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Tom's Baseball Savant Tutorials

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#1 Tom Froemming

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 08:04 AM

I'm doing a series of tutorial videos on how to use Baseball Savant, and will update this thread each time I publish a new episode. This was a project I was originally going to only share with community of the Twins Daily writers, but I decided to share them on YouTube so anybody interested could check them out.

 

The main goal is to walk though how the site works, but I will be taking a more Twins-focused approach through everything. The first episode is on what's available in the site's Gamefeed. I love having this up and seeing the data in real time as a game is unfolding.

 

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#2 ashbury

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 08:46 AM

MLB Advanced Media are not incompetent clowns. :)

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We laugh at gypsies, fortune tellers, and horoscopes, yet we trust baseball prospect lists.


#3 Tom Froemming

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 02:50 PM

 

MLB Advanced Media are not incompetent clowns. :)

Huh?

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#4 ashbury

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 02:59 PM

Huh?

Sorry. It was meant as deeply understated praise. MLB's technology arm is doing extremely good work here.

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We laugh at gypsies, fortune tellers, and horoscopes, yet we trust baseball prospect lists.


#5 Tom Froemming

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 03:29 PM

 

Sorry. It was meant as deeply understated praise. MLB's technology arm is doing extremely good work here.

Ah got it. Sorry, I've been kinda an airhead lately in terms of stuff just flying right over my head. 

 

Yes, it's kind of amazing they allow the public free access to all this information. I'm glad they do, and I think it's smart and good for baseball, but I remember when they were trying to make the case that they basically owned the stats. I'm surprised they haven't tried to monetize this data ... yet.

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#6 ashbury

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 04:19 PM

I'm surprised they haven't tried to monetize this data ... yet.

I'm not saying they wouldn't, or won't, but they may have learned their lesson about the fleeting nature of intellectual property.

 

Thirty years ago they (and their stats services) were very proprietary about the official scoresheets that provide the basic stats that we nowadays take for granted at baseball-reference.com and other sites. Ever heard of Bill James? James is known for pioneering work slicing and dicing data back in the 1980s, of course, but what he also did in the mid 80s was start something called Project Scoresheet, aimed at getting the data he and others thirsted for. It was basically an army of people who went to (or watched) ballgames and wrote down the stats that were needed. I attended an organizing meeting he held in a lobby at a SABR meeting around that time, though I never wound up contributing. Anyway the project didn't last very long but it didn't need to. MLB in its wisdom saw where things were headed and gave in.

 

Project Scoresheet actually improved on the traditional scoresheet. New blood does what new blood does.

 

Back to the future... with the way technology has advanced, it might not be necessary to replicate all the fancy hardware that MLB has installed in its ballparks, to replicate the numbers we're seeing for pitch speeds and launch angles and exit velocities. A bunch of geeks can bring down such an enterprise, so it's perhaps best to use the technology more indirectly to bring in the money.

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We laugh at gypsies, fortune tellers, and horoscopes, yet we trust baseball prospect lists.


#7 Tom Froemming

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 10:03 AM

Here's Episode 2, which is all about Baseball Savant's leaderboards. There is a lot of really fun stuff in these, and they're easy to navigate through. If you want to check out some of these Statcast metrics without having to do a bunch of work digging around and putting together complicated search queries, you'll really enjoy these leaderboards.

 

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#8 Tom Froemming

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 10:35 AM

Here's another one that focuses on the search function. I bet you didn't know there was a ton of highlights on Baseball Savant. Here I show you how to find what you're looking for. There's even a highlight of one of the hardest pitches thrown by a Twin ... hitting a Yankee batter. :)

 

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#9 Tom Froemming

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 05:41 PM

Next up is what you can find on the player and team pages. There's a lot of interesting Statcast data and graphs you can easily access on these, but there's also all of the traditional stats, splits and game logs you get from other sites.

 

There's also virtually no advertising on the site, which not only creates a clean appearance, but also makes everything load very quickly.

 

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#10 Tom Froemming

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 03:59 PM

OK, last one. I was able to combine a few things, which is good because this series got a bit longer than I was aiming for. Anyway, here's some info and demos of what you can find in the site's applications and visual tools. There's some especially fun and easy stuff on pitching.

 

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