Arthur: The next frontier in baseball data Is biomechanics

From SABR member Rob Arthur at Baseball Prospectus on March 20, 2020:

We’re in the middle of what’s going to end up being at least the longest stretch of time without baseball since the 1994 strike. (And we don’t have labor strife to write about either.) There are no games, no practices, not even the slim glimmers of hope that are Spring Training velocity reports or “Best Shape of His Life” stories.

So what’s a baseball fan or, for that matter, a sabermetrically-inclined writer, to do? If we don’t have any new baseball to write about, let’s try to make some new data from the baseball that’s already been played. Getting a new source of data turns out to be as simple as pointing a software package at MLB video–but there’s a long way to go before it becomes fully usable.

By this late date in baseball history, the pickings are slim. We have exit velocity and launch angle, Deserved Runs Created and On-Base Percentage and pitch velocity and spin rate and a whole glossary’s worth of acronyms and metrics available to quantify every facet of baseball. But one aspect that remains an unexplored frontier is biomechanics. By this, I mean the three-dimensional position of a player’s limbs as they do all kinds of baseball tasks–running, hitting, pitching, throwing, and so on.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: March 20, 2020. Last Updated: March 20, 2020.