Lindbergh: Ready, set, Statcast: What the new data stream can teach us about MLB

From SABR member Ben Lindbergh at on April 9, 2015:

Sometime this spring, Major League Baseball Advanced Media completed the installation of Statcast, its long-anticipated everything-tracking technology. The system is now active in all 30 parks, and the petabytes of records it generates by capturing the physical position of every player, pitch, and batted ball many times per second are accumulating somewhere on MLBAM’s massive servers.

Thus far, the sexier components of Statcast have kept a low public profile. Statcast’s official account hasn’t tweeted a new stat-enhanced video since Alex Gordon stopped at third, and we haven’t seen any sign of the baserunning and defensive data that should shed some light on two of the most mysterious areas of a fairly well-quantified sport.

But despite the lack of fanfare and the features that remain under wraps, Statcast’s soft launch has been better news than most statheads had allowed themselves to hope for, given the commissioner’s caginess about the time frame for releasing raw data online. If you’ve used MLB Gameday to keep track of your team during this season’s first few games, you may have noticed a new tab called “Feed,” where embedded tweets and videos compete for screen real estate with stats the public hadn’t seen before they surfaced in snippets of video last season: batted-ball velocity and distance.

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Originally published: April 9, 2015. Last Updated: April 9, 2015.