Pittsburgh’s Lumber Company

Bob Nutting
Pittsburgh Pirates owner Bob Nutting

Below is an excerpt from “Scott Miller’s Starting 9: Dodgers, Yankees, Cubs, Nats Look to Solve Problems” found on the Bleacher Report today, featuring North Side start-up Diamond Kinetics. 

PITTSBURGH – The game has changed immensely since the days of Willie Stargell, Manny Sanguillen and Dave Parker in Three Rivers Stadium, and one more example comes from Pirates owner Bob Nutting: As his Pirates continue trying to chase down the St. Louis Cardinals, he’s swinging away on a side project that he hopes will aid both a local Pittsburgh company and thousands of youth baseball players.

The company is Diamond Kinetics, whose patented “SwingTracker” allows hitters to study their bat speed and swing trajectory and, theoretically, make improvements in real time. Nutting is one of the eager investors.

“It not only promotes that game I love,” Nutting wrote in an email, “Diamond Kinetics is one of our North Shore neighbors here in Pittsburgh.

“In both ways it is a strategic investment, and it’s one in which both parties can bring real value to the table.”

A device with a flexible strap is attached to the knob of the bat, and that feeds information via Bluetooth technology into an app that hitters can download onto their smartphones and tablets. Yes, the Pirates have used the technology, and, no, Roberto Clemente wouldn’t recognize it.

“The team actually got started with Diamond Kinetics nearly a year ago as our video coordinator, Kevin Roach, was interested in the type of impact the program could have,” Nutting said during an email exchange with Bleacher Report. “Based on the positive feedback from the staff and enthusiasm for the product, I became engaged in other opportunities for us to help.”

Nutting continued: “As we all know, baseball is a complex game. It is a game of science and physics with complex motions. [This] technology helps to simplify that science to help both players and coaches learn and improve.

“I believe the greatest impact for this technology is in the development of the youth and amateur game. We at the Pirates are committed to building and promoting the game. This is a valuable tool as it can make the game easier to master for kids, more interactive and, as a result, more fun.”

So far, according to Nutting and C.J. Handron, co-founder and CEO of Diamond Kinetics, seven major league clubs (including the Pirates) are “integrating this tool on varying levels in their development programs.” Because of non-disclosure agreements, the company hasn’t released the names of the other six clubs.

Nutting, however, doesn’t mind disclosing that his Pirates are embracing it.

“I believe the greatest impact for this technology is in the development of the youth and amateur game. We at the Pirates are committed to building and promoting the game. This is a valuable tool as it can make the game easier to master for kids, more interactive and, as a result, more fun.”

So far, according to Nutting and C.J. Handron, co-founder and CEO of Diamond Kinetics, seven major league clubs (including the Pirates) are “integrating this tool on varying levels in their development programs.” Because of non-disclosure agreements, the company hasn’t released the names of the other six clubs.

Nutting, however, doesn’t mind disclosing that his Pirates are embracing it.

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