By Kendall Fisher, executive producer at Grow Wire
As we head into the 2019 World Series, there’s no better time to talk about the impact data analytics plays in baseball.
Looking at this year’s top contenders—the Yankees, Astros, Cardinals and Nationals—the common traits shared among them come down to talent and chemistry. But beneath the surface, teams are hiring data scientists and using new tools and techniques to analyze a dizzying array of numbers to make smart decisions both on and off the field. As we’ve witnessed in the playoffs over the past few weeks, games have been won and lost because of decisions made in betting on data just as much betting on talent.
The way baseball teams rely on data is exactly what we’re discussing on this episode of “The Grow Wire Podcast” with former professional pitcher and current MLB pitching coach, Jim Brower.
Brower dives into his history with the game, his heroes growing up and his evolution with the sport as he moved from Little League to high school to college and pro. He then takes us on a journey through his 17-year professional career, which included playing overseas, as well as his foray into coaching—something that won him three rings in a matter of five years. Brower dissects the makeup of a successful team with advice everyone can apply to their own careers.
One of the key factors Brower deeply believes impacts success in baseball is analytics. He unravels the influence numbers can have, specifically on a pitcher—how numbers can detect injuries, help modify form and even build more collaborative relationships between players, coaches, medical staff and more. And this type of analyzing shouldn’t just apply in the professional world. Brower believes the younger we start players in understanding the numbers and hearing feedback with those numbers, the more prepared they’ll be if their career leads them to college and professional ranks.
Finally, Brower provides his take on the state of baseball, acknowledging lowering attendance, juiced balls, shifts and more. He even gives his prediction for the World Series.