Diamond Kinetics to launch Pitchtracker throwing motion sensor in 2018
The CEO of Diamond Kinetics, a leading bat-sensor company, said his company will release its first product that tracks the throwing motion in early 2018.
While appearing on the SportTechie podcast this week, Diamond Kinetics’ co-founder and top executive, CJ Handron, told Bram Weinstein that its next offering would focus on improving arm action rather than swing path.
“That’s still performance-driven and not targeted at injury prevention,” Handron said. “But I continue to expect that we and others that use our data will look for ways to apply that from an injury side of things.”
Details are scarce for now, but it’s a key growth sector currently led by Motus with Catapult and others also joining the marketplace.
Handron also touted the release of a new machine learning product, DK Expert, in which hitters using the sensor can received guided instructions on best to apply the data generated from the swings. Among the experts tapped for insights are Jim Rickon, the hitting coordinator for the Cleveland Indians, and noted private hitting instructor Bobby Tewksbary, whose top client is Toronto Blue Jays star Josh Donaldson.
While the bat sensors have largely resided on top of the handle knob, Handron said that there is increasing interest in embedding the chips inside the knob. Diamond Kinetics paired with leading bat manufacturer Marucci this spring on a smart bat.
“It’s now starting to migrate into the knobs of the bats,” he said. “That’s an enabler, ultimately, for a really broad software experience that focuses on how we help develop skills.”
Such a move will facilitate more in-game use. The NCAA has approved bat sensors for the coming college softball season, and Major League Baseball permitted Bat sensors for rookie ball last summer in the Arizona Summer League and Gulf Coast League.
“Even though it’s very analytics-driven,” Handron said of baseball, “that’s largely been analysis of outcomes. What is really exciting about, certainly, what we’re doing and just the general emergence of technology in baseball is that it’s becoming very, very accessible to measure and learn and understand what actually creates those outcomes.”
How this nascent field of information will be applied remains to be seen.
Said Handron, “I’m fascinated to see how data like this starts to change the way we potentially practice, how long we practice for, what we do, how on-field outcomes potentially change over the course of the next five years by continuing to have information like this.”