both of those teams at some point.
Starting point is 00:03:11 It was like 10 walks, wasn't it? With Edwin Jackson, it was something really high. And I'm not saying that Blanco did do that, but I'm just saying that Blanco has in the words of the sort of scouting community, 2080 is the scale. There are people that tell me that Blanco has 20 command. Um, and so this wasn't necessarily a six walk, uh, no hitter, but it was maybe going to maybe when we look back at the history of Blanco, it'll be like the game he had his best command. And that's probably why he hasn't thrown the change of as much
Starting point is 00:03:45 because it's harder to command. You can see that thing kind of just dives. That's probably why, you know, he's taken it so long to become a starting pitcher. So the, I'm not saying, he's always had kind of had the stuff. I just think, I don't know what the command is going to look like going forward. The pitch mix was just so different because the previous opportunities
Starting point is 00:04:05 Ranelle Blanco has had in the big leagues, again, mostly as a reliever, occasionally as a starter, he's been forcing him or slider 90% of the time combined. So the change up was this sort of extra thing that you're probably right. It just wasn't something he felt good throwing. Even though your model, the Stuff Plus model liked that pitch. And it's interesting because it was Isaiah Kiner-Falefa, who after the game said,
Starting point is 00:04:28 I felt like he had his slider going really well, and that's why he's had so much success. He was able to blend the four seamer and slider. I think the one thing we weren't prepared for was the change up. He busted out a change up that he's never really used before. That caught us off guard a little bit, and he was able to make pitches in big spots. Hats off to him. I mean, the change up, he threw it more than anything else. He threw it 36 times pitches in big spots. Hats off to him. I mean, the change up, he threw it more than anything else.
Starting point is 00:04:47 He threw it 36 times out of 105 pitches. That was his main pitch that he went to, but he split everything up almost evenly between the change, the slider, and the four seamer. And the cruising speed was like 93.6 on the fast ball. So it wasn't ridiculous velocity, but it was just enough to really keep a good Blue Jays lineup, at least a good top half of a Blue Jays lineup from finding a way to get it done. So I just,
Starting point is 00:05:11 I didn't see anything like this coming. I thought a handful of spots starts, you know, it'd be a useful option. And the Astros have done this before, Britt. This is kind of in their DNA as an organization to find unheralded international free agents, Framber Valdez, Christian Javier, Luis Garcia, Brian Abreu, René Blanco, guys that are a little bit older than most international free agent signings who end up signing for a very small bonus as well. They tend to develop these guys exceptionally well. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:05:42 And I think a lot of credit goes to Oz Ocampo, who was a big part of this and left Houston because it seemed like there was simply no room for him to continue to advance his career. And now it's part of the Marlins and a front office that is trying to turn the corner here a little bit. But I think when you look at what Ocampo did and you look at what Houston has been so successful at, it's like you said, they're not getting the Juan Soto's and the Fernando Tatis's of these classes. They're getting the guys who nobody has heard of who is on no one's radar. And then all of a sudden they're in the big leagues and they're doing what Blanco did last night. I love so many elements of this story. The fact that this
Starting point is 00:06:24 guy worked part time at a car wash, right, to help support his mom who was there watching this game, super special moment. You know, the fact that he probably wasn't going to be in the starting rotation if Justin Verlander didn't have injuries, if they didn't have to do some shuffling around, right? He wouldn't have been a starter if GM Dana Brown didn't say, hey, let's try this guy in the rotation. As you said, DVR, he had been a reliever for a good chunk of his career. So, you know, we probably will look back on this and say,
Starting point is 00:06:53 it's one of the high water marks for a guy like this, but the resiliency, the fact that he came out of nowhere, he's 30 years old, this is what makes baseball great, right? And you saw it after the game, the Blue Jays were kind of reeling, like, okay, we prepared for Houston to be good. But you could tell they were like, what? Blanco, right? Like as a hitter, you know, you know, you're going to go after the Verlanders and the Scherzers and know you have to be extra locked in. I think probably around that fifth or sixth inning, you looked up and you were like, you saw some of the Blue Jays hitters just
Starting point is 00:07:22 be like, it was on their faces, like what is going on? How can we not hit this guy? Right. And it was just really remarkable to see. I think this is something that, you know, if he has that same game later in the season when guys are a little more locked in, is it more difficult? Absolutely. But, you know, take nothing away from this guy who I think is due with a kid any day now. He might not even have pitched the game. It was like him or Hunter Brown, right? They were looking at kind of switching, switching them up.
Starting point is 00:07:50 It might not be Hunter Brown, but there was somebody else that they were maybe not even going to start him this game. So, so many cool elements that are going around that go into this kind of a moment. It was, you know, who had on their bingo card first no hitter of the season, Renell Blanco, who even has Renell Blanco on their bingo card? Pretty much nobody outside of Houston and a few deep league fantasy owners. That's pretty much it.
Starting point is 00:08:16 Uh, as far as the interest in Blanco goes now, it was the first win of the season for the Astros coming off of a four game sweep at the hands of the Yankees. So it was the first win for Joe Espada as the new manager. So that's kind of an extra little footnote. And the other thing that I thought was kind of interesting, this is from Jessica Brand on Twitter. Yiner Diaz is the first catcher since at least 1901 to have caught a no hitter and hit multiple home runs in the same game.
Starting point is 00:08:42 Interesting because one thing we looked at with this team was the loss of Martin Maldonado and the impact he might have on the pitching staff. Right. Because there are some questions about Diaz defensively. Was he good enough defender? Is he a good enough game caller for him? The first time through the rotation to lead a guy like Blanco in a no hitter is a pretty nice notch in his favor as a yeah, I can handle this job. hitter is a pretty nice notch in his favor as a yeah, I can handle this job. And it's not like it came with an easy an easy situation where like you're coaxing Justin
Starting point is 00:09:13 Verlander through a no hitter like Verlander could call his own pitches. You know, Diaz isn't isn't isn't working with that. He's working with someone who is like kind of trying new things out and you know becoming a starter At this point in his career and they did something interesting. They did not throw a single fastball in a 2-0 count Last night Blanco through all change-ups and sliders and so that's why I think a little bit of what IKF is It rings true for me that makes me sort of understand I think the the command maybe he has 20 fastball command, but maybe he actually has Average slider command and so maybe Blanco's way out is just to throw the slider when he needs a strike
Starting point is 00:09:54 Maybe he can actually come, you know command the change-up better than than the fastball So maybe the fastball just becomes he's just an pitching backwards guy. So Diaz shepherding through that and then hitting a pitch that was like four inches above the top of the strike zone for a homer to like, uh, yeah, Diaz was, was pretty, pretty out there. And, and, you know, I think that some people were wondering about how, and I, even myself about how he was pitched late last year and how his aggressiveness was used against him. But if he can hit pitches for home runs that are three inches above the strike zone, then
Starting point is 00:10:29 he can live outside the zone a little bit. You know, it may not be great for his long term career, but he's going to be one of these guys. You know, Al Thube has been hitting homers from his chin to his knees to, you know, his whole career. So maybe there's something that they can do in development there in Houston that's helped these guys get to that point.
