(This article is a reprint from 2020, updated with current year stats)
Coach Beavers is an immaculate record keeper. He has stats on every young man who has played for Lancaster Post 11 since 1974. He keeps a large 3-drawer filing cabinet full of pictures, record books, and tournament programs, and he has binders full of field maintenance records. It’s an amazing sight.
“Here, look at this…”, he said to this Post 11 Fan during a recent visit to his office where he showed me three, well-preserved tournament programs. “We competed against Derek Jeter at the Morehead, KY tournament in 1990 - 1992 when he played for Kalamazoo, MI. He took infield standing in short LF. He had a cannon and stood out very clearly from the rest of the pack.”
Ever wonder how Coach Beavers keeps Beavers Field so pristine? Answer: Attention to detail. He’s kept mowing and fertilizing journals since he opened the field in 1988. His records are fascinating and are proof of how much it means to him to help kids and provide a great place for them to play.
Post 11 is building on the informational foundation Coach Beavers established by incorporating data and analytics into its player development efforts. As a fellow CPA with Coach Beavers and a self-professed data geek, I appreciate the diligence, work and value that result from record keeping efforts like Coach Beavers’. It’s hard to figure out where you want to go if you don’t know where you’ve been nor where you are. We have a great coaching staff. Our coaches have all played high-level baseball, understand the game, and understand its recruiting and promotional aspects to help young men get to the next level. We’re all hungry to learn new things and try new approaches like bringing data and analytics into the program to help our young men.
Post 11 is leveraging data capturing technology and video analysis to tailor instruction and development plans to the individual player. There are a lot of tools on the market to capture a near-infinite amount of data. A key to using data is to help kids visualize them – pictures are always easier and it always helps for a young man to see himself in action. It’s also key to help kids understand what data mean and to translate them to in-game performance. We try to help kids focus on the actions that lead to the result they want rather than focus only on the result. For example, we try to focus kids on actions that lead to a high slugging percentage; focus on actions that lead to a high exit velocity; and focus on actions that lead to a low ERA. We teach a process. You can’t do the same thing over and over and expect different results. Data help us to show kids the actions that need taken to get better results.
Post 11’s implementation of data and analytics isn’t just for in-game metrics but includes metrics for the development of the whole player. Our coaching staff is trying something new this year with a sports personality assessment. It sometimes takes a while to build a relationship with a player. Using the assessments will help us to fast-forward that process. Relationships are always a priority, and the assessments will help us to get there quicker by better understanding where a kid is coming from and then talking about where they want to go. We also have materials and lessons that will help our players develop mental toughness, a true difference maker when playing baseball at the Legion level.
We’re also teaching an analytic process that a young man can carry into college, the military or the work force: Set a goal; establish a baseline; create and execute a plan; measure the results. Rinse and repeat. It’s scientific and it’s a lot of fun because we make it interactive for the kids.
Coach Beavers and I will quickly say that the strategy and mechanics of the game haven’t changed much, but how baseball is taught has changed a lot. New tools are becoming available at lightening pace. And at the end of the day, and at the end of the season, the main point will always be: Use the tools available to develop relationships and to help kids grow – for baseball and whatever they go on to do next.
Post 11 will unveil new player development modules in the coming months to go along with their recruiting and stat modules. Stop by the website soon to check them out.
In the meantime, check out Coach Beavers’ handy-work and see the stats from 1974 – to current. The stat book contains data back to 1974 at a player level and highlights several cuts:
Records of this type take a lot of time to keep and maintain, and provide an immense amount of enjoyment for the players and their families. The Record Book also is a testimony to the longevity and stability of the Lancaster Post 11 program.
Coach Beavers, thank you for all your efforts and the joy you bring to the Post 11 families!