The Data Revolution
Recognition. High school softball and baseball players that are pursuing the dream to play in college are all trying to get recognized. For parents, this is their teens’ passion, but also an economic play for them. Scholarships relieve a huge potential financial burden for many families.
Sending stats to a college used to be the only way to get recognized. If you were looking beyond college then you needed a scout to find you and give you a good review. Colleges try to find ways to see kids play when making their determination. College coaches are traveling during a majority of every summer to see kids play “summer ball” – another opportunity to be recognized. While much of this is still, and will continue to be how it’s done, it is changing as “reliable” data becomes available; the kind of data that can really discern one player from another and point toward a potential, successful player.
MLB is reducing numbers of scouts – they want data first.
The MLB often sets the changes in motion for player evaluation. Big example – many MLB teams have reduced the number of scouts, or at a minimum, have changed how scouts go about their job. They want data. Go see an MLB scout in the stands, and more than likely they will have a high-speed camera set up collecting video. They will also have a radar gun. The high-speed video gets sent back to the home office for processing, and an assessment of the pitcher is made there. College coaches want data as well, but most often a radar gun is all that is available, and often they are not reliable.
There will soon come a day when there is “reliable” data on all high school players. Many go to academies now with the hope that an academy has a system to capture “reliable” data for them to send to college coaches. But today, many academies do not have a system for this. No doubt, few if any high school fields have an in-game system. But it’s coming. For an academy to flourish, they better have a system in place to collect “reliable” data. Top high schools will find a way to get something installed. Every college will have to have it in order to attract good players. It’s coming, and it will be great for the young players for two reasons:
- The data will make them perform better.
- They will get recognized.
It’s best to embrace the Data Revolution, because it’s good for the players.