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9 Things To Know About MLB Insider Kiley McDaniel: Part I

He describes his ESPN job as being "basically in charge of knowing about every baseball player of interest on the planet." Here's what you should know about him.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Here’s Part 1 of this introduction to Kiley McDaniel, Items 1-5. Part 2 will be published Thursday.

ESPN MLB Insider Kiley McDaniel joined ESPN in 2020 to focus on prospects, the draft, free agency and more. In March, McDaniel debuted his first Top Prospects series on ESPN+, ranking the best up-and-coming players and teams in Major League Baseball.

Kiley McDaniel
(Melissa Rawlins/ESPN Images)

In Part 1, McDaniel tells us more about his life both in and outside of work, including information about his new book, and his upcoming wedding.

Five Things To Know TODAY About ESPN’s MLB Insider Kiley McDaniel

1. I’ve worked for four MLB teams and have spent 15 years working around the majors. I worked for the Yankees, Orioles, Pirates, and Braves, in that order. Most recently with Atlanta (where I still live), I was an assistant director of Baseball Operations and the West Coast crosschecker, so I have experience in every department of baseball as a scout and executive along with covering them as a writer.

2. I write for ESPN+ about the Major Leagues, Minor League prospects, the draft, and international signings. I’m basically in charge of knowing about every baseball player of interest on the planet. It’s a lot, but I’ve been doing this in some form for about 10 years so now I only have to learn about the new guys and the ones that are changing.

3. I have a book coming out in early April called Future Value.
I wrote it with my friend and former colleague at FanGraphs, Eric Longenhagen. It’s an update to Moneyball, around how some MLB teams are now replacing scouts with statistical analysts in recent years. We interview scouting directors about the best players they’re signed, go into all the strategies teams employ, what statistics are replacing scouts, and we also teach you how to be a scout, step by step.

4. I travel a lot to see games during the season, mostly to games below the Major League level. I’m obviously not traveling right now, but most spring weekends before the draft, I’ll be at a mix of college and high school games. Atlanta is a great location for direct flights all over the country (love those SkyMiles) and almost half of the first round is drivable within a few hours at some point throughout the season.

5. I have a fiancée named Lennie. She’s a lobbyist for a nonprofit doctors’ association. We both work from home and (normally) travel a lot: She flies to Washington D.C. a couple of times a month. Our wedding is set for November.

THURSDAY: Items 6-9 will reveal information about McDaniel’s television pilot and his most valuable “scout.”

McDaniel calls Atlanta home.
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