by Seth Daniels, Managing Director of North America
Pitchers occupy one of the most high-pressure and physically taxing positions in the sport of baseball. At all levels of the game, great lengths are taken to maintain pitchers’ performance and ensure that they are in top form season after season. But across the professional, college and high school levels, one thing is lacking when it comes to the building, training and preserving elite pitchers – data analysis. Many will say that overuse, lack of conditioning, and improper pitch mechanics are the biggest problem facing pitchers over the course of their careers, and that may be true at some level. But, the real issue is coaches and trainers need more data on how their pitchers are performing over time, and in specific instances.
New data collection and analysis tools allow teams to track every single ball a pitcher throws, measuring velocity, strike zone, curve, rotation, and more. By analyzing this level of data over time, coaches can get a far more accurate read on a player’s ability and performance levels.
Statistics and baseball have always gone hand-in-hand. But, big data in baseball is a relatively new development. Coaches have always been aware that arm strength, stamina, max pitch count, recovery time, and warm up routines vary from pitcher to pitcher. But until recently, observation has been the primary metric for determining player readiness and performance.
Here are several game-changing applications for pitch data collection and analysis:
The head coach at the University of Virginia since 2004, Brian O’Connor is a five-time ACC Coach of the Year and three-time national coach of the year. In addition to bringing the 2015 NCAA title to Charlottesville, O’Connor boasts the third-highest winning percentage of all current head coaches in Division I baseball and the 14th-best mark all-time. O’Connor is the second fastest ACC coach to reach 500 career wins and has ushered a boatload of talent into professional baseball, including the likes of Ryan Zimmerman, Mark Reynolds, Sean Doolittle, and several others.
He came to Virginia after nine years at Notre Dame (1995-2003) under current LSU coach Paul Mainieri, where he was named the 2001 National Assistant Coach of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association and Baseball America and was AFLAC National Assistant Coach of the Year in 2003.
Inside Pitch recently visited with the Cavaliers’ head coach to talk about how he manages his clubs, his staff, and the winning culture he has developed at UVA. Continue reading →
Bryant University is fast becoming a Northeast power
article by Douglas S. Malan
Bryant University head coach Steve Owens knows the realities of building a mid-major program in the Northeast – the limited resources, the outdoor practices in 35-degree January weather, the early-season road trips.
But he also knows the benefits of the grind, as he has created a national presence on the campus of this Smithfield, Rhode Island, school with 3,500 students. Continue reading →
Line Features New, Proprietary EXOARMOR™ Finish; Ink-Dot Symbolizes Highest Quality Wood
Continuing its longstanding leadership in innovative, high performance wood bats, Louisville Slugger has introduced its most advanced wood bat line to date, the all-new MLB PRIME. This line of bats represents the brand’s most premium wood bat offering, and was designed to enhance the performance of today’s most advanced athletes and pro players.
Each MLB PRIME bat features a new proprietary finish called EXOARMOR™ and an ink-dot to signify the bat is constructed from the highest quality wood available today. Only ink-dotted bats that meet slope-of-grain standards are approved for play in Major League Baseball® (MLB). Continue reading →
Most high school baseball teams’ seasons are in the record books; travel baseball teams have issued equipment for summer competition; and tournaments at the college level are either complete or currently wrapping up.
Congratulations are in order for every athlete and coach who competed on a field and to every parent who endured called third strikes, extra inning games, freezing early season temperatures, dirty uniforms, rainouts and too many fast food restaurants. Even with multiple challenges, baseball continues to be the greatest game.
Let’s face it, baseball is an American sub-culture. We have our own unique uniforms, a very interesting diamond-shaped playing field and even our own language. Recently, I was watching a college game on television; while listening to the color commentator, I laughed out loud thinking about what a “non-baseball person” must think about some of the terms used to describe the action during the game. Have you ever listened to a professional baseball scout describe a player’s abilities? It’s comical to think about how a “civilian” may react to the baseball “lingo.” It’s a great game.