USF Sports Management Prof Michael Goldman Comments on Carlos Correa and Increasing Use of Tech in Pro Sports | USF in the News |
Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa credits a bat sensor that measures his swing as a key part of his and the team’s success.


Three months ago, Houston Astros All-Star shortstop Carlos Correa flat out told me he was going to have a breakout season and tech was going to play a big role.


I was expecting an endorsement pitch during a quick call about how he uses Blast Motion, a baseball bat sensor designed to help everyone from little leaguers to middle-aged softball players improve their swings. Our chat happened a week after Correa set the tone for his season, crushing a 450-foot home run on opening night.


But rather than offer a canned line, Correa lowered his voice and in hushed tones told me how he and his team really use the sensor. As many as four times a week, Correa attaches it to the end of his 33.5-ounce bat to measure his swing speed and impact. He says using the sensor during extended batting practice sessions before home games is particularly important.


"Listen, baseball is a game of feeling and constant adjustments,"

the 22-year-old said. "And sometimes your swing may be a little off at times. [Blast Motion is] definitely helping me because every at-bat counts and I can't afford to waste any of them."

Correa's certainly not wasting them.
This is a career year for the shortstop, who on Tuesday will be appearing in his first All-Star Game in Miami. His Astros, with 60 wins in 89 games, hold Major League Baseball's second-best record. And the success comes as baseball, America's national pastime, is diving head-first into next-gen tech with players embracing sensors and other wearable tech to track their performance.
This season, MLB is letting players wear the $500 Whoop wrist-worn biometric monitors that measure heart rate and fatigue during games. It joins two other devices that can now be used in games: the $150 Motus Baseball sleeve set  (to track throwing) and the roughly $60 Zephyr BioHarness (a chest strap monitoring heart and breathing rates).


Blast Motion, which costs $150, can't be used in actual games.


But the increasing use of tech, from trackers to help athletes improve play to sneakers that could help people run marathons in under two hours, demonstrates a new level of gamesmanship, said Michael Goldman, a sport management professor at the University of San Francisco. 


"Today's athletes are geared to get as much information as possible on their performance," he said. "Baseball is similar to golf where players have almost immediate access to analyze their swings and at times make very small changes which could have substantial impact on the field."



[via @cnet]