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Thread: To Post Or Not To Post??

  1. #1
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    To Post Or Not To Post??

    I'm curious to find out players'/parents'/coaches' opinions about the good and/or bad of posting teams stats during the season versus just at the end of it.

    I'm most interested in the opinions of doing or not doing such at the HS level, but I'm also interested in the hearing the opinions of those from younger levels also.

    I'll start . . . we currently don't post stats for viewing for anyone but the coaches until the end of the year. Here's why . . .

    In years past when I posted stats, I found (got the feeling . . . nothing documented) that when I would show or pass out the numbers to the players, they would subsequently be more interested or worried about their "stats" versus their performance.

    My only "facts" (used VERY loosely) was that instead of being please that "they" (the great majority) hit the ball well (hard line drive, deep fly ball), they'd be upset by their performance instead of realizing that they actually did well, and that that is simply part of the game. It would often times be carried into the field or to their next AB. One season is the reason I stopped giving out stats during the season . . .

    I had several hitters that started the season hitting unexpectedly better than years past (even to their expectations I believe) and one was actually third in the team in BA, even hitting better than several of the league's considered "big guns" . . . so as I typically did, at the end of the first half of the season, I passed out the team's averages.

    Well, from that point forward, it became more of a "batting title" competition, than a "team game" any longer, and IMO it upset the chemistry of the team. Now this was a 12U team, so I understand that their ages and maturity played into the dynamics, but instead of having guys just going out and having quality ABs, I had a bunch of guys hitting outside of their "normal" (again, perception only) hitting approaches.

    By the end of the season, while the averages of the "big guns" pretty much balanced themselves out to what was their "norm", but the others that were having a better then normal season for themselves, pressed so much that they subsequently either returned to their previous averages, or hit even worse then was expected.

    I guess it could be a matter of, "the cream always rises to the top", but from that season forward, I've only passed out team stats at the end of the season. I have not really had anyone complain about that, have not seen that "phenomenon" since (again simple perception/opinion), and as a result have carried that policy over to the HS level for no other reason . . .

    I've reconsidered making the stats available during the season again, but haven't, since old habits and "superstitions" die hard . . . I'd like to hear others thoughts on it . . .


    Thanks,
    mud -

  2. #2
    I think in order to get h.s. players to the next levels of baseball, you pretty much have to post stats, so that college coaches and scouts can follow a player. I don't know that I really think that posting stats is very important below the high school level.

    Also, I think it provides a good coaching moment in that you can stress the importance of the only truly important hitting statisic for players: number of quality at-bats a game. Your stats are actually out of your control: you can hit a line drive right at someone, while a teammate hits a bloop single. So as a player, to keep yourself from going nuts, it's very important to emphasize having a high number of quality at bats, instead of your BA. I might go 0-4 in a game, but if I had 4 quality at-bats, I was happy and my confidence wasn't shot. Quality AB's = walks, hard-hit outs, hitting/bunting a runner over, AND even strikeouts, when you have a good AB (fouling off pitches, taking the count deep, making the pitcher throw a lot of pitches), but get called out on a questionable call. The sooner a player can learn that, the better.

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  3. #3
    For minors and majors, I never showed the team any stats but they were ready if questions came up. The other coaches and I shared stats for all stars (selections and playing time). We started using a commercial website that came with the capability of logging stats if coaches entered the data. It could have it calculate simple numbers, too. I removed everything except innings pitched. This was shortly after LL set pitch count limits. We used USA Baseball's limits as guidelines. Asking some coaches to enter the data was a chore. After all the other jobs a manager has (fundraising, field cleanup, concessions, equipment, etc), it was clear that spending their time coaching was what they wanted. I couldn't really blame them.

    I removed the other stats so we wouldn't have the batting crown races you described. If a coach wants to acknowledge a kid on his team or hand out game balls, fine with me. We didn't need to make it more formal than we were on the cusp of doing. So, I'd say you made the right change by going to the end of season. I might skip it altogether.

  4. #4
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    I'm at 11u and found no need to share this with the players. Plus how reliable is the information. I've had volunteer parent(s) hand me the book after the game with missing AB's and comment like "Sorry I missed the last inning, got involved in a conversation".
    Last edited by Coach C; 09-15-2010 at 01:30 PM.

  5. #5
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    I feel the need to post stats increases with the level of play at which you are competing -
    For example:
    12U All-stars - I discussed and did not post averages. This gave the players a basic understanding of where they stood and the reasons we make the decisions we make. (I feel the coach should have a reason that makes sense when determining his line up)

    At middle school I posted several times per season.

    At the HS level I posted every week.

    As the they climb the ladder it gets smaller and they should understand where they stand.

