In light of Xiang and Zhou Zhou's recent D&R meeting about the data we want to collect on DataDashboard, this piece talks about a new tracking software, Statcast, developed for baseball by Major League Baseball. Statcast is built to capture everything that happens in a baseball game:
It builds on earlier game-tracking technology, such as the Hawk-Eye system used in cricket, but is far more sophisticated. It constantly logs the position of the ball and of every player on the field. It calculates the speed and curvature of a pitch, how rapidly the ball spins and around what axis, and how much faster or slower than reality that pitch appears to be to the hitter, based on the length of the pitcher's stride. When the ball is hit, the system measures how quickly it leaves the bat and how its path is affected by atmospheric conditions. It then tracks how long fielders take to react before moving, and the efficiency of their routes to the ball's eventual landing spot. And it takes just 15 seconds to crunch these numbers and integrate them with video recordings.