I had a a question that I asked about in Stats, but they think it should go here in Sports. I want to make sure about it before posting.

Can you tell me whether the following would be on-topic in the Sports forum?


I heard a manager refer to an employee as a "utility player" in the pre-moneyball sense. That means that the employee "[has] a wide breadth of skills and can work across many org's and disciplines", so it is quite a compliment.

Moneyball was a movie, a book, and a statistical revolution in sabermetrics. In Moneyball, they discarded the notion of a "utility player", and has much more strongly mathematically/statistically defined nomenclatures such as "slugging percentage" and "on-base percentage" (ref).


  1. What is the post-moneyball meaning of or analog to a "utility player"?

  2. If there is meaning, then how is a player identified as the new utility?

  3. Are there post-moneyball SABR-metric metaphors that are viable for abstraction to team composition outside of baseball?

  • What is a "utility player," and how that compares to an "old" utility player is a terminology (potentially also a history) question. The third looks separate from the first two, and looks like an ok question with clarification (I think you're asking if baseball sabermetrics are being applied to other sports...which I think we may have had questions that have referenced such).
    – user527
    Commented Feb 9, 2017 at 13:33
  • @ᴍᴀsᴛᴇʀᴍɪɴᴅ_ᴇᴅ - I am absolutely sure that old sabermetrics are applied to other areas. Whether they should be applied is a very different discussion. :) I feel uncomfortable when corporate management uses baseball that are not only old, but fundamentally flawed, to frame how it thinks about team composition. I just want to know more about the less flawed terms, and how they generalize. Commented Feb 9, 2017 at 13:48
  • Yes, it is a different discussion (and might be opinion based). I'm not coming from a position of knowing the in's and out's of sabermetrics. I'm coming from a position of trying to determine if that question is on topic here...and it looks ok. Would like more input from others here...but based on your latest comment, you want comparisons to sabermetric terms outside of baseball as a generalization.
    – user527
    Commented Feb 9, 2017 at 13:57
  • Generalize doesn't have to mean to business. It could mean to another sport. Commented Feb 9, 2017 at 14:14

1 Answer 1


My take:

  • The first two points are on-topic, but closely related enough to be asked as one question.
  • The third point is definitely not close enough to the first two points to be asked as part of the same question - Stack Exchange has a pretty strict "one post, one question" rule. If asked at all, it should be a separate question - but I think it's probably too broad as written; analytic models of sports are a major area of research.

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