Tech in Baseball
Presented with Diamond Kinetics
Skill Set: Hitting
Difficulty Level: Easy
Number of Athletes and Coaches: 1-2 athletes and 1 coach, or 2 athletes as partners
Average Time to Complete: 10 minutes
Equipment Required: Tee, baseballs, net or screen to hit into
Description of the Drill:
• Tee set up slightly in front of the middle of the plate
• Hitter sets up even with the plate, while other partner puts a ball on the tee
• Hitter gets ready, looks forward to visualize a pitcher
• Partner then calls out “1, 2, 3” pausing after each number, on each number hitter will:
o 1: Hitter loads shifting weight to back foot
o 2: Hitter strides while staying balanced, hands separate to move back from the shoulder
o 3: Hitter swings and hits the ball
• Hitter tries to hit the ball back up the middle
• Partners switch after 5 swings
• To add a degree of difficulty, one of the partners can stand 30 feet away on the other side of the net the players are hitting into (shown below) and go through a dry pitch like a pitcher (without a ball), this gives the hitter a real visual of a pitcher (1, 2, 3 should still be separated motions)
• The hitter can also move the tee to different contact points (inside, middle, outside).
Using Diamond Kinetics SwingTracker Sensor and mobile App - the following metrics and tools can help you measure your swing and see improvement when doing this drill:
Max Barrel Speed
Overview: Using Barrel speed, hitters can know the maximum speed of the bat’s barrel during their swing. It’s measured in miles per hour, so it’s easy to understand and measure improvement over time. Higher barrel speed is the main factor in producing high exit velocity after contact so the ball goes further… faster.
Top 10% of Age Groups:
• U10 Players: 49mph +
• U12 Players: 54mph +
• U14 Players: 58mph +
• U16 Players: 63mph +
• U18 Players: 69mph +
• D1 College: 72mph +
• This is the maximum speed of the bat’s barrel during a swing, at a point 20% from the tip of the bat (i.e. the sweet spot). It is the main factor in producing high exit velocity when the ball is hit. It greatly affects both the distance and speed at which the ball travels after impact.
• Keep in mind that hitters need to “square the ball up” to maximize ball exit velocity.
• Increasing barrel speed is an important goal. Improvement should be measured over time to see if there is real physical and/or swing-mechanic growth.
• Mechanics are important, but so is size & strength. So when thinking about a kid’s projectability, keep in mind if a player is not done growing yet.
Overview: Impact Momentum is a combination of barrel speed and the size of the bat the hitter is swinging. The higher the impact momentum, the better chance a hitter has to do damage with greater exit velocities. Impact Momentum is a great measure of the power potential of a given hitter.
Top 10% of Age Groups:
• U10 Players: 13 KG/M +
• U12 Players: 15 KG/M +
• U14 Players: 19 KG/M +
• U16 Players: 24 KG/M +
• U18 Players: 27 KG/M +
• D1 College: 28 KG/M +
• Impact Momentum is a “smarter version” of barrel speed because it takes into account the size of the bat. If a kid swings a bigger bat at the same speed, when contact happens, the ball goes further.
• If you want to understand how improving Impact Momentum translates to the game – for every +1 a hitter adds to their Impact Momentum, it equates to roughly a 1.5 MPH increase in exit velocity. And every 1.5 MPH of exit velo translates to roughly 6-10 more feet of carry, depending on launch angle.
• If you have a high-school kid playing on a full-size field, the magic Impact Momentum number to hit dingers is 27 + (with the right launch angle, of course). A well hit ball with an “IM” of 24 is caught well inside the warning track. Hit it with an IM of 27+ and it is out of the park.
Overview: This is the maximum acceleration the bat experiences during a swing. To be clear, acceleration is not how fast the bat is moving; that’s barrel speed. Acceleration determines how quickly a hitter can reach that top speed. Great bat acceleration is in the DNA of elite hitters.
Top 10% of Age Groups:
• U10 Players: 25 G’s +
• U12 Players: 32 G’s +
• U14 Players: 35 G’s +
• U16 Players: 38 G’s +
• U18 Players: 42 G’s +
• D1 College: 49 G’s +
• Max Acceleration tells coaches & scouts if a player can get the bat up to speed in a shorter time, allowing them to… 1) wait longer to recognize the pitch 2) decide what to do 3) And still have the ability to achieve their goal.
• This is a high-level metric that can sometimes stand apart from Max Barrel Speed and Impact Momentum. Max Acceleration requires all parts of the swing to sequence together, achieving that ‘snap’ of the bat that indicates great acceleration.
• You’ll often hear people say, ‘when that kid hits, it sounds different.” This metric is the science behind that old adage.
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