Starting point is 00:10:53 Yeah, I think the aggressive approach for Diaz works because the hit tool is good enough. You're right about those longer term concerns, but you can worry about that three, four, five years down the road. It looks like they have a very nice catcher behind the plate. One that's a well above average bat in Yanner Diaz. Last couple of things in this changeup.
Starting point is 00:11:10 It was really a whiff and a weak contact machine, right? It wasn't just that he was getting swings and misses on it. And the release points on everything Blanco was throwing looked really consistent. I was looking at that chart too, like you really couldn't get any visual cues that the change-up was there So I think that was part of what made that pitch so effective only four hard-hit balls in fair territory Last night for the Jays, so really good work by Ronel Blanco getting that no-hitter Let's move on to some other big picture stuff
Starting point is 00:11:39 Britt's been writing a lot about the Orioles recently because a lot's been happening with the Orioles recently. They opened the season with the Angels, took two of three, and we saw Jordan Westberg hit a walk-off homer against the Royals on Monday. So they're in this new era of Orioles baseball because of an ownership change. David Rubenstein has taken over as the principal owner of this team, Britt, and it just feels like he's doing and saying all the things you want your owner to do and say if you're a fan of a team. Yes. And I want to be clear at one point, I think my last six articles were about the Orioles like I am not going back to the Orioles beat. I know people were kind of excited, wondering, maybe some people like,
Starting point is 00:12:21 oh, God, no, not her again. Not going back to the real speed. But I do live here. I think they're probably one of the biggest stories in baseball. Certainly shaping up to be a special season or it looks like it in Camden Yards. And like you said, Derek, I mean, I was there for the press conference. I actually had the fortune of talking to David Rubenstein before he took over as owner. And I think when you look at this group, it's important to remember
Starting point is 00:12:45 that the bar is so low because of what they had, right? With Peter Angelos and with his sons, with John Angelos, who was mostly in control of the day-to-day activities. The Orioles went from a team that 10 years ago was in the middle of the payroll, like flirting in that 10 to 15 mark, for the most part, to all of a sudden in the bottom two or three. And so I think, again, the bar is so low for a guy like David Rubinstein to just spend a little bit, give a deal longer than one year to a free agent pitcher, which Michaelias has never been allowed to do. I had a high ranking executive say to me on opening day, I'm so happy for Michaelias to
Starting point is 00:13:20 have a real owner. He deserves it. That says everything you need to know. And that's a little scary if you're another team, because Michaelis has built this formidable group with virtually no ownership support, right? They haven't signed anybody long-term. They haven't committed, like I said, to a free Asian picture for longer than a one-year deal since Michaelis took over. Now, a lot of that time period, they were rebuilding. But I think what you're looking at now, and Derek Earmuffs, as you know, Corbin Burns was traded. It was very
Starting point is 00:13:51 tough for the Brewers fans to take. But I think what you're looking for now is making those big acquisitions, adding a guy in July, figuring out how to keep the Orioles competitive by signing some of their young talent. And I think Rubenstein is saying all the right things. We want to win. We want to invest in this team. We want to figure out the mass and debacle. Right. We want to be something that the community is proud of. He's from here. He went to Baltimore public schools like he gets it. He gets the crabs in the old bay and the saying, oh, with the anthem.
Starting point is 00:14:22 Right. Like there's no explaining all the weird little Baltimore things to him. He is Baltimore. And I don't know if you guys saw this, but one of the other majority owners who's from New York was at the bar across the street buying beers for all the fans. Like these are simple things that earn you the goodwill.
Starting point is 00:14:39 And that's what this ownership group has done. They brought Cal Ripken Jr. in, who the Angelos family wanted nothing to do with, right? They didn't want Cal to get credit for the team. This doesn't seem to be the case with a guy like David Rubenstein. He seems to understand how important having these old Orioles from the past is and bridging them together. So I think anyone who thinks that this is going to be a Steve Cohen situation, like, no, Rubenstein is rich, but he's not a billionaire among billionaires. You know, I think he's more middle of the pack in terms of how much money he has. But I don't think the Orioles need to go on this huge spending spree. I think we can all agree. Tweak's here and there, and this team is set up
Starting point is 00:15:19 for the future. You know, maybe it's locking up Adley Rutchman. Maybe it's adding one more pitcher at the deadline, right? Maybe it's going out Adley Rutchman, maybe it's adding one more picture at the deadline, maybe it's going out and signing a player in free agency this year that's not in tier D, but is in tier A or B. So they are so close, I think, and having this new ownership group, guys, the vibe around here, like I said, I'm 20 minutes from Baltimore from the stadium, is unreal. People feel like they got their team back and they haven't felt like this in 30 years. Yeah I'm kind of interested in I've been learning some things about Peter Angeles you know upon his death and I'm kind of
Starting point is 00:15:55 interested in his legacy especially as we see Rubenstein sort of try to create his own legacy going forward and I liked what I heard from Rimsky when he was in the booth and he was talking about putting together the ownership group and he was talking about bringing together an ownership group that reflected what Baltimore looked like himself. So it was important for him to bring Grant Hill on
Starting point is 00:16:18 as an African American in a city that is like 70% African American in its core. And he was talking about just the different ways that he thinks about ownership of a team. Another thing that I heard that I really liked was he said, I don't really know that much about baseball. And so I'm gonna let Mike Elias do his thing. I know some stuff about finance
Starting point is 00:16:39 and I know some stuff about numbers, but I don't know so much about baseball. Wasn't that part of Peter Angelos' sort of why people said they weren't great owners? It was not only there's this money component, but there was a meddling component too. Wasn't there an idea that the Angelos' were trying to get involved in day-to-day, you know, day-to-day, you know,
Starting point is 00:17:06 workings of the baseball team. And then on top of that, I never knew that Peter Angelos was the only, or maybe I forgot, was the only owner that voted, didn't vote to lock out the players in 1994, and that he was like disinvited from certain ownership groups because he was seen as being too pro player. So, you know, there's things I like and things I don't like. I think is that, does that describe how people feel about Angeles? You know, looking back, I mean, was it all just super negative or, you know, were there positives and was it, was it about meddling? What, what am I, what am I misremembering about, you know, what,
Starting point is 00:17:44 what the Angeles crew might've done wrong when they about, you know, what the Angeles crew might've done wrong when they were, you know, running the organization? No, I think those are good points. I think it was a complicated legacy. And I think the farther away you get from some of the good stuff, the more people remember the bad, because you are right. I mean, think of how long ago the strike was
Starting point is 00:18:01 and, you know, everything that happened there. And also when he took over, he was seen as a savior. He took it over from a New York based like investment firm. So he was seen again, like Rubenstein, a Baltimore guy bringing the team home. He was years too. And they spent money. Yeah. They spent a lot early.
