Michael Lewis’s 2004 book Moneyball documented a revolution in how baseball teams evaluate players. More than a decade after the book, all Major League teams use statistics like WAR, Fielding Independent Pitching and Range Factor per Game. Now, Major League Baseball wants fans to get in on the act with Statcast, Using both radar and special cameras, Statcast gives incredibly detailed information on nearly every movement on the field.
Not pictured: Explanation of how a Major League infielder flubs a cutoff throw
I’ve written extensively on how sports and data combine to make sports themselves more marketable. So I thought I’d discuss what impact Statcast might have on baseball’s challenged popularity in the US.
In, short, I think that the data won’t hurt, but they might not help.