Rise of the machines? Baseball weighs use of automated strike zone – Los Angeles Times

Depending on whom you ask, professional baseball could be on the precipice of an important technological advancement, or it might be flirting with an “I, Robot”-style takeover.

The San Rafael Pacifics and Vallejo Admirals, two independent (not major league-affiliated) minor league teams, recently played two games using a computer system, rather than the home plate umpire, to call balls and strikes.

The automated system, called Pitchf/x, uses three cameras to record “the full trajectory of live baseball pitches to within an inch of accuracy,” according to Sportvision, the company that developed the technology.

Pitchf/x is not new to professional baseball. Since 2008, it has tracked every pitch thrown at the major league level. Scouts, front-office personnel and players use the data it generates on a daily basis.


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