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.