Are there certain sites or columnists that you particularly like?
Yeah, I’m a big fan of Fangraphs.com and Dave Cameron. I love reading some of his stuff. Baseball-Reference.com is a tremendous resource, as well. There’s several out there, but my go-to is probably Fangraphs and Baseball-Reference.com. I love Fangraphs and the mountains of data you can get there, especially with hitters’ tendencies and what percentage of pitches they chase outside the strike zone. Across the board, when balls are put in play — you know exactly which guys are groundball hitters, certain tendencies. Some of the defensive metrics are pretty interesting, too, although it’s probably a little bit controversial still. But interesting nonetheless.
How much time do you spend preparing for each game, or each series?
It’s a daily thing for me. There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not on Fangraphs or Baseball-Reference.com, or several others, just reading articles or really breaking down data. There’s so much to do, and I like to break down overall team tendencies, especially offensively, and of course pitching-wise as well. I like to compare year to year, too. I’m really interested in some of the Pitch f/x data, and some of the release points, the horizontal and vertical movement, and really comparing this data year to year, and seeing what a guy’s doing differently year to year. Is his breaking ball breaking a little more, or is he throwing more change-ups this year, or is he throwing more sliders? And I think that those tendencies are really valuable, because those are easy to explain to a fan. You know, 30 percent curveballs last year, and he’s only throwing 20 percent this year, and he’s throwing more change-ups. The data doesn’t lie. But I love the Pitch f/x data, and I’m interested in learning more about the HITf/x data. I think how the ball comes off the bat is really interesting.