January 16, 2015
There were 61 nominations submitted which features the top new baseball products of 2014.
Here are the 12 winners chosen by Collegiate Baseball’s Best of Show selection committee with a capsule summary of what each product does.
For the complete story which gives in-depth explanations of each product, costs, warranties and contact information, purchase the Jan. 23, 2015 edition of Collegiate Baseball by CLICKING HERE.
Ra-Vid Technologies has come up with an answer with the Ra-Vid ProSport gun which combines all three of these elements for the first time in history.
This firm has teamed with Sony and Stalker to have a unit that records and captures speed as well as register time with a 1/100 second stopwatch all in a 3-pound hand-held unit.
SwingTracker is a performance analysis and improvement technology that collects batting swing data at a rate greater than 11,000 data points per second.
A special sensor is mounted to the bottom knob of a baseball bat with a strap which temporarily mounts it to that location. The sensor sends signals to a cellphone with the SwingTracker App.
As the sensor collects data, virtually any measure about the swing can be obtained.
Initially, SwingTracker calculates and reports 11 metrics that are summarized into four core elements of the swing — swing, quickness, power and control.
Within each core swing measure are 1-4 individual metrics:
Speed: Maximum hand speed (mph), maximum barrel speed (mph), speed efficiency (percent), forward bat speed (mph).
Quickness: Trigger to impact time (milliseconds).
Power: Applied power (watts), maximum acceleration (mph/second), impact momentum (kilogram meters per second).
Control: Approach angle (degrees), hand cast (inches), distance in the zone (inches).
The visualization of the swing is also an important tool to understand and improve.
SwingTracker provides a 3D motion view of the swing plane and path to the ball recreated in actual speed, slow and super slow modes.
If this wasn’t enough, SwingTracker utilizes a mobile device’s video camera in a unique way. Through a proprietary approach that enhances the device’s video resolution and precisely captures ball impact, SwingTracker synchronizes swing video with the data from the sensor for a complete picture of the swing.
Motus Pitching Sleeve
Motus has developed break-through movement analysis technology that is changing the way pitchers, coaches, medical and training staff monitor workloads and improve player performance.
Already used by nine MLB organizations, the company’s revolutionary mThrow analytics platform will be available to all in February 2015 via a compression sleeve equipped with a Motus-developed wearable device.
That device communicates directly to the mThrow mobile app to provide metrics on players’ mechanics and cumulative workloads throughout the season indicating injury risk.
A sensor is embedded into the Motus Pitching Sleeve that measures workloads and stress on the ulnar collateral ligament in the elbow of the pitcher along with eight other metrics.
They include elbow torque, release point, elbow height, arm slot, wrist speed, elbow speed, arm speed, forearm rotation and maximum shoulder rotation.
This unique tee holds the ball from the top which is a vast departure from normal tees that have been on the market for decades.
It has been designed to allow batters to hit line drives by changing the batters’ visual perspective of focus to the bottom 2/3 of the ball.
Invented by Jarrett Gardner and his younger brother Taylor, the Back-Spin Tee has been a work in progress for over nine months.
Recently a study was conducted with the Back-Spin Tee as 30,000 balls were struck from five years olds to professionals. This tee produced a staggering 94 percent line drives, according to the inventors.
It is the only tee in the world that has a cone that rotates thereby saving the wear and tear points of contact.
A intriguing new product called the Power Drive Performance Sled has been invented by John Miller.
It trains baseball players to initiate power from the ground up for pitching, hitting, position throwing and fielding. It is a baseball training aid for developing skills and a conditioning aid for adding strength and is ergonomically designed for baseball.
Players will increase performance by learning to use their stronger lower body to produce power and initiate athletic skill movements.
Hittinguru 3D is the world’s only markerless (no sensors or pressure plates are used), single camera video system that captures full body motion with 2D and 3D video tracking and training capabilities.
The intuitive dashboard provides the user with multiple synchronized views, weight transfer and balance tracking, automated record and replay, on-line lesson sharing, key position learning, multi-user management and much more.
This system offers a 270 degree rotational 3D viewing system to analyze each player’s swing from stance to finish. The system instantly provides over 33 key metrics, including hand path and speed, time to impact and key angles of up to 25 body joints during key stages of the swing.
