2023 SABR Analytics: Watch highlights from New Statcast Data Panel

2023 SABR Analytics: Clay Nunnally of Major League Baseball

At the SABR Analytics Conference on Sunday, March 12, 2023, in Phoenix, Arizona, a panel discussion was held on New Statcast Data: Weather and High-Frame-Rate Bat and Biomechanics Tracking.

Panelists included Clay Nunnally and Graham Goldbeck of Major League Baseball.

Here are some highlights from the panel:

On Weather Implied Metrics:

  • Nunnally: “If you want to know what the wind is actually doing and it impacts the game on the field, you have to model it, you can’t measure it. So that’s what weather-implied metrics does.”

On Ted Williams’s 502-foot home run in 1946

  • Nunnally: “In 1946, you have a confluence of events. The greatest ever hitter type arguably, Ted Williams, at age 27, a strong wind in the right direction based on an unusual and damaging storm in the Northeast, and what is essentially the shortest stadium wind shadow of any major league ballpark.”

On why bat speed is significant

  • Goldbeck: “Bat speed is one of the big things the system produces. We’ve been using exit velocity for a long time now. We know when a guy hits a home run it’s 110 MPH, but how can you get to that 110 MPH is kind of important.”

2023 SABR Analytics: Graham Goldbeck of Major League Baseball

On assigning credit/blame for a mistimed swing

  • Goldbeck: “While we think of the bat as something the batter has control over, I think this will prove a lot of things for pitchers in analysis as well.”

On Kerry Wood’s 20-strikeout game in 1998

  • Nunnally: “I don’t have confidence in the Kerry Wood game because it’s the number one Bill James score, I have confidence in the game score because Kerry Wood’s game is number one.”

On the next steps for player evaluation

  • Goldbeck: “We view bat tracking as the next frontier of hitter and pitcher performance.”

Transcription assistance from Justin Dunbar.

For more coverage of the 2023 SABR Analytics Conference, visit SABR.org/analytics.


Originally published: May 1, 2023. Last Updated: March 24, 2023.