Evan Grant has a story today that’s worth a read, highlighting an all hands on deck organizational meeting the team held Monday with 180 baseball operations folks. There’s quotes from Jon Daniels in the piece, calling the session “overdue” and highlighting the amount of change the organization has undergone of late, and the need to change.
The significant changes that have been taking place in the organization this offseason is something we’ve talked about, and highlighted last month in noting the hiring of Bryan Conger and Brandon McCarthy by the Rangers as part of an effort to bring into the organization people who can understand the analytical and technical side of the game, but also communicate that data to players in a way that they can understand and incorporate. In bringing in Shiraz Rahman from the Cubs to a high post in the front office, working with Driveline Baseball, and grabbing Chris Woodward and Luis Ortiz from the Los Angeles Dodgers, one of the most advanced and progressive organizations in baseball, the Rangers are not only acknowledging they need to change, but appear to be leaning into the change.
In a piece at the Athletic in October, Eno Sarris attempted to identify the number of R&D staffers each organization had. The Rangers were in the middle of the pack at the time, with 8 analysts, though Evan says in his piece today that the Rangers now have around a dozen, which represents a 50% increase, and which would put the Rangers in the upper-third compared to the October, 2018, figures (though it stands to reason other teams may, and probably have, increased the size of their analytics departments as well).
The past few years has seen dramatic shifts in the way players — particularly amateur and minor league players — are evaluated, and in how technical data can be used to make players better. The Rangers front office appears to be working to get to the front of the pack in this new era.