FanGraphs Audio: Eric Longenhagen Talks Evaluation


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Episode 910

As part of Prospects Week, this episode of FanGraphs Audio features interdisciplinary conversations between lead prospect analyst Eric Longenhagen and experts from non-baseball fields about the industry of competitive evaluation.

  • At the top of the program, Eric welcomes Matt Lloyd, assistant general manager of the Orlando Magic. They discuss how analytics has changed basketball in recent decades and the many challenges presented by evaluating players in the sport. Matt also outlines what the year-round schedule of draft preparation looks like in the NBA and how trades come to be in the league. [5:14]
  • After that, Eric is joined by Luis Scott-Vargas of ChannelFireball. Luis is a Hall of Fame Magic: The Gathering player who has been a dominant force in the game for many years. He and Eric talk about how a collectible card game spawned an immense following and the competitive analysis that has come along with it. Luis also offers insight into how things like technology and the resulting wisdom of the crowds has shaped the game, as well as the ethics of outsmarting your opponent vs. “angle shooting,” and how they are similar in MTG and baseball. [37:10]
  • In the third segment, Eric talks to Steve Palazzolo of Pro Football Focus. Eric begins by asking Steve about his baseball career and what led him to working in football evaluation. Then the pair go over how different teams have started using analytics to their own varying degrees. They also discuss how the influence of research has started to change decision-making on the field, some of the unique challenges of trying to appropriately evaluate football players on a crowded gridiron, what the current best solutions are for most accurately understanding talent — and how all of this affects the draft. [1:08:17]

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Audio after the jump. (Approximate 1 hour 39 minutes play time.)

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