    Also at the HS level I found parents who took it upon themselves to determine BA's and found MOST do not have a clue how.
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  6. #6
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    I can’t speak for our HS coach, but I can comment on what’s happened since I do the scoring and the stats.

    Our coach is a very very successful coach here in NorCal. For 15 years he coached a DIII school, where here in Ca DI is the largest and had the same lady scoring for him all those years. In all that time he never posted stats of any kind, and didn’t refer to them until it was time to choose all league, all metro, MVP, whatever. During that time, he managed to win several league and section titles, and was considered one of the very top coaches in the area.

    When he took over the school he’s at now, a DI school, he took me on as his scorer. When I asked him about posting the stats on the site other teams in the league were using, and one I’d posted the stats for my son’s team 4 years earlier, this was his answer.

    Post the Roster, the schedule, and the line scores of the games, but under no circumstances post any stats. I asked why and other than the story about the batting average race, it was pretty much exactly the same. “I feel”, I think”, “I have no proof, but...”, were the reasons he gave too.

    It didn’t’ bother me one iota, because to tell the truth, it meant a lot less work for me. I told him I’d be posting them on my personal web site, and he just shrugged his shoulders, so that’s what I did, and at the end of the season he told me to go on and post the yearly numbers on MaxPreps, which I did.

    The next season he gave me new orders. He said the parents had gotten together and as a group asked him to post the stats on-line, for much the same reasons BRUSA noted, and he said he told them that he didn’t have the time to do it, but that if I wanted to do it, it was fine with him because it was the player’s team, not his.

    That’s the way its been now for the last 3 years, and at the awards banquet last spring I asked him about how he felt now that he’d been dealing with it for 3 years. He was pretty candid about it too. He said he was wrong to worry about the players allowing the stats to become a distraction. He told me that it had happened a couple times, but a private talk with the player had taken care of any issues.

    He also said that one reason he didn’t have a problem with it anymore, was that he had so little to do with it. I literally do everything from score the games, to handling almost all player and parental questions about the stats. That means he’s left alone to concentrate on the things he feels are important, and I can tell you that worrying about who has the highest BA, or ERA ain’t among them.

    So, I guess the answer is, if you take the time to get yourself a scorer you can count on, the same way you’d get yourself a coach, and that scorer is willing to take care of the numbers too, the only disadvantages are in your mind. But, if you have to spend more than a few minutes a day screwin’ around with the book and the numbers so little Billy’s numbers can be seen by some scout on the other side of the country, I’d say, screw it!

    This is definitely something that to me comes under the guise of parent and player responsibility. If its important enough to want done, its important enough to do it yourself or at least help get it done.

    I’m assuming this doesn’t have anything what-so-ever to do with what a coach should or shouldn’t do with the stats for himself and the team.
    The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

  7. #7
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    Our LL never posted numbers until the season was over. One guy did 90% of the majors games. Little kids need to focus on learning how to play the game properly rather than worrying about stats. You're also dealing in stats in small numbers. After twenty at bats the line drive hitting kid batting .250 in tough luck is still a better player than the duck snort, lucky hitting .400 batter. When all-stars comes around and parents whine their .400 to .500 hitting kid didn't make all-stars, they don't realize the kid hit .150 against all-star quality pitching and .650 against ordinary pitching.

    I've found high school parents to be just as whiney about stats as youth parents. The players were fine. I remember one player laughing and saying "You're killing me Mr TG." I kept score and did the stats for one year. One year was enough. The coach stopped posting stats after that year. After every game he would receive CC's on emails sent to me about scorekeeping and stats. Plus one dad got in my face at a game. He didn't know the rules.

    High school players don't need stats during the season. Most high school players are now recruited through showcases. High school stats can be very skewed because they are small numbers and can be based on the quality of the competition and quality of pitching faced. In the summer it's prospects facing prospects in showcase ball. Colleges will see high school all-conference lists and maybe take a look at the player in summer ball. But it still comes down to tools over stats.

    The only parents I've seen not whine about stats are showcase parents. They understand it's about tools displayed in front of scouts and not stats.
    Last edited by tg643; 09-15-2010 at 02:04 PM.

  8. #8
    Stats are like salaries. The more you compare with your team you might get your feelings hurt. We use stats to help individual players see improvement, needs, etc. Our team stats stay with the coaches. Quality AB's are what we are looking for. Our second lowest BA has hit the ball harder and more often than most BUT right at someone. Some of the best hit balls I've seen for 13U players = 0-8 in two games. CF made a career off of our guy.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coach C View Post
    I'm at 11u and found no need to share this with the players. Plus how reliable is the information. I've had volunteer parent(s) hand me the book after the game with missing AB's and comment like "Sorry I missed the last inning, got involved in a conversation".
    I don’t want to get off on a tangent, but I can’t help sharing this story.

