Baseball Set For High-Tech Data Deluge

From Ira Boudway at on March 31, with appearances by SABR members Rob Neyer, Tom Tippett, Mike Chernoff, John Dewan, Bill James, Dick Cramer and Vince Gennaro:

Fieldf/x will create a digital catalog of virtually every movement at every Major League Baseball game in every park. Already in place in San Francisco’s AT&T Park, it is coming to four more venues this year. If all goes according to plan, it will be in every major league park by 2012.

Fieldf/x is a motion-capture system created by Chicago- based Sportvision. It uses four cameras perched high above the field to track players and the ball and log their movements, gathering more than 2.5 million records per game. That means you could find out whether Ichiro Suzuki truly gets the best jump on fly balls hit into the right-field gap, or if Derek Jeter really deserved that Gold Glove last year.

The deluge of numbers will send analysts scrambling to answer just such questions. What they find will change the way teams choose and pay their players, and the way fans watch and talk about the game.

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Originally published: March 31, 2011. Last Updated: March 31, 2011.