At MACH 1 we have found several interesting ways to use the ball, including the obvious velocity of the pitch, but also the spin rate (rpm). We recently wrote a blog on spin rate and its relevance in helping develop pitches, grips to use, and hand movement at release. You can read that post here: ( Developing Pitches and Pitchers ) With the combination of the SmartBall/PitchTracker and its immediate feedback on spin rate, we can immediately begin to assess the relevant metrics. These metrics apply to each pitch and continue to help develop the pitch that’s being worked on.
Another cool usage for us is the time to the plate measurement. Time to the plate is typically measured on a stopwatch by a coach. For a professional pitcher a time of 1.15 to 1.3s is pretty good, for a HS pitcher 1.25-1. 35s is sufficient. The reason this matters is that when you add the time to the plate for the pitcher, with the POP time of a catcher (The time it takes a catcher to throw the ball to 2nd base on a steal attempt) together, you then have the total time that your battery has to throw out a runner on a steal attempt. An above average HS base runner will go from 1st to 2nd in 3.4-3.5 seconds. So, if the pitcher/catcher combo time is 3.3 with an accurate throw you will get even the best runners out at 2B on a steal attempt.
The challenge lots of young pitchers have is losing “stuff”, ie. velocity, location, and movement when they are trying to be quicker to the plate. PitchTracker gives us immediate feedback on their time to the plate, and their velocity. This gives us the ability to develop a “delivery that is quicker” without losing stuff based on the metrics we receive.The SmartBall and PitchTracker also have a bullpen charting section which is very useful. Inside that section is also a history for each pitchers bullpens. So, you can go back in time and see progress that was made, measure workloads etc.
We really like the “feel” of the ball as well. The real leather cover, and its seams do feel like a real baseball, which is important when training pitchers. If the ball doesn’t feel real then it would make for a tough transition from the bullpen to the field. We are looking forward to learning more about its other metrics, such as extension, and reach back to release. Check back in later for more information on those areas. The PitchTracker ball can now be purchased at: https://diamondkinetics.com/diamond-kinetics-releases-revolutionary-smart-baseball-pitchtracker/
If you would like us to help in the development of your pitching repertoire let us know. We have lots of avenues to help you develop your game.
The MACH 1 Team