Automated strike zone an improvement baseball needs

Dan Szymborski, ESPN

Editor's note: In the days leading up to Rob Manfred's one-year anniversary as commissioner on Jan. 25, we asked our writers what one change or innovation they would make to improve baseball if the sport were starting over today.

The change:

Implement automated strike zones.

How it would work:

Computer systems, rather than umpires, identifying the location of balls and strikes is hardly a new concept and actually one of the easier changes to implement. QuesTec, the original company involved in automatic pitch data collection, was working on this issue 20 years ago, with the first QuesTec stadiums going live in 2001. Sportsvision's technology, popularly known as PITCHf/x, HITf/x and FIELDf/x, is already widely used, and MLB's Statcast already present advanced versions of this data to the public. While you still need the home plate ump for a number of judgment calls, the information detailing whether a ball is in the strike zone or not can be relayed to the ump within the blink of an eye.

Why would it help baseball:

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