Starting point is 00:18:20 Yeah. Yes. When Peter was there, they spent money. I think really the downfall with Peter, as you mentioned, was the meddling. He would nix trades, well, the sons too. But Peter would cycle through front office people, managers. He was very George Steinbrenner-esque in that,
Starting point is 00:18:36 if he got mad or in a mood, that was it. I think the issue mostly was 2018, when John Angeles took over day-to-day operations of the team. Peter Angeles was in poor health for quite some time. Then it became pinching pennies. Then you saw that payroll, like I said, go from the middle of the pack to the bottom. Then it became like, how do we maximize our money-making abilities? And we saw John Angeles in public speaking, also not his forte, right? We saw him constantly say he was going to open the books, like someone joked around
Starting point is 00:19:09 the other day, he left and he never opened the books. He kept saying he was going to and then he sold the team. And attacked Dan Connolly, like in a press conference situation. And he was sued by his brother. And it was just a mess. The family had become a mess. It had become embarrassing. It is no surprise to me that MLB fast-tracked this sale. Were you guys surprised how fast the sale went through? I think Rob Bamford would have hand-delivered this to Baltimore himself
Starting point is 00:19:36 by running from his New York office if he had to. They wanted out, they wanted the team to be done. The mass indiscute has been a headache. Rubenstein really wants that to work. He's friends with Ted Lerner, the Lerner family who owned the nationals with Mark Lerner, obviously. I think that this is going to be better. This is going to be resolved. But certainly you can't just say everything Peter did was bad.
Starting point is 00:19:59 I think really it took a turn for the worse when John A. started to run it. And it became very apparent that he was in over his head and that it needed fresh blood. And Rubenstein said to me, he said, for years he had friends, you know, he's from the Baltimore area that he buddies, you grew up with. And they were like, please buy this team. Like you are one of the few people who can do it, you know, and you could save us. So like, he was very, well, I would have enough money to have friends that would say that to you. Exactly. I know they were like, you're the only person we know who can do this, you know?
Starting point is 00:20:29 And sure enough, he did. He did it. And, you know, I do think he gets that. He saw what went wrong here and he wants to make it right. And like I said, look for that Massen situation to get resolved like sooner rather than later. That is like one of the top to do's in terms of his operation. And also developing that area around Camden Yards. Everyone wants to be the next battery, right? Everyone wants to be the Atlanta Braves in literally everything. So I think the part of the new era of Orioles baseball that is the most fun, of course, is what's happening on the field. Like to take over this franchise, to purchase this team right now,
Starting point is 00:21:05 is buying on a clear upswing, right? Because you're still talking about an organization that has Jackson Holliday waiting in the wings at AAA, probably not for long. Kobe Mayo and Heston Kirstad aren't on the big league roster. They can contribute. You have your core with Adley and Gunnar, guys like Westberg.
Starting point is 00:21:24 I love the way this team's built right now. The key question is going to be having enough pitching and continue developing some of the pitchers that are close. Like Kate Povich is a name you hear a lot of someone that's going to contribute at a high level at some point. Finding ways to either extend someone like Corbin Burns or be more aggressive in free agency where it makes sense.
Starting point is 00:21:44 That's going to be the icing on top because they are well positioned to be competitive for a long time in a division that is consistently considered one of the most difficult in baseball. Right. You get the Yankees, the Red Sox, the Rays do what they do really well. The Blue Jays have runs where they're really strong. Like it's always been a tall order to be consistently successful in Baltimore, but you could look at this team right now and say pretty convincingly, they've got a great window. And they kind of lead into our big question for today where I started to wonder,
Starting point is 00:22:16 which organizations are best positioned for success over the next five years? I put it out to our Discord community to sort of crowdsource, well, what do people outside of our group think? What's the general vibe? And I asked for five teams, the five organizations that people felt would be the most successful over the next five years. There were three that were on every single list that got turned in so far. And the Orioles were one of them, which is pretty amazing because the other two are the Dodgers and the Braves. So like, I don't necessarily think of the Orioles being on the same level as the Dodgers
Starting point is 00:22:54 and Braves today, but it's not hard to see how they could get there, right? One more year of like 2023. And I think you start to believe that yes, this core is that good. Yes, they did get some of the guys that were great at double A and triple A to also become very good big league players alongside the superstars. Yeah, I mean, the I did a similar thing where I asked about pitching development in particular, and so I asked people that were outside of teams to evaluate. So basically people at like independent pitching labs, you know, and different ones.
Starting point is 00:23:37 So not just one. And so I asked people at three different pitching labs for their rankings among organizations and you know the the Yankees Dodgers and Orioles showed up on most of their lists I think actually all of them had Yankees Dodgers and Orioles and the ones that were just up for discussion were the Rays. And this is why it's so difficult, I think, is because people said the Rays have really good analysts, but they didn't trust their coaches. And that's something I heard from multiple places in the past. But in the end, it seems like they produce Major Leaguers. There's also a thing about the Mariners. the Mariners have done really good production.
Starting point is 00:24:25 How much of that is scouting and how much of that is PD? The Mariners have made mistakes, like they've taught everybody in their minor leagues, sweepers, and nobody in the major leagues throws a sweeper other than Brian Wu. So there's these weird things, but they do things. Like that's still like, whoa, well, at least you tried.
Starting point is 00:24:44 You know, then there's other organizations are like, you know, what's a sweeper. So, um, you know, I think the, the twins Mariners, um, are on the next group, uh, twins Mariners, uh, guardians. They show up in that next group. Uh, the Braves show up in the next group and the Orioles. One thing that was really interesting was not once were the Astros listed. If I had asked, I'm sure around 100%, if three to five years ago I asked the same question
Starting point is 00:25:18 of those same people, the Astros would have been on the list. So there's a bit of a turn happening in Houston away from some of the thingsros would have been on the list. And so there's a bit of a turn happening in Houston away from some of the things that maybe have produced all these wins for them in player development. But another way that I did this real quick is just I looked at hitters and I looked at minor league numbers last year. And I just I looked you know, plate discipline, exit velocity, launch angle and, and results. The Yankees were the only team that were top five in three of those things. But teams that were top five in two of those things, included Seattle, San Diego, Detroit,
Starting point is 00:26:04 Minnesota and Milwaukee. So that's the hitting development side. Baltimore doesn't show up there, but they were good in a couple, they were good at least in, what was it, plate discipline, I believe, and lifting the ball. They lift the ball. So I don't know. It's really hard to make these decisions and rank teams based on things that include scouting and player development, coaching, and it's everything. And blind luck. You can't predict all these things.
