Baseball is unique in that no other team sport has kept track of so many data points for a very long period of time.
Casual scorekeeping with a paper scorebook in youth baseball is both simple and time-honored tradition.
However, with the invention and widespread use of GameChanger, a free app from Dicks Sporting, it has never been easier to obtain advanced stats on youth players. Thus, many youth baseball coaches have been transitioning away from paper scorekeeping in order to obtain live game stats.
Due to parents or coaches scoring the game vastly different from one person to another, the quality of data points are suspect in many cases. However, the app makes it easy for a coach to track the pitch count, batting averages, and other stats to manage the game and create the batting order or assign defensive positions.
Official Scorers of Baseball games
Unlike umpiring crews, one or more MiLB and MLB official scorers are assigned to each stadium and in most cases, do not travel to other locations.
Professional baseball statistics is different.
Professional scorekeepers must have thorough knowledge of the baseball rules and scorekeeping methods to ensure that collected numbers are valid and true across hundreds of games played each year.
Up until 2021, there was no formal training to become an official scorer. IN 2021, MLB created the official scoring university to ensure a pipeline of highly trained workers drawn from a diverse group of people, consisting of retired sports writers, former players, ex-coaches, and/or retired umpires.
If you want to know more about the official scoring university, The Gazette wrote an excellent article titled, MLB’s official scoring university creating a pipeline to add more diversity into role.
The case for baseball stats
Baseball statistics extracted from professionally collected data points provide detailed insights into various aspects of the game, ranging from the spin rate of a pitcher’s curveball to the strengths and weaknesses of a hitter.
MLB Players analyze these stats to devise strategies for defeating their opponents while managers, coaches, and their analytics team uses them to fine tune batting order and fielders’ positions (the infamous, and highly disliked “shift”).
At the professional level, a player’s stat is not the only considering factor, but it is weighed heavily when a team is considering signing/renewing a player’s upcoming contract.
Players are also keenly aware of this fact so most try “extra hard” during the previous year to get a better contract (a.k.a. “contract year” performance boost).
Of course, diehard fans use stats to brag about their favorite players (or trash a player they do not like for whatever reason).
Please click on one of the icons below to explore various facets of baseball statistics in detail.