Playing the percentages

Published: Jul. 17, 2023 at 6:02 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - “The best job you can ever ask for is to be a professional baseball player. The second is to work in professional baseball.”

Those are words to live by, according to Reno Aces Player Development Associate Dylan Olsonawski.

It takes a lot to win a baseball game, and the Aces played their cards right hiring the agricultural business major from Minnesota.

“We can catch every angle from every player on every pitch,” he said.

The 25-year-old is the club’s analytics guy. He watched pitching breakdowns as a hobby growing up to get him into baseball.

“We’re not creating anything. It’s just finding a different way to dissect the information,” Olsonawski said of all the data he collects.

Olsonawski dives into the opposition, creates scouting reports, works with Aces players on development goals, and tries to find reasons for why someone is doing well, or not.

“We’re going to play the law of averages,” he laughed. “You’re hoping you can win that seven out of ten.”

Part of Olsonawski’s duties include putting together outfield positioning charts. He tries to find what’s of value and relay it to the coaching staff.

“He can relay to us, other than what we’re seeing, what the charts and numbers are showing,” said Reno Aces Pitching Coach Doug Drabek. “It might help open up a different channel of thinking for us.”

With the help of cameras, computer software, a passion for baseball, and a grind to give back, Olsonawski is taking what fans have always been able to see, and putting it into numbers the club understands.

“If I can make a 1% impact on one of these guys and it helps them, even if it’s just a day up in the big leagues, that’s the best thing I can ask for,” Olsonawski said of his impact.