Bagwell praises new Astros GM for 'mixing' analytics with traditional scouting
Houston Astros icon Jeff Bagwell believes the team made the right decision in hiring Dana Brown as its new general manager.
Bagwell - now an Astros community outreach executive and special adviser to owner Jim Crane - thinks Brown can blend traditional scouting with newer forms of talent evaluation, giving the front office what he feels is a much-needed balance.
"His background in scouting and understanding players, as he's talked about mixing analytics with the evaluation of (players using) your eyes and experience ... that's what we want, that's what Jim wants," Bagwell told Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston. "And I think he's gonna do a great job with that."
In November, Bagwell criticized the team's previous regime, led by former GM James Click, for what he deemed an overreliance on analytics. Thanks to his close relationship with Crane, Bagwell has become increasingly involved with Houston's baseball operations department over the past year.
The Hall of Famer had a say in the hiring of Brown and took part in his interviews, the new GM revealed Thursday, according to Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle.
While Click's background was in analytics, Brown comes to the Astros with a more traditional baseball resume, having worked in scouting for most of his 33-year front-office career. The 55-year-old credited his recent time as Atlanta Braves scouting director under Alex Anthopoulos with helping him blend the two styles of evaluation, and he plans to use both in his front office.
"I think analytics is a big part of it," Brown said, according to Rome. "I think it's a piece of the puzzle. We have a saying that you have to weigh all the evidence, and when you weigh all the evidence, you can cut back on the mistakes you've made.
"We really feel like analytics is a big part of it. I just think it's an issue of weighing all the evidence."
Crane, who clashed with Click on multiple occasions during the latter's three-year tenure as GM, praised the Astros' analytics team and confirmed that he "won't do away with" the department.