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Amaro close to hiring analytics expert for front office

Amaro close to hiring analytics expert for front office

Amaro close to hiring analytics expert for front office

PHILADELPHIA -- Ruben Amaro Jr. grabbed the attention of Phillies fans last month when he mentioned the team planned to hire an analytics expert to help with player evaluation.

Sabermetrics had not interested the Phillies in the past, but Amaro said the Phillies "owe it to ourselves to look at some other ways to evaluate."

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Amaro said recently they are getting close to hiring somebody.

"I think it's just a matter of getting more information," he said. "I don't know if it's going to change the way we do business, necessarily. We still plan to be a scouting and player development organization, but I think it's important to get all the information and analyze not just what we're doing, but how other clubs are evaluating players when we talk about possible trades and other sorts of things."

The Phillies have been working with the Commissioner's Office during their search. Major League Baseball's Labor Relations Department works closely with teams and has helped make personnel recommendations in the past. The LRD has also developed resources for baseball operations staffs, including former employees like Pirates president Frank Coonelly and a number of assistant general managers.

Asked if he looked back at recent personnel decisions and wondered if analytics would have helped steer him toward or away from particular players, Amaro said, "Not specifically, no. Again, we believe in our scouts and the things that they recommend. We're not going to be 100 percent right all the time. But we want to be more right than wrong."

How much the Phillies use analytics or value the new hire's findings remains to be seen. But there will be plenty of information to consider.

"We just have to do a better job of targeting the right guys," Amaro said.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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