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October 1, 2012 5:00 am

Baseball Therapy: When Do Players Stop Developing?

9

Russell A. Carleton

How old does a player have to be before we should stop expecting him to improve?

"He just needs another year."

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How reading a pitcher is like reading a book, and why being self-conscious can make you bad at baseball.

Last week, I began a series on player development and what a stathead like me can say about how to assess a player's progress. One of the most maddening things about baseball fandom (and, um, on the inside of the game too) is when prospects who are supposed to take the team into a brave new era don't pan out. Every team has "the name that shall not be uttered" in polite company. He was a can't-miss blue-chipper whom everyone figured would be the next Willie Mays. Except that he turned into the next Willie Bloomquist.

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Sitting down with the Pirates' new GM to talk about the philosophies hell bring with him from Cleveland, and his overall vision for Pittsburgh.

Neal Huntington has a challenge in front of him, but the 10-year veteran of the Indians front office has a plan in place to help resuscitate a moribund Pirates franchise that hasn't had a winning season since 1992--a plan that includes the utilization of performance analysis. Appointed as the team's new general manager in September, the 38-year-old native of Amherst, New Hampshire brings not only an extensive scouting and player development background to Pittsburgh, but also a deep understanding of sabermetrics.

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November 28, 2007 12:00 am

Prospectus Q&A: Mike Hazen

0

David Laurila

Boston's director of player development discusses the team's minor league system and player development philosophy.

The Red Sox have one of the best farm systems in the game, and Mike Hazen is among the reasons why. The team's director of player development since February 2006, Hazen has helped to nurture the development of Dustin Pedroia, Clay Buchholz, and Jacoby Ellsbury--to name just a few--and more talent remains in the pipeline. A native of Abington, Massachusetts, Hazen was an All-Ivy League outfielder at Princeton University in 1997 and 1998 and played two years in the minors before joining the Indians organization as a scout. David talked to Hazen about the Red Sox player development system and about some of the organization's best young prospects.

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