Technology in baseball has come a long way.
Perhaps there's no better example of that than the Statcast tracking technology. It's already been providing radar- and camera-based data to all 30 MLB ballparks since earlier this season — but beginning this week, it will be used by the league to devise a whole set of new metrics.
According to an MLB press release and USA TODAY Sports' For The Win, Statcast will be used to produce leaderboards featuring new offensive and defensive metrics. Statcast runs through software in production trucks outside stadiums in conjunction with the MLB's Advanced Media offices in New York City.
On the offensive end, the Statcast technology has already shown that Miami Marlins stud slugger Giancarlo Stanton is the man behind the hardest hit ball this season, clocking in at a ridiculous 120.3 miles per hour, and that the hardest-hit home run via a 119.2-mph shot was off St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Carlos Martinez in late June.
The latter stat sits atop the MLB's new "exit-velocity leaderboard" metric. Stanton's 119.2 exit velocity on that long ball is 2.5 mph faster than any other home run smashed this season. Regarding hit balls, Statcast can not only be used to clock the velocity of hit balls, but also their launch angles and spin rates.
For batters who reach base, Statcast can measure the size of their leads, speed in both their first steps and on the basepaths.
On the defensive end, Statcast can track players' reaction times to fielding a ball, as well as their route efficiency to balls and strength of arms on throws.
Amazing technology — which only figures to make the fans' experience of watching baseball that much better.