Starting point is 00:26:42 So, I don't know. I would put the Astros still in there. I kind of think maybe the Orioles are replacing the Astros in the top five when you start talking about player development. So there's one thing I want to throw out there before Britway is in that is in line with the lack of enthusiasm, I guess we'll call it, about the Astros kind of going forward where they're at.
Starting point is 00:27:03 They didn't get a single vote as a top five organization for the next five years the Astros kind of going forward where they're at, they didn't get a single vote as a top five organization for the next five years. That's kind of amazing. From the Discord, I would have thought for sure, I mean, 16 teams got at least one. The Astros, the four teams that I thought were most surprising to get no votes from anyone, the Astros, the Brewers, the Cardinals and the Padres.
Starting point is 00:27:25 And I realized the Padres traded away Juan Soto this winter and the overall direction with the passing of Peter Seidler is something that has a lot of uncertainty, but that's still a good core that they have in place. And there's a lot of young talent. We are just seeing Jackson Merrill there. We're gonna see Ethan Salas at some point in the not so distant future.
Starting point is 00:27:42 We're gonna see Dylan Lesko. We're gonna see Robbie Snelling. They're well built to remain competitive for a while. So I was surprised they didn't get even one vote as like the fifth team on that list. But the Astros, are we in agreement with the broader Rates and Barrels community that their window, as impressive as it's been,
Starting point is 00:28:04 is in fact closing. Are we worried about what's to come from this front office? Dana Brown came from Atlanta, where finding young talent and developing young talent was a strength. So maybe it's a slightly different approach than the Lunau Astros that put them in this position, but they seem like they're in good hands, at least in terms of Dana Brown being at the helm, if we trust what Brown did in Atlanta. Yeah, I'm not quite as panicky. I think they're definitely, their stock is dropping.
Starting point is 00:28:35 I took this question also with the consideration of you could have the most talent in the world. You could have all these young guys coming up and you're still not in a good position if your ownership group won't spend or support you, right? Then you are the Oakland A's. Like, let's talk about Oakland or Pittsburgh, had they not traded away all their players over the years, what kind of lineups those teams could have fielded on the field, right? So I kind of approached it as like, yes, the Yankees got an edge because not only do I think that their minor league system, their team now is good, but their minor league system is also encouraging, there's an encouraging amount of depth. But you know that the ownership group is going to go out and get the
Starting point is 00:29:14 people needed to really put that organization in a position to win over the next five years. That's why I was a little out on Seattle because players have gone out and said, we need more help here. They can do the best job developing possible. If they don't surround them with some talent, are they in a good position or are they just a wild card and done team? And we don't remember those teams. We don't remember the teams who go to the playoffs and consistently exit early.
Starting point is 00:29:43 We just don't. We don't think about them the same way that we do, you know, teams like the Astros. We just don't. So I think when you look at it, Houston maybe deserves to be outside of the top five, but not totally off the ballot. I think they should still be in that next tier. Like you know, said most wins in the last three years. I miss you guys because because Eno named 12 people
Starting point is 00:30:05 when we were supposed to name like five. So definitely nothing has changed in my absence. He put all the chips on the table. He's like, here's how I was thinking about it. Here's what people are saying. So yeah, he hasn't actually named his five yet. He's got five more teams. So there's like 23 teams covered.
Starting point is 00:30:21 Like everybody but the Nationals and the A's are on Eno's list. The Nationals should not be on your list. Let's split it up this way real quick. Do we agree that the Dodgers, Braves and Orioles are all inside the top five since those were the consensus responses? Is there any disagreement with those three being in the five? No. Do we agree that the Yankees are in there? I think the Yankees should be in there.
Starting point is 00:30:44 Yeah, I think the Yankees are in there. I wrote the Yankees should be in there. Yeah, I think the Yankees are in there. I wrote the Yankees down on my list too. I don't know if you saw the little table in the rundown. I know you saw the rundown before I put the table in it, but I have the Yankees in there because, okay, there's a few things that I'm assuming. I'm assuming Juan Soto signs an extension and stays with the Yankees.
Starting point is 00:30:59 And that might happen after he becomes a free agent, right? It's just becoming a free agent, maxing out the dollars and staying there. I'm assuming he stays. They have a great young shortstop in Anthony Volpe. after he becomes a free agent, right? It's just becoming a free agent, maxing out the dollars and staying there. I'm assuming he stays. They have a great young shortstop in Anthony Volpe. They've got Judge for the long haul. As Eno pointed out,
Starting point is 00:31:13 they continue to develop pitching really well. Jason Dominguez is coming back later this season. He might be a superstar. That's a huge lift. Spencer Jones looks like an impact player. Roderick Arias might be another great middle infielder just a couple years away. Then they have that next wave of pitching. That's also what Britt says about like, they're going to spend.
Starting point is 00:31:33 They're going to spend. There's a buy-in, right? I know people get frustrated with the Yankees in an irrational sort of way. They're going to be there all the time, but it's deserved. They have the young talent, they have the big league core, and they have the player development at a level where there's not really any reason to look at them and think they're going to fall off a cliff. They're going to fall out of this group. Now, if there are Astros fans out there saying, oh, wait a minute, like, yeah, the Yankees have been the Yankees the entire time and
Starting point is 00:31:59 look what we keep doing to them over and over and over again. Why aren't we ahead of the Yankees on these lists? I can kind of understand where that's coming from, but I look at the clear difference right now in the quality of the next wave of talent coming up. And I think that's what makes me more confident looking future forward with the Yankees than looking future forward with the Astros. Even though I would agree with what Britt said earlier, if you go six through 10, the Astros probably have a spot somewhere in that cluster pretty easily. Like their window is going to stay open longer than people think because of the things they do well.
Starting point is 00:32:29 Yes. And Jim Crane has said that they're not going to rebuild under him, that the windows open with him, which is I think an underrated aspect of this. We have to consider the ownership group. Otherwise you literally, like I said, the Oakland A's, all the talent that's come through Oakland. Think about it. And I think it actually, I think your point becomes really hard when we talk about the fifth, the fifth team that's going to join our top four because, you know, I just listed the reason I
Starting point is 00:32:55 listed all those teams is I wanted to kind of get a sense of player development. And I think that when you talk about player development from a hitting or pitching side, you want to put the twins actually in this group because the twins have a really strong way of defining what the success is in the minor leagues for hitters. And you can tell all of their hitters come up and they want to blast pulled fly balls. They want to have good plate discipline and they want to pull the ball in the air for power. Like it's a really strong recipe for success. It's one of the Yankees also have in their minor leagues. And so you and then you talk to the pitching side and you're like, wow, the twins have showed up in each of your guys' votes. And then you think about what they do and who they have in the front office and you
Starting point is 00:33:41 can be like, okay, I can get behind this. They've gotten guys like Joe Ryan and Pablo Lopez. Yes, you traded for them, but they got better when they got to your house. You know what I mean? That's a good, that's a good sort of, oh, you guys are doing something right here. And then they've got interesting arms coming up through their organization as well. So if, if the twins deserve to be top five in player development,
Starting point is 00:34:04 then maybe they deserve to be fifth on our list going forward. But what will they spend? You know, and what, you know, is this it for spending? And if you then look at the actual personnel of the players, like you just did with the Yankees, I feel like the best twins are in the big leagues. I'm not looking at their coffer and being like, oh, the next group of twins, young players is just as exciting.
