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  • Dawgoneit!

    As I tweak my scoring program, I’m seeing so many ways information could help a manager, and at the same time so impotent because unlike the ML/Mil, there’s just no way to get it even then most simple of things.

    FI, last week I put a batter’s OBP, BA, BARISP, and his percentage of moving lead runners right on the main screen where it can be seen with just a glance. Then I made it possible to see scatter charts for either individual pitchers or batters, historical pitchers or batters as a team, or pitchers or batters for the current game only. So this week I decided to make it possible to see some things for the pitchers. Of course WHIP is there, as is opponent’s OBP, and gbo/fbo percentage.

    After I’d gotten all the work done and tested it in a couple games, its become almost depressing to know I can throw virtually any metric up for my team’s players, but virtually nothing for the opponent’s players. Now don’t get me wrong, there is a way I could get data on most of our opponents. But it would involve some pretty slick sleight of hand, and one heck of a lot of time.

    Also, I don’t want to give the impression that having detailed information on our players available at a glance isn’t a good thing with plenty of upside, but while it would be a help to any coach smart enough to look, it would be many times more helpful to have that information on opposing players. The reason is, an “educated guess” or “gut feeling” about one’s own players should be reasonably accurate. FI, you may not know Jimmy has an OBP of .573, but you would almost always know he gets on base a lot.

    But that’s not true with opposing players very often. Now you may well know a couple of the players from having seen them in years past, but when you only get to see a team once a year, most of the players will pretty much be a mystery. And that’s why it would be nice to know the opposing pitcher has a very poor K:BB ratio or a batter’s OBP is lower than a snake’s belly.

    Its just difficult to know how easy it is to actually create functions to make things like that happen, but knowing all the time that without the data, its about as useless as having a brand new Ferrari with no way to put fuel in the tank.
    The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

  • #2
    That's right, you can help a coach out with info on opposing players. Especially where they hit the ball. If you could come up with a snapshot of that (you probably already have) then it would be valuable because at times a coach could radically shift defenders.
    Major Figure

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    • #3
      Originally posted by omg View Post
      That's right, you can help a coach out with info on opposing players. Especially where they hit the ball. If you could come up with a snapshot of that (you probably already have) then it would be valuable because at times a coach could radically shift defenders.
      Maybe you didn’t quite understand what I was/am frustrated about. Unlike at the ML/Mil levels, at the amateur level that information is almost non-existent. I have it for our players, but there’s no way to get it for opposing players.

      Yesterday I finished a routine to take data from MaxPreps and put it in a format my program could use. Now I’m trying to figger out what to do with it. Although MP prolly has the ability to track more information at the HS level than any service like it, of how much use can that data be? Here’s all the different fields they track. http://www.maxpreps.com/popup/stat_d...=Boys,Baseball

      Is that better than nothing? You bet. Is it as could as it could be? Not in this lifetime. And while some of the fields do offer “insightful” information, such as lots of SBs with a high SBPct, unless all of the games are input, and all of the data correctly entered, how useful is that data really?

      I suppose what I’ll end up doing is just throwing up whatever data is posted for a player, not for its “value” as a managing tool, but rather for its entertainment value as a “curiosity” item.

      The one item I can think of that offers a manager at least some idea about what to expect from the opposition, is tracking our pitcher’s historical scatter charts about where the batters he faces hit the ball. It won’t work for precisely setting every defender, but it will help set them in a “general” way.
      The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

      Comment


      • #4
        SK, I often operate at about the 5th grade level. You're advanced trig in high school in comparison!
        Granny said Sonny stick to your guns if you believe in something no matter what. Because it's better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you're not.

        I am an ex expert. I've done this long enough to know that those who think that they know it all, know nothing.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Cannonball View Post
          SK, I often operate at about the 5th grade level. You're advanced trig in high school in comparison!
          LOL! Well, I know it may look like that, but its far from the truth. Actually, I’m only looking for ways to take as much “guesswork” out of the job of managing as possible. Its tough for someone like me to do that without knowing what that manager is looking for and how s/he puts those things together.

          Here’s a post I made on a another board in a forum called “Coaches Tips”. What I’m doing is trying to get ideas about what is being looked for, so I have a better idea about what I should try to find and present.

