Blengino: Getting the most out of batted-ball data

From SABR member Tony Blengino at FanGraphs on May 5, 2015:

The modern baseball statistical analysis revolution has largely been about one thing; weeding out the noise, and getting to the root of a player’s true talent. DIPS theory, which posited that the only things that pitchers truly should be held accountable for were strikeouts, walks and homers allowed, represented a major step forward, and brought terms like BABIP and FIP into the game’s lexicon. What those new metrics assumed, however, was that all other batted balls were more or less created equal. Now, with the advent of StatCast, we all know, publicly, that is not the case.  

Granular batted ball data is making its way into the public domain, bringing with it the clarity that can overcome the limitations of many of the game’s newly accepted metrics. This article is the first of a short series that aims to prep you for the ongoing batted-ball revolution.

First, a very brief general history. The 30 individual clubs have been receiving detailed data regarding every pitch thrown in the major leagues since 2008. Most of you are familiar with Pitch f(x), which has been publicly available since then. The batted-ball data – hit f(x) – has not been publicly available. This year, MLB began utilizing a new data provider for StatCast, and has made the data available for MLB At Bat Premium subscribers. From my experience working with the data produced by both providers, the new StatCast data “runs” faster by a few MPH. Any specifics I refer to in this piece are based on the pre-StatCast data; it should just be used as a point of reference moving forward.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: May 5, 2015. Last Updated: May 5, 2015.