In the past few years, you may have heard a somewhat new word sneaking into the lingo of your fellow baseball fans and broadcasters. That word is sabermetrics and while it might sound like the kind of word you might find in the advanced vocabulary section of the SATs, the process itself is actually quite simple at it’s core.
Sabermetrics is the study and analysis of baseball using objective and empirical evidence found in player’s statistics rather than following popular trends in the industry. Basically, general managers and scouts judge a player on his actual statistical performance rather than his projected performance. The method was first popularized and coined by Bill James, founder of the Society For American Baseball Research (SABR).
However, sabermetrics and Major League Baseball didn’t gel instantly. The most famous example of sabermetrics in practice was put in place by Billy Beane, general manager of the Oakland Athletics. His method was so successful over a number of years that it was not only the main feature of the book Moneyball by Michael Lewis, but it was later employed by Boston Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein who soon led his team to two World Series titles.
Now, years later, almost every team in Major League Baseball employs a team of sabermetric analysts.