10/6/2010 11:48 AM
This thread is inspired by the final paragraph of this post in another thread.

The true impact of coaching on player development has never really been explored in any depth.  We've always been told, and have always assumed, that "good coaches" is one of the various ingredients of proper prospect development.  "Playing time, good coaches, timely promotions, etc."  But I don't think we have any real good way to identify how much of an impact coaching really has on prospect development.

Players have around 40+ different ratings (hitting, pitching, fielding and general ratings) that describe the player, and over time most of us get a pretty good idea of what kind of performance we can get out of a player based on those ratings.  That's because we have tons of hard data that is produced over time and is available for our analysis.  That data is the stats.

We really don't have any kind of data like that available to us for helping to analyze a particular coaches effectiveness.  All we really go by is the idea that good coaches are better than bad coaches.  Well, duh.

What I'm thinking about is that it would be great if there was a way that a coaches impact could be quantified somehow.  Is a minor league hitting coach with a hitting IQ of 63, patience rating of 55 and discipline rating of 38 going to be a better coach than another coach in the same role at the same level with ratings of 58/60/57 in those same categories?

As the person who created the original post in the original post (referenced above) pointed out, coach hiring is generally little more than a glorified auction with people often just bidding on the top three available coaches (based on the appropriate discipline's IQ rating) until they get somebody.  There's probably very little real strategy going on, such as "I think that Jimmy Smith would be a much better coach for my HiA pitchers because of his discipline rating".  It's more like "I'll take the 63 IQ over the 61 IQ".

I'm not sure what the answer to this is.  My first thought was that if a coaches impact on development could be qualtified such that a particular coach is given a grade (i.e. 23% better than an average coach, versus 18% better than the mean), that might be helpful.  Then I realized that all that would do would create a kind of "overall" coach rating, which in the end would dumb down the coach hiring process even more as now we'd just be competing in an auction for the best coaches OVR rating available for each job.

Maybe a "resume" for each coach, similar to the scouting reports GD or HD issues for recruits.  Something with some verbiage such as "works really well with low makeup players", or "does not relate well to low patience players", etc.  I'd still like to see some kind of data that can somehow back these things up, but I'm not quite sure what that data could be.

Bottom line: I think it would be nice to have something that adds to the strategy of coach hiring beyond just trying to hire the highest available pitching IQ coach for each level, etc.  I'm just not sure what that could be.

Brainstorming ideas are welcome.
10/6/2010 12:08 PM
I don't know. It reflects real life, right?

How do you measure the impact of a Cito Gaston vs a Joe Girardi? Is it wins/losses? Is it the amount of young players successful at the ML level?

I'd rather go by the assumption that certain players will improve under certain conditions, that those conditions could be figured out logically (ie. a player with poor makeup would not do well with a coach with high disipline and low patience) and that the sim, more or less, applies those conditions.

I'm not for learning the secrets behind the engine, or at least having it handed to us.

I like an earlier suggestion about the ratings. If behind the scenes they are actually down to one or two decimal points, I'd like to see those decidmal points. That "1" improvement could be .5 or 1.4. I'd like that.
10/6/2010 12:24 PM
I'm not asking for the secrets to the engine.  I also don't want to know that.

Too much information about how coaching really works is not a good thing.  Spoils the entire process if we knew exactly how it worked.  But I think that we probably know too little information about how it works.  Without something tangible to base our hiring decisions on, we just go for the guys with the highest IQ's in their discipline.  Maybe with a little "gut feeling" adjustment for patience and/or discipline ratings that are too high or too low.  But I think the guy in the other thread nailed it when he pointed out that for the most part, coach hiring is basically little more than an auction with little actual strategy behind it, with many owners just waiting until the last cycle to throw out offers.

I think there's gotta be some middle ground between what we have today (which IMHO is too little), and just giving us the code.  That's all I'm trying to explore.
10/6/2010 1:24 PM
I used to go 12-16m in coach hiring. I'm comfortable with under 10 now. I think relating to wins/losses or even development means very little.
10/6/2010 1:41 PM
Ok, there is probably an in-between, but I think it's as simple as clearly spelling out what each rating should do in the Help guide.

If it's there, I didn't see it. Which means some newb probably won't find it either.
10/6/2010 2:03 PM

- This is the coach's hitting IQ rating. The higher the rating, the more he'll help your players develop their batting skills.

- This is the coach's pitching IQ rating. The higher the rating, the more he'll help your players develop their pitching skills.

- This is the coach's fielding IQ rating. The higher the rating, the more he'll help your players develop their fielding skills.

- This is the coach's baserunning IQ rating. The higher the rating, the more he'll help your players develop their baserunning skills.

- This is the coach's patience rating. The higher the rating, the easier it will be for him to tolerate and coach younger players. Of course, if he's really good in the other areas, his lack of patience may be acceptable.

- This is the coach's strategy rating. The higher the rating, the more likely he'll succeed as a bench coach. Bench coaches are important, because they can improve/hurt the day-to-day management operations of a minor league franchise as well as affect in-game decision making (even at the big league level if the manager gets ejected). They generally have different managerial settings than the ones you've set, for instance.

- This is the coach's discipline rating. The higher the rating, the more focused he'll be on the fundamentals such as bunting, throwing strikes and hitting the cutoff man. Of course, this means he'll spend less time on some of the other important aspects of his role.

