Mets: Where Buck Showalter stands on analytics

Andres Chavez

At this point in time, Buck Showalter is considered the favorite for the New York Mets’ managerial position. There are still other candidates who were interviewed, and the second (and last) round of interviews will presumably start over the weekend.

Showalter has a reputation of being an old-school manager that won’t embrace analytics, in a franchise that has revamped that department since Steve Cohen took over as owner, and even a little before that.

However, Danny Abriano of SNY.tv brought back some Showalter interviews from 2018, his last stint as an MLB manager with the Baltimore Orioles. The O’s analytics department that year was, well, not good, and the Mets project to be very strong in that area from now on.

The Mets could opt to bring in Showalter’s experience after the last two years of experiments with a rookie manager didn’t turn out well for them.

“I want to verify what my gut is telling me,” Showalter told Jayson Stark back then. “The analytics and the statistics are great. I use ’em. We were using ’em back in 1985 in the Florida State League. … they bring things that I can’t bring. I don’t have time, I can’t. And we bring things that they can’t bring.

Showalter is open to embracing analytics, and the Mets like that

Showalter said back then that the Orioles would have an analytics “course” each year to try to incorporate some concepts to the veteran coaches and instructors.

“Take the cloak off of it and let’s embrace it instead of going ‘wait a minute, that’s not the way I was brought up,'” Showalter said about what they were trying to do. “Learn from it. Also, I’d say ‘Okay, tell me what this tells us and then tell me what it doesn’t tell us. Tell me what WAR doesn’t tell us. They perfected the defensive schemes to really trust them.

“And players can’t feel like you’re robotically evaluating them with a piece of paper. … they need to know that they’re more than just a robotic piece of meat. They’re a human being, and sometimes that’s the separator in this game.”

If hired by the Mets, Showalter will have more resources at his disposal to “check his gut” and mesh the human being emotions and feelings with the numbers.