Trim the fat


A lot of attention has been focused, and deservedly so, on the personnel changes at PNC Park — the arrivals of Frank Coonelly and Neal Huntington, and the departure of Jim Tracy and his coaching staff. But even after a new manager and assistant GM are in place, management still will have important changes to make.

According to Huntington, the Pirates’ data collection system needs a complete overhaul. It will require more than installing new computer software.

Information about players in the Pirates’ minor league system is scattered among too many different people and departments. If Huntington wants to evaluate, say, a Class A outfielder, he must pull amateur and pro scouting reports from one source, contract information from another department, video files from another guy down the hall, statistical analysis from folks in another part of the building, and so on.

“There are a multitude of sources we have to go to right now,” Huntington said. “It’s not as efficient as it needs to be.”

It’s amazing that a franchise which so often operates on a shoestring budget can have so much unnecessary sprawl in its front office.

“We’re going to enhance the systems that are in place,” Huntington said. “We’re going to change the processes that are in place. We’re going to put ourselves in position to make the best decisions.”