Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Ultimate Debate: Analytical vs. Traditional

The ultimate debate and battle has been raging on for years now and there is no middle man or gray area. You’re either on the side of sabermetrics or you’re on the side of traditional baseball and the eye test. Just like politics you can have conservative liberals and liberal republicans who hang around closer to the middle than to either the right or the left but in baseball there is no Independent Party and there are no Libertarians. You’ve either seen Moneyball 100 times or you refuse to watch because either you hate advanced metrics or stats or you can’t stand Brad Pitt. Either way, the line in the sand has been drawn and by now you’ve picked a side.

I find it interesting to see which side each of the 30 MLB teams have taken in this ongoing debate and battle and thankfully for us Nick Cafardo tackled this recently releasing this graph showing all 30 MLB teams and how their GM’s, managers and organizations stand in the analytical vs. traditional battle. As you can see by the graph a whopping 16 teams, including the entire AL West, lean towards analytical while 14 teams, including the entire NL East, leans more towards advanced scouting and tradition means of building and running a team. It’s almost an even split, and that is surprising.

AL East
Yankees, Blue Jays, Rays
Red Sox, Orioles
AL Central
Tigers, White Sox, Twins, Royals
AL West
Astros, Angels, Mariners, Rangers, A's
NL East
Braves, Nationals, Mets, Marlins, Phillies
NL Central
Cardinals, Brewers, Cubs, Pirates
NL West
Dodgers, Padres, Rockies
Giants, Diamondbacks

So who is winning? Major League Baseball, that’s who. Well, and the fans. 


  1. Funny. 5 of the last 6 World Series have been won by the traditional clubs. I hope that makes everyone here reconsider Heyward and his worthless WAR. Especially since it's based on "analytical" defense.

  2. I realize stats are very important but, I use stats as a starting point and depend on my eyes as the real final evaluation of a player. Reason being, stats don't let you see why an infielder is a so-so fielder, stats don't tell you about the footwork around the bag or the arm angle of the throw that went into the stands...and what can be done to fix the problem, if at all!

    I also don't go by "The Back of a Players Card" one year makes a big difference in how a player plays the game. I have seen players (as they get older) have a bounce back year as did Jeter in 2009, and A-Rod did this year then the age comes up and bites them in the ass.


Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)