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How Hank Peter's did it...

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Posted: 11/9/2012 11:19 AM

How Hank Peter's did it... 


***disclaimer - I am totally cutting and pasting from Tony's website forum and putting here, so props to Ironmike over there.  Just thought the length and depth of the article would be better served and spark conversation by pasting as opposed to linking...

That being said, sounds like we could use a shot in the arm like this:

Hank Peters was aghast when he went to the 1988 Indians' camp in Arizona. Although, the Indians had claimed to be developing a large number of talented pitchers. Peters was unimpressed with what he saw. Throughout the entire organization, Peters thought, there was a lack of hard-throwing pitchers. The farm system he concluded, was a "disgrace."

Like many baseball executives, he had privately laughed when Sports Illustrated picked the Indians to win in 1987. Peters was right. The Indians scored runs that year, but their pitchers were yielding five earned runs per game. No team could win with such poor pitching.

Nor was Peters impressed with many of Joe Klein's (GM) favorites. He told agent Scott Boras that Jay Bell was a Triple A shortstop and traded him to the Pirates. He held a low opinion of catcher Andy Allanson's defensive skills and released him. He did not believe that Klein draftees Rod Nichols, Jeff Shaw, or Kevin Wickander had major league arms.

Peters was unduly harsh in his criticism. Peter Bavasi and Joe Klein had taken control of baseball's worst franchise in 1985 and had initiated the transformation of the team. Klein's farm system included such future major leaguers as Greg Swindell, Steve Olin and Tom Kramer, and outfielder Albert Belle. Klein was one of the few executives firmly convinced that Jay Bell would be an All-Star shortstop. But Bavasi knew the effort to rebuild the Indians was not completed, " I think we have the thing halfway turned-around," Bavasis confided to Hank Peters in 1987.

Peters scrapped the Indians organization and replaced it with his own. He recruited John Hart, a baseball lifer, to be a special assignment scout in Cleveland. Hart was young, bright, and so energetic that he kept a notebook by his bed to jot down ideas in the middle of the night. Unlike Peters, John Hart was intense and impatient. But Peters always liked him and carefully promoted him through the Baltimore system. Peters discovered Hart when Tom Giordano, director of player development and scouting in Baltimore, scouted Ron Karkovice at an Orlando High School. "Watch how this team plays today," a scout told Giordano. "The fellow who manages the team does a real good job." The high school manager was John Hart, and an impressed Giordano hired him to manage an Orioles Rookie League team.

When Peters brought Hart to Cleveland he already was considering him as a possible successor. "The first year," Peters told Hart, "I want you to scout major league teams. It will help you get to know the talent in the major leagues that you haven't seen. It will also give you the opportunity to go to other major league parks, introduce yourself, and get to know people at the major league level that you might have to deal with sometime in the future. Hart worked his way through a variety of chores in Cleveland until Peters elevated him to vice president of baseball operations in 1990.

To direct the Indians' farm system, Peters brought Dan O'Dowd from Baltimore, where Dan had spent 2 1/2 years as assistant director of player development. Like Hart, O'Dowd was young and ambitious: Peters was convinced that he would "be a general manager someday." Peters wanted to retain, Jeff Scott as director of scouting, but when Scott took another job, Peters chose Chet Montgomery for the job. Peters added a new Class A team the South Atlantic League. The Indians, who had just four minor league teams and 18 scouts in 1984 operated six minor league teams and had 29 scouts in 1992.

The additional scouts paid off quickly. While most teams choose wisely in the first and second rounds of the June free agent draft, clever scouts find players in the low rounds. Peters scout did exactly that. In 1989, the Indians drafted Jim Thome in the 13th round. By 1994 Thome was contributing at the ML level. In 1990, the Indians drafter David Bell in the 7th round and Albie Lopez in the 20th round. Lopez was so highly regarded that when the Indians tried to obtain Bret Saberhagen in 1993, the Mets insisted upon Lopez in return.

Peters also ordered O'Dowd and Giordano to open a baseball school in the talent-rich Dominican Republic, home of such stars as Julio Franco, George Bell, and Tony Fernandez. For two decades, the Indians made little effort to sign players in Latin America; Peters noted that the Indians' chief scout in Latin America spent most of the summer serving as a coach in Cleveland instead of scouting. That would end: for too long the Indians had allowed the Blue Jays and Dodgers to monopolize the Dominican Republic.

The Indians hired Winston Llenas, a shrewd scout of Latin America talent. Instead, of directly competing with the Blue Jays and Dodgers schools in the south of the Dominican, the Indians opened their school in Santiago in the north. Cleveland scouts fanned out across the DR, Panama and Venezuela in search of new talent. The players many of them 16 years old would be shipped to the DR for development. The major league prospects were then shipped to the U.S. minor league teams.

Julian Taveras a graduate of this system came to the Indians first in 1993.

For limited dollars, $300,000 a year, instead of handing out $1 million dollar bonuses the Indians found a better way to develop quantity and quality.

Baseball executives were impressed. Baseball America named the Indians the top organization of the year in 1992. The Indians showed they could develop players in their minor league system and would go and demonstrate they could keep them and win.
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Posted: 11/9/2012 12:56 PM

Re: How Hank Peter's did it... 


Scouting, drafting & developing.  3 things the Tribe has been sorely lacking since the days of Peters/Hart. Their record has been poor since the Peters/Hart players left town.
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Posted: 11/9/2012 3:47 PM

RE: How Hank Peter's did it... 


