Pitch Design Powerful Weapon Against Hitters

Special To Collegiate Baseball

LOS ANGELES — Pitch Design was not the primary purpose behind the research that led to the discovery of Effective Velocity. 

There were other reasons I spent a decade testing hitters. 

I wanted to find out exactly what they could see and react to.

More importantly, what they could not see and could not react to. 

The original purpose of Effective Velocity testing was to help hitters level the playing field. It was a hitting tool. 

Pitchers have always had the edge because they know what they’re going to throw, and hitters must wait and react. 

My goal was to learn everything possible about how hitters could see pitches better, react quicker or whatever the data suggested was the right path. 

I assumed that it was possible to get quick enough at pitch recognition to overcome the huge speed differentials elite level pitchers could throw.  

I also assumed that elite level pitchers were using their tools at maximum efficiency and deception. 

I was shocked to find out pitchers were really at a low level of understanding, and it was simply that hitters were playing checkers, while they were playing low level chess.  

Pitchers had huge advantages, and they were still dominating hitters who were Yellow Belts. 

It was also surprising to find out that hitters were extremely limited in their ability to see, identify, and react to pitches beyond 5-6 MPH differentials when the pitches are coming out of an Ev Tunnel. 

An Ev Tunnel is when two or more pitches share both a horizontal and vertical plane for at least 1/3 of the pitch flight to the plate, or about 18 feet or more. 

The idea that a hitter can react quick enough to see a pitch, identify it, and then have time to hit it at 100% is nonsense. 

Pitch Design was born out of digesting all the facts and physics and then realizing, if pitchers only knew the severe limitations of hitters, they would go about things very differently.

Once you know the parameters of how hitters react, it drives the logical conclusions to the best pitching strategies. 

Until hitters begin to train in a completely new way, they will always be in a reactionary mindset that forces their swings to be compromised to adjust to poor timing.   

Reactionary, Visual Testing
Hitter’s Attention
is very real and extremely predictable. Hitters are drawn to the middle of the two speeds they see the most.

In other words, if hitters see 90 MPH and 80 MPH, they tend strongly to go to the middle at about 85-87 MPH and try to adjust up and down to the faster and slower speeds. The initial Inside Edge Ev study showed that BA, Slugging %, HR%  all peaked at one speed, 90 EvMPH.

Hitters Have A 6 EvMPH Speed Bubble. Hitters had about 5-6 MPH that they performed best within, a speed bubble surrounding the peak of 92.5 EvMPH (90 EvMPH in 2004).

Pitch Tunnels Delay Recognition. Hitters recognize pitch direction right out of the hand but are delayed in seeing spin and speed.

This means that pitches disguised in a pitch tunnel will severely lower hard-hit balls. Testing backed that up.

When hitters faced three pitches with 10 MPH between them, but all came out of the same Ev Pitch Tunnel, the hard-hit balls were super rare.   

Testing showed hitters perform best within 6 MPH, but everyone in the analytics world has misinterpreted this finding to mean that hitters can only hit pitches within 6 MPH. 

That’s not at all what that means. 

To read more of this in-depth article, purchase the Feb. 24, 2023 issue of Collegiate Baseball or subscribe by CLICKING HERE. Read about Black Belt Hitting and how it is accomplished, why certain stats such as swing and miss percentage, well hit average, batting average and home run percentage can reach their highest or lowest peaks at certain speeds with different hitters and pitchers. Also read about EV Freeze Pitches, Strike and Pressure Pitches and much more.