10 MLB Teams Opt Out Of Alternate Site Video-Sharing Scouting Service
The coronavirus pandemic has thrown nearly everything about this season out of step. The regular season is just 60 games, doubleheader games are just seven innings, the postseason field has been expanded to 16 teams, both leagues are utilizing the DH and the minor league season was canceled before it could start.
The trade deadline, which is slated for Monday—just 39 days after Opening Day—is no exception. Pro scouts have been barred from ballparks and alternate training sites, which means the latest any team will have gotten in-person looks at big leaguers or prospects will have been the last day before spring training shut down.
Still, trades will happen, and some sort of evaluation will need to occur before a team decides on which prospects it wants in return. The catch this year is that teams can only immediately acquire players who are on their team’s 60-man player pool. Otherwise, teams will have to use players to be named later as placeholders and wait to officially complete the acquisition.
So, to get as familiar as possible with prospects at teams’ alternate sites, the league has set up a video-sharing service filled with clips of minor leaguers from around the country. There is a catch, though: Not every team is required to participate, and a third of the league has chosen not to upload clips to the sharing service, run through a system called Synergy.
According to three sources, the 10 teams who have opted out of sharing their videos are: the White Sox, Yankees, Nationals, Royals, Dodgers, Braves, Tigers, Brewers, Athletics and Padres.
Even though that group has opted out of the official, league-wide sharing program, they aren’t necessarily keeping all their video to themselves. One source indicated that some teams have video-trading deals with each other independent of the 20-team pool.
That means that if, say, the Braves (not in the sharing pool) wanted to execute a trade with the Marlins (part of the trading pool), the teams could work behind the scenes to send each other the video necessary to make the best deal possible.
Though the motivations behind each team opting out of the video-sharing pool vary, one source indicated that at least one team still has its video coordinator furloughed, making the collection of video at the team’s alternate site a difficult endeavor.
The quality of videos from each alternate site vary from team to team, but multiple scouts who’ve perused the videos have given special praise to what the Marlins and Rays have provided from their alternate sites in Jupiter, Fla. and Port Charlotte, Fla.