Sarris: The next ‘Moneyball’ is already happening all around us, in the Wild West of player development

From SABR member Eno Sarris at The Athletic on December 7, 2018:

Over​ the course​ of the past few collective bargaining​ negotiations,​ baseball has limited​ its own​ ability to spend.​ Without​ pointing​​ fingers at one entity or another, it’s fair to say that caps have been placed on how much teams can invest in their major-league player salaries, the international prospect market and in the domestic draft.

That leaves one aspect on which every organization can spend as much as they’d like. This mostly unregulated area of Wild West is otherwise known as “player development,” and some of your favorite teams are spending gobs of cash on it, as it provides a chance to get a leg up on the competition.

Multiple sources tell me that the Astros have spent more money on the hardware hooked up in Minute Maid Park than other teams spend on their entire player development department in a year. Every team has Trackman, a radar-based technology that produces real-time movement statistics while tracking the movement of each player — but the Astros have enough high-speed, high-definition cameras capturing video of each of those movements for biomechanics analysis to make most player development directors blush.

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Originally published: December 7, 2018. Last Updated: December 7, 2018.