TAP 360 System
The TAP 360 system utilizes the time-proven TAP (Troutwine Athletic Profile) assessment of athletes’ mental makeup, a patent pending analytics engine and the latest technology to deliver a complete system for evaluating, coaching and developing the mental intangibles relating to athletic performance.
The test only takes 20 minutes but reveals vital information to coaches such as:
• Mental toughness.
• Competitive desire.
• Work habits.
• Mental processing speed.
Pitch Zone, Height Locator
A product 40 years in the making has just been developed by Dr. Bill and Ryan Harrison, two of the elite vision performance specialists in baseball.
For many years, both of these giants in the industry have tried to teach hitters how to visually learn their unique strike zones.
The Pitch Zone Locator and Height Zone Locator are a huge step in this direction which gives coaches and players a method to understand strike zones in three dimensions of a pitch (in and out, up and down and late and early).
Webgem Glove Care System
One of the biggest problems in all of baseball is maximizing the life of gloves. Who hasn’t seen an expensive glove destroyed by neglect or utilizing oil products that weigh the glove down or use a product that causes the glove to deteriorate.
The system includes a rigid form that rests on the pocket of the glove to keep a specific shape you want, a protective case and the firm’s proprietary glove conditioner as well as a cleaning rag.
There are currently six different designs for the rigid forms that allow the glove to remain at a precise shape which provides the player with consistent feel every time he goes out to practice or play.
Baseball Academics App
One of the most annoying problems that coaches endure are defensive players who don’t execute situations properly on the baseball field because of mental mistakes.
A solution to this problem has been addressed by a Baseball Academics. This company has developed an App to assist baseball players of all ages to become better fielders by quizzing them on what to do with the ball when it is hit to them based on numerous variables.
This App creates a series of plays in a 30-second cycle, and the fielder presses the base that he would throw to. The goal is to do as many plays in the 30-second drill as possible while maintaining the highest possible degree of accuracy.
JUGS’ Backyard Bullpen
Practicing your skills as a pitcher can become exasperating at times when no catchers are available to throw to for bullpens.
This happens all the time to high school pitchers in the fall when catchers are playing other sports or simply refuse to do it because catching is hard on the knees and tough work.
A great solution to this nagging problem is the JUGS Backyard Bullpen invented by Dave Candello and Greg Anderson, both longtime JUGS employees.
This system, which any pitcher can buy and put in his parents’ backyard, features a strike zone with 12 individual hit-your-spot pockets to isolate specific spots to aim for.
It also has a seven foot protective netting surrounding this strike zone which will catch any wild throws by pitchers.
The system also includes a JUGS Radar Cube (uses 6 AA batteries that last 8 hours) for velocity readout of pitches and tripod which gives the same accuracy index as the JUGS Radar Gun (plus or minus 1/2 mph). The Radar Cube and tripod are placed in back of the netting.
In addition, you receive 15 Perfect Pitch throwing baseballs. These are not simply baseballs. Each ball has a specific count with a pitch you are working on (for example changeup), and a location diagram grid with dots which pinpoints spots you are striving to hit.
Pitchers then take the mound and attempt to throw a perfect changeup (or other pitch directed on the ball) to the proper location.
After all balls are thrown, the pitcher recovers balls from each pocket to determine his accuracy and what must be worked on. He can write down this information or put it in a computer.
If he has a recorder, he can look at the velocity he has thrown after releasing the pitch and verbally give the MPH he threw the pitch and what pitch it was. Then you can track the differentials between fastballs and other pitches as far as miles per hour.
In short, the pitcher can do all of this now without anyone being there. This system will help pitchers spot their pitches based on count and speed. Pitchers will be able to work at their skills in practice until it becomes second nature in a game. They will not only isolate the strike zone, but a certain spot in the zone.
Dartfish Note App
Dartfish Note will take the use of video and practice performance feedback to new levels. What makes this toolset powerful is the way coaches can quickly review a player’s performance in practice and determine the areas that player needs to work on to improve. Coaches can review any player’s practice video – with performance data.
When you find the video that you want to review, for example all fastballs that missed the plate for a particular pitcher, you can download those pitches into the mobile App Dartfish Express and be able to review the video anywhere at any time even if you are not connected to the internet.