Scott Harris, the new President of Baseball Operations for the Detroit Tigers, was introduced on Tuesday to the media.
The next guy up to lead the Detroit Tigers, Scott Harris, was introduced to the media today. Various sources within and outside of the organization gave the Tigers a lot of input. Chris Ilitch mentioned a list of names. The list included manager A.J. Hinch, Sam Menzin, Jay Satori and Detroit Red Wings Executive VP and GM Steve Yzerman.
He said he will hire a GM so the role will not be vacant. Harris mentioned three main concepts in which he plans to build the roster to start the presser.
“We need to acquire, develop and retain young players. It’s not a unique strategy. Most organizations and baseball are trying to do that, but it’s exceptionally important for us.And we need to absolutely lean into that over the next few.
“The second thing is the best organizations in baseball right now are not only acquiring that talent. They’re getting the absolute most out of that talent. When they get into the organization for me, we need to create a culture of development here.
The last one Harris said was music to Tigers fans ears. Detroit has been over the last several seasons among the league leaders in strikeouts. Harris spoke about the strike zone and how influences both offense and pitching.
“I believe that the strike zone disproportionately influence. Just about everything you see on the baseball field, it dictates pitch counts. It dictates count, leverage it dictates length of inning, dictates the load you’re putting on the pitcher’s body and how many pitchers you’re gonna have to use throughout a series.
“The zone also dictates the quality of contact that you’re giving up and how much contact you’re getting up, which therefore influences the quality of defense that you can build and execute behind the. It touches essentially every part of our game. So we’re gonna start there. We’re gonna start with the strike zone.”
Chris Ilitch is impressive with Harris’s approach.
When asked by Cody Stavenhagen of the Athletic what stood out about Harris, Ilitch mentioned his attention to detail and how he used the data.
“I would also say his, his approach. It is progressive and forward looking on how to win in today’s league. And the, the other thing I would say is his ability.
To take data and, and blend data and technology throughout the organization to help us achieve you know, his vision and execute his plan was very impressive. Beyond that, I found him to be very intelligent very humble very low key and He had he has a tremendous drive to innovate and that’s that’s something you don’t always see with folks in the industry.”
For Ilitch, it is a departure from perhaps how Avila approached team building. As you recall, Menzin and Satori were recently promoted last season. The old guard, if you will, David Littlefield and David Chadd, seem to have fallen behind. Just looking at the farm system this season, there is significant improvement across the board. With the help of Ryan Garko, Gabe Rivas and others, the Tigers system is developing something we have not seen in sometime. Depth. Harris is a fan of having as much as possible. He is already getting familiar with the farm system. The Richmond Flying Squirrels, who the Erie SeaWolves are playing tonight in the Eastern League playoffs, are a Giants affiliate. He said he was torn on Sunday night when he was watching the game on what side to root for.
The talent tree in which he is from, Theo Epstein, Farhan Zaidi, and Jed Hoyer all have been able to extract talent from their farm system. Zaidi identified something with Mike Yastrzemski, who was just a role player in Baltimore. That is what good teams do. The hope is that Scott Harris can do the same here in Detroit. There will plenty of movement this off-season according to Harris, so Tigers fans will experience right away what he can do with evaluating talent.
Photo Credit-Rogelio Castillo
on Twitter @rogcastbaseball