Starting point is 00:34:34 I don't do that so much. Other teams that are in the mix, they'll have similar questions. The Mariners. I think everything I just said about the twins, the race twins put Mariners in. I think it's about the same thing. Maybe they're pretty good at developing guys. Maybe their player development has gotten better. Their analytics are pretty good.
Starting point is 00:34:54 They make good trades, but will they spend to get to the next level? Is there another level of spending? If not, then tell me about their young kids. Oh, have they used up all their young kids? What's the next group of young kids? So who's your five? If it's not, if it's, we, do we have the Astros? We don't have the Astros in.
Starting point is 00:35:13 So Astros almost get it by, well maybe the Astros get it by default is what I'm saying. It's because these, all these teams that I'm arguing, they have flaws that the Astros may not have. And if we're thinking just five years, Yannir Diaz, Kyle Tucker, and Jordán Álvarez are probably gonna be there for most of those five years. So, they're not gonna just turn 80 overnight.
Starting point is 00:35:36 You know? Like they're fairly young now still. So, I think I might make an argument for the Astros still as the fifth because the other teams that might be better than them in player Development may not have the same ownership groups may not have the same will to spend may not have the same prospects I don't have a great team that I want to put in five that I'm like Astros your route. I'm listening. I'll make a case I'll make a case. I'm gonna be Milwaukee. Don't talk about Milwaukee.
Starting point is 00:36:02 There's no ban on this show, but are we making assumptions about the Astros that they're retaining both Kyle Tucker and Alex Bregman? Oh, no, we should not make that assumption. I don't think that- I think Bregman's going. I do too. I think they have to keep Tucker though. If they lose both, that's a pretty big void in the lineup to lose both. I don't think they will. I don't think they would lose both and then not bring somebody else good in to replace one of them. But I don't even think they're up to 200
Starting point is 00:36:28 million yet. So I actually think they, I think they can spend a little more. So, but here's the thing. If we're only doing the next five years, are we overlooking the Texas Rangers who all their best players are also there, but like Wyatt Langford and Evan Carter are what? Twenty one. Yeah. So you've got two major leaguers that could be stars that have just recently debuted as your core. Plus Seeger, plus a still productive Simeon. Unfortunately, Josh Young just fractured his wrist. He'll be back probably in, I don't know, six to eight weeks.
Starting point is 00:37:01 I haven't seen a timetable yet, but that's usually a two month-ish sort of injury. Rangers didn't come up top five on anything, even among the hitters. They were top five in the Discord. They came up by popular vote. They were number four. They were the consensus for team as much as there was one. And they've got a few other prospects,
Starting point is 00:37:19 Sebastian Walcott, Paulino Santana, kind of high ceiling, high risk players that if they hit on one or both of them, the position core gets better. They seem to be an organization that does really, really well with position players and still hasn't quite figured out with pitching where they've had the success has been the second tier starting pitching group generally. Now it's weird because they made the trade for Max Scherzer and they were the team that splashed the big money
Starting point is 00:37:47 at Jacob deGrom. Jacob deGrom comes back from his second career TJ at age 36 later this summer. Still has a few years left on his deal. Like what version of Jacob deGrom comes back and how much does that matter as far as them cracking the top five or being in that next possible
Starting point is 00:38:05 five? Again, if we're only talking five years, if we were doing five to eight, I wouldn't even think about them, but they could repeat. They have a group willing to spend money. They have a young court. People think Wyatt Langford is going to be a star. We're just scratching the surface on Evan Carter. I don't think we can really count on Scherzer or DeGrom based on their
Starting point is 00:38:25 age and their injury history. I agree with you, the pitching is a huge hole, but if you have an ownership group that's willing to go out and get a Snell or a Montgomery or whoever's available at the deadline, why do you not feel good about the Texas Rangers? This is a team that if they, I was just thinking if they could just find a strider, like if they could, if they could pull that maneuver like Atlanta did, like you get a guy like that, that changes a lot about the way you look at this team. They had Cole Reagans, they traded him for a few months of a role as Chapman. Maybe that was their, maybe that was their guy, their unexpected ace. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:39:00 The, the deal with the devil to get that first title, I think you say flags fly forever and we're happy we got one because that's hard to do. Here's an interesting little side thing. Texas was a 21st in production by their hitters in the minor leagues last year. But a lot of their guys have moved up and graduated. That's the point. No, and I also think that what we're seeing is that their best players, maybe they just get out of the way.
Starting point is 00:39:28 That can be a way to be good at player development. It's like, we got Wyatt Langford. We didn't tell him anything. Yeah. We just let him go. And Evan Carter is a second round pick. So some of what we're looking at might just be that they are good at identifying at identifying could be scouting.
Starting point is 00:39:47 It could be giving their most money investing their my heaviest on the best players and just letting them go through. There's not a lot of evidence that necessarily this is like Evan Carter or why in Langford is a player development win. You know, or why in Langford is a player development win? And so I do wonder on a five year level, I do think that player development ends up being something that we wanna say, oh, well, maybe it won't matter in the next five years, but it matters every year, I think,
Starting point is 00:40:19 because if you have a good player development system, you have a reliever to bring up when you need a reliever. You know, you have, player development often means a lot in the middle in terms of like taking a guy who was average and making him a little bit better than average or taking a guy that wasn't going to be anything and making him into a reliever in the major leagues. And that can help every single year. And it's part of why I won't put the Padres in the top five is because I'm not sure that they've solved these issues.
Starting point is 00:40:48 I think the Padres may be one of the three best teams in baseball when it comes to scouting. How did they turn around their minor league system after they traded away every minor leaguer they had to make the last thing? And now they're again in the top five or whatever and put in farm systems. I think must they're brilliant when it comes to scouting and I think they're really terrible when it comes to running an
Starting point is 00:41:11 organization and player development and I think that's hard to put a team like that in number five you know going forward yes agree I mean I think no matter what you think about AJ Prelor a GM, you can't argue that that organization knows how to find talent better than most organizations. There are other holes for sure. They've got a guy, they've got like a 20-year-old in shorts in center. You should have a job for AJ Preller and if I was starting it, it would be go find all the talent. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:41:44 Just go find the talent. Director of scouting for sure. Which is what he was starting it, it would be, go find all the talent. Yeah. Director, director scouting for sure. Which is what he was in Texas, right? But that's where I think like the Dana Brown influence on the Astros might make them look more like the Braves in the future with if they do well in the draft. I mean, that could be, that could be the way they keep things running smoothly. The D backs popped as a team that got a handful of votes, but yeah, they were in the World Series last year. They've got some top prospects.
