Barron: Astros weave modern stats into broadcasts

From David Barron at the Houston Chronicle on May 31, 2017, with mention of SABR members Brian Kenny and Greg Lucas:

When fans watch an Astros game on Root Sports Southwest, they’ll learn about Jose Altuve’s batting average, Dallas Keuchel’s won-loss record, Marwin Gonzalez’s home run total and Ken Giles’ earned-run average.

But they’ll also hear, increasingly, about Carlos Correa’s launch angle and escape velocity, Lance McCullers’ FIP and BABIP, Mike Fiers’ WHIP, Carlos Beltran’s WRC& and Jake Marisnick’s defensive runs saved.

FIP, BABIP, WHIP, DRS and WRC&, not to mention their more widely accepted cousins OPS and WAR, aren’t exactly the things that kids grew up memorizing on the back of baseball cards.

But in the era of Big Data, when young fans learn about the game via computers rather than cardboard, they tell a lot about the game, players, teams and about how announcers are trying to describe the game to their audience.

All of the aforementioned data points are pitching, fielding and batting statistics, concocted in most cases by members of the Society for American Baseball Research and adopted by Major League Baseball teams and data-obsessed fans to gauge player performance in a different light.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: June 1, 2017. Last Updated: June 1, 2017.