We’ve talked about Statcast before. It’s the 3D tracking technology from MLB Advanced Media which has been available to some degree on MLB.com replays and the like. It shows how fast guys run, how hard the ball is hit off the bat, defensive player routes and the like. It was showcases online during last year’s playoffs in replays like this one.
Baseball fans will have an opportunity to view a live game like never before when Statcast makes its television debut during today’s MLB Network Showcase game between the Cardinals and Nationals at 7 p.m. ET. If you’ve ever wondered how fast the ball comes off of Bryce Harper’s bat, or just how much ground Jason Heyward can cover in the outfield, your chance to get definitive answers is finally here.
The link at MLB.com has a primer at what it is, how it will be used and what sort of information viewers will be able to get from it. It’s worth your time, as it’s a thing that, I presume, will be increasingly integrated into broadcasts much the way PitchF/X strike zones and things have been. I also presume that, before even seeing it, many will decry it as the over-statting of baseball and make all of the usual jokes about mother’s basements, computer simulations and the like.
There may be some growing pains and there will certainly be a learning curve involved for both the broadcasters and viewers, who will need some time to figure out which of the newly available metrics are worth a damn, what numbers = good and what numbers = bad and so on. But good on MLB for trying to innovate.