          Let’s keep this thread aimed at amateur ball. We all know what kind of detailed info there is above that, but I’m curious as to what the “good” managers do below that.

          For a “typical” regular season game or early tournament game, how much scouting of the other team do you do. How much does that change for games that have more “importance” placed on them, like a playoff game or semi-final/final tournament game.

          What info does your scout accumulate, how do you collate it, and how do you present it to the players?

          Thanx
          The trouble is, every manager is looking for slightly different things, but there are several things that are pretty common, and I’m trying to find out what they are, then I’ll see if its possible to get them. But to tell the truth, I’m begging to wonder just how much any information really does help, in comparison to what people believe.

          You had a fairly sophisticated organization in place over a fairly long period of time. So what were your people supplying you with as far as metrics on your team and the opponents’, and scouting information?
          The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

          Comment


          • #6
            Typically, I did try to get out and watch other teams play IF I knew that they had a game under the lights. Mostly, in high school, we all play at the same time. When it came to state tournament time, I almost always scouted. I looked for things like where a hitter stood in the box. How they were pitched and how they reacted. Do they have a quick, avg, or slow bat. What I also looked for was coaching strategy. Do the bunt runners over? Do they do 1st and 3rds? How have they coached "approach" in at bats? Would a spray chart help? I just don't know because the sample is small. I recall a team doing that against us for a couple of years and we beat them each time because they shifted so much and so often that they were almost always out of position.

            Now, if you are talking about my team and assessing what we do, I think what you are doing is TREMENDOUS. Stats like pitch location versus pitch called by the coach/catcher, spray chart to see how hitters are adjusting, ... all would give a coach a better idea of what to create for practice plans per individual hitters, defense, ...
            Granny said Sonny stick to your guns if you believe in something no matter what. Because it's better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you're not.

            I am an ex expert. I've done this long enough to know that those who think that they know it all, know nothing.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by scorekeeper View Post
              Maybe you didn’t quite understand what I was/am frustrated about. Unlike at the ML/Mil levels, at the amateur level that information is almost non-existent. I have it for our players, but there’s no way to get it for opposing players.
              Yeh, a spray chart would be a pain although some guys do it and, like CB said, they probably overuse it. Still, it would be valuable if you knew that one guy was dead, dead, pull or one guy was dead oppo. And like CB said, things like 1st/3rd's, bunting, etc. are somewhat valuable. A lot of good coaches go out and scout, watch other teams play but, from my perspective in hs/amateur ball I never said to myself after losing a game, "Gee, if i had only known that that team did this or that it would have made a difference."

              In other words, it's always about how your team executes.
              Major Figure

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by omg View Post
                yeh, a spray chart would be a pain although some guys do it and, like cb said, they probably overuse it. Still, it would be valuable if you knew that one guy was dead, dead, pull or one guy was dead oppo. And like cb said, things like 1st/3rd's, bunting, etc. Are somewhat valuable. A lot of good coaches go out and scout, watch other teams play but, from my perspective in hs/amateur ball i never said to myself after losing a game, "gee, if i had only known that that team did this or that it would have made a difference."

                in other words, it's always about how your team executes.
                nice post!
                Granny said Sonny stick to your guns if you believe in something no matter what. Because it's better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you're not.

                I am an ex expert. I've done this long enough to know that those who think that they know it all, know nothing.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Cannonball View Post
                  Typically, I did try to get out and watch other teams play IF I knew that they had a game under the lights. Mostly, in high school, we all play at the same time. When it came to state tournament time, I almost always scouted. I looked for things like where a hitter stood in the box. How they were pitched and how they reacted. Do they have a quick, avg, or slow bat. What I also looked for was coaching strategy. Do the bunt runners over? Do they do 1st and 3rds? How have they coached "approach" in at bats? Would a spray chart help? I just don't know because the sample is small. I recall a team doing that against us for a couple of years and we beat them each time because they shifted so much and so often that they were almost always out of position.
                  It’s a shame there’s no way to slap a number on what helped or how much. I can understand wanting to see coaching strategies because it helps plan. And when I look at other team’s stats, one of the 1st things I look for is the number of sac bunts and the number of SBAs. When I have that information, it almost always shows in how the game is managed.

