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Josh Byrnes the Diamondback in the form of lines on a screen

December 5th, 2011 by Melvin

Josh Byrnes Diamondbacks Pythagorean Record and Farm System Ranking

Lets take an objective, simplified look at new Padres GM Josh Byrnes‘ career as a general manager. Above is a graphical timeline showing the Diamondbacks’ farm system as ranked by Baseball America, and the Diamondback’s team Pythagorean Record Rank (as calculated by Baseball-Reference) compared to the rest of the major leagues.

The graph is meant to simply and concretely stand on its own, so I’ll leave the interpretation to you.

Just kidding, no I won’t. Here’s what I think: the Diamondbacks did not see nearly enough major league success in exchange for a farm system that tanked so badly, and I don’t see where Jeff Moorad‘s high level of confidence in Josh Byrnes comes from.

Meanwhile, Jed Hoyer brought the Padres’ farm from near the bottom to the top, and was allowed to leave along with draft guru Jason McLeod after Jeff Moorad refused to match the Chicago Cubs’ contract offer to Hoyer.

With a payroll as low as the Padres’, and after losing their top two (arguably three) talent evaluators this offseason, the new regime has an uphill battle. As we’ve all heard, a “system” of scouts and processes is in place now. How long does that system last once the head is chopped off? What evidence is there that Josh Byrnes knows how to build, or at least maintain such a system? I would argue that the evidence shows the opposite, as Josh Byrnes decimated his previous farm club. To be fair, I’ll be watching the young Diamondback players Byrnes assembled before leaving to see if that trend reversed.

For a more in depth analysis of Byrnes in Arizona, see Geoff Young’s excellent piece at Baseball Prospectus. He’s higher on Byrnes than I am, which is an excellent sign considering Geoff’s experience and the level of detail in his analysis. I hope there’s more to Josh Byrnes than the big picture results he has shown with the Diamondbacks.

Posted in statistics | 1 Comment »

One Response to “Josh Byrnes the Diamondback in the form of lines on a screen”

  1. Larry Faria says:

    In Josh’s defense, you’re going to see a chart filled with hills and valleys for every club’s minor league assessment. The people who rank farms look primarily at the top prospects a year or two away. When a club dumps veterans and goes to a youth movement, as the D’backs did after 2007, the top prospects are promoted and the farm looks bare.

    As for the teams after 2007 underachieving, the kids know they’ve got time to prove themselves, and sometimes lapse into complacency, even as a group. That’s what happened in 2008-2010. Hinch and Gibson couldn’t do much by themselves, it took KT coming in with his wheeler-dealer reputation coming in and shopping Upton to get the kids to wake up and realize their jobs were not guaranteed.

    KT came in at just the right time to do that, Josh got fired before it was time for him to do the shake-up that KT accomplished. The D’backs have a good young team, but Byrnes’ draft choices won’t be ready for a couple years. As you say, we have to wait to see how his draft years choices develop.

    I’m not sold on Byrnes myself, his limited trade record doesn’t give me the confidence I had in Hoyer as a competent pick-pocket of other teams’ talent, but it’s unfair to judge him on a short term job with a team in transition, especially when he was removed just at the time when moves had to be made and we could have gotten a good look at what kind of GM he really is.

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