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Analytics in Pitching
By: Seth Simmons
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With such a swing towards technology and data in baseball. Its wise to learn what is important in measuring your analytics in pitching. People can get wrapped up in the wrong measurables in a way that is not important to your development at the time. In my opinion there are a few key aspects that you should be looking at when it come to data on the mound.
Spin Direction or tilt, to me is one of the biggest aspects to being a consistent pitcher. Spin direction measures how the ball initially spins out of your hand. This has almost everything to do with how the ball is going to break through out the duration of the pitch. This is basically the window you throw out of. For example, if you’re trying to throw a 2 seam fastball or a change up (from a rhp) you would want to se the direction get closer to 1:30 on clock. 12-6 Curveball you would want your hand to release the ball at more of a 6:00-6:30 window. Having an idea where you want to release the ball in relation to a clock is going to help your spin.
Spin efficiency would be one of the next things you want to look at when analyzing your data. Spin efficiency is measured in a percentage. How long does the ball spin on the axis (tilt or direction) you have created. When throwing a 4 seam fastball you want the spin efficiency to be as close to 100% as possible. That will show you true life on the fastball and that you stay through the baseball until release. A slider on the other hand you want spin to not hold for the full duration of the pitch because you’re wanting late break on the pitch. You would be looking more for 25-35% on spin efficiency.
Spin itself would be one of the last things I look at because its one of the hardest to adjust. Over time you can pick up spin just in the consistency of your delivery and arm mechanics. This is one of the hardest aspects in pitching to increase. When looking at someone’s spin it can determine what pitches should be thrown to an extent. Just because a pitch is high spin or low spin doesn’t mean you shouldn’t throw it. Let the hitter tell you if the pitch is any good or not.