Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Oh, happy draft day

The miracle of the internet, the growth of fantasy baseball and the continuing growth of baseball in general has pulled the MLB player draft out of shadows and pulled it into the forefront. The draft starts today and, for example, the MLB Network is televising the whole thing. Overkill, maybe? Maybe not. Not for the MLB version of Mel Kiper, John Sickels. Sky Kalkman of Beyond The Boxscore was lucky enough to "sit" with him for a few minutes to discuss the draft:

BtB: Where are the biggest opportunities for improving prospect evaluation? Better prediction of injuries? Predicting development of skillsets? Mental and emotional diagnosis? Other?

John Sickels: I would say the mental side. I think finding new ways to assess a player’s mental and emotional makeup, both currently and in the future, is the "next frontier." Some people are doing neurobiological work the "brain types" of competitive athletes, while others are taking a more psychological approach. A lot of teams use standardized personality tests, and of course scouts have been assessing and analyzing player personalities for 100 years. I think that is where the next breakthroughs in player analysis will be, though what exactly that breakthrough will involve, I don’t know.
A good read given the fun that will take place later today.

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