- This is the coach's loyalty rating. The higher the rating, the more likely the coach is to re-sign with your club.

10/6/2010 2:11 PM
I have to agree with death's first comment.     Wasn't Leo Mazzone a pitching guru up until he got to Baltimore?   Wasn't Torre a clueless 'tard until he got to NY?

HBD coaching is on of the few things that can't be "figured" out completely.   Maybe that's a good thing.
10/6/2010 2:12 PM
The IQ ratings are pretty straight forward, as is the loyalty rating. 

The strategy rating is OK.  A higher strategy rating will keep SIMMY from making stupid in-game decisions.

I guess the patience rating can be a little confusing because it doesn't really give an idea of what negative impact a low-patience coach will have on development.

The discipline rating is a head-scratcher.  I guess it impacts the bunt rating (for hitters) and the control rating (for pitchers)  But which player rating is involved with "hitting the cutoff man"?  And it also implies that having too high of a discipline rating could have a negative impact on other player ratings.
10/6/2010 4:44 PM
Wouldn't hitting the cut-off man require arm accuracy?
10/6/2010 5:01 PM
Posted by MikeT23 on 10/6/2010 4:44:00 PM (view original):
Wouldn't hitting the cut-off man require arm accuracy?
Sometimes, but not always.  Maybe the OFer tries throwing to the wrong base, ignoring the cutoff man altogether.

Of course, my automatically thinking that way comes from watching way too many Little League games this spring, summer and fall.  The kids sometimes just don't seem to get it.
10/6/2010 5:18 PM
Well, there is no "Baseball IQ" rating so I think it applies to arm accuracy.
2/22/2013 9:50 PM
Bumping this with an additional comment:

The biggest "problem" that I see with coaches is that there is no tangible way to measure their effectiveness.

With players, you have statistics.  With coaches, you have player development, but there is no way to separate how much of player development is a by-product of coaches and how much is due to player's makeup, playing time, etc.

Perhaps if there was some way to measure the effectiveness of coaches, then the complaining about how the whole coaching system sucks might have less teeth.

I'm not sure what kind of measurement could be done.  Perhaps some sort of organizational "report card" for coaches towards the end of the year about how well (or poorly) they impacted development of prospects.
2/24/2013 8:17 PM

tecwrg - I think you've nailed this topic.

I like nothing about hiring coaches

I like deciding what players to keep on my team, who to offer arb, who to cut, who to make an FA offer to, deciding how much to bid, decide to bid now or see if the price drops, setting my lineup, juggling my lineup through the season, etc.

I don't like anything about coach hiring.

It takes a lot of time and I have no idea how it's helping my players develop or if it's helping at all.

The best solution would be to make it a budget like scouting, medial, health, etc. The more you spend the more you get.

Could be one budget or multiple budgets, by level or by skill. All better than the way it works now.

The current bidding system is flawed in so many ways it's not worth listing them all.

Even if the current system was made perfect (by my definition, which probably wouldn't be anyone else's) the game would have to programmed to take into account how 8 coaching rating variables impact 30 player rating variables over the player's level, playing time, position playing in the field, and probably more. 

Plus whatever in-game variables coaching should impact. What exactly does strategy do? Does anyone believe the SIM, for every play of ever game, generates a few possible coaching options and then looks at coaches strategy rating and then decides what to do? Or that the SIM does this after the manager gets ejected? That they programmed two entirely different SIM engines, one for when the manager is in the game (99% of the time) and one for after the manager was ejected?

Why bother doing or fixing any of this?  Is the game really that much better for all of this complexity? 

All of this could be done. They might have wanted to do it when they programmed the game. But like any first version of anything, everything on the wishlist doesn't get done.  Given the relative lack of upgrades to the game, why even consider spending money on this? It's still just going to be coaches.

The way Medical and Scouting work provide plenty of strategy options without needless complexity.  You pay more, on average you'll get more/better.  Still some risk and variables. Maxing scouting doesn't mean you'll see all the best prospects. Maxing Medial doesn't mean nobody gets hurt or players come back as good or better from injuries. But is seems that the game works well in that the odds are better the more you invest.

That is plenty of strategy without having to worry about trying to get a good P coach (not really know what makes for a good P coach) at AA because that's where your best P prospect should be this season. Yes, that can be done, but it's such a small level of detail it's not fun.  Any more than it would be fun to bid on individual doctors to fill out a medical team at every level if those doctors had 8 ratings each and nobody knew what those ratings really impacted.

End of rant.  Thanks, tecwrg.

2/25/2013 11:24 AM
Perhaps the ratings should be eliminted all together since it seems people want a little mystery.  How about generic lables for a coach that give you an idea how their skills can be used.  Things like "players coach" for a guy who could counter act the negative effects of low patience or temper in a player because this guy connects with players.  Or great teacher / handles pitchers well / etc.  I don't think it would take more than a day for the collective WiS user base to come up with 50 or so generic descriptions that could be used to provide a better idea where and how a guy could be used. 

As an aside, I think a big problem with coach hiring is that no matter what kind of money your willing to offer, you can't get a guy to take a lower level position.  Lets be realistic, If I have a PC with an 82 rating and a BP coach with an 80 who wants to stay with a role change, it doesn't matter that I could offer him 5 million dollars a season to keep him in the pen when I pay my PC 2.5 million.  He just wont even consider it.  That's unrealistic.

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