Blog

How College Coaches are Using Data to Evaluate Student-Athletes – and Prospective Student-Athletes

May 9, 2019

The Data Revolution has already largely conquered the game of professional baseball – and it’s headed for college baseball now.

Driven by the trends in the professional game – data, analytics, and advanced sabermetrics – college programs are buying in to the importance of data in player evaluation and assessment, and the rapid development of more accessible technology platforms are making it easier than ever.

At the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Convention in Dallas this past January, our Top96 team went for a pre-set meeting with our newly-announced data partner Rapsodo – only to find them swamped by college coaches asking questions, watching their demonstration, and inquiring about pricing and delivery options. We then went to some of the presentations from college coaches which included no fewer than EIGHT presentations about the use of data and analytics – through tools like Rapsodo – at the college level. All of these talks were packed with interested coaches looking to learn the best ways to leverage this new technology in their program development and recruiting. The data and analytics revolution is quickly making its way to college, and coaches from all over the country – including the programs that we’re hosting at Top96 – are in the midst of adding this key analytics tool to their program’s repertoire for player evaluation and assessment.

Because of the accessibility, ease of use, and relative low cost of Rapsodo’s platform and tools, it’s at the forefront of this data transition – which means two things for Top96 student-athletes:

  1. Coaches using these analytics know what this data means, and how to use it to assess players. While some of these analytics can seem arcane and confusing, coaches know what they mean and how to use them.
  2. Coaches who use these tools in their own programs have a baseline for where their current players measure, enabling them to project prospective high school student-athletes using these measurements to gauge how these prospects can contribute to their program in the future.

 

Data & Analytics Familiarity to Measure What Matters: Projectability

The first benefit of using Rapsodo at Top96 comes from coaches’ familiarity not only with the platform, but with the metrics that it collects. While this data can be difficult to decipher for those not familiar with it, coaches know exactly what they’re looking at – and what they’re looking for in their prospective student-athletes.

To them, the data and analytics that Rapsodo provides not only show who you are as a player right now, but they help paint a picture of your projectability, and where your game is headed over the coming years of your development. While your current level as a player matters in your recruiting, coaches’ evaluation of you has to be forward-thinking as well – after all, they’re looking to your future contributions to their program. To make these assessments on your projectability, coaches most often look at your “tools”, or your raw skills as a player, in addition to your actual on-field or in-game performance. With Rapsodo, coaches have access to another whole language that speaks directly to your tools and raw ability – and each piece of data adds to the overall, 360-degree assessment that they’re building of you as a player.

Benchmarking & Recruiting

The prevalence of Rapsodo in college programs also means that many of these coaches will have taken and assessed these same metrics for their current players. In the context of their program’s player development, these measurements point to areas for players to develop and improve – but the data also provides a benchmark for coaches to use in their recruiting, as well.

Coaches using Rapsodo – or any of these analytics tools and platforms – have the ability to now place Top96 student-athletes’ metrics side-by-side with those athletes already in their program, and draw easy, straightforward comparisons to how a player may project into their program in the coming years.

 

As colleges transition into the data and analytics era of baseball, tools like Rapsodo can help coaches gain efficiency in their recruiting – and can offer more opportunities than ever to high school student-athletes looking to pursue their goal of playing baseball at the next level through camps like Top96.