Welcome to HIT f/x

You might have already seen the announcement or come across some of the articles, but HIT f/x data is starting to make an appearance. It is partially available to those of us who attended last year’s PITCH f/x conference in San Francisco. The age of HIT f/x is going to usher in a whole new slew of advancement in evaluation metrics so expect the next year or so to see just as much, and likely more, change in the sabr crowd as the past has seen with the widespread adoption of PITCH f/x.

That being said, the data that we have available to us now does not cover that much time. The sample is only that of April 2009 which presents a small sample size issue. Also giving that we do not have retro data from 2008, it is impossible to do the sort of comparison analysis that I bet many of us are interested in.

Still, it is something and it is neat. So let us work with what we do have instead of dwelling on what we do not yet. Here, then as a quick taste, are the initial speeds off the bat for teams over the month of April.

TEX 85.1
CLE 83.5
TOR 83.4
BAL 82.5
BOS 82.2
MIL 82.2
COL 82.2
ARI 81.8
WAS 81.8
ANA 81.7
LAN 81.7
PHI 81.5
DET 81.2
NYA 80.9
MIN 80.7
SFN 80.7
CHA 80.4
TBA 80.4
KCA 80.2
SLN 80.1
FLO 80.0
CHN 79.8
SDN 79.6
PIT 79.5
OAK 79.4
SEA 79.0
HOU 78.9
ATL 78.4
CIN 77.6
NYN 77.4

As you might suspect, this tracks extremely well with a team’s overall wOBA. National League teams are going to get dragged down a bit because of pitchers hitting, so a straight comparison across leagues is not really fair. Also, I suspect that the spreads between good and bad hitting teams are further exacerbated by the worst hitting teams bunting more often.

That is all for now, but rest assured, much more to come.

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Matthew Carruth is a software engineer who has been fascinated with baseball statistics since age five. When not dissecting baseball, he is watching hockey or playing soccer.