Before Sam Fuld appeared in 598 major league games and attracted a following as a scrappy outfielder, he earned an economics degree from Stanford. A few years ago, he would have had two choices upon retirement: Go to work for a big league organization as an outfield-baserunning coach or pursue a job at an investment banking firm on Wall Street.
Now a Plan C career path exists for Fuld. Four months ago, it took him to a conference room at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, Florida, where he spent several days explaining weighted on-base average to 63 Philadelphia Phillies in English and Spanish.nfl nike jerseys cheap china
Fuld, 36, joined the Phillies in November as the team’s major league player-information coordinator. His mandate is clear: to bridge the divide between the statistical and scouting worlds and dispense knowledge to players who are receptive to new ideas.
MLB organizations are embracing a new reality: Valuable insights can be conveyed every day, and they’re more likely to resonate with players when delivered by a front-office member of the uniformed fraternity than a front-office official with a statistics degree and a 2400 SAT score.
“Just having that perspective and having some dirt in my spikes, I think it helps,” Fuld said.
As clubhouses trend in a more open-minded direction, players such as Joey Votto, Justin Turner, Daniel Murphy, Josh Donaldson and Jay Bruce have blended new-age thinking and their natural skills for improved performance.
The analytics-as-a-teaching-tool narrative took a quantum leap a year ago, when Logan Morrison, Justin Smoak and Yonder Alonso all went “launch angle” and posted the best power numbers of their careers.cheap nike nfl jerseys from china
In the constant quest for an edge, teams are adding a new position to help players enter the age of enlightenment. In November, the Red Sox hired Ramon Vazquez as “a liaison between the major league club’s advance scouting and statistical analysis efforts for the purpose of presenting information to players and coaches.” Alex Cora, Boston’s manager, had seen how valuable Alex Cintron was in a similar role with the world champion Houston Astros.
In Anaheim, former MLB closer Andrew Bailey is an assistant to Steve Soliz, the Angels’ catching and information coach. Bailey is filling a role similar to the one Brian Bannister has used to help Boston’s pitchers.