John Hart's drafts were even worse than Shapiro's, for the record.
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Posted: 11/9/2012 3:59 PM

RE: How Hank Peter's did it... 


i'm not sure they were worse, but damn, they WERE bad. the highlight was manny in 1991. they also got paul byrd, chad ogea and albie lopez that year. they got CC in 98, sean casey in 95 but man, there was a lot of chaff in between. lots of wasted #1 picks.

many, many swings and misses.
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Posted: 11/9/2012 5:58 PM

RE: How Hank Peter's did it... 



buddy34 wrote: i'm not sure they were worse, but damn, they WERE bad. the highlight was manny in 1991. they also got paul byrd, chad ogea and albie lopez that year. they got CC in 98, sean casey in 95 but man, there was a lot of chaff in between. lots of wasted #1 picks.

many, many swings and misses.

Yep, lots of misses, but if they drafted nobody except CC & Manny, it dwarfs everything drafted since Shapiro took over as GM.  Victor was also signed during Hart's tenure.

Were Thome & Nagy drafted under Hart or Peters?

Edit: it was Peters.  Nagy drafted in 88/ Thome in 89.  Hart came to Cleveland as a scout in 89.

Last edited 11/9/2012 8:22 PM by WahooinAtlanta

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Posted: 11/9/2012 6:32 PM

RE: How Hank Peter's did it... 


Any balanced analysis would involve the disastrous trades of Giles, Burnitz, Sexaon, et al.

But none of that fits the narrative that 95% of somebody's posts.
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Posted: 11/9/2012 7:54 PM

RE: How Hank Peter's did it... 


After Manny in 91, there was CC and that was basically it until Shapiro finally fixed the draft near the end of his tenure.

But WIA exists to troll Mark Shaprio on an internet message board frequented by 20 people (none of whom are Mark Shapiro, btw, who he could just as easily tweet at). If that's how he needs to entertain himself, so be it.

Last edited 11/9/2012 7:55 PM by GopherIndianHybrid

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Posted: 11/10/2012 12:34 PM

RE: How Hank Peter's did it... 



MrBananaGrabber85 wrote: Any balanced analysis would involve the disastrous trades of Giles, Burnitz, Sexaon, et al.
And it would include the good trades and FA signings.

I'll take the drafts of the 90s over the drafts of the 00s any day.
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Posted: 11/10/2012 12:44 PM

RE: How Hank Peter's did it... 



ronfh wrote:
MrBananaGrabber85 wrote: Any balanced analysis would involve the disastrous trades of Giles, Burnitz, Sexaon, et al.
And it would include the good trades and FA signings.

I'll take the drafts of the 90s over the drafts of the 00s any day.

Exactly Ron. I was comparing drafts during the 2 periods.

Trades are a different story, but the Shapologists can't defend his drafts, so they have to go another route.

Hart did have some bad trades like Giles, but he also brought in great players like Omar & Lofton while giving up very little in return.

All 1 has to do is to look at the records during the Hart/Peters era to the Shaponetti era to see that there is little comparison. Anyone who tries is in complete denial.
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Posted: 11/10/2012 1:07 PM

RE: How Hank Peter's did it... 




---------------------------------------------
--- ronfh wrote:


MrBananaGrabber85 wrote: Any balanced analysis would involve the disastrous trades of Giles, Burnitz, Sexaon, et al.
And it would include the good trades and FA signings.

I'll take the drafts of the 90s over the drafts of the 00s any day.

---------------------------------------------

I am fine with that. What gets annoying is knowing that every time I open a thread that the last post was by WIA that the exact same "analysis" is gojng to appear.
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Posted: 11/11/2012 8:53 AM

Re: How Hank Peter's did it... 


WIA ran out of tampons years ago.
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Posted: 11/11/2012 5:16 PM

RE: How Hank Peter's did it... 



MrBananaGrabber85 wrote: Any balanced analysis would involve the disastrous trades of Giles, Burnitz, Sexaon, et al.

But none of that fits the narrative that 95% of somebody's posts.
However, that is when they left their operating philosophy behind or forgot they were the Cleveland Indians or got suckered into following conventional wisdom.  Take your pick, but it was a combination of the three.  

The good thing about that period is at one point they did have a rational operating philosophy for the market and the bad thing about this period is they don't.
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Posted: 12/23/2012 11:36 AM

Re: How Hank Peter's did it... 


Hey, Hoynsie: It seems that Brad Grant is doing a pretty good job, but who were the Tribe's primary talent evaluators (both pro and amateur) under John Hart in the early 1990s? Between drafting (Manny Ramirez, Jim Thome, Albert Belle, Charlie Nagy), trades (Sandy Alomar Jr., Kenny Lofton, Carlos Baerga) and even free agents (Eddie Murray, Orel Hershiser, Dennis Martinez) those guys clearly had a better eye for talent than the recent guys. -- Steven Phillips, Philadelphia

Hey, Steven: Jeff Scott, the Indians' director of scouting, drafted Belle in the second round in 1987 and Nagy in the first round of 1988. Joe Klein and Danny O'Brien were running the front office in 1987, but Hank Peters was running the show in 1988 and he brought two key players with him from Baltimore, Hart and Dan O'Dowd. In 1989, Peters was in charge, the late Chet Montgomery was director of scouting and O'Dowd was farm director when Thome was taken in the 13th round. Mickey White was the scouting director when the Indians took Ramirez in the first round in 1991 with Peters still calling the shots.

When the Indians sent Joe Carter to San Diego for Sandy Alomar Jr., Carlos Baerga and Chris James in December 1989, Peters was the CEO/GM with Hart doing a lot of the leg work as a scout. One of Hart's first official acts after succeeding Peters as GM in September 1991 was acquiring Lofton from Houston at the winter meetings. White was director of scouting.

Hart, with O'Dowd serving as assistant general manager, signed Murray and Martinez as free agents after the 1993 season and Hershiser just before the 1995 season.

Link

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