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With the baseball world continuously moving towards the greater and greater use of analytics, manycollegiate and even high school teams are taking the plunge into the world of sabermetrics and analyticshoping to gain a competitive edge against other teams. Major league teams are now making hugepersonnel, hiring and staffing decisions based on analytics, and it is hard to argue with the results. Analytics helps remove much of the bias in the game of baseball, which was previously judged solely bywhat the eye can see. Numbers and stats don’t lie, they will always tell the truth even when personal biasesmight tend to remember things differently.
This is why it is important to get as much information as you can available at your fingertips, and one of thebest new tools to accomplish this is via Rapsodo Analytics. Here’s a quick look at 12 reasons to track your baseball stats using Rapsodo and how well it aligns with this exciting tool.
Rapsodo’s Pitching Analytic Device is not only portable but also lightweight and easy to carry around, which is a game-changerfor those who may not have access to much more expensive technologies that require a significant capitalinvestment. Being able to pull up data on the ipad is extremely convenient, especially for amateur andcollegiate level teams. With their tripod that comes with your purchase, you can easily mount this behind the catcher to trackyour session. When you are finished, it’s as easy as packing it up and going – nothing else to clean up ortear down.
2. Real-time analytics
A major benefit of Rapsodo is being able to receive instant feedback without having to wait to sort and siftthrough the data. This in turn allows coaches and staff to help fix a pitcher’s problems right then and therein that very session, saving valuable time instead of just allowing the player to continue to perform poorlywithout knowing what needs to be changed. You may notice Statcast pop up every so often when watchinga major league baseball game on television. Statcast is able to give immediate notes on the pitch (or hit,catch, etc) and broadcast it immediately on TV, something that was unheard of even a decade ago. It is this very same technology that is now being extended to all players at a great price through Rapsodo’s Pitching Analytic Device.
3. Leading Technology
Both radar and imaging are used in Rapsodo’s proprietary software in order to generate three-dimensionalmeasurements that offers a wealth of information about each and every pitch. The engine then is able toquickly and efficiently process this data to provide pitch analysis that players and coaches at all levels willfind useful. What is most remarkable is that all of this fits inside such a tiny device. It’s also quite surprisingthat all of the technology offered here is available at such a low price, as typically this could run the teamup to $20,000 or more. By offering the same technology at a fraction of the cost, players and coaches atlower levels can now feel like the pros by gaining access to some of the very same tools that are used atthe major league level.
4. In-depth Tracking
Rapsodo offers a cloud subscription that gives you the ability to track multiple players on one app. Being able to track more than one player is a big bonus, as well as keeping statistics on a player’s history,so they can see and track their performance over a period of time. This helps keep the player accountableto the changes they’ve implemented, and gives them a progress update on how they have (hopefully)improved over the course of a season.
5. Free iPad App
It’s nice to be able to use the tool immediately, The free version of the app offers you some of the key data points, while the full cloud subscription upgrade that they offer to unlock all of the data with the full membership is still priced quite reasonably. The app is also available on Window.
6. Easy to Understand Graphics
The graphics that are part of the dashboard are very easy to understand, even for amateur coaches whomay not be familiar or well versed in analytics. This ease in navigation is partly what makes Rapsodo’s app so attractive, as it really does bring the complexity of a major-league type of tool down to the masses.
7. Accurate Velocity Readings
One of the most important metrics to measure for a pitcher is velocity or pitch speed. It is likely the mostpopular and common thing that pitchers like to know, and it is important to have an accurate reading ofvelocity, which Rapsodo offers. By tracking velocity, Rapsodo is able to help coaches easily distinguish between different types of pitches for each pitcher, such as a fastball, slider, curveball, change-up, sinker,etc. Having a history of a player’s velocities will also help provide feedback on whether or not armstrengthening programs are working, or whether or not a player is able to have a good deviation in velocityfrom their fastball versus change.
Although velocity is a fairly good indicator of a pitcher’s natural raw talent, coaches and players should becareful not to give it more weight than it deserves, especially at amateur levels where arm injuries seem tobe all too common and familiar now. Velocity and pitch speed are important, but there are other factors thatare just as important.
8. Track Pitch Break
One great tool that is offered from Rapsodo that pitchers will love is pitch break, which measures themovement of a pitch, both vertical as well as horizontal. Pitch movement is something that is incrediblyuseful in trying to fool hitters, and pitchers who have a lot of movement on their pitches are generallyregarded as having good break. This is measured in inches and formalizes some of the deception thathitters face when they see a pitch ‘move’ through the zone. Note that this is not to be confused by location – it measures movement caused by the effects of spin on the ball.
9. Strike Zone Analysis
Strike zone analysis, on the contrary, shows exactly where the pitch was located when it crossed the strikezone. This is something that many baseball fans will be familiar with, as it is now a regular part of televisionbroadcasts. It gives the viewer an objective view of where the pitch was located and whether it was a strikeor a ball, instead of relying on the umpire’s judgement.
10. Pitch Trajectory
Pitch trajectory is a great feature that shows how the pitch would have moved through the zone without the effects of spin, comparing it to the actual pitch flight based on the effects of spin on the ball. This is very useful for pitchers to see if a pitch rises or falls when it leaves their hand on its’ way to home plate. Pitchers with a lot of sink ontheir pitches will be able to see at what point in the pitch flight does the ball actually begin to drop. This canhelp them determine if they need more or less spin (to have the ball fall off the plane earlier or later in the pitch flight).
11. Captures Both RPMs and True Spin
RPMs measure the amount of rotations per minute a pitch makes when it leaves the pitcher’s hand, and it is one ofthe best indicators of swinging strike percentage. True spin rate, on the contrary, measures the transverse spin of a pitch, which is what gives it movement. Transverse spin removes the rifle/gyro spin on the ball, and looks that the top/back spin and side spin of the pitch, also known as useful spin. Both types of spin are great for pitchers and coaches to know as it will enable them to work on their mechanics toeither provide a sharper break when the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand, or either a tighter or looser grip onthe baseball. All of these minor details will factor into a pitch’s spin rate, and it is incredibly helpful to havethis knowledge on hand to make decisions on adjusting a pitcher’s mechanics.
12. Excellent Customer Service
Last but certainly not least, Rapsodo offers excellent customer service that is responsive to user feedbackand always ready to help navigate any problems that arise. What is helpful is that these people also liveand breathe baseball, and by connecting you to experts in the field you know you are being taken care ofby someone who understands the game and the concerns you may have. This goes a long way inalleviating issues and helps get the problem addressed quickly and promptly.