What does a saber-savvy organization look like on the field?
The questions oscillates from easy to difficult as you appraise it. Obviously, sabermetrics have made certain advances in research that could easily be played out on the field, though, and if we could answer the question, we might be able to look at how a team actually plays on the field and compare that to our Saber Checklist. So, what does a saber-savvy team look like on the field?
I have some suggestions, and I’d love to see yours. Most of mine concern the precious nature of outs and the platoon advantage, but there are other ways to see a saber mindset impacting the game on the field directly. And feel free to question the ones I have up there — it’s hard enough to sum up sabermetric research as a monolith, and even harder to draw a straight line from that research to the play on the field.
* Fewer sacrifice bunts than league average, especially put down by position players.
* Fewer intentional walks than league average.
* More positional platoons on the field.
* Less rigid bullpen structure, including a platoon at closer.
* High on-base percentage hitters at top of lineup, regardless of speed.
* Strong defensive backups that are often used as defensive replacements.
* Fewer long term contracts on the field (is using this as an ‘on-field’ item cheating?).