This article's target audience is people in the public sphere who research and write about baseball. The guiding question is this: "why do Sabermetricians rarely talk about player development?" Russell Carleton rightly points out that player development analysis tends to be focused only on what players do post-development, which really misses the mark. Carleton then suggests a few items today's analysts need to consider before delving into the the nitty gritty of player development.
Namely, there is a relative lack of information about players in development; there's inconvenient fact that each player is different and has different strengths, weaknesses, and needs; and then we have the misleading nature of minor league box scores. Most interestingly, Carleton suggests that to study player development, observers need to "let go of WAR." In particular, he warns against putting young players in development into a WAR box that disallows continued development. So and so is a two-win player essentializes so and so.
One of the most intriguing bits from the article is that we should recognize the difference between the way we talk about big leaguers and minor leaguers. And I do mean us here on this website—the one with complete coverage from the majors to Rookie ball. Player development is a tougher nut to crack than drawing quick conclusions based on the difference between ERA and FIP. It's why those privileged enough to have access to actually seeing these players on a regular basis are so valuable to us, and ultimately everyone who reads these pages.
While Ian Kennedy did suffer from an unusually high home run to fly ball ratio last season, that doesn't necessarily mean he's a good pitcher disguised as a bad one. Kennedy hasn't been above average since 2011, and because he rejected a qualifying offer, he'd also cost the Rockies a draft pick. Dill raises some good points, but I'd still have to pass.
While baseball in (most of) the northern hemisphere has wrapped up, the southern hemisphere is playing ball. In the Australian Baseball League a couple of days ago, an umpire blew a call on the field, as happens. What followed was a testament to baseball's internationalism: an argument between manager and umpire, an ejection, and third base thrown into a beer garden.