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Friday, January 24, 2014

Australian Football League: The new Moneyball: scouting’s next step

Came across this as I was researching a goofy Pluto Jonze/Bruno Mars halftime riff.

The Aphex software uses competition-wide data based on a formula built by the pair plus their own form of ‘Moneyball’, the revolutionary baseball theory of recruiting players based on analytics and statistics.

Their version is the football WAR (Wins Against Replacements): a feature that allows teams to find the on-ground value of every player.

It is a tool being used through the trade and free agency period as clubs acclimatise to the less restrictive player movement era.

“What we’re giving is a totally objective view of what value the player gives when he’s on the field. Also, what we’ve added to that is how many wins a player is worth,” Ward told

“For example, if a team finishes sixth or seventh and they think they need two wins to get closer to a premiership, the program can show you the player or players to go and buy who can get those two wins.

“It really allows clubs to take away a lot of the guess work.”

...“A lot of people always say it’s American sport you’re selling us, and there’s a lot more statistics in baseball. But actually, there’s so many we can use in football now, there’s probably the same as baseball and in some specific WARs we use more.

“One of the heads of a football department said ‘This is Yankee crap’ and I said ‘Imagine if I told you back when you played that the sport scientist guys are telling you when you can train and when you can come on and off’ and he said ‘Good point, keep going’.

“Times change. Some clubs see it as American sport, but now we hear them say more that they think it can help them to just put an objective value on the player.

“This is just a tool to help you with your own eyes. You definitely need the scouts to see them. This will never take over what scouts do, ever. It’s to back up what they’ve got.”

Repoz Posted: January 24, 2014 at 05:10 PM | 0 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: sabermetrics

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