What is statcast?
Statcast is an automated tool used to measure player movements and athletic abilities through the use of high-speed and highly accurate technology. In 2015, it was installed in all 30 major league stadiums. Every team has an analytics team that uses Statcast to attempt to gain a competitive advantage over the other.
Statcast has two cameras that replicate the binocular vision of the eye. The two cameras will provide depth perception to distinguish what is on the field. The speed and route of the players on the field are measured with a radar system. When the camera and radar are combined, many aspects of physical metrics related to the game on the field are revealed such as pitching, fielding, hitting and baserunning
Google Cloud is used by statcast for data as it formerly was Amazon Web Services , Now Hawk Eye Innovations provides all the statcast high-speed cameras in the MLB parks.
What is Statcast- Launch Angle
The official definition released by MLB is:
Launch Angle represents the vertical angle at which the ball leaves a player’s bat after being struck. Average Launch Angle (aLA) is calculated by dividing the sum of all Launch Angles by all Batted Ball Events
This stat can be used to measure hitters approach to pitched balls or it can give an insight into which kind of pitcher is on the mound. The higher the launch angle leads us to believe the pitcher is a fly ball type.
In layman’s terms, before launch angle was used, they would just talk about how high the ball went into the air as this same process. Generally speaking, fly-ball hitters drive in more runs than ground-ball hitters.
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What does Launch Angle mean to Players?
Let’s look at the case of Kris Bryant. In a four year span of his career, the Chicago Cubs third baseman has been the College Player of the Year, the Minor League Player of the Year, the Rookie of the Year and, most recently, the MVP and a World Series champion. Although in 2015 h wasn’t happy that he led the NL with 199 strikeouts, he decided to fix his swing,
In 2016 he improved to 110 batted balls with a launch angle over 25 degrees and an exit velocity of over 90 mph. The most of any hitter in that season and his numbers were stunning. (up from 79 in 2015).
He went from 79 batted balls with a launch angle over 25 degrees and exit velocity over 90 mph in 2015 to 110 such balls in 2016—the most of any hitter in MLB.
In 2020, Joey Gallo lead all players with a 26.8 degree launch angle followed by Jose Ramirez at 23.2 and Mike Trout coming in at 23.1 degrees.
About the author– Tom Knuppel has been writing about baseball and sports for a few decades. As an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan he began with the blog CardinalsGM. Tom is a member of the United Cardinals Bloggers and the Baseball Bloggers Alliance. He also maintains the History of Cardinals website. More recently he has been busy at KnupSolutions and the primary writer of many sports at KnupSports and adds content at Sports 2.0. Tom is a retired High School English and Speech teacher and has completed over one hundred sportsbook reviews. He also can be followed on Twitter at tknup.
Feel free to contact Tom at [email protected]