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Developing Hitters with Blast Vision and Data: Part 2

Updated: Jul 7, 2019


As I discussed in part 1, Blast Vision is an extremely affordable tool for player development. In this article, I will show examples of data collection and how the information can be used to develop hitters.

Spray Charts

Figure 1


In a typical cage setting, hitters are often oblivious as to what types of outcomes they are actually producing on each batted ball. This is where Blast Vision comes into play. Each batted ball is recorded and the hitter immediately knows what type of result that it translates to on the diamond. Now we can find out which barreled ball is doing damage and which one is not - maybe that ball hit off the top of the cage 18-20 feet away would have been a double in the gap versus a low line drive that might have been a single or even a ground out. At the conclusion of a session, each batted ball is displayed in a spray chart with a corresponding exit velocity, launch angle, and estimated distance. Spray charts indicate where a hitter's strengths and weaknesses are related to certain areas of the field. Maybe a hitter is really strong up the middle or to the opposite field but isn't pulling the ball with consistent hard barrel contact.

Batted Ball Data - Google Sheets

After a session, I enter the data from Blast Vision into Google Sheets. Using Google Sheets is an easy way to track a hitter's data over a certain period of time. I recommend collecting data as much as you can, but at least once a week. Maybe you can't track every swing a hitter takes in a day, but it is often a good idea to have a dedicated station that will record at least 10 swings per day. Over time you will have a large size of information.

Figure 2


Figure 2 displays a hitter's data relative to each batted ball event and the total average for exit velocity, launch angle, and distance. Raw Peak Exit Velocity (Raw Peak EV) is also listed for the hitter. This is the hitter's current maximum exit velocity as of the last time he/she was tested. Raw Peak Exit Velocity is used to measure hard barrel contact and hard barrel contact consistency.

Figure 3


Barrels

Barrels are measured based on any batted ball hit at 90% or more exit velocity than the hitter's peak exit velocity. This hitter has a peak exit velocity of 88mph; therefore, batted balls hit at 79mph or better would result in a barrel. The items highlighted in yellow in figure 2 indicate a barrel was hit on that batted ball. Barrel percentage is calculated using the sum of barrels in a session and dividing by the number of swings. Figure 3 shows this hitter had a 57.14 barrel percentage.

Consistency

Barrel consistency is measured by using the hitter's average exit velocity and dividing it by the hitter's peak exit velocity. For example, this hitter averaged 78mph and has a peak exit velocity of 88mph, which creates a consistency score of 88.8. In a low difficulty setting, such as front toss or blocked training, the goal is 80% or more consistency. In a higher difficulty setting like hitting simulated live pitching off of a machine or random/variable training the goal is 50% or more consistency. A very inconsistent hitter is missing too many pitches and their game performance is going to reflect that. This type of hitter may have swing/movement flaws that need to be examined.

Using Statcast Data

Player Reports


Collecting data and creating player reports at the beginning of the fall is a great way to assess players and prescribe player development plans during the off-season. Continually collecting and analyzing the information on a weekly bases is ideal. If a player is growing, the training plan should be continued; however, if the player is not growing or maybe even declining there may be a need to modify the training program. At the conclusion of the fall, each player should receive another player report comparing and contrasting where they started to where they finished heading into the season!

Summary

There are many ways to use and apply the information above. The main idea is to use an objective approach to player development that will help identify areas of weakness and expand upon areas of strength - translating into increased game performance. Give your players the information they need so they have an intentional plan whenever they hit.

Hope this helps.

See you on the diamond!


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