John Farrell says there is a big difference between how the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays develop their pitchers.
Speaking at a sabermetrics seminar in Boston earlier this week, the Red Sox manager said the Blue Jays are a scouting-based organization whereas the Red Sox take a more holistic approach.
“We can have a seminar on this question — not just because it’s Toronto and Boston,” said Farrell, the Blue Jays manager from 2011-12. “There are very distinct differences and it starts, I think it starts, at the top. And the reason I say that: I found Toronto to be a scouting-based organization, which to me is on one plane, one-dimensional. You’re looking at tools. Here, it’s a player-development based system. It’s the paths of the individuals that are running the organization. And that’s not to be critical.
“We all know that there’s three different veins in this game that people advance (through): baseball operations, scouting, player development,” Farrell said, according to Evan Drellich of MassLive.com.
“Well, in the player-development vein, you’re going to look at things in three dimensions: mentally, physically, fundamentally to address and develop people, or develop an organization. I think as a scouting base, you go out and you evaluate the physical tools. And that’s kind of where it ends, or that’s the look at that time. That was my experience, that was my opinion.”
While teams such as the Tampa Bay Rays, Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, and Oakland Athletics have built successful teams based on homegrown starting pitchers, the Blue Jays have struggled to develop major-league arms for most of the past decade.
Since 2005, the Blue Jays have had just one all-star starting pitcher that was drafted and developed by their own system (Ricky Romero).