Baseball Science: A Pitching Breakthrough

I have to apologize again for my extended writing layoff.  The real world workplace is killing this half of the DC Sports Dudes team.  Fear not though, I’ve got some good stuff in the works for you guys.

Quickly though, I wanted to tip you off to the excellent article below.  If you consider yourself a “sports geek” or enjoy watching the show “Sports Science”, this is right up your alley.

According to Trackman, the ridiculously fast spin on Justin Verlander’s curveball makes it extremely hard to identify.

The article, written by SI.com’s Tom Verducci, explains how a Danish technology company called Trackman is revolutionizing the way we scout pitchers.  Verducci cites two specific measurements the company is using to gauge the effectiveness of a pitcher’s pitches: “effective velocity” and “spin rate”.  By analyzing this data, scouts will be able to quantify player attributes that were completely reliant on the “eye test” for years.  Scouts often say a pitcher has a “sneaky” fastball or a fastball with great “hop”.  Well according to Trackman, that can be directly attributed to “effective velocity”.  You also hear hitters say they “couldn’t pick up the spin” on a breaking ball.  Trackman says that can be explained by “spin rate”.  The company has already installed their technology in a handful of major and minor league parks, and considering the validity of this data and the possible benefits, it’s not a stretch to think that this will be in ALL major league stadiums in the near future.

Check out the link below to read the full article.  This is fascinating stuff.

Trackman Charts RPMs, Spin Rate on Pitchers like David Robertson

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