Chris Carter: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

PITTSBURGH – Last year as a member of the Houston Astros, Chris Carter put the ball in play 263 times, consisting of 73 ground balls, 127 fly balls, 45 line drives, 11 infield fly balls and seven infield hits

Carter saw 1,963 pitches (1,196 strikes, 767 balls) that resulted in a batting line of .199/.307/.427. His strikeout rate was 32.8% to go along with a walk rate of 12.4%. His BABIP was .244.

These numbers further justify what we already know – Carter’s tag as a true three outcome player (home run, strikeout or walk) is highly accurate. Consider Carter’s at-bats resulted in a home run (24), strikeout (151) or walk (57) in 232 of his 460 plate appearances (or 50.4% of the time).

In the offseason, Carter was signed to a one-year, $2.5 million contract after the Astros declined to offer him a contract in December. After looking at his batting line from the previous year, coupled with Houston’s army of prospects ready to take over at first base it would seemingly make sense for the Astros to let Carter go.

And while Carter may be seen as nothing more than a stop gap for the rebuilding Brewers, the numbers show that Milwaukee could be in for a bargain at one-year, $2.5 million.

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Byron Buxton: Quite The Catch

PITTSBURGH – The first ball Manny Machado put in play in 2016 had an exit velocity of 116.8 mph and a launch angle of 11.4 degrees.

In 2015, only 24 balls put in play had an exit velocity of more than 116 mph. The collective BABIP of those balls was .857 and the batting average was .875 (so roughly, nine out of ten times the result of the at-bat was a hit when the player hit the ball that hard).

Moreover, of those 24 balls put in play only one that was hit in the air turned into an out – a Hanley Ramirez line drive to centerfield in the bottom of the second inning of the Boston Red Sox 6-3 win over the Miami Marlins on July 8th (the other two that resulted in outs were both ground balls, one fielded, oddly enough, by Machado).

But as the clip above shows us, we didn’t have to wait very long for our first 116+ exit velocity/line drive out of the season.

And for that we can thank Byron Buxton.

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IMU’s, Gyroscopes & Accelerometers: The Versatility of SwingTracker 3D

PITTSBURGH – For many players and coaches, specific metrics and database comparisons are a powerful window into the swing that has not been available previously. However, visualization of the swing is also an important tool to understand, and thus, improve.

SwingTracker provides this through its 3D Motion View in which the swing plane and path to the ball are recreated in actual speed as well as slow and super slow modes. The view also provides the ability to manually move forward or backward to any point in the swing, in addition to being able to zoom and rotate the view of the swing from any perspective.

The last part – being able to zoom and rotate – is what we will focus on today.

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Pedro Alvarez Hits Home Run Into Boat on Allegheny River

PITTSBURGH¬†– Last night, just a few hundred yards away from the Diamond Kinetics’ offices, Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Pedro Alvarez hit a 450-foot home run that landed in a boat docked up against the North Shore riverwalk on the Allegheny River.

Technically, the blast by Alvarez was not a ‘splash down’ since it did not land in the Allegheny River, and instead landed directly in the boat.

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