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Top Scout

Tyler Kepner has a nice piece on Billy Eppler, the Yankees’ top scout.

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1 lordbyron   ~  Mar 1, 2009 10:44 am

Good stuff - posts like this are very informational, keep it up.

2 Mattpat11   ~  Mar 1, 2009 1:13 pm

Eppler comes off poorly in the book, but not necessarily because he's a "stat guy." Mike Borzello clearly doesn't like him very much, and so he tells stories of Eppler coming to him to rant and rave about how good Igawa and Farnsworth were going to be. He kind of goes out of his way to make him look like an idiot.

3 Chyll Will   ~  Mar 1, 2009 2:02 pm

[2] Sounds like he's just bitter and pointing fingers at everyone but himself. Like Kepner said, Igawa and Hawkins were notable failures, but Abreu, Molina and Bruney worked out fine, and then there's Edwar, Aceves, Giese and Veras, whom Torre either misused or would have ignored, so from that I can't put much faith in the book's gist right now.

4 Rich   ~  Mar 1, 2009 2:35 pm

I think coming off badly in Torre's book is a commendation.

5 OldYanksFan   ~  Mar 1, 2009 3:32 pm

From the articel:
" The leading voices were whomever Steinbrenner trusted at the time.

It led to a fractured roster, with misplaced parts like Chris Hammond and Kenny Lofton. The lack of accountability frustrated Cashman. There was no record of who made which recommendations and why, no growth to be gained from mistakes.

After the 2005 season, Cashman accepted a new contract with the promise of greater authority over baseball operations. He formed a pro scouting department and hired Eppler to run it from New York.

At Eppler’s suggestion, the Yankees have added six full-time pro scouts, doubling the number when he started. His presence — and the waning influence of Steinbrenner — has also smoothed relations between the Yankees’ dueling hierarchies."

Tell us alot about how fouled up things were and why Cashman was ready to leave. Seems to me Cashman has been doing a good job trying to straighten out some messes he inherited.

“It’s helped the flow of things,” said Oppenheimer, whose scouts now concentrate fully on amateurs. “I don’t know the last time someone left the Tampa office to go to New York.

6 Rich   ~  Mar 1, 2009 4:42 pm

[5] Plus there was a cascading effect. For example, because the amateur draft was run so poorly for so long (while outside of Cashman's sphere of influence), it forced him to scramble to put together a starting rotation by making risky trades and questionable free agent signings.

Did he make mistakes? Yes, and beyond that, reasonable risks like Vazquez didn't work out, but now that Cash has had control of the draft since 2006 we are seeing them assemble considerable pitching depth that has already yielded Joba, and may soon include prospects like Melancon, Hughes, and Brackman on the ML roster.

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