Berkowitz: The importance of scouting and understanding sabermetric limits

From Ari Berkowitz at The Hardball Times on October 26, 2012:

For some reason perceptions of a certain concepts tend to be completely off base. Let’s say I wanted to compare the sabermetric method to the scouting method in analyzing a specific player. That player, over three games, went 8-12 with three walks, two doubles and a homerun. Some people have conjured up this illusion that scouting is nothing more than witnessing a player hit his basic stat line, which would lead to the conclusion that that specific hitter is very good.

Others seem to think all sabermetrics is about is its fancy formulas. This leads people to believe that its analysis of that player would just be his wOBA over those plate appearances instead of his batting average and RBI total. It just so happens that neither of these breakdowns of the aforementioned methods are close to representing reality.

The correct sabermetric method would obviously lead to the conclusion of too small of a sample size to really know anything about that player. In addition, a more exact depiction of a scouting report would detail that player’s mechanics as well as ability to make contact and judge the strike zone.

What this article will attempt to do is define scouting and statistical analysis, what people like to call sabermetrics, in a way which will make it more clear to comprehend the differences in the methods. Once we know how they differ we can then assess when one is more appropriate to be used over the other.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: October 29, 2012. Last Updated: October 29, 2012.