Rapsodo Measurement & How to use it
Getting a Rapsodo hitting evaluation is not an inexpensive proposition, but done right and reviewed effectively, the evaluation can provide information that opens an athlete's eyes to what they need to work on, and a coaches eyes to the hitting efficacy of the athlete.
High School baseball tryouts are just around the corner as we write this post. Most high school coaches in our area will get precious few reps with hitters on the field during tryouts. Most reps will be in a cage. Coaches will be looking primarily at mechanics to determine who will be a good hitter and who will not.
The fact of the matter is that visual observation of a player only tells a part of the story. A great swing that produces little exit velocity, a low (or high) launch angle or little distance might be completely misleading in a cage. You simply cannot tell what the outcome of those reps would be.
The high school season is about 75 days. What has a player accomplished in their summer program, fall program and winter training? For serious players, significant development can take place during that time where the high school coach was not present. Of course, there is natural adolescent maturity gained from season-to-season. But how did he develop as a hitter?
One of the fastest ways to demonstrate development is through a Rapsodo hitting evaluation. During this evaluation, metrics are recorded on numerous hitting criteria. Here are some examples.
Exit Velocity: You can pretty much get this from a radar gun, if your program can afford one. A pocket radar? We've all used them, and they are great (if a ball is moving directly at you or directly away). But our experience is that balls hit on angles are not tracked accurately at all with the pocket radar.
Launch Angle: Typically, analysts are finding that balls hit roughly 27 degrees up will have proper rotational direction, perhaps rpms, and travel path to leave a park appropriate to the age of the batter. Of course, the attributes described here must be supported by sufficient exit velocity. Here is a solid article on launch angle.
Spin Axis and Spin Rate: In what direction is the ball spinning? Top spin, bottom spin, side spin or some axis at an angle? Clearly, the best spin (but not too much), is bottom spin, where all of the energy transferred from the bat is sending the ball in a straight line, with distance enhanced by the bottom spin providing lift that keeps the ball in flight longer. Rapsodo provides a great explanation of spin rate.
Field Location: In a cage, most balls that would be fair hit to the sides of the cage, appear to be foul. We tend to underestimate those 45 degree angles that create the first and third base lines, so hitters tend to focus their cage work "up the middle". Rapsodo calculates (very accurately), the angle that the ball leaves the bat, the spin on the ball that would product a hook or slice of the ball, and where it would land.
Contact Location: Rapsodo tracks the location of every pitch and provides a heat map of whether contacted balls were hit well, poorly, or were hits or outs.
Coaches, the information provided by a Rapsodo session may take half a season or more for you to accumulate through seeing players in practices and on the field with the limited reps available for your observation.
We encourage you to send your athletes to our Rapsodo testing center, where they will receive a full readout, and can share that report with you.
For a limited time, refer 3 athletes and receive a new Fungo bat for your practices and pregame warmups. Refer 5 and receive a Pocket Radar. Refer 8 and you can pick 2 from a new fungo, Pocket Radar, or Ball buddy bucket and bag!