Lahman: Advanced data takes baseball beyond the numbers

From SABR member Sean Lahman at the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle on April 3, 2015:

There’s a revolution going on in baseball.

If you’re nodding your head and muttering “Moneyball,” then you, my friend, are hopelessly behind the curve.

That best-selling book, now more than a decade old, examined how the Oakland Athletics used data analysis to gain a competitive advantage. New statistics — with acronyms like WAR, BABIP, and FIP — begin to move out of the realm of hardcore number crunchers and into the mainstream.

Some fans have embraced the new science, commonly referred to as sabermetrics. Others have remained skeptical and even disdainful of the newfangled formulas. They’d prefer to rely on traditional methods for measuring player performance — wins and losses for pitchers, batting average and runs batted in for hitters.

But within baseball, that battle is over. Most of the teams have full-time data analysts and have embraced the concept that data can help guide better decision making both on and off the field. If you want to know which teams are not fully on board just look at the bottom of the standings.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: April 3, 2015. Last Updated: April 3, 2015.