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Orioles show off advanced analytics system

After launching two years ago, Bloomberg Sports’ professional baseball analytics system is being used by 25 of the country’s 30 major league teams, including the Baltimore Orioles.

Rick Peterson, the Orioles' director of pitching development (The Daily Record/Josh Cooper)

Bill Squadron, head of Bloomberg Sports, joined Orioles officials at team headquarters Tuesday evening at an event before the team’s home game against the Los Angeles Angels.

“What’s really special about this system is the speed at which you can retrieve the data,” Squadron said.

The professional product is useful for things such as player evaluation, draft preparation and contract negotiations. For the Orioles, it’s been particularly useful for advanced scouting, said Dan Duquette, the team’s executive vice president of baseball operations.

“We are very proud of our partnership with Bloomberg. I think it’s made a big difference in terms of winning the close games,” he said.

The system allows teams to break down data sequentially, as well as see related video.

For example, a user could pull statistics on a particular pitcher, finding out what percentage of the time the pitcher throws a certain type of ball as a first pitch. Based on that first pitch, the system can then analyze the likelihood of a certain second pitch.

“And that’s why the Bloomberg system is so vital, because it’s not just about the stats, but it’s about the process,” said Rick Peterson, the Orioles’ director of pitching development.

Players are using the system to see every pitch a certain pitcher has thrown to them, Squadron said.

Using the Orioles’ Adam Jones as an example, Squadron demonstrated how Jones could watch video of each time he’s faced a particular pitcher, slowing and freezing the video as needed.

Though Squadron said the system is a one-stop shop and is better at analyzing large amounts of data than any other tool, he knows baseball is not just about statistics and numbers.

“There’s still so much that is about instinct, about personality, about temperament, even about emotion,” he said.

Bloomberg also has a product for fans called “Front Office” that can be integrated with fantasy baseball leagues. The consumer product gives custom recommendations as well trade evaluations.

“It knows where you’re strong, it knows where you’re weak,” Squadron said.

There’s also a fantasy football product called “Decision Maker” and a fantasy soccer product that will be launching in the United Kingdom in the fall.

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