If you are a baseball fan that likes to view the game through the lens of data and analytics, you probably make frequent stops at one or more of the following: Fangraphs, Baseball Reference and Baseball Prospectus. They provide advanced metrics and information beyond what you might find at ESPN, or from the broadcast crew. Those three have been the main players in the sabermetric world for a while, and for good reason. They all offer similarly advanced numbers, while also providing some unique stats that keep them all equally relevant. Meaning, there is a reason to check all three at different points, and each individual site offers something you can’t necessarily find at the others.
But there may soon be a new player on the scene in the form of Scoutables. Scoutables is an app currently in development, with a beta version available at scoutables.com, that seeks to provide “daily scouting reports on every player in Major League Baseball based on recent performance.” Scoutables was founded in part by former Major League General Manager Fred Claire and grew out of AriBall, which provided analytics to both Major League teams and broadcast networks. Their goal, as stated by Mr. Claire, “is to provide the most easy to read and understandable data and programs that are available to the fan watching the game in the stadium or watching the game on television or any platform.”
They do this by providing up to date analytics on every MLB player, and unlike most sites, presents that information in easy to understand bullet points specific to each player. I can see this being extremely helpful to those new to the analytical world, as they get a bit more context on what the numbers are trying to explain, rather than just seeing an abbreviation of a complicated formula. It feels as thought it will help merge the world of scouting with the world of data in an important way, making the numbers sound more real to those who might be skeptical to the idea of describing human beings using data, as is often the case.
For example, a look at Bryce Harper‘s profile provides a general overview of things like his strike zone size and which pitch type he handled the best, followed by strengths, weaknesses, and a comparison to his previous performance. These analytics will be updated daily so that the information is up to date.
Claire also stated that he hopes the app will, “…go where the fans want it to go in seeking the type of information that gains the greatest interest and use. As far as both a short term and long term goal we want our scoutables.com product to be recognized as the app most favored by the fans.”
One potential shortcoming, which is really just more of a difference in purpose, is that you can’t necessarily go and find any single stat or metric or datapoint that you wish for any player. Instead the information is more personalized to give a specific and personalized view of the player. But that choice will make it much easier, especially for a more casual fan, to head to a player’s page and get a quick but detailed rundown of their performance, the kinds of pitches or pitch locations they are successful or unsuccessful against, etc.
I would look for Scoutables to make a quick leap into the world of public analytics, and to become an extremely useful tool for fans and writers to get up to date and high-level analytics for any player right to their devices.