The 2022 MLB World Series included a perfect game by an umpire: yes, Pat Hoberg didn’t miss a single ball/strike call and got a lot of (deserved) recognition for it.
But it seems his excellent performance is the exception rather than the rule, and fans would love to have a fair system that avoids many mistakes in the future.
Games can be decided by a ball or a strike, and the league recognizes the importance of the issue.
That is why the Automated Ball/Strike technology is closer than ever.
The Automated Zone Era In MLB Is Approaching
According to MLB insider Joel Sherman, it will be available in all 30 Triple-A parks next year.
“MLB plans to have the Automated Ball/Strike (ABS) technology in all 30 AAA parks in ‘23. Current plan: Multiple times a week games will be only ABS. Multiple times: ABS with hitter/pitcher challenge system,” he tweeted.
This, according to Sherman, paves the way for the ABS to be part of the MLB season after 2023.
“MLB feels best data comes from AAA rather than lower minors. So this is strongest sign that ABS in one of these forms will be part of the MLB as early as ‘24 season depending on how the AAA testing goes, perhaps ‘25,” he said.
MLB feels best data comes from AAA rather than lower minors. So this is strongest sign that ABS in one of these forms will be part of the MLB as early as ‘24 season depending on how the AAA testing goes, perhaps ‘25. https://t.co/wNxBPTCYzS
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) November 9, 2022
It does seem like the league is targeting 2024 or 2025 as the sweet spot to test the technology in the majors.
Fans of all 30 MLB squads have, at some point, complained about the umpires’ performance even though the numbers say they have been making fewer mistakes than ever.
It looks like all fan bases will get their wish starting in 2024: the automated ball/strike system does not look like a pipe dream anymore.