                  I am curious though about how much things like where the batter stands in the box or whether he has a slow bat or not are indicative of much, unless you’re talking about seeing that stuff in more than 1 game. The only thing I can think of where that would be important, is calling pitches. Now if the pitcher throwing was pretty much like the guy I was gonna be puttin’ on the bump, I’d be watchin’ real close, but how often does that happen. What I’m talking about is seeing how players perform against a LH “thumber” wouldn’t make me want to call things the same for my RH kid with good velocity but not such a good hook or CU.

                  What you said about sample size does have some validity, but its also why I run the numbers for just the current season as well as of all seasons. That’s usually a pretty good sample size for any kid who’s started for 2 years.

                  Now, if you are talking about my team and assessing what we do, I think what you are doing is TREMENDOUS. Stats like pitch location versus pitch called by the coach/catcher, spray chart to see how hitters are adjusting, ... all would give a coach a better idea of what to create for practice plans per individual hitters, defense, ...
                  Well, you’ll never find me charting pitches, but that other stuff is available and I’m a workin’ on more. And that’s the thing I really think is what people would do better to concentrate on. When this championship producing college coach told me the most important number he could have on his players was OBP and the 2nd most important was BARISP, I have to admit, I really didn’t know what to say.
                  The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by omg View Post
                    Yeh, a spray chart would be a pain although some guys do it and, like CB said, they probably overuse it. Still, it would be valuable if you knew that one guy was dead, dead, pull or one guy was dead oppo. And like CB said, things like 1st/3rd's, bunting, etc. are somewhat valuable.
                    Well, I’d honestly love to get put in contact with any HS coach who actually develops spray charts for all of his opponents. The only way I know it could be done would be to send a scout to every single game an opponent was going to play, and in our case it would sure be more than a PITA. We played 16 different teams last season, so we’d need 15 different people to chart the 25-30 games the 15 different teams played. There’s no doubt it could be done, but I don’t have a clue who could set up the kind of organization it would take, for a HS team, let alone some 14U or 10u team that played travel ball tournaments.

                    Here’s my problem with it. There’s are plusses and minuses in every endeavor, and in the planning stages, the two are weighed against each other to see if it would be worth it to undertake something. There’s no way in this world I can see how having access to spray charts or any other data about an opponent would be worth the time to get it. Now if it were available in some form of database, that’s a totally different thing, but its not, and I don’t ever see it as being available in my lifetime.

                    A lot of good coaches go out and scout, watch other teams play but, from my perspective in hs/amateur ball I never said to myself after losing a game, "Gee, if i had only known that that team did this or that it would have made a difference."
                    I believe that myself, but its amazing how many times I see scouts from other HS teams show up at our games, and how many times people connected to our team go out and “scout” opponents. And it almost never fails, that if I ask what they’ve learned, I hear some things that I just can’t believe.

                    Now I’m not talking about us being out of town for some Easter tournament, where it’s a lot more fun to go watch games all day than sit in a movie theater or the hotel room.

                    In other words, it's always about how your team executes.
                    That’s what it’s always about, even at the ML level! But, having access to lots of information about an opponent does give an edge, providing one knows how to interpret it and acts on it. The trouble is, that edge might only mean 5 runs over an 162 schedule, with translates maybe 1 run for a 30 game HS season. For most amateur programs, I posit that any time available should be spent directly on helping the players learn to execute better, not trying to develop a plan to exploit knowledge about the other team.
                    The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      SK, when I referred to the team that had spray charts against us, yes, they had a coach at every game we played for the second half of the season. We were very good and ranked very high. They were good as well for those two or three years. So they made sure to get someone over to see us. One time I sent a bottle of water over to them to let them know we knew that they were there. LOL!

                      SK, I also look at number of sacs and who has more for the season. I look at stolen bases as well. Some coaches in our area were predictable in running counts. However, a couple were just crazy and so, drove me crazy guessing when to pitch out or throw over. So, I just had my pitchers throw over a lot. LONG GAMES!
                      Granny said Sonny stick to your guns if you believe in something no matter what. Because it's better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you're not.

                      I am an ex expert. I've done this long enough to know that those who think that they know it all, know nothing.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        See the link

                        QUOTE.pdf
                        The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

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