In this baseball age of Statcast, analytics and the explosion of data everywhere, the hope would be that Orioles players have had access to anything that players from Boston, New York or any other team have had access to. But maybe they don’t.
This comes from the players themselves and it’s not good.
“It’s been 20-fold (with increased analytics) since coming over here,’’ Kevin Gausman told MASNsports.com’s Mel Antonen for this article in early August. “We’ve talked about analytics, because I don’t think they want to give us too much to think about so quickly. But it’s going to be helpful.”
Added Brad Brach from that same article: “They showed me a lot stuff, things like my swing-and-miss rate, how I was falling behind left-handed batters. It’s helpful information, but you still have to execute pitches.”
Brach said one of his first meetings with his new team was with the analytics staff.
Then came the latest comments that were not flattering for the Orioles. Former closer Zach Britton was quoted in FanGraphs.
“There’s a gigantic difference in how we use analytics here compared to Baltimore,” Britton said.
“I’d never been exposed to that amount of information,” he added. “And it’s not just, ‘Here’s a stack of stuff to look over.’ It’s (targeted) to each individual player. I don’t want to get into specifics, but some of it is how my ball moves, both my sinker and my slider, compared to different hitters’ swings. It kind of opens your eyes to things you maybe didn’t think of when you didn’t have that information. If you look at the teams in the postseason, most are well-known for their analytics departments. Especially the Astros.”
Britton said he’d never been exposed to that information. Not good for the Orioles.
It is hard to know after reading such quotes from former Orioles where Baltimore came up short. Does the club not make enough analytic info available to players? Do they not have enough of a staff to do the job? Do they come up short in taking the data and presenting it in a helpful way to the players?
Do they come up short in all three aspects?
Time for the Orioles to figure out the issue here and fix it. Three players have gone to other teams - teams that are in the playoffs - and say they get helpful data they didn’t get while with the Orioles. Add this to the list of areas where the Orioles need to improve and as they reboot so to speak in their baseball operations, this needs to get fixed.
Keys honored: The Single-A Frederick Keys have been named winners of the Carolina League’s Complete Franchise Award. This annual award goes to a Carolina League team that demonstrates franchise stability and significant contributions to its community and league. By winning this award, the Keys are also the league’s nominee for Minor League Baseball’s John H. Johnson President’s Award recognizing the top overall franchise in the minors.
“We are honored to be recognized as the Carolina League’s Complete Franchise,” said Keys general manager Dave Ziedelis. “Each year, we strive to be more connected with the community and finding different ways to make an impact. Over time, we have become part of the fabric of Frederick, while we are proud of our longstanding relationship with the Baltimore Orioles and the Carolina League.”
Over the last two seasons, the Keys have raised nearly $35,000 for Frederick Keys Care. The team’s fundraising arm, Keys Care assists local nonprofits that aid disadvantaged youth and young adults. Since being founded in 1999, the Keys Care Fund has awarded more than $60,000 to local youth organizations.
The Keys longstanding relationship with the Orioles is a point of pride for the club. Since the team’s founding in 1989, the Keys have been a member of Birdland. It ranks as the longest relationship between an affiliate and its parent club in the Carolina League. To go with this, the Orioles’ relationship with the Keys is Baltimore’s longest with any affiliate. It will carry over through the 2020 season, as Frederick signed a two-year player development extension this summer. The Keys will host the 2019 Carolina League All-Star game. Their 2019 schedule is listed here.