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Be Better Prepared With This Pregame Routine

Pregame_RoutineFrom GameChanger and Clay Latimer, a freelance reporter for Red Line Editorial, Inc.

Before every game, Luke Muller scrutinizes statistical reports of both his team and its opponent, searching for tendencies that could provide an edge. Good coaching requires smarts, but it also requires preparation.

Which is why Muller fires up his GameChanger app hours before the first pitch.

“It allows us to make better decisions in so many areas,” said the Arapahoe High School coach, Colorado’s prep baseball coach of the year in 2008.

“We find trends.”

Specifically, Muller relies on GameChanger for:

Making Lineup Changes:
Halfway through the season, Muller had concerns about an outfielder. When he ran the numbers, he understood why. By sorting non-league and league games, Muller discovered the player was hitting .500 in non-league games and just .100 in conference competition. His overall average obscured his struggles.

“He’d struck out 10 of his last 16-at bats,” Muller recalled. “I said ‘Wow, he’s definitely struggling. We definitely need to make a change.’”

Those types of insights are frequent.

“Whenever I have a question on a position, I double-check to see who’s doing well over the short term,” Muller said.

“GameChanger helps in another way too: When a player comes to me and says, ‘How come I’m not starting?’ I can quickly (download) and show him the information.”

Pitching Strategy:
In preparing for a game, Muller sorts through all the pitching stats: IP, H, R, ER, BB, SO, HR, ERA, batters faced, total pitches, total strikes, first pitch strikes, strike %, etc. But he focuses on one.

“In high school, we’re big into throwing strikes,” Muller said. “I’m able to track the percentage of strikes a pitcher has thrown. It shows us the walk-to-hit ratio; it shows us the walk-to-strikeout ratio.

“It helps us determine who’s our most efficient pitcher, who’s best coming out of the bullpen that day.”

This information can make Muller’s decisions much easier.

“We’re seeing a lot more kids playing baseball, specializing in baseball,” he said. “With more players, sometimes it gets tougher to make your lineup. Having access to these stats makes it easier.”

“Going into a game, I definitely have an order of guys who will come off the bench for pinch-hitters and pinch-runners,” Muller said. “A lot of it has to do with how current stats are matching up. The trends matter.”

Since every recorded statistic is stored on GameChanger’s comprehensive database, Muller gains instant insights about unfamiliar opponents.

Spray charts, quality-at-bats, pitch counts, batting average with runners in scoring position, swinging strikes on first pitches — these and dozens of other team and individual stats are a download away for Muller.

“GameChanger allows you to track every team,” he said. “I still have stats from 2013 on my GameChanger, so I can see what kids did two years ago can against us. And I can see what works for us today.”