Starting point is 00:42:11 I mean, Jordan Lawler, we've seen him briefly. He's hurt right now, so we're not going to see him for a couple of months, but that's a really good impact player that should be on the left side of the infield for a long time. Drew Jones kind of in a relative low spot in his long term value potentially. Tommy Troy. I think this is another organization you look at and say, position players they seem to have down. The core looks good. You got Carroll up already. You got a few older guys that do well kind of as glue guys right now. Gabriel Moreno is your long
Starting point is 00:42:41 term catcher. Like you've got a couple of things really well sorted. What did they do behind Galen and Merrill Kelly and they added Jordan Montgomery late, it's a short-term deal. Eduardo Rodriguez is a veteran glue guy for the rotation. Do they develop pitching well enough to actually hold a place inside the top five? I thought they were one of the teams that got a few more votes than I expected even though I
Starting point is 00:43:04 really like the work that Mike Hazen has done there. That's some recency bias. I think I'd be curious what, uh, you know, his little models found it in terms of what they've been able to do, but there are six to 10 for me. I don't think there are one to five. Yeah, I think they jump up and down. They didn't pop in anything. They do one thing in the minor leagues well, which looks like it is not lifting the ball,
Starting point is 00:43:32 not hitting the ball hard, not discipline, contact. They're emphasizing contact in the minor leagues, it looks like. And that hasn't been something that I've seen that's correlated with long-term success actually, which is a funny thing to think about. I think hitting the ball hard has more, you have more success as an organization.
Starting point is 00:43:57 Still, that's a thing, they have a thing that they believe in and on the pitching side, I think we are still looking. I mean, there were a lot of high picks that have come through and a lot of sort of highly touted prospects and brand of thought is probably going to be the best of them. But you know, a lot of them have fallen off the wayside have already become relievers. So I can't put their pitching development in the, for in the top 10.
Starting point is 00:44:21 Maybe they're hitting his backend top 10,. They're scouts. You know, they're they're they're young players that are not in the major leagues yet. I can't say is necessarily top five. You know, so I'm still looking for a team. I think I'm putting Astros in five because I'm still looking for a team. I'm like, oh, yeah. Yeah. You know, has everything. I guess an interesting one is the Mets, because we've start to see that the Mets were labeled, I had an interesting text. One person said, do I think they're doing right now
Starting point is 00:44:55 the right things, or do they have the best personnel and plans for the future in pitching me down? Which can be important when you're looking at a team like the Mets that are changing what they're doing, right? And so the Mets were listed, they were talking about best personnel and plans for pitching development in the future, Yankees, Reds, Mets, Orioles, and Twins. And so that's an interesting one to put the Mets and Reds. Reds, if they are doing something interesting with pitching development, they have great young positional core.
Starting point is 00:45:25 I'm not sold enough to say they're definitely set up well for the next five years. They're not a spender probably. Yeah, you do have a spending problem. I think if you are arguing for teams in the central, you don't necessarily need to spend at that highest possible level, but you need to spend at an appropriate mid-range sort of level. I think the advantage in those divisions goes to the two Chicago teams and the Tigers in that regard,
Starting point is 00:45:51 just based on TV deals and how those work and how that sort of drives your payroll and your tolerance, your owner's tolerance level for spending, right? Like those three franchises would have a slight edge. The Cardinals, I guess, could be kind of like another group of four team in those two divisions. But the Cardinals got no votes from the Discord. And I'm trying to decide if that's appropriate.
Starting point is 00:46:13 The Reds actually had three. So I'm glad the Reds sort of came up here because I think a lot of people love the group of position players that they promoted last year. Ellie De La Cruz at the top of that. But it's not just Ellie. Pitching staff seems to have like a lot of raw stuff that could figure out. that they promoted last year. Ellie De La Cruz at the top of that, but it's not just Ellie. Pitching staff seems to have like a lot of raw stuff that could figure out. Yeah, between Hunter Green and Nick Lodolo, there's two guys there. You can be optimistic about, you know, your model's always like Graham Ashcraft.
Starting point is 00:46:35 They added Frankie Montas on a short term deal. So if you believe the long term pitching comes to follow this great group of position players, Novy Marte eventually comes back from that suspension. He's probably an impact player for a very long time. So you put him with Eli, you put him with Christian and Karnazion Strand, you got a good catcher in Tyler Stevenson. You could talk yourself into the Reds
Starting point is 00:46:55 being a clear team on the rise. I don't think they're top five for me. I think they're just short. I'll make my case for the Brewers sometime down the road. You guys don't wanna hear it right now. I'm not banning myself the Brewers sometime down the road. You guys don't want to hear it right now. I'm not banning myself, but I just think the other teams that didn't make this list or that were low on this list are more interesting because the Mets, the Mets are supposed to be building the next Dodgers Death Star in baseball.
Starting point is 00:47:18 That's what they're supposed to be doing. When's it here? How long does it take? Are they three years away? Four years away? Then they don't belong in this. Yeah. Milwaukee did do some things right on my hitting sheet. Did not get mentioned in any of my pitcher development questions, but how, on the other hand, have developed good pitching, it seems.
Starting point is 00:47:43 So then in terms of the money spending, you're right. Maybe it's not as important in the central. I would also say that in our top five, we have a lot of sort of like big organizations that are spending a lot. And then we also have the Rays. So if it was there another, is there another seat at the table?
Starting point is 00:48:01 Is the fifth seat at the table? Could that go to the next Rays? Like the next team that despite not spending has figured out a way to win and then if that's the true then you have to start thinking about teams like the Pirates or the the Reds or the Brewers for that fifth spot in terms of like these are teams that have spent a lot of time trying to improve their processes behind underneath they're trying to become the new Raze or whatever. And they could be coming into that. But to become the next Raze, you kind of almost need to do it for a while before we believe
Starting point is 00:48:35 you. Otherwise, you're just a cheap team. You know, like, how many times does the owner say, we want to be the next Raze? Does he mean they just want to be cheap? Yeah, that's what John Angela said at the time. Yeah. It didn't go well. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:48:49 We heard the Rockies say it too. The Rockies say we want to be the raise. And I'm like, Oh boy. Which, which teams we should have done, which are the worst off in the next five years. Yeah. Oakland, just because everything going on, like that's kind of an easier list. That's yeah, that'll be a sad, uh, we'll keep that segment shorter because it's not as fun.
