Friday, August 17, 2018

Statcast - Umpire Manny Gonzalez's Bat Flip Catch

We've seen home plate umpires snare discarded catcher's masks on foul balls in the past, so when we saw HP Umpire Manny Gonzalez caught Tigers hitter Nicholas Castellanos' bat out of the air during a celebratory flip on Thursday in Minnesota, it seemed a natural extension of the modern athletic plate umpire's projectile-catching prowess.

Though Manny's bat catch is likely not the first time an umpire has caught a flying bat, it is the first time in memory that MLBAM's Statcast technology has been used to highlight an umpire's play that doesn't involve the strike zone.

In addition to potential definite overuse of a stock sound effects library, the MLBAM crew used Statcast to calculate the bat's launch angle (90.4-degrees), the umpire's catch probability (52.8%), and his extension on the catch (3.2 feet).

Video as follows:
Alternate Link: Statcast measures Manny's bat flip catch at Target Field (DET/MLBAM)


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