Re: Stat Geeks Rejoice - New defensive metric on the way
posted at 3/3/2014 1:50 PM EST
In response to garyhow's comment:
MLBAM is introducing a new system at a conference @ MIT in Boston. Using this system it will be able to show exactly how good a defensive play made was by using all the following:
1. Batted Ball Speed
2. Launch Angle
3. Distance ball traveled
4. Hang Time
For the defensive player it will show
a. Route Efficiency
b. Speed of defenders 1st step
c. Players top speed
d. Amount of ground covered
Looks like we might finally have a defensive metric that really works. Saw this displayed on MLB network and it was pretty amazing. I'm not a big stat geek and didn't care for the old defensive metrics, because there was the human element of judgement. But this takes into and accounts for just about every variable that goes into making a catch vs. not being able to make a catch.
I saw a video clip of this as well, and it looks awesome. I think this will help sway some of those who have been against the defensive metrics.
As far as the metrics that are most commonly used now, such as UZR and +/- , I think that the information you listed above is already taken into account by the thousands of video scouts that watch every play.
No, those numbers don't currently pop up on their screens, but some of the data is already available. And for what data is not available, the scouts are trained to watch such plays and are highly adept at determining things like the amount of ground covered and routes taken.
This technology will certainly help to refine defensive stats even more.