MLB: Analyze This!

Doug Pensinger

If you are into statistical analysis of baseball, you should be in stat heaven today.

Many of you are much more into statistical analysis of baseball than I am. That's not to say I don't appreciate advanced metrics, just that I know there are many who know it better than I do.

For you, there's big news today, from MLB Advanced Media:

The goal is to revolutionize the way people evaluate baseball, by presenting for the first time the tools that connect all actions that happen on a field to determine how they work together. This new datastream will enable the industry to understand the whole play on the field -- batting, pitching, fielding and baserunning -- and enable new metrics for evaluation by clubs, scouts, players and fans.

For instance, on a brilliant, game-saving diving catch by an outfielder, this new system will let us understand what created that outcome. Was it the quickness of his first step, his acceleration? Was it his initial positioning? What if the pitcher had thrown a different pitch? Everything will be connected for the first time, providing a tool for answers to questions like this and more.

This is designed, as noted, to be not only used by scouts to help teams, but for players to help improve their games, and for fans to gain a greater understanding of what they're seeing on the field. From what I see, you can use as little or as much as you want, but there will be "terabytes" of data about virtually every baseball game, once this system is fully put in place. There are more details at the link; for 2014, it will be at three ballparks: Miller Park in Milwaukee, Target Field in Minneapolis (where you can expect they will show off everything during All-Star Week) and Citi Field in New York. The goal is to have this system installed in every ballpark by 2015.

I hope some of you, who are more into advanced metrics than I am, can help explain the benefits of this system and how it will work. Sounds cool.

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