The MVP Machine: How Baseball’s New Nonconformists Are Using Data To Build Better Players

Basic. Jun. 2019. 384p. notes. index. ISBN 9781541698949. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781541698956. SPORTS
Sportswriters Lindbergh (The Only Rule Is It Has To Work) and Sawchik (Big Data Baseball) provide a behind-the-scenes look at the data-driven strategies baseball players and teams employ to compete and succeed in the league. Gone are the days when a team could simply out-draft, out-sign, or out-trade the competition. Instead, teams and players must utilize the mountains of data that can be collected using cutting-edge technology to develop and improve the talent they already have. The strength of this book lies in the firsthand accounts. Interviews with front-office personnel, scouts, agents, and players describe the methodologies employed by several teams and individual athletes. The authors also tell the story of veteran players who have resurrected their careers, younger players who changed the way they throw or swing in profoundly impactful ways, and teams who have put into place strong talent development systems based on modern data–collection techniques.
VERDICT This data-driven account is intended for hard-core baseball fans; anyone interested in player development will find this extremely captivating.
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