The combined entity behind Yakkertech and BaseballCloud has agreed to a deal to control the Frontier League’s distribution and motion capture rights. The two merged in the fourth quarter of last year at a period when advanced performance metrics continue to proliferate across baseball.
Exact financial terms were not disclosed.
The Frontier League is independent with 14 participating teams from 7 U.S. states and Canada. It is headquartered in Sauget, Illinois and was founded in 1993. Teams can have no more than three players above the age of 29, must draft and sign players on their own, and are often comprised of prospects previously cut from their teams or undrafted college players. Talent levels have been described as spanning from low-A to AAA in Major League Baseball lingo, and strict salary limits are capped per team at a total of $85,000.
The new agreement entails collecting real-time data for every pitch during the regular season including ball flight metrics and much more.
In some ways, the Frontier League is viewed as a testing ground for potential future MLB talent, and therein lies the upside for Yakkertech and BaseballCloud. Based on the data collected, Frontier League officials will have the ability to improve their development efforts, attract players, and address talent needs as noted above.
Yakkertech and BaseballCloud already have established relationships at one level or another with various other professional baseball organizations and hundreds of college-level programs.
Much of the real-time data will be supplied to broadcast feeds, MLB teams, fan engagement activities, and even operators of sports gambling platforms.
MLB fans have already grown accustomed to seeing Statcast and Hawk-Eye data provided live during in-game airings. Imagine the same now delivered as part of the in-stadium experience (not only to the television viewers) via scoreboards and mobile app platforms that many ballclubs on the professional level are only in the infancy stage of testing out.
Other aspirations for Yakkertech and BaseballCloud may include AR/VR experiences, a greater convergence with instant replay, and more.
Additionally, summer internship positions will be created across local communities with a greater focus on analytics as a more integral part of the sport going forward.
For players, it offers the possibility of increasing their chances of getting noticed and recruited by scouts too, particularly, with more weight than ever beforehand placed on the value of advanced flight metrics as a predictor of future performance.