Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Newsweek: With Big Data, Moneyball Will Be on Steroids

More Statcasting…and the death of the amateur sabermetrician?

Another incentive for the league—particularly in the face of rising salaries—is an improved understanding of player value, particularly on the defensive end, where teams have focused more attention in the past few years. Defensive shifts, once only employed by the wonkiest teams, have become a league-wide staple thanks to advances in batted-ball data. The problem is, shifts or not, evaluating glove work remains difficult, as most teams rely on some combination of scouting reports, play-by-play data and manual charting. Statcast offers something better: a way to focus on a player’s defensive attributes—his reaction time, range, route efficiency and so on—rather than his results, which are influenced by too many independent variables to list. This potential has excited many outside the industry (especially with the promise that the data will be made public) and even more within.

The only negative to come from all the new technology could be the death of the hobbyist. An important consideration, because some hobbyists have done research that changed how people inside and outside the industry approach the game. For example, Mike Fast was working as a physicist when he used PITCHf/x data to confirm the long-held suspicion that catchers influence how umpires call balls and strikes. Fast is now employed by the Houston Astros. Because the new data are so unwieldy, the barrier to entry so high, only select outsiders will possess the computing strength and wits to scale the wall. In time, someone might make a discovery that eluded the industry. Otherwise, the real advances—those that change how teams are built and how strategies are employed—will happen behind closed doors.

Mike Emeigh Posted: July 26, 2014 at 09:22 AM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: analytics, moneyball, sabermetrics

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. kthejoker Posted: July 26, 2014 at 01:58 PM (#4758078)
Is the new data that unwieldy? Or for that matter that big?

Defense wise...

Maybe 40 pitches in play per team per game. 9 defenders to track per pitch. Roughly 200 games a year with spring training and playoffs. That's only 72000 samples of individual play variables (60% or more of which on any typical given play are useless) for evaluation. Even if you add sub play granularity and some form of multivariate combinatorics you're looking at most a million or two rows of data, should be pretty easy to crunch.
   2. bigglou115 Posted: July 26, 2014 at 04:13 PM (#4758149)
I think it's more a concern of what we have access to. We were never supposed to have pitch f/x, I'm dubious we'll have full access to all the new defense stuff. How can the "hobbyists" keep up when teams have access to information that's more descriptive and plentiful than we have?best case scenario a BPro or someone pays to join whatever subscription service is offered and we get snippets through whatever filter they apply.
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 26, 2014 at 04:42 PM (#4758158)
Is the new data that unwieldy? Or for that matter that big?

No. A lot of "big data" is just a marketing sheen placed over pretty standard analytics.

I mean, the credit card companies have been analyzing hundred of transactions per year, for tens of millions of cardholders for decades, w/o any "big data".
   4. 2 dudes are better than STIGGLES; i'm both of em Posted: July 26, 2014 at 05:16 PM (#4758165)
so, i have several ideas about ways to use pitch f/x, but i have no idea where or how to begin working with that data.

is there anyone here who could point me in the right direction?

thanks.
   5. cardsfanboy Posted: July 26, 2014 at 06:30 PM (#4758196)
so, i have several ideas about ways to use pitch f/x, but i have no idea where or how to begin working with that data.

is there anyone here who could point me in the right direction?

thanks.


Buy this book.

This is an excellent book on using R, you need to be a bit comfortable with computers to really use this as it's not the most instructive book I've read, but it does provide you with a good ability to analyze data. It's useful with pitch F/X, retrosheet and the Lahman database.
   6. 2 dudes are better than STIGGLES; i'm both of em Posted: July 27, 2014 at 12:57 AM (#4758286)
Buy this book.

This is an excellent book on using R, you need to be a bit comfortable with computers to really use this as it's not the most instructive book I've read, but it does provide you with a good ability to analyze data. It's useful with pitch F/X, retrosheet and the Lahman database.
looks like it's worth a try. thanks.
   7. A New Leaf Posted: July 29, 2014 at 06:09 PM (#4759947)
I bet you didn't know someone could love you this much.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Kiko Sakata
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogA sandwich is a sandwich, but OMNICHATTER is a meal! for the weekend of July 22-23, 2017
(165 - 8:48pm, Jul 23)
Last: salvomania

NewsblogOTP 17 July 2017: Love is baseball, family. Keep the politics out
(1464 - 8:45pm, Jul 23)
Last: McCoy

NewsblogThe Absurd History of “The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim”
(96 - 8:39pm, Jul 23)
Last: SoSH U at work

Newsblog20 years ago today: Greg Maddux threw a 76-pitch complete game
(25 - 8:22pm, Jul 23)
Last: Batman

NewsblogSonoma Stompers pitcher just 3rd woman to win pro game
(9 - 8:17pm, Jul 23)
Last: DanG

NewsblogOT-NBA off season thread
(1340 - 8:04pm, Jul 23)
Last: PJ Martinez

NewsblogHe played where? Majors' best 'irony jerseys'
(78 - 7:22pm, Jul 23)
Last: What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face?

Sox TherapyMinor Moves
(29 - 7:06pm, Jul 23)
Last: Textbook Editor

NewsblogIt's unacceptable — Cardinals have lost their Way under Matheny
(27 - 6:02pm, Jul 23)
Last: Sleepy's still holding up that little wild bouquet

NewsblogRays have the ultimate troll for visiting managers
(3 - 5:48pm, Jul 23)
Last: Rowland Office Supplies

NewsblogAlex Rodriguez has his very own arcade machine called the 'A-RodCade'
(14 - 5:27pm, Jul 23)
Last: What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face?

NewsblogBaseball’s Best Teams Are Too Damn Good
(61 - 4:59pm, Jul 23)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

NewsblogTaking Back the Ballparks - San Francisco Giants
(188 - 4:16pm, Jul 23)
Last: SBB, Live from the Alt-Center

NewsblogCBS Denver: Charlie Blackmon Kid Meets The Real Deal
(6 - 2:00pm, Jul 23)
Last: What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face?

NewsblogNYP: Yoenis Cespedes: I want to finish my career with A’s
(17 - 8:43am, Jul 23)
Last: Tony S

Page rendered in 0.1747 seconds
47 querie(s) executed