In the view of Sig Mejdal, director of decision sciences in the Houston Astros Baseball Operations department, the essence of Sabermetrics was developed several centuries ago, long before baseball historian and statistician Bill James, Billy Beane of the Oakland Athletics and even Abner Doubleday.
“For good or bad, the word ‘Sabermetrics’ has certainly caught on, but really it is nothing more than the scientific method that has been around since the 17th century,” according to Mejdal.
Mejdal says the scientific method is all about examining whether an organization’s beliefs of how the world works are appropriate by actually looking at data from this world. Mejdal says his staff uses the information mined from the data to help the team’s baseball operations make better decisions.
“One can think of running a baseball team as a series of decision after decision, most of them related to who is going to be of value in the future,” Mejdal says. “Of course, we expect that in the long run, better decisions will lead to better team results and a turnaround for the Astros.”
Mejdal says the Astros have set up a Twitter account, @AstrosAnalysis, in which they share some interesting baseball analytics that are of general interest to fans, but that’s not his group’s primary focus.
Carter's bomb was 107 mph and a launch angle of 28 degrees. Not bad.
— Astros Analysis (@AstrosAnalysis) September 4, 2013
“Our primary goal is to create a winning team that we can sustain as quickly as possible,” he says.
To learn more about the technology that the Houston Astros and other MLB teams are relying on, read "Houston Astros Use Data Analytics to Drive Ticket Sales."