Michael Conforto made a pretty sweet diving catch in his first start in center field in Marlins Park. Here are some new-ish defensive metrics. Statcast, a tracking system that debuted last season, has created new defensive metrics for baseball analysis. Some of these defensive metrics include top speed in miles per hour, first step quickness, arm strength in miles per hour, and efficiency of the route taken to catch the ball.
Unfortunately, MLB has decided to not release these new metrics in large quantities to the public yet, and nobody knows when, or if, they ever will. But they do release some data in small amounts to the public.
Last week, Michael Conforto was clocked by Statcast at 94.3 miles per hour out of the hand on a throw home to nail a runner trying to score at home plate, showing off top-notch arm strength.
Yoenis Cespedes, well known for his cannon of an arm, was clocked at an identical 94.3 mph by Statcast when he threw out Starlin Castro at home plate in Game 1 of the NLCS at Citi Field last season. With Cespedes's quad strain giving him mobility trouble, the Mets have decided to use Conforto in center field against right-handed pitchers to help ease the burden on Cespedes's ailing quad.
The first batter in the first inning of Conforto's very first start in center field-—in the spacious Marlins Park outfield—hit a low fly ball that Conforto ran down, making a spectacular highlight reel catch.
The Statcast metrics on the catch measured Conforto at the following:
- Route efficiency: 97.8%
- Max speed: 18.2 mph
- Distance covered: 60.2 feet
- Route efficiency: 97.9%
- Max speed: 18.8 mph
- Distance covered: 56.7 feet