It is one of the most exclusive leagues in the world. People aspire to belong, spending their lives working hard to gain access, while others on the outside simply resent those on the inside. Major League Baseball, much beloved and elite, just added another perk to their long list of comforts: an iPad app for players-only.
Bloomberg Sports, a company that has found success in their young history with fantasy sports and video products has developed an app that allows players to study video and learn about their opponent.
While players have access to the best coaching, therapy, nutrition, workout facilities, and transportation, video scouting is not completely at their fingertips. While at home, players have access to their clubhouse and places to study, as well as archives from which to study, on the road is a different animal. That is where Bloomberg Sports enters.
The company worked with players, coaches, front office members, and anyone with an insight or inside to the baseball world to create Pitch Review, an application that allows players to study film whenever and wherever they wish. It offers in-depth statistics on pitches, at bats, and history between batters and pitchers.
Blue Jays rising star Travis Snider explained to ESPN how the app works prior to a game against Tim Wakefield and the Boston Red Sox. “I just click on his picture, and it loads all my at-bats versus Tim Wakefield,” he said. “I can click on my last five games, 10 games. You can go through and highlight specific at-bats where you put a good swing on a ball or something you’d like to remember in the future.”
It shows hitters their history against whatever pitcher they will, and vice versa. A.J. Burnett can pull up Pitch Review, see the lineup he is expected to face, and go over how he has fared against everyone of them over the recent and long-term history.
According to ESPN, nearly 100 players currently use it, out of the 1280 players in the league. Current users include Texas Rangers pitcher C.J. Wilson, Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher, Phillies pitcher Roy Oswalt, St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols and Milwaukee pitcher Zack Greinke.
Players have been very receptive, and it goes with them wherever they choose. It is only available on the iPad, which is great for apple. There will be pressure for more players to get it, and they certainly have the money to spend. Don’t be surprised to see more and more players with iPad on TV in the dugout and in the locker room.
At the moment the application is in a trial period, free of charge. There is a plan to start charging users (read professional baseball players), and it would seem that many if not all of them will simply just continue referencing Pitch Review. It is certainly a very small market, but it might be one where in a year or two 90% or more of it will be utilizing the program.
In a game where every little edge is important, and one on one battles are true test, hitters and pitchers won’t waste any opportunity to best the competition.