Teams will be able sift through performance stats from current and past seasons, weigh potential pitcher-hitter matchups, look at “spray charts” showing where a player is likely to hit a ball, even cue up videos of plays from previous games.
“I started in this game 25 years ago and the single biggest change has been the emergence and predominance of analytics,” said MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred. “It affects the way we judge players, make decisions on the field and the way fans consume the game.”
“We’re not just replacing binders with tablets, we’re actually helping them do things that weren’t possible before,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of marketing. For instance, players who wanted to see a video of pitchers and hitters from earlier games had to run back to the locker room.
Team managers and coaches will get the 12.9-inch iPad Pro with a rugged case that has the league's logo. The tablets will run a custom app called MLB Dugout built by the MLB's Advanced Media division with help from Apple.
The app could help coaches when the game changes in unexpected ways. The data is proprietary to each team and will be preloaded before each game. In the future the data would be closer to real time.
Apple and the MLB declined to comment on how much the deal is worth.