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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Track to the future: Baseball’s new metrics | News

I am going to love this stuff. It will be like having your won personal scouting assistant.

Hamilton vs. Recker:
The gaudy number here is Hamilton’s top speed, 18.71 mph, and yet it does Hamilton no justice. That’s because he was running on a wet track, slowing him down quite a bit.

Still, it projects to a mile in 3 minutes, 12 seconds, and 100 meters in 11.96 seconds. And that’s not Hamilton’s full sprint, given that he had only 78 feet from when he started his run (he had about a 12-foot lead) until he was at second base.

The end result was that Recker caught him. That’s in part due to a “pop” time, or release time, of 0.60 seconds. Getting the throw off at 78.84 mph was nice, as was that perfect location on the throw.

Recker was even working at one small disadvantage: Kyle Farnsworth’s pitch wasn’t a blazing heater. The ball came in at about 87 mph, docking Recker a small fraction of a second that he would have had on a faster pitch. He had the benefit of knowing that Hamilton, in the game as a pinch-runner, was likely in to run, but that’s been of little help to plenty of other catchers.

“You just hope that you get a decent pitch to handle and that the pitcher gives you a decent time, because all that stuff factors into it,” Recker said.

Hamilton credits Recker for a “great throw” but also notes that he didn’t fully get to show off his greatest tool.

“It was a wet night,” Hamilton said. “It was situation where a lot of guys wouldn’t go. I still feel like if I get a good jump, no matter how it is, I can go. ... I didn’t get a good jump and was hoping he’d make a bad throw. He ended up making a great throw, and I was out.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 20, 2014 at 11:10 AM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: billy hamilton, fieldfx, sabermetrics

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   1. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: May 20, 2014 at 02:44 PM (#4710246)
I was about to submit this. Nerd out, nerds!
   2. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: May 20, 2014 at 02:52 PM (#4710258)
Bad link.
   3. cardsfanboy Posted: May 20, 2014 at 03:06 PM (#4710267)
   4. cardsfanboy Posted: May 20, 2014 at 03:11 PM (#4710269)
For every baseball fan out there, you need to watch the video. If that doesn't get your geek hardon raging, then you are a sports eunuch.
   5. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: May 20, 2014 at 03:12 PM (#4710272)

[EDIT] - I thought there would be more of this available this year. I'm curious as to how much access we will have to this. It's terribly fun and informative....
   6. attaboy Posted: May 20, 2014 at 03:16 PM (#4710276)
awesome video, article and technology. I forwarded on the article to the biggest BB friends I have and they loved it. Can really help in the defensive analysis as well as helping teams advance scout base running (stealing or taking the extra base on hits).
   7. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: May 20, 2014 at 03:20 PM (#4710278)
This is amazing.

Though, am I crazy or does it look like Quintanilla missed that single by substantially less than 3 feet, 7+ inches?
   8. bjhanke Posted: May 20, 2014 at 04:16 PM (#4710309)
“It was a wet night,” Hamilton said. “It was situation where a lot of guys wouldn’t go. I still feel like if I get a good jump, no matter how it is, I can go. ... I didn’t get a good jump and was hoping he’d make a bad throw. He ended up making a great throw, and I was out.”

Well, now, if you're gong to turn into a really GOOD ML ballplayer, maybe you shouldn't make decisions like that. ML pitchers, catchers, and middle infielders are a lot more sophisticated than the minor leaguers. If it's a "situation where a lot of guys wouldn't go", maybe you should start listening to those other guys. Not to be too crass, but your statement there sounds way too close to something that a player might say who is doing too much of his thinking with his Richard. At the ML level, you can pretty much assume that everyone can play. You need to start including your brain in your toolkit, or ML players will dismantle you, because they WILL use their brains and it will turn out that their brains are worth more than your Richard. - Brock Hanke
   9. cardsfanboy Posted: May 20, 2014 at 04:24 PM (#4710315)
Hamilton is at 72% success rate for the season. That is much more in line with a Lou Brock and not a Tim Raines level of performance. (Of course when Brock stole 118 he was at 78%)
   10. Walt Davis Posted: May 20, 2014 at 08:12 PM (#4710418)
Yes, Hamilton so far is proving to be not a GREAT base stealer. But Brock, kid's gotta learn sometime. Given 98% of those "other guys" don't have his speed, he should be running more than they do. Doesn't mean he can run at will of course and that's what he's got to learn.

That said when I think of wicked fast guys I think Coleman, Womack, Willie Wilson and those guys all started out well above 80%. On the other hand, the super-speed specialists of the 70s -- Herb Washington and Matt Alexander -- were only about 67% but basically their only job was to steal a base in a tough high-leverage situation. Rickey was 76% from 20-23.

You can probably go too far in the other direction. From ages 38-40 (amazing!), Lopes went 84-8 in steals ... great that he never gave outs away but it also tells me he only ran when he was certain he could make it. There were surely high-leverage situations where his break-even was around 60% but he wouldn't run in those scenarios even if his probability of making it was 75%.

Hamilton is in a tough spot cuz he has to produce lots of value with his legs to make it in the majors. Maybe that's a situation where the coaches should take the responsibility of telling him when to run to take the pressure off of him. Still, he's on pace for 10 or more runs via running and DP avoidance, in line with the young Coleman and early Womack (probably nobody was as good as the young Wilson) so it's not like it's a big problem.
   11. Walt Davis Posted: May 20, 2014 at 08:37 PM (#4710443)
Cool stuff ... to much info to actually process by a human but, yeah, get enough and have fun with the computer. That double-play was one hell of a play by both Tejada and Murphy.

Anyhoo, if Hamilton's top speed was 18.7 MPH and Matt Adams was 17.8 ...

For comparison, if I did the math right, Bolt in the 2012 Olympics 100 meter _averaged_ over 23 MPH. Note Bolt's winning 200m time was nearly exactly double his 100 time so that's still an average of 23 MPH.

I recall Womack hitting an ITPHR, I think against the Cubs, and ESPN or somebody put the clock on him. I think it took him 12 seconds. 360 feet plus turns, let's call it 125 meters. OK, let's not because that would make him as fast as Bolt even without a block start. Let's say my memory's wrong and it was 14 seconds for 125 meters, that's still an average speed of 20.

Womack was wicked fast.

3 IPHRs, two against the Cubs in Pitt (one on a ground ball!) and a IPHR grand slam off Billy Wagner in Houston. I couldn't find any video of them on youtube.
   12. valuearbitrageur Posted: May 20, 2014 at 09:47 PM (#4710494)
Womack was wicked fast

He was, but no one has ever been as fast on the base paths as Hamilton.

His 72% this year is not very meangful given sample size.

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