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Future Value

By: Eric Longenhagen,Kiley McDaniel,Keith Law - foreword
Narrated by: Perry Daniels
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Summary

An unprecedented look inside the world of baseball scouting and evaluation from FanGraphs' lead prospect analysts.  

For the modern major-league team, player evaluation is a complex, multipronged, 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 the world of the contemporary scout - 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, FanGraphs' 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.

©2020 Eric Longenhagen and Kailey McDaniel (P)2020 Tantor

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  • Tyler Burch
  • 27-08-20

Fantastic material needing an accompanying PDF

For the right listener, this book is a wealth of knowledge. It provides a ton of useful information looking into the baseball industry, speaking to how things work in front offices, how decisions are made, how scouting is performed, and so on. For someone interested in the nuts-and-bolts of how an MLB team is run in the year 2020, this is the book for you. It's incredibly in-depth, and very illuminating.

My three qualms:

1. This book sorely needs an accompanying PDF. There's times where the narrator is just endlessly reading off table after table of values, which is near impossible to parse in real-time and desperately needs to be looked at in visual form.

2. This text is very much a product of its time. If you read it right now, in 2020, it will provide a ton of knowledge. I worry about its longevity though - some due to the industry changing so rapidly, but some due to specific player/team references that may not hold 5 years down the line.

3. The narrator does a good job at pronouncing some names, but a bad job at pronouncing others. It seemed as though he did research on how to pronounce names of foreign-born players, but then didn't think to look up how to pronounce Scooter Gennett's name. At no point did this impair understanding content, just a minor annoyance that creeps up here and there.

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  • Josh
  • 05-11-22

Deep Dive for such an all encompassing book

the book overall is great. the mixture of history and context setting to help inform the reader of how we got here and how the game go evolve is a great wY to present the info. I particularly enjoy the candor from scouts that makes baseball fun but is rarely glimpsed by the public.

The only negatives I have are the tables , while thorough, can drone on for a bit and affect the cadence of the book; and the narrator, bless his heart, mispronounced a few baseball terms and names that were hard to ignore, like pronouncing Velo as "Vell-o" rather than "Vee-lo"

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  • Eric Droegemeier
  • 07-07-22

great book, narration is shaky

great book for anyone looking to learn more about baseball. however, the narration is a bit shaky, mainly when it comes to the pronunciations of players names. even a bit of research before recording could have fixed this. but it's unlikely anyone who isn't a die hard fan will be even notice these mistakes.

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  • paakira
  • 23-05-21

Modern Stat-driven analysis masquerading as reference library

As any astute investment firm will caution, “past performance is not an indicator of future results” and the key takeaways are found after several hours of inconsistent player name and key terminology mispronunciations; physical build, physical tendencies and acquisition opportunity windows are the key markers for player development and the associated time and monetary investments that will yield fruit in terms of talent.

The endless reading out loud of example charts will queue listeners to fast forward until the narrative continues. Learning about the draft, international and college recruiting regulations may prove insightful, but the application of bonus pools and penalties is subsequent to periodic and complex changes best left to a season front office executive with years of experience that can lower the barrier to entry enough for a skilled database administrator to update their internal schema.

Overall, much of the book is overkill and overstatement that props itself on the alter of baseball’s statistical obsession fueled by and continually referring to the writers’ port of harbor, FanGraphs, for a nontitular recital before arriving at the point: scouts are crucial, statistical analysis is crucial, relationships are crucial, rules are crucial but malleable, the international market requires internal oversight but has no regulation, and the big league success from Draft Day selections have as much as proven track record as Mel Kiper Jr’s much ballyhooed draft order.

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  • Tyler Barrus
  • 15-12-20

wonderful insight!

the book had sneezing insight. just wish the reader learned to pronounce player's names correctly

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  • Trent
  • 15-12-20

revealing analysis

The details and analysis can drag on, but i found what i was looking for, namely why the once dominant Cubs prospects look like they can no longer hit and the middling Dodgers etc all suddenly hit like King Kong. The advanced technologies and approaches take what were strengths and reduce them to weaknesses in a few years for lots of players.

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  • Joseph
  • 14-10-20

incredible, best book I read all quaritine!

incredible, best book I read all quaritine. a ton of valuable information and very interesting.