Big Data Baseball

Big Data Baseball

Math, Miracles, and the End of A 20-year Losing Streak

Book - 2015
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"Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was old school and stubborn. But after twenty straight losing seasons and his job on the line, he was ready to try anything. So when he met with GM Neal Huntington in October 2012, they decided to discard everything they knew about the game and instead take on drastic "big data" strategies. Going well beyond the number-crunching of Moneyball, which used statistics found on the back of baseball cards to identify market inefficiencies, the data the Pirates employed was not easily observable. They collected millions of data points on pitches and balls in play, creating a tome of reports that revealed key insights for how to win more games without spending a dime. They discovered that most batters struggled to hit two-seam fastballs, that an aggressive defensive shift on the field could turn more batted balls into outs, and that a catcher's most valuable skill was hidden. Hurdle and Huntington got to work trying to convince the entire Pirates organization and disgruntled fans to embrace these unconventional, yet groundbreaking methods. All this led to the end to the longest consecutive run of losing seasons in North American pro sports history.The Pirates' 2013 season is the perfect lens for examining baseball's burgeoning big-data movement. Using flawless reporting, award-winning journalist Travis Sawchik takes you behind-the-scenes to reveal a game-changing book of miracles and math"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Flatiron Books, [2015]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9781250063502
Branch Call Number: 796.35764 SAWCHIK
Characteristics: 242 pages ; 24 cm


From Library Staff

You've heard of Moneyball, right? Well, this is Moneyball for data geeks. It's exactly like Moneyball but instead of the Oakland A's, it's the Pittsburgh Pirates. And instead of cleverly applying the law of averages, the Pirates front office compiled thousands of baseball data points and. . . oka... Read More »

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Apr 05, 2018

Solid book and a good primer to the 2018 baseball season where teams like the Houston Astros are taking advanced analytics even further with the 4-man outfield. The Author does a great job showing how traditionalists and those at the forefront of the developments in the SABR community can work together to advance baseball thought in numerous ways. The infield shift and pitch framing are certainly cool, but there are also discussions on injury prevention techniques and an early look at the development of defensive statistics that really make this book interesting. Highly recommended.

Apr 14, 2016

Now I understand all the media ruckus by traditionalists. Pirates made bigger achievement than Oakland A because Pittsburgh have even smaller salary cap. I won't be surprised of Hollywood make a movie.

Nov 17, 2015

This is an excellent read to understand the the changes occurring from the traditional into modern baseball. The importance of infield shifts by infielders and framing by catchers and pitch selections etc are explained. The changes were necessitated in order for small market teams to survive. Successful teams will need to be blend of traditions and baseball analytics. Baseball fans, players and coaches would enjoy this book.
Seelochan Beharry


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