    It took place at a LL Inc tournament of champions in 1998. I was scoring the game for our team, and was sitting next to the lady scoring for the other team. As the game started, of course we chatted, pointing out the best hitter, the fastest runner, etc., and at one point the woman said that the boy coming up was batting .700 something, and I almost fell off my bench.

    I told her that was quite a BA and she said it really wasn’t all that good compared to the rest of the kids. I’m sitting there wondering if our guys were gonna get pounded into mush, and she showed me the stats for the team. She was right too! There was only one kid batting below .500 and there were at least 4 or 5 much higher than .700.

    We were the home team, and as their 1st batter batted, I got a hint of what was going on. Their batter hit the 3rd pitch on the ground to the 2nd baseman, who threw him out. She marked it G63, then entered a “1” under the hits column. The next kid popped out to 3rd, and she marked it F5, then entered a 1 in the hits column. That’s when it became apparent what she was doing. If a batter hit the ball, he got credit for a hit! So the only AB that weren’t hits, were the ones where the player struck out, got hit, or walked.

    But ya know what? It made absolutely no difference! That’s the way she scored our guys too, so everything worked out just fine because the very same standard was used.
    The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tg643 View Post
    Our LL never posted numbers until the season was over. One guy did 90% of the majors games. Little kids need to focus on learning how to play the game properly rather than worrying about stats. You're also dealing in stats in small numbers. After twenty at bats the line drive hitting kid batting .250 in tough luck is still a better player than the duck snort, lucky hitting .400 batter. When all-stars comes around and parents whine their .400 to .500 hitting kid didn't make all-stars, they don't realize the kid hit .150 against all-star quality pitching and .650 against ordinary pitching.

    I've found high school parents to be just as whiney about stats as youth parents. The players were fine. I remember one player laughing and saying "You're killing me Mr TG." I kept score and did the stats for one year. One year was enough. The coach stopped posting stats after that year. After every game he would receive CC's on emails sent to me about scorekeeping and stats. Plus one dad got in my face at a game. He didn't know the rules.

    High school players don't need stats during the season. Most high school players are now recruited through showcases. High school stats can be very skewed because they are small numbers and can be based on the quality of the competition and quality of pitching faced. In the summer it's prospects facing prospects in showcase ball. Colleges will see high school all-conference lists and maybe take a look at the player in summer ball. But it still comes down to tools over stats.

    The only parents I've seen not whine about stats are showcase parents. They understand it's about tools displayed in front of scouts and not stats.
    Wait a minute.. You (Rhetorical) can use radar guns to compare speeds in HS but not batting average?
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Patterson View Post
    Wait a minute.. You (Rhetorical) can use radar guns to compare speeds in HS but not batting average?
    Velocity is a tool. ERA is a stat. 90 mph on a gun is 90 mph on a gun regardless of where it's measured. Batting averages are subjective to the quality of the competition.

    If you look at D3 players who get drafted it's usually pitchers. The gun tells the scout everything he needs to know. Hitting success at the D3 level is very subjective. I know a kid who was the leading hitter on a top ranked team in his D3 conference and a D3 All-American who went undrafted. His pitching teammate has made it to AAA so far. The pitcher entered D3 throwing 82 and left throwing 90. Jake, do the names Killeen and Kiely mean anything to you?
    Last edited by tg643; 09-15-2010 at 03:00 PM.

  12. #12
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    I've always put stats on our LL team's website. It shows BA, OBP, SLG, ERA, and WHIP. I also kept a current paper copy with me at the games in case someone asked why they were batting at a certain spot in the order or why they were not pitching that game.

    The only negative was that when we went into the All-Star playoffs, the opposing managers knew our players a little too well. In the first inning, I saw them moving their outfielders up and back depending on our batter's SLG.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harley View Post
    I've always put stats on our LL team's website. It shows BA, OBP, SLG, ERA, and WHIP. I also kept a current paper copy with me at the games in case someone asked why they were batting at a certain spot in the order or why they were not pitching that game.

    The only negative was that when we went into the All-Star playoffs, the opposing managers knew our players a little too well. In the first inning, I saw them moving their outfielders up and back depending on our batter's SLG.
    Who's asking? When I coached that was forbidden area for parents. If the players asked it better be in the form of how can I win the position or earn a higher spot in the order, not I'm better than so and so. In small numbers the better hitter may not have the higher batting average.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tg643 View Post
    Velocity is a tool. ERA is a stat.
    ...both used by coaches to determine the players abilities and team standings ... and ... subsequently the lineup.

