Major League Baseball Advanced Media has installed tracking technology at Citi Field in New York, which is the next frontier in defensive evaluation. On Friday, MLBAM released a pair of fantastic catches, enhanced with this data, including Yasiel Puig's catch of the year on May 22 against the Mets.
Puig covered a total distance of 95 feet in making the diving catch, and his route efficiency was measured at 97.9 percent. Puig's first step was at 0.45 seconds, and he reached a top speed of 21.1 mph. Then, in nearly turning a double play at first base Puig popped up to unleash his throw back to the infield in 3.45 seconds.
The data is simply amazing, and makes us want more.
This was also the game that proved to be the last straw for Don Mattingly in having Matt Kemp play center field. It would be equally instructive, if not more so, to see a few plays broken down using the tracking technology of Kemp in center field from that night, or even Andre Ethier's route in covering the walk-off fly ball to center field on Saturday in Denver, just to see the difference.