Blast Motion has put its player development and scouting analysis component of capturing a players' swing to use in the Cape Cod League with an official partnership.
The .3-ounce Blast sensor attaches to the end of a bat and connects with the Blast app and its algorithm to capture the swing metrics of players. By moving the use of the sensor into Cape League regular season games, the metrics allow players to view their swing performance during games and even share it with scouts attending the games, providing a dynamic new way for scouts to quantify players.
"With as many as one in six MLB players having played in the Cape Cod Baseball League prior to their professional careers, we believe that providing our athletes with access to Blast data will not only help them advance their career, it will undoubtedly improve their hitting skill set," Cape Cod Baseball League commissioner Paul Galop said. "The Blast sensor provides professional-level metrics accuracy and it's easy to use, which is an important factor for streamlining in-game swing data given our large staff of volunteers."
The most recent release of the Blast product—also the official bat sensor of Major League Baseball—has expanded its baseline metrics beyond swing speed, time to contact, swing direction and power to include vertical bat angle, body rotation scores and swing plane data, a new metric for the industry that Blast Baseball manager Justin Goltz says came from dissecting information from top-level players.
"It stuck out after collecting data and understanding the swing more and more to see what data is important and what is not," he said. "Top-level players maintain their swing plane 69 to 97 percent of the time."
The Blast sensor, on the market for roughly two years and with differing products for baseball, softball and golf, has taken on its latest iteration after mining data from the company's close relationship with professional teams, coaches and players, especially at the minor league level. But the sensor has seen use everywhere from MLB—the Astros have come on board in a big way—down through college and high school teams to the growing youth demographic.
Goltz said Blast prides itself on accuracy, having spent years in internal labs validating numbers and metrics versus the gold standards in the industry and then backing that internal data with third-party studies. "Information is only good information if it is accurate information," he says.
The other components that Blast says sets it apart comes in its ease of use, which includes a patented dynamic calibration system that allows users to snap the sensor onto the butt of the bat and get to work without walking through calibration steps. Blast has also worked to merge its data—which gets sent in real-time via Bluetooth to both iOS and Android devices via the Blast app—with video. Swing videos taken via the app get spliced into swing clips, then slowed down and overlaid with data.
"You are able to see your swing visually through your own body instead of an avatar recreating it," Goltz says. "Having the data overlaid gives (the swing) objectivity. The data and metrics help solidify it."
— Tim Newcomb covers gear and business for Baseball America. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.