2017 Analytics 50 Honorees

Arizona Diamondbacks

Mike Fitzgerald, Director of Research and Development
Arizona Diamondbacks
Industry: Sports

Business Challenge

In 2016, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ pitching staff ranked last in MLB with a 5.09 ERA. As part of a strategy for improved performance, the Diamondbacks front office desired to modernize the scouting reports that players receive each day.

Analytics Solution

The team’s front office and coaching staffs provided Arizona’s pitchers and catchers with specific data on how each pitcher could optimally exploit opposing hitter tendencies and weaknesses. Scouting reports were also tailored to the individual strengths of each Diamondbacks pitcher, rather than only a generalized portrait of a hitter’s tendencies, strengths and weaknesses.

Impact

The scouting reports have made a significant difference that has provided Arizona pitchers and catchers with a better understanding of how to maximize their odds of defeating their opposition – information that has helped transform the Diamondbacks’ pitching staff. Knowledge about their competition has equipped Arizona’s pitchers with the ability to play at peak performance. One year after the team’s pitching staff received the last rank in the National League, they finished ranked second in ERA (3.66), third in wins (93) and second in strikeouts (1482).