Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:23 am
Beau Sanders has been a lifelong baseball fan with a particular affinity for the Milwaukee Brewers. But his love for the sport extends well beyond admiration for the players or Miller Park pride.
Since high school, Sanders, who is a project manager at Milwaukee-based GRAEF, has invested countless hours into sabermetrics, deep statistical analysis of baseball.
Within sabermetrics, which has historically been specific to baseball but is starting to find its way into other sports like basketball and football, sabermetricians analyze statistics related to individual athletes to learn more about their strengths and weaknesses than what is revealed by more traditional statistics.
“It’s really trying to put meaning – legitimate, actual meaning – to the numbers,” Sanders said, and find value in the numbers below the surface.
Sanders concentrates much of his analyses on the athletic value of major league baseball players, following their performances and records and evaluating teams’ decisions to sign, keep or release certain players.
“I find (it) extremely fascinating to go back and find out if there’s some small piece of data or some nugget that seems to be the holy grail of why a baseball player is good or why a baseball player isn’t good,” Sanders said.
While Sanders used to compile his own baseball statistics, a full-time job and a full-time family has prompted him to scale back his practice of sabermetrics to rely on stats available online and read the perspectives of others in the sabermetrics community.
Apart from keeping tabs on numbers to satisfy his own personal interests, Sanders has applied his findings to fantasy baseball leagues and conversations with other baseball fans during games.
But he doesn’t always need to be right to have fun with sabermetrics. Sanders simply wants to try to unlock deeper meaning behind the actions on the field.
“For me, I always kind of wanted to know ‘why’ to a large extent and why things happened in baseball games, and I think that sabermetrics allows me to understand that question more,” Sanders said. “And to a large extent it is what makes baseball more fun for me. Some people just want to watch the game, and I want to understand what’s going on in the game.”