A Peak Inside The Process With Chaim Bloom & Erik Neander | The Process Report

A Peak Inside The Process With Chaim Bloom & Erik Neander

Over the weekend, I had the honor of being a guest at the Baseball Prospectus event held at the Trop prior to Saturday night’s game. Along with fellow fans and friends of TPR, Toby David (1010 AM CBS Sports) and Jason Collette (DRaysBay), we were joined by Chaim Bloom and Erik Neander of the Rays front office. As fans of the process, we have discussed—and at times, talked to—the pair; however, it was nice to speak to both in real life and see how they interacted with the rest of the fanbase.

As is the case with most of the Rays front office, there were some things that were left unsaid, but there was transparency and honesty from both Bloom and Neander too. Because of Bloom’s background in minor league operations, he spoke heavily about the talented system including Tim Beckham. It is pretty clear the organization views Beckham as a shortstop at the next level and are extremely impressed with not only his work ethic, but also his leadership as well. With Hak-Ju Lee on his heels at the Advanced-A level, it will he interesting to see how the team handles promotions for both players. Meanwhile, moving either from shortstop does not appear to be an option; at least not at this point in their careers.

Bloom also spoke about the communication between the minor league levels and the organization. Information remains king throughout all levels and that is passed on from minor league coaches throughout the Rays front office and vice versa.

While we frequently talk about players as prospects, it appears as if the Rays have a potential “next Joe Maddon” lurking in their system as well. Although he did not amount to much as a major league player, Jared Sandberg appears to have a bright future within the organization as a coach. The team has already shown faith in him as a manager working the short season affiliates, but Sandberg also shows some out of the box characteristics that the organization embraces, which includes using the five-man infield in the appropriate situations and shifting his defense during intrasquad spring training games.

Neander is somewhat of a patron saint of the Process Report, having been credited as the founder of The Danks Theory in Jonah Keri’s book The Extra 2%. Neander also spoke about the flow of information and the on-going balancing act of providing information, how to provide it, and avoiding overloading the players and coaches with their findings. Not surprisingly, the resistance from coaches and players is less and less as Neander and crew provide sound reason behind their theories as well as seeing several instances become successful in game action.

There were no trade secrets uncovered and the next market inefficiency wasn’t discovered (although I tried), but all-in-all it was a very informative hour – much more than I shared – with some of the men who help mold the thinking of the club we follow.

Thanks to Erik and Chaim and look forward to the next one.



2 Comments

  1. buddaley wrote:

    And thanks also to you and Jason for your part in the program. It was a terrific event, and as I mentioned on another site, every time I listen to an employee of the Rays I am more impressed with the organization. These are bright, creative thinkers and the sense of openness in the organization is refreshing. I also thought Toby David was very interesting, especially as he played college baseball and had some insights from that perspective.

    Great questions from you and Jason and the moderating of the Q & A was excellent. Thanks.

    • Tommy Rancel wrote:

      Thanks Bob. I though the back and forth between questions and answers went well. I also appreciated having Toby up there having gone through some of the things as a player as well as knowing people who have been through the draft process, etc.

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