On last night's radio broadcast, Ken Korach mentioned that the A's liked Chris Resop this past off-season despite his drop in K-rate, because they have access to numerous metrics -- some available to the public and some proprietary. Ken then went on to mention one of the proprietary ones specifically: "Times hitting the mitt." Apparently, Resop rated highly in this area, meaning that he may not miss a lot of bats, but he also doesn't miss his target very often either. So now we know another data piece teams value and track.
This, of course, got me thinking: What might some of the other "proprietary metrics" be that teams are secretly compiling and assessing in their quest to identify hidden talent and hidden suck? What's missing from the cacophony of esoteric data already known to be in the mix?
Here are a few guesses, some more serious than others...
- "First Step": How often does an outfielder's first step match the correct final route to the ball?
- "Dirt/Cotton Ratio": What percentage of the surface area of the player's uniform is covered with dirt by game's end?
- "Sweet Spot": What percentage of fair contact is on the bat's "sweet spot"?
- "Good Takes": How often does a batter lay off a ball that was, at one point in the pitch's journey, in the strike zone?
- "Frustration Outs": When a batter puts a ball in play off of a pitcher what percentage of the time does the result cause the batter to slam his bat down in frustration?
- "Web Gem Ratio": In what percentage of putouts does the fielder get a visible acknowledgement from the pitcher?
Seriously...What else can they be tracking in their super-secret, smoke-filled, chair-throwing high security offices? Any guesses?