PITTSBURGH – As first reported by TSN Sports, the Toronto Blue Jays will be using Diamond Kinetics’ SwingTracker sensors this year during extended spring training and are “considering experimenting” with Diamond Kinetics’ smart baseball, PitchTracker, as well.
According to Joe Sclafani, the Blue Jays’ coordinator of player development, about 30 to 35 position players will be utilizing SwingTracker during extended spring training, which normally runs into early June.
“A lot of players are visual learners and this gives you a 3D model of what your swing plane looks like,” Sclafani said. “You can see if the player’s approach is too steep or swing is too long, isolate what our coaches see. You can sit down with a player and show them what we see in real time with an iPad, ask them to make a few changes, and then review the results of the changes together.”
Sclafani, 27, is a former minor-league infielder with the Houston Astros who joined the Jays in 2016.
Moreover, according to TSN’s report, the Blue Jays are looking into using Diamond Kinetics’ smart baseball PitchTracker as well.
The specifics on how they utilize the technology are still to-be-determined by the Toronto organization, but with PitchTracker able to measure pitch velocity, spin rate, extension, and a variety of other release points, the smart baseball could be used in a variety of ways, such as pregame warm-ups and bullpen sessions.
“The PitchTracker ‘Smart’ baseball is a logical extension of this (understanding data), with the added convenience of being completely portable and very inexpensive as compared to other methods to collect similar data,” Diamond Kinetics CCO Jeff Schuldt said. “The ‘Smart’ ball is still a ways away from usage in-game where it would be hit by a bat, but we see near-term application for pitchers warming up prior to entering the game and comparing that data to the practice environment and to trends over time.”