Cubs News

How baseball data and technology from Trackman, Rapsodo continue to help transform the sport

6 months agoLance Brozdowski

Two of the most commonly used devices in the development of major and minor league players are Rapsodo and Trackman units. Each provides real-time information about the velocity, spin and movement of a baseball, whether that be on the way to the plate from a pitcher’s hand or off the barrel of a hitter’s bat.

This data, communicated via metrics like exit velocity and spin direction, are used extensively in the evaluation of hitters and pitchers. They often become pivotal pieces of information for decision makers in MLB front offices ahead of trades and free agent acquisitions.

“Trackman uses a combination of radars and cameras to track the baseball,” Hans Duetmeyer, president of Trackman Baseball said at 2022’s American Baseball Coaches Convention (ABCA) in downtown Chicago this past weekend. “We do this in 500 stadiums around the world, all across the United States, in Latin America and Asia.”

The ABCA convention serves as an opportunity for companies like Rapsodo and Trackman to present their latest innovations and network with teams and coaches alike. For Rapsodo, their newest innovation comes in the form of a small white trapezoid (called “Rapsodo v3”) that allows for simultaneous recording of pitching and hitting information. 

The Rapsodo v3 records ball flight information in a similar way to “Hawkeye” devices, which were recently installed in all 30 major league stadiums prior to the 2020 season (more info here). Hawkeye has already produced data to help teams better understand how players move in space and led to better understanding of buzzy new baseball terms like “seam-shifted wake.” Ubiquitous Rapsodo v3 devices would help Rapsodo to fulfill a company goal.

“One of the missions of Rapsodo from day one,” Brian Page, manager of key accounts at Rapsodo, said, “is making high level data available to the masses… high school, college, [don’t] have to be signed with a professional organization.” 

ABCA heads to Nashville next year for another weekend full of networking and innovation.

 

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