    Jake, do the names Killeen and Kiely mean anything to you?
    No
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  15. #15
    DO NOT POST STATS.
    1) Traditional stats are mostly bogus. Stats are padded against weaker competitiion, errors are not given on plays fielders should have made, and stats lead to embarrassment and selfishness.
    2) Do not post stats on the internet-your just giving the opposition a scouting report on who steals, who doesn't,etc.
    3) If need be, you can post stats of, say, the top 3 in various categories or you can have "players of the game", game balls, etc.
    4) College coaches don't care about most stats-the competition is too varied anyways.

    It's an excellent topic and most coaches in hs do post them. But I hate it.

  16. #16
    I"m strongly against posting stats.
    Everything I know about baseball players tells me that the less the players are exposed to stats, the better they play as individuals and as a TEAM.
    To the greatest degree possible, I want my players to have short memories, focus on the process, and pull for their teammates. Posting stats works against this.

    Teams would play best if they were convinced that no one was keeping a scorebook--IOW, if you hid your scorekeeper in the stands and never revealed his existence.

    But I'm into stats, like any other bb coach.

    TG-- I follow the careers of those two young men.
    But I don't know why anybody would be expected to have heard of them.
    Last edited by skipper5; 09-15-2010 at 08:38 PM.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Patterson View Post
    ...both used by coaches to determine the players abilities and team standings ... and ... subsequently the lineup.

    No
    A pitcher can have one horrific inning and kill his ERA in a high school size season. He could still be the best pitcher despite having the worst ERA. This is why I buy into what I see, not stats in small numbers. But the 90+ throwing pitcher who can't find the plate will be a pro prospect before the 80 mph pusser with good stuff who is all-conference. The 90+ pitcher has a tool (his arm). 80 mph isn't a tool.

    Kiely and Killeen were both pro prospects out of Trinity in Connecticut. Trinity won the D3 national championship while they were there. Since you're from Conneticut and talk so much about pros can come from New England I figured you would know who the are given they were high profile college players in the state. Kiely finished the season in AAA after graduating in 08 and being drafted in the 26th round. Killeen graduated in 09. He was signed as a free agent. He's in Low A. Kiely is a prospect. I don't think Killeen is given he's a back up first baseman/catcher already.

  18. #18
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    TG-- I follow the careers of those two young men. But I don't know why anybody would be expected to have heard of them.

    It was directed at Jake since he's in CT. Are you?

  19. #19
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    4) College coaches don't care about most stats-the competition is too varied anyways.

    Not one coach has asked my son his baseball stats. The stats they've asked for are his sixty time, throwing velocity, gpa, sat scores, height and weight. He has been asked if he has at least gap power. All this does is create interest. They still want to see the tools at a showcase.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Patterson View Post
    I feel the need to post stats increases with the level of play at which you are competing -
    For example:
    12U All-stars - I discussed and did not post averages. This gave the players a basic understanding of where they stood and the reasons we make the decisions we make. (I feel the coach should have a reason that makes sense when determining his line up)

    At middle school I posted several times per season.
    At the HS level I posted every week.
    As the they climb the ladder it gets smaller and they should understand where they stand.
    I think this is a pretty solid rule of thumb, subject to some tweaking by coaches if it looks like the stats are becoming a distraction. Below HS level, they should be a tool for the coach, though an individual player or parent should be welcome to look at his own kid's stats.

    Our HS JV coach posted stats about every ten days, and it was a good tool in this way. There were 18 kids on the squad, all vying for playing time. But a quick look at the stats pretty much answered the kids' questions as to why some kids were starting and others weren't. There wasn't too much griping about playing time. The coach kept his own book, so there was no grumbling about inept scoring.

    Yeah, there can be some obsessing over stats, but I think it also helps focus the kids on getting hits and good AB's. Some of the bruisers like to load up and aim for fences and are as happy with a massive (but caught) fly ball as they would be with a seeing-eye single. Keeping stats brings 'em back to earth, and some of the guys with big reps as hitters are unmasked a little when the numbers come out.

    One semi-humorous issue on that. Ursa Minor was placed on the HS JV team last spring on a slot called "pitcher-only", and was told that position playing time would come solely at the grace of the coach. He got some AB's early in the season and rode a .385 batting average and a 450+ OBP, and the coach insisted later on that he'd have to get him more position playing time because he was making the 'stars' look bad. (He was only half joking.) To be sure, UMinor's average came down to earth a little, and he came to his last AB in the last game of the season needing a hit to get to .300 exactly. He fisted what normally would have been an easy grounder right down the first base line .... but then the ball hit the 1st base bag and jumped over the firstbaseman's head for a single. You could almost see the coach groan as the ball hopped away.

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