Sapolsky: Improving projections with exit velocity

From William Sapolsky at The Hardball Times on May 2, 2016:

Batted-ball exit velocity is all the rage these days. With MLB’s rollout of Statcast last year, exit velocity and other batted-ball metrics have become a part of the casual baseball fan’s vocabulary. Quite simply, it’s cool to be able to see how fast Giancarlo Stanton’s laser-shot home runs leave the bat.

And as a sabermetrics geek, batted-ball data appears to be the path forward in the everlasting quest for more accurate player analysis.

For the past seven months, Jared Cross and I have been working on a project to dig deeper into the Statcast data and put it to use. As the first fruits of our labor, we are releasing estimates of players’ average exit velocities for the 2012 through 2014 seasons. In addition, we are making a first attempt at adjusting players’ 2016 Steamer projections based on their 2015 average exit velocities. Not only are we excited by the potential uses of exit velocity information, but we believe its introduction signifies the beginning of a new era in baseball projections.

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Originally published: May 5, 2016. Last Updated: May 5, 2016.