When general manager Alex Anthopoulos took his position in the Braves front office, one expectation was that there would be a revitalization and renewed focus on the use of analytics in its operations. While former general manager John Coppolella was certainly friendly towards the use of analytics, there was also a sizable contingent within the organization that was resistant to their use which certainly caused some division.
However, under Anthopoulos, the team saw immediate returns on their use in regards to defensive positioning and pitch selection which was certainly a net positive for the team. With a full season under his belt so that he could evaluate who and what he wanted for the Braves going forward, Anthopoulos is starting to make some changes and bring in more help with the Braves’ analytics department.
I'm excited to join the Atlanta Braves and look forward to becoming part of the great team of people there.— Mike Fast (@fastballs) November 7, 2018
It goes without saying that the Houston Astros have been at the forefront of using analytics and data-driven analysis over the last few years and to great effect as the team won a World Series in 2017 and won 100 games this past season. Fast was a big part of the Astros’ operations and getting him is no small get as his services were likely in very high demand.
For the Braves, this adds another top baseball mind to the organization which should, in theory, help the organization from the big league level down through the minor leagues. The bigger question now is how to best take these data-driven approaches and translate them in a way that is helpful for the players and coaches. Based on the success of Fast’s previous organization, the odds are good that the Braves will find a way.