The developer of an influential baseball metric is set to speak in Park City
Steve Springer, the developer of an influential baseball statistic, is coming to speak at Park City High School on Wednesday, June 12.
Park City High School baseball coach Dave Feasler and Skullcandy Crushers director Brent Milner are bringing Springer, who introduced the concept of the quality at bat (QAB), to Park City so local baseball players can hear his story of going from a non-starting high school player to playing 14 years in the minors, punctuated with major league appearances. He will also speak about playing with confidence and focusing on what each player can control while batting.
“I am more focused on what he brings to the table from the psychology of the game,” Milner said. “Steve has really refined the art of how to approach the game mentally, how to approach each at bat individually, and avoiding getting caught up in a players head and history of recent failure that he or she has had.”
Quality at bats accounts for different ways that players can evaluate the strength of their at bats, instead of relying on batting average. By counting long at bats, walks, hard hits and other qualities, players can form a better idea of whether their at bats were successful.
Feasler uses the metric in coaching with the Miners varsity team.
“It’s the main offensive metric we use to define success,” Feasler said. “For us it’s all about controlling what we can control and being present in each pitch.”
Each year since Feasler has taken over, the Miners strive to earn 60 percent quality at bats over the season. They’ve come close, notching 58, 57 and 56 percent respectively over his tenure.
Feasler said he uses the metric because players “don’t have to be perfect.”
“I think it’s taken a lot of focus off of the individual, and made it more of a team focus. We have also run some numbers and if we get three quality at bats in a row, we’re going to score 90 percent of the time. Which, it’s a pretty simple message to the kids.”
Springer said his message to those in attendance can be boiled down into one idea: “How do we get the right guy playing every day?” Springer said.
Springer says each player has two sides: a confident player and an un-confident player.
The team needs the confident player to show up.
“The biggest trap in baseball mentally is batting average,” he said. “I hit three balls right on the screws, right at somebody, and baseball says I suck. My batting average goes down, I think I’ve failed, and now the wrong guy starts playing.”
Springer is hoping for a big turnout when he comes to town.
“I know what I teach is right, and I don’t mean that boastfully,” he said. “I’m going to talk to your players the same way I talk to (Cardinals first baseman) Paul Goldschmidt; (Cubs utility player) Ben Zobrist.”
The talk will run from 6 to 7:30 p.m. followed by a question and answer session. Tickets are $75 for a player and a parent, and includes a “Quality At Bats” DVD and CD.
To register, go to takeatripwithmichele.com/product-page/steve-springer-in-park-city.
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Dave Hanscom announced last month he was retiring as volunteer race director of the Wasatch Citizens Series after 30 years in the position.