3.23.2016

Too Long for a Tweet, Too Short for a Blog Post XXIX

https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/005/064/663/fdce1aa28fbcec26bbbee46cedbf138e_original.jpg?v=1449874986&w=639&fit=max&auto=format&q=92&s=a9d3971c7462f48aa98570c7ffbdbbb5Here's an excerpt from an article I recently read, "How Baseball’s New Data Is Changing Sabermetrics," at FiveThirtyEight:

Finally, there’s another source of data even more exotic than exit velocity and defensive positioning. A company called deCervo specializes in monitoring the brain activity of athletes as they perform tasks such as pitch recognition. DeCervo’s software simulates the flight of a pitch and asks users to decide whether it will be in or outside of the strike zone. In a separate game, users can practice their pitch recognition by identifying the pitch type based on its motion. Using a combination of techniques, deCervo CEO Jason Sherwin showed that certain areas of the brain light up as athletes monitor the flight of the “pitch” and make the split-second decision to hit a button to react.

Sherwin had preliminary results that showed correlations between neurological readouts and performance (for example, on-base percentage), so deCervo’s technology could be promising for identifying athletes with major league potential. And even without any neural monitoring, it allows athletes to “gamify” their training by attempting to distinguish the motion path of different pitches at varying speeds and arm angles based on real PitchF/X data. Sherwin said he believed this kind of software would offer a new way for athletes to sharpen their pitch recognition skills.
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