The “exit velocity” craze is making waves in Major League Baseball. The term refers to the measurement of a baseball’s speed as it leaves the bat, right after a player makes contact. It’s being heavily discussed because of how it could reveal much about the technicalities of a player’s performance.
The New York Mets takes exit velocity seriously. In fact, John Ricco, assistant general manager of the team, maintains that the right exit velocity could help players reach a home run. In turn, Ricco described how, with the use of a radar gun, the best performing players could be singled out. Teams can then use exit velocity data to their advantage, improving player performance and keeping fans entertained.
Exit Velocities and Home Runs
For years, sabermetricians — those who collect and summarize relevant data involved in in-game baseball activity — have theorized that there is no accurate way to measure how fast the batter hits a ball toward a pitcher. In fact, statistical analysis has only been able to measure how fast a pitcher throws a ball. Some researchers suggested identifying the proper “crack of the bat,” as a way to measure a ball’s velocity.
It wasn’t until the concept of exit velocity was proposed that calculating ball velocity after a player hit a ball became a lot easier. Ex-Met players Ike Davis and Lucas Duda show how relevant it is to the outcome of a game. While both were left-handed power hitters who were close in age, Duda had a significant advantage because he had a better exit velocity.
Analysts believe that a batter needs an exit velocity of 95 miles per hour to hit a home run. The number is not difficult to achieve, however, since it is normal for players to go over that figure.
A New Challenge for Baseball Players
Not everyone is convinced of the value of exit velocities, however. Some choose to focus on other factors like how the way pitchers throw the ball to win the game.
Several analytics teams have calculated how exit velocity enhances baseball performance. They view the measurement as a way to evaluate players and identify room for improvement. A lower exit velocity can, for instance, suggest that a player needs to adjust his swing relative to the way he holds the bat.
A lot of factors come into play when achieving the ideal exit velocity, though. Timothy Chupp, a nuclear physicist from the University of Michigan, says it requires hitting the ball in the right place at the right time. Hitters need to give the bat an undercut to make the ball backspin and give the ball an extra boost. This makes it difficult for everyone but the players to achieve.
A Reliable Measurement of Ball Speed
Exit velocity data is easier to measure, thanks to Stalker baseball radar guns, which offer proper velocity feedback and a clear display. They are a reliable tool because they provide accurate measurements like how fast a pitch is moving toward the plate, or the speed of a ball as it leaves the bat.
Teams are playing closer attention to exit velocity because it brings them one step closer to a home run. Radar Sports, LLC can help you accurately measure the speed of blazing fastballs with its guns and equipment.
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