2016 MLB preseason preview

Despite the snow blanketing the northeast U.S., today is the first full day of the 2016 MLB season, which means winter is officially over. For the third consecutive year, we ran a preseason poll among our writers and editors, collecting 14 total responses.

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Zepp, Old Hickory unveil “smart bat”

Just two months after the first prototype was shown to the public, sensor manufacturer Zepp unveiled a “smart bat” at an event at the Angels‘ spring training facility in Tempe last weekend.

The smart bat (officially the Mike Trout Old Hickory Smart Bat Powered by Zepp) features Zepp’s sensor integrated into the handle of an Old Hickory wood bat. The Tennesse-based bat manufacturer works with several MLB players, including Mike Trout, who worked with his two sponsors to help bring the smart bat to life.

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2016 college baseball season preview

Last year, I introduced my open-source college baseball database (which I’ve recently updated), and showed a few example applications. I looked at win probabilities, how the new flatter seams helped increase offense, the stolen base breakeven point, and the value of bunting (honest).

But this time, I want to use someone else’s data. Chris Long (now with the Detroit Tigers) has his own collection of useful college baseball tools on his GitHub. Let’s use them to generate a season preview.

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World Baseball Classic qualifiers open in Sydney

Sixteen teams will compete in the tournament next spring. Twelve of those slots are already filled based on teams’ performance in 2013. The last four slots will be decided this spring and fall. Four double-elimination tournaments (each between four different countries) will be contested, with the winner advancing to the next round. A preview of each tournament featuring our Elo rankings is below.

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Motus Global introduces new wearables for pitching and hitting

Biomechanics lab and wearable sensor manufacturer Motus Global has expanded its offerings for baseball players over the winter. The Massapequa, N.Y.,-based company rolled out the mThrow last spring. This year, Motus Global will sell two systems: motusPRO, a full-body system available only to professional organizations, and motusBASEBALL, a single sensor system that provides feedback for both pitching and hitting.

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Won the Powerball? Invest in a baseball franchise

Greetings to you, the lucky finder of that golden ticket. You’ve won the largest lottery prize in the history of the planet, so naturally you’re very excited. But — not to be a buzzkill — things are about to get tricky. A study showed that 90 percent of lottery winners were broke 5 years later.

So once you’ve taken care of taxes and your favorite charities and whatever else, you’re going to need an investment strategy. Why not buy a baseball team? … Let’s run through the seven teams Forbes has valued under $850 million (56% of estimated winnings, enough to account for taxes), and see what your options are.

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Wearable sensor signal processing and machine learning for baseball analytics