Are there too many analytical decisions made by people outside the game?

Brian Bannister, former major league pitcher and analytical scholar, is the founder of Loft 19 Studios. You can follow him on Twitter @RealBanny

I personally believe that numbers in baseball are sometimes treated the same way they are in the business world, which can be a mistake.

In business, making decisions can be black or white. For example, if we raise the price of a product, how will that affect demand? In baseball, the product is the physical performance of human beings, and so there is a much more complex analytical approach that must be taken. Also, if a pitcher develops a new pitch or a hitter adjusts his approach then all of the numbers in the past can quickly become irrelevant.

Baseball is a hard game to play, and it is also difficult mentally because it is probability-based. There can be streaks of weeks, months, or entire seasons where a player outperforms/underperforms his projected statistics. Understanding how this affects a player’s confidence and how they will react when the numbers revert to the mean is important and not always considered by analysts with no playing experience.