Ever since the data from Statcast has been made available publicly, we – baseball fans – have been showered with new and exciting ways to evaluate individual plays. The most common use, for example, is to measure the exit velocity of a particular hit, either to sit in awe at the speed with which someone (probably Giancarlo Stanton) crushed a home run or to wonder how someone else (probably Jason Heyward) can hit the ball hard so hard and still come up empty.
On the other hand, those exit velocities can be used to evaluate how difficult a defensive play was to make – reaction times, glove-work … bravery. For example, the ball girl for the Los Angeles Dodgers, yesterday, made a great play on a line drive down the left field line and Statcast grabbed the metrics, check it out:
Before Statcast, we would have simply said “Nice catch, now give it to a fan.” But with the Statcast information available, our reaction is something closer to HOLY FREAKIN WUT!?? LOLZOMG!!! SHE CAUGHT A 108.7 MPH LINER!
You know, a more data-centered, scientific response.