Starting point is 00:49:11 We're getting near the end of this. Let's pick a fifth. Everyone pick a fifth. I'm going with the Astros. I don't think I've, I've been convinced. I know. I think you saw me on the Astros though. Like nobody's happy about it.
Starting point is 00:49:21 You can make a strong case for Texas. Like we're organizing this. I'd put them at six. I really would. OK. Because five years isn't that long. I'm taking Milwaukee Fifth. Look, look, that second best farm system in baseball. It's not just my rankings.
Starting point is 00:49:35 That's other people's rankings and opinions of this club. And they've done it for more than a half decade. They've proven like they are the rays of the National League. I think their path is easier than the Rays. It's actually harder to be the Rays than it is to be the Brewers right now. It's the AL East versus the NL Central. That's just what it is.
Starting point is 00:49:56 And that's not disrespecting the Reds and Pirates as ascendant teams that look like they're gonna be a lot better for the next five than they've been for the last five. Milwaukee sixth in wins over the last three years. Yeah, they win a ton. They have an ability to develop pitching, which a lot of organizations don't have. They have their young superstar on the big league roster now in Jackson Churio. They have a few old holdovers. I just think they do everything that you really are looking for other than
Starting point is 00:50:23 the minor leaguers don't across the board hit the ball hard? Is that the biggest deficiency in the organization right now? And ownership doesn't spend like a big market team? But that hasn't held them back for the last eight years. But it's held them back from from it going far into the playoffs. I think we can all agree. And what is what we define as success? Is it just winning in the regular season or is it raising titles? Well yeah if we put a scoring system Is it just winning in the regular season or is it raising titles? Well, yeah, if we put a scoring system on it and we say we're measuring all of this
Starting point is 00:50:50 in World Series titles, then the big market teams probably have a slight edge, but the new playoff format, expanded playoffs, favor chaos. We just, I mean, the fact that the Diamondbacks and Rangers even got a lot of votes in this, I think speaks to the impact of a broader playoff field. I think that's a big shift from where if we'd asked this question 15 years ago,
Starting point is 00:51:11 the consensus answers all would have been big market teams. You wouldn't have seen any smaller mid-market teams there. The Blue Jays got no love from anyone, by the way. So the window just seems like it has shut on them in the eyes of, of our discord, at least. Can we table that for another week? Because I feel like they're, they're just such a fascinating team where they are now versus if we had done this podcast two years ago. Sure. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:51:35 There was a lot more excitement about them. It has petered off, but what happens if, you know, Vlad wins the MVP this year and they, they score a bunch of runs, they still don't have like, hey, and this is our next Jackson. Here's our Jackson Churia. You know, they don't really have that coming up. So, yeah, that's the the the impact position player star. A lot of the teams we talked about either have that player on the roster or will have that player on the roster soon.
Starting point is 00:52:00 The Jays don't seem to have that player in the organization unless you just say, hey, you know, Vlad Jr. still pretty young. So let's just let's just count him. They got Vlad and Bo for a few more years. So I think I think they're one of those teams that is increasingly in need of good health to remain competitive because they don't seem to replace injured players as effectively as top level organizations. I think that's one area that that kind of keeps the Jays from rising up toward that top tier, even though I like what they've got in the big league roster right now. I wouldn't get too hard on them. Like, you know, they find a Davis Schneider and, you know, they had a Santiago Espanol.
Starting point is 00:52:42 Like, those don't seem like big deals, but those are Guys that have developed probably to the upper ends of their abilities You know neither one of those was a guy that so oh they signed Espinol in International bonus money or they drafted David Schneider like that none of those guys were top prospects So and you know we're gonna see a little bit more this year with Bowden Francis and Nate Pearson and Ricky Tideman We're gonna learn more about the Blue Jays development process than we may have in a while if pearson become become become a shutdown reliever that's at least an outcome for him that is useful. And if if tdm can come and help them around frances give them a hundred and then we can say maybe they maybe the picture development is okay but. then we can say, oh, maybe their pitch development is okay. But yeah, we're looking for something like they had this really big splash with the juniors, the BGio, Bichette, and Guerrero that seemed like such like, oh, we are headed towards,
Starting point is 00:53:39 this is going to be a team that goes to the World Series twice. And then it didn't quite happen that way. They did some spending though too. Gospin, Barrios, I mean expensive players, George Springer in free agency. Supposedly second on Otoni. Yeah, it's not like they've had this group come up and they've just kind of sat on their hands like they've put in I think at least a reasonable effort to supplement that group.
Starting point is 00:54:04 How much of this is a function too of the division they're in though, right? Where they may be say a top five or seven, 18, whatever we think they are. And there's the third best in their division. I think in a lot of ways they're similar in quality to the Mariners. They'd kind of get there a different way, but I think whatever, however you rank the Mariners one to 30 for how good they are right now, the Jays are probably really close one spot above one spot below within arm's reach. Then we have like the we didn't even talk about a team that's kind of like a boring contender
Starting point is 00:54:35 right now and you just don't know where they're going to go. Once these guys age is Philadelphia. Oh, I know. And I think that was the team that people kept saying, Hey, there's not really a lot of respect being given to this Philly's team for being as dangerous as they are right now. Is is the expectation that they're just going to fall off a cliff? They still have Nola and Harper, you know, and they'll stop Nola Harper and Turner for a while.
Starting point is 00:54:56 It's kind of like I know those are old guys, but that's a baked in core. Yeah, they extended Wheeler. So, I mean, like Wheeler, Nola, Turner, Harper. I think Bryce Harper is gonna age fine as long as his back is okay. Like that should be good. At least for the next three years, they look like they're gonna be a dangerous team.
Starting point is 00:55:16 Maybe it's those last two years that are pulling them down, but would they fall any further than the six to 10 range based on the present quality of their roster? Because they've got to be in the six to 10. It seems like their window to get it done is in step with how quickly the Mets, and it's going to take a long time, how much the Mets time they need to build up their machine. Yeah the next five has teams that are going in different directions. We picked five that are seemingly going in the good direction at spending. We pick the five golden franchises or whatever. The next five has like Toronto and Philly in it for sure, because they're good now.
Starting point is 00:55:51 Right. But also maybe like the Mets, because we're like, maybe we like what they're doing under the hood, you know? And maybe that's where the pirates and Reds fit in. So it's like the next five is almost as interesting as the top five, but, But, you know, that's a whole nother podcast for the next five. Yes, the next five. I have a question for Britt about a story she wrote. The modernization in coaching in baseball, where we have all these new ideas,
Starting point is 00:56:17 new people coming from independent training facilities, driveline tread. We talk about them a lot on this pod. And it seemed like for a long time, and maybe this is still true, players were ahead of a lot of organizations as far as their willingness to embrace tech. Which organizations do we think do the best job of getting everybody on the same page?
