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Pitch F/X has been in every major league ballpark since 2008 and Sportvision soon will be able to assemble the Command F/X data for the past three seasons.

The Pitch F/X numbers are widely used in broadcasts, on Internet sites and by teams for additional analysis that was unavailable only a few years ago.

Those same cameras are also used for Hit F/X, which tracks the speed and direction a ball comes off a bat each time a player makes contact. That can help determine whether a change in production can be attributed to a change in ability or a change in luck.

For example, Seattle star Ichiro Suzuki had one month last season stick out for being far below his usual standards. While Suzuki hit just .246 last July, his average in every other month ranged from .307 to .344.

So Sportvision looked to see if he was getting the same kind of contact in July as he was the rest of the season. The company found little change, with the average speed of the ball off the bat at 71 mph in July _ right in the middle of his season range of 69 mph to 73 mph.

That could that he was just hitting more balls at fielders in July, lessening the concern that his skills could be deteriorating.

That kind of information could be invaluable to teams as they decide which players to acquire and how much to pay for them. It’s just a matter of sifting through it all to find out what is relevant.

“With an increasing amount of information available compared to a few years ago, it is certainly a challenge for a club to pick which information to base decisions on and how to analyze mounds and mounds of raw data out there,” Forst said. “One of the biggest issues now is figuring out what is useful and how much we rely on it to make decisions.”


AP Sports Writer David Ginsburg in Sarasota, Fla., and AP Baseball Writer Janie McCauley in Oakland, Calif., contributed to this report.