Brainstorming MLBAM StatCast (Ongoing)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Here are my thoughts on how teams could use the new MLBAM StatCast player tracking system to evaluate players performance. I have broke it down by a few broad baseball functions (Base running, Hitting, Fielding Infield, Fielding Outfield, and Pitching). I will update this post from time to time with new ideas.

Base runners
1. Top speed from home to first base, second base, and third base
2. Running path from home to first base, second base, and third base
3. Players top speed during a stolen base
4. Average length of a base runners lead
5. Players top speed from any base to any base
6. Players running path from any base to any base
7. Create a statistic for a players top average speed from each base to any base
8. Categorize base running stats by average top speed, average lead length
   i. Determine the correlation of avg top speed to stolen base pct and avg lead length to stolen base pct
   i. Determine correlation of avg top speed to extra base hits and running path to to extra base hits
9. Determine how many feet it takes for a player to reach top speed (Acceleration)
10. Determine optimum distance for a player to reach top speed while stealing a base 
11. Determine optimum distance for a player to reach top speed while running from one base/plate to another base. (Ex. Runner should reach top speed on a double when he is 50 feet away from 2nd base)
12. Determine optimum distance for a runner to begin their slide based on their average top speed, distance to reach top speed, and height of runner.
13. Determine which sliding path is most efficient (Ex. inside part of base, out side, straight)
14. Determine optimum base runner lead for a safe steal and slide back
15. Calculate a players average batted ball speed
   i. Correlation between avg batted ball speed and BA, SLG, OBP, extra base hits, HR, 1B, 2B, 3B
   i. Batted ball speed and the age of the player
16. Calculate a players average launch angle
   i. Correlation between a players avg launch angle and BA, SLG, OBP, extra base hits, HR, 1B, 2B,         3B (Can a player correct or improve his launch angle?)
17. Calculate a players average hang time of batted balls
   i. Correlation between a players hang time and BA, SLG, OBP, extra base hits, HR, 1B, 2B, 3B
18. Determine average first step of a base runner stealing a base
19. Determine average acceleration of a runner stealing a base

Hitting
1. Average batted ball distance
   i. Determine correlation from average batted ball distance and number of extra base hits, batting average, slugging pct, on base pct
   i. Determine average batted ball distance changes with the age of player
   i. Determine average batted ball distance for each MLB stadium
   i. Determine average batted ball distance for each stadium for each month (home and or away)

Fielding Infield
1. Most efficient place to stand when receiving a throw down from the catcher (be able to know the most used slide path of base runners)
2. Determine average route efficiency for each player
3. Percentage of balls fielded cleanly and thrown out (infield) (Ex. A player might have good range to get to the ground ball, but is he able to throw the runner out?)
4. Average distance a fielder travels to field ground ball cleanly (ex. compare good range with bad)
5. Calculate a players average first step time
6. Average catcher pop time
7. Average catcher arm strength in mph
8. Average infielders arm strength on throws to first
9. Average flight path of a catchers thrown ball (more to the left, right, or straight to 2nd base)
   i. Can throw down path demonstrate if a catcher is successful?

Fielding Outfield
1. Determine average route efficiency for each player
2. Average distance a fielder travels to field ball cleanly (ex. compare good range with bad)
3. Calculate a players average first step time
4. Calculate a players average top speed while fielding a line drive, fly ball, ground ball
5. Calculate a players average acceleration to the ball
6. Average arm strength on attempted assist throws.

Pitching
1. Determine correlation between a pitchers regular velocity and extension
2. Determine correlation between a pitchers perceived velocity and extension
3. Does spin rate determine where a ball might be hit?
4. Does spin rate correlate with the velocity of the ball?

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