What We Are Reading Today: Scouting and Scoring by Christopher J. Phillips

Wed, 2019-03-13 21:41

Scouting and scoring are considered fundamentally different ways
of ascertaining value in baseball. Scouting seems to rely on
experience and intuition, scoring on performance metrics and

In Scouting and Scoring, Christopher Phillips rejects these
simplistic divisions, according to a review on Princeton University
Press website. He shows how both scouts and scorers rely on
numbers, bureaucracy, trust, and human labor in order to make sound
judgments about the value of baseball players.

Tracing baseball’s story from the 19th century to today,
Phillips explains that the sport was one of the earliest and most
consequential fields for the introduction of numerical analysis.
New technologies and methods of data collection were supposed to
enable teams to quantify the drafting and managing of players —
replacing scouting with scoring. But that is not how things turned

Over the decades, scouting and scoring started looking
increasingly similar. Scouts expressed their judgments in highly
formulaic ways, using numerical grades and scientific instruments
to evaluate players. 

Scorers drew on moral judgments, depended on human labor to
maintain and correct data, and designed bureaucratic systems to
make statistics appear reliable. 

A unique consideration of the role of quantitative measurement
and human judgment, Scouting and Scoring provides an entirely fresh
understanding of baseball by showing what the sport reveals about
reliable knowledge in the modern world.

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Source: FS – All – Interesting – News
What We Are Reading Today: Scouting and Scoring by Christopher J. Phillips