Starting point is 00:56:37 Because that seems like the challenge is getting organizational buy-in across the board with new ideas. You're kind of left to blend tech data and new school thinking about the game with holdovers, either scouts or coaches or people that have been in the organization or around the game for several decades. Which orgs do this well based on your assessment and even things people might have told you while putting that story together?
Starting point is 00:57:03 I think a lot of the teams we mentioned in our top five, honestly, the Orioles who I mentioned in that story is a great example of this. The Dodgers, I think Kyle Boddy was the one who said this to me, they don't care who does it. They don't care if their guys go to driveline. They don't care who gets credit. They just want their players to be good. And I think all those teams that are in that top tier that they're headed in the red direction, they have that. The rest of these teams that maybe have been underperforming are struggling with that. We saw that great story that I think it was
Starting point is 00:57:38 Stephen Nesbitt and Ken Rosenthal wrote about the Pirates struggling to get the buy-in. Because I don't think people talk enough that you could have the right people in place or who you think are the right people. If the players don't buy in, forget it. And, you know, the Orioles really, really made that like a huge focus of like, okay, we need to get, I think the real key here, and Michael, I just mentioned this end of that story is the former players. The next wave of coaches that are former players are going to be guys who embrace all of this, right?
Starting point is 00:58:09 Because coaches for so long were those old baseball lifers, right? Who very often didn't want to learn about this stuff. But these guys coming up now that are just retiring and the Orioles have a couple of those on their staff, Cody Ashley jumps to mind with Baltimore guys who maybe didn't have great development experiences who sought out these alternatives. This is the next wave of the super coach in my opinion.
Starting point is 00:58:35 Yeah. Cause they, they combine the insider and the outsider. And it makes it a lot easier for a player to hear it from somebody who has struggled in the major leagues and has done this and also did embrace those new philosophies and new types of coaching and the database coaching. I had a little bit of a different read on that Pirates reading that Pirates piece was just that I read it as the difficult, yeah, you just kind of put it the right way, the difficulty of getting buy-in.
Starting point is 00:59:01 But a lot of the people that were quoted in that were people that are no longer with the organization. So it's like, I think that we're seeing that in process. You know, it's like, I wouldn't say that that piece that they can't get buy-in is that they had trouble with in the past. And that's part, like one of the big quotes in it is Joel Hanrahan. He's no longer with the Pirates. It's like not surprising if he's going to be sitting there saying, oh, they were too data friendly. Well, you're gone now because they're trying to get by. And that's part of the process is figuring out which coaches are going to listen to you, which coaches aren't going to say things like that behind your back. So I do think it is
Starting point is 00:59:40 difficult to get to that point. And then the credit thing is obviously a big deal because if you're an outside coach, you live by credit. That's like your marketing, right? I worked with Aaron Judge. That's it. That's all I got to say. Do you want to work with the guy who worked with Aaron Judge? Yeah. So he has to get credit for the guys that work in that outside space have to, he has to get credit, you know, for the, the, the, the guys that work, um, that are working that outside space have to get credit for it. There is a point at which, um, you can get to like drive line status at this point is, you know, all 30 teams work with them. They don't necessarily, there are teams, there are players that, that they're not allowed
Starting point is 01:00:21 to post, uh, you know, public media about and not take credit for it, because the player doesn't want them to or the organization doesn't want them to. They've gotten to the point where they're big enough they can do that. But organizationally, you have to be the Dodgers before you are the Dodgers. You know, you have to be, you have to have that mindset where it's like, cool, cool, you you're good better now. That's cool. I don't, I don't care if it's my guy or not, or we can make our own internal assessment about who's who actually helped you. Like the whole the Cabrion Hayes thing with Joe Nunnally Cabrion Hayes has been lifting the ball for like, you know, you know, for like eight months now.
Starting point is 01:00:54 And he broke out with a little bit of work with Joe Nunnally. And it's like, okay, well, it's not all Joe Nunnally that did on this, right? If we're doing the credit, some of the credit goes to the people are working on him lifting the ball, which was maybe not Joe. So credit is so difficult. Credit is why there are problems within organizations with politics.
Starting point is 01:01:14 Their credit is why people think, oh, that guy's an idiot and I should have gotten credit for that. And credit is so hard to deal with if you're the GM and just finding ways to make people feel like you value what they're doing without them having to step on other people to get credit. That's, I think, something that we might have a real hard time seeing from the outside. You know, I could tell you that probably AJ Proler is not great at it, cause that's what I've, that's what I've, you know, I've reported on this and I've read it. Um,
Starting point is 01:01:48 and there must be something that the Dodgers doing that are great. And then there's every other team where you're like, do you think they have solved this sort of internal politics thing or, or is it just as nasty inside there as it is everywhere else? I mean, it's hard, it's very hard to know from the outside, but I do think overall success kind of quiets the conversation around that. And then inconsistency or underperformance only increases the intensity about that kind
Starting point is 01:02:14 of culture. So like that's a winning fixes everything sort of statement. But I think that there's some truth to that. I have a way of quantifying this five year thing now to next week. I think we should have a draft on Tuesday. It's like basically like a dynasty legal redraft teams will make a scoring system for playoff wins, world series titles, regular season wins will draft. We'll get 10 teams each.
Starting point is 01:02:38 We'll see who ends up winning. It's a five year league. So hopefully we're all still talking to each other five years from now. I think I don't think that'll be okay, but it's one way. It's one way to prove it. We were wondering, I think there's a, just the idea was for us to have rates and barrels be like almost a daily experience this year. Um, and so Britt is going to be on on Tuesdays and we'll also use Tuesdays in
Starting point is 01:03:00 that sort of, um, three Oh show kind of feel like it's that's where three Oh show is going to live on is on Tuesdays in that sort of 30 show kind of feel like it's that's where 30 shows going to live on is on Tuesdays, we're going to have more general baseball talk not as very specific in terms of fantasy. And maybe bring when Britt can't be here bring on other writers from the athletic and kind of keep the 30 show alive, but just within it just made more sense for us within the sort of rates and barrels umbrella as opposed to like, you know, being in two places at once. Yeah, all in one
Starting point is 01:03:30 place. So we're happy to have Britt back and hopefully everybody enjoyed this episode. So it was actually, it was a fun deviation from a lot of the things we've been talking about for the last three months, which are so player centric and, you know, projection for just one season. I like looking at the big, big picture like this. So we'll try a draft next week. We'll try to work on a scoring system and see if we can work that in. A lot of other great stories Brit's been writing too. Check those out, theathletic.com, slash rates and barrels.
Starting point is 01:03:55 That'll get you the best possible deal for your subscription. You can find Brit on Twitter at Brit underscore Giroli. Find Eno at EnoSares. Find me at Derek VanRyper. The pod is at rates and barrels. That's going toiper. The pod is at Rates and Barrels. That's gonna do it for this episode of Rates and Barrels. We're back with you on Thursday. Thanks for listening. Bye!

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