Phillies Holistic Information Location

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Detailed statistical analysis has been an integral part of winning organizations in Major League Baseball for some time now, but the Philadelphia Phillies have always been criticized for their failure to properly or comprehensively utilize this resource

No more, as the club is developing its own internal proprietary statistical information system known as “PHIL”, which stands for “Phillies Holistic Information Location” as per Philly.com’s Matt Breen.

It was well-known that, for whatever reason, the old regime of Pat Gillick and Ruben Amaro Jr simply was unwilling to embrace analytics. Under new club president Andy MacPhail and new GM Matt Klentak, all that is now changing.

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Klentak was quoted by Breen: “…it’s a place to house all of our information…synthesize it…manage it…pool it…bring all together. That’s what PHIL will provide. I’m new to it…I’m getting more and more familiar with it. We’re making some tweaks to it…It’s close to its official launch.”

“Sabermetrics” is a term coined by Bill James, derived from the acronym SABR (Society for American Baseball Research), to describe the analytical approach to measure player performance and game situations.

As reported by David Grabiner, James described Sabermetrics as “the search for objective knowledge about baseball.” Some more traditional or “old school” individuals and organizations in the game have been slower to come around to this way of evaluating the game, preferring the “eye test” or scouting and the use of more traditional statistics.

On being hired, Klentak was quoted by Randy Miller at NJ.com as wanting to establish a balance, utilizing both new-age analytics and that old-school scouting.

“I try to create and strike balance in everything that I do, and accordingly we’ll try to strike balance in everything that we do. The Phillies have a long and proud history, particularly recent history, that was the result of some excellent evaluations and scouting…the foundation of the club that was in the playoffs every year for a period there in the late 2000s was a product of some awesome scouting. I don’t want to lose that…But we also need to make sure we are gathering and utilizing all of the information at our disposal. Some of that may come in analytical form. Some of that may come via medical information.”

“The real challenge is taking all of that information…and combining it and synthesizing it…and making decisions accordingly. But let there be no doubt, we will be at the forefront of every single one of those areas and we will strive to be the best in everyone of those areas and have the best information.”

Klentak is now preparing for Major League Baseball’s meetings next week of all its General Managers, which will take place in Boca Raton, Florida. While deals don’t usually take place at the GM meetings, conversations are indeed held and tables frequently set for deals that are later made at the Winter Meetings, which will take place in Nashville, Tennessee a month from now.

How successful this new Phillies regime will be is something that we will all learn over time. But certainly there is a new way of doing business emerging down at Citizens Bank Park, and statistical analysis will now be a vital component from this point forward.

Next: 2015 Phillies Report Card: Rotation

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