The San Diego Padres have vastly improved their analytical department over the last few seasons.
Major League Baseball is an ever-evolving entity.
With some recent additions to their analytical department, the San Diego Padres are currently attempting to stay ahead of the proverbial curve. In the past few seasons, as the game has embraced statistics and the constant influx of numbers, the Padres have made several critical additions to the baseball operations team. The foundation of the analytical department is in place, but the team is not done.
A few more men are currently being sought after by the Padres. Mathematical minds are who the team is after- souls who can take their mathematical concepts and distribute them into data that the average person or player can absorb. The key will be the ability to retain the endless amount of information that is provided to you by these systems.
Let’s face it. Ballplayers as a whole are not rocket scientists. Nor should they be. They are paid to be athletes and, more often than not, overthinking will only hurt you while playing the game of baseball. For ballplayers, you have to trust your abilities. Training is how this analytical information can be beneficial. Adding members to the franchise who can interpret the data and also relate to the ballplayers and coaches will be crucial.
Here is a brief look at the department and how the Padres are getting things accomplished.
1- Acquire the data
The first order of business is recording the baseball data. Rapsodo Machines, Edgertronic Cameras, and Blast Motion are recent additions to the Padres’ bag of tricks. The team is now able to record spin rate, spin axis, and whatever they want from every pitch thrown, including bullpen sessions. Launch angle and bat lag are also relevant topics of discussion around the Padres’ clubhouse these days. Systems like this are found throughout the minor leagues too. There is plenty of information at each players’ fingertips. They are given pages upon pages of data indicating precisely what they are doing when they set foot on the field.
2- Bring in the coaches that can distribute data
Now that you have the data recorded, you need coaches who can understand it and place the data in the right hands. Having “old school” mentalities in place throughout your system in the coaching staff can cripple your ability to think outside the box. There are tons of relevant numbers provided by these systems that can indicate several critical things for improvement. Smart, analytical-based coaches are needed to get the most out of these players in the system. The whole process can be a bit overwhelming for some players, so the correct type of coach is needed. Multiple people who can reach different minds in different aspects will ultimately lead to success in this manner.
3- Build cool software that helps facilitate data (understanding and embracing)
To make things more accessible and understandable, teams are developing and utilizing their very own programs. You now see Ipads and other handheld tablets in the dugouts during the game as coaches absorb data. Major League teams hire code writers that work very hard for the team, trying to develop software to make understanding the data easier for the players and coaches. If a pitcher has a better understanding of what the numbers are telling him, then they can make the proper adjustments to utilize the machines properly fully. The same goes for hitters in terms of fixing their swing.
With these three stages completed, the Padres will now be able to benefit from the fruits of the analytical tree. It may take time for the franchise to perfect these methods, but they need to hurry. These concepts might be state of the art currently, but they will surely be considered old news in time. Staying ahead of the curve is key to success in the game of baseball. The Padres’ analytical department is flourishing at just the correct time for the franchise.