Sabermetrics, the shorthand name for advanced statistics in baseball, burst onto the national stage with the 2011 debut of the Oscar-nominated film Moneyball, making even casual fans aware.
This new wave of thinking crashed against the shores of traditionalists in the 2012 American League Most Valuable Player vote when Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera, favored by traditional stats, defeated Los Angles Angels of Anaheim outfielder Mike Trout, who rated out much better in advanced stats. The Cabrera/Trout debate brought out vitriol on both sides, but despite this new-school-versus-old-school, science-versus-religion environment, the best use of sabermetrics comes when teams weave in advanced statistics with traditional scouting.
Sabermetrics made plenty of inroads into professional baseball, but the process is slower at the college level, especially for smaller programs like Kent State University.
As a long time coach and former major league pitcher, Mike Birkbeck — entering his 18th season as Kent State’s pitching coach — fits the criteria of an old-school coach resistant to sabermetric change.
Except he is not. Read More…
From MLB Draft Insider, April 1, 2014