showcase poptimes: why not a standardized 80mph knee-high pitch?

I'm curious why poptimes aren't measured using a standardized machine-delivered 80mph knee-high pitch that would prevent catchers from prematurely  rising out of their stance?

Btw, I have no axe to grind.  I'm a coach, not a parent.

Original Post

I appreciate you pointing out this problem, it's a pet peeve of mine.  At showcases, many (most?) kids jump up early and are literally striding across the plate when the ball hits their glove.  When I use video to time this sequence, the advantage of the early start is 0.2 - 0.3s, sometimes more.  They can still jump early on a knee high pitch, although the transition time will be a bit longer.  The pop time measurement as it's currently handled has to be the lamest "objective" measurement used in baseball.  It's like allowing some kids to get a running start on the 60.  Even PG will occasionally acknowledge this problem with a comment such as "1.78 pop in drills, 2.1 - 2.15 in-game pop".  I have to believe that college coaches roll their eyes when they see this stuff.  Perhaps putting a batter in box and taking the measure on a swing-and-miss (or in-game pop) could standardize the measurement.

Smitty28 posted:

They can still jump early on a knee high pitch, although the transition time will be a bit longer.

Smitty,

When the knee-high pitch is 80mph and they jump up early, they usually mishandle the pitch.  They "leave the ball behind."

We learned this when we used our pitching machine to deliver the pitches when we evaluated our catcher's throws at our tryout last year.

freddy77 posted:
Smitty28 posted:

They can still jump early on a knee high pitch, although the transition time will be a bit longer.

Smitty,

When the knee-high pitch is 80mph and they jump up early, they usually mishandle the pitch.  They ";eave the ball behind."

We learned this when we used our pitching machine to deliver the pitches when we evaluated our catcher's throws at our tryout last year.

Well if that works I'm all for it.

A scout explained it to me like this: they couldn't care less about the pop time. During the pop time portion of the showcase, the coaches want to create the simplest environment for the catchers to perform. By creating this simple environment, it enables the coaches to evaluate the actions of catchers. All coaches can tell the difference between a mechanically sound catcher and a "showcase catcher" who posts a good pop time but has very sloppy mechanics. Coaches look for proper footwork, clean transfers, and arm action (i.e. actions that translate to game situations). It's the same reason, NCAA QBs throw on-air and in workout clothes, rather than pads, during their pro days. The NFL scouts aren't looking at the throws themselves entirely, they look at footwork, release, and arm action as well as the throw. They don't have the QB throw in a 7v7 or scrimmage situation so they can see their mechanics better. 

I hope that makes sense.......

BLUD15 posted:

A scout explained it to me like this: they couldn't care less about the pop time. During the pop time portion of the showcase, the coaches want to create the simplest environment for the catchers to perform. By creating this simple environment, it enables the coaches to evaluate the actions of catchers. All coaches can tell the difference between a mechanically sound catcher and a "showcase catcher" who posts a good pop time but has very sloppy mechanics. Coaches look for proper footwork, clean transfers, and arm action (i.e. actions that translate to game situations). It's the same reason, NCAA QBs throw on-air and in workout clothes, rather than pads, during their pro days. The NFL scouts aren't looking at the throws themselves entirely, they look at footwork, release, and arm action as well as the throw. They don't have the QB throw in a 7v7 or scrimmage situation so they can see their mechanics better. 

I hope that makes sense.......

Yes, this makes perfect sense.  However, this suggests that a PG pop time has no value to a college coach, but is this really the case?  The scenario I wonder about is the kid who posts a rather impressive "verified" pop time and uses this in email/text communications with college coaches.  Surely a 1.8s pop (however sloppy or cheating) will get someone's attention to at least follow-up, whereas a kid with a legit 2.0 may get ignored.  This sort of disparity isn't as blatant as other metrics such as throwing velo, exit speed or 60 time.

Smitty28 posted:

Smitty28 posted: I appreciate you pointing out this problem, it's a pet peeve of mine.  At showcases, many (most?) kids jump up early and are literally striding across the plate when the ball hits their glove.  When I use video to time this sequence, the advantage of the early start is 0.2 - 0.3s, sometimes more.  They can still jump early on a knee high pitch, although the transition time will be a bit longer.  The pop time measurement as it's currently handled has to be the lamest "objective" measurement used in baseball.  It's like allowing some kids to get a running start on the 60.  Even PG will occasionally acknowledge this problem with a comment such as "1.78 pop in drills, 2.1 - 2.15 in-game pop".  I have to believe that college coaches roll their eyes when they see this stuff.  Perhaps putting a batter in box and taking the measure on a swing-and-miss (or in-game pop) could standardize the measurement.

 

Actually the most lame “objective” measurement is the home-2-1st time.

 

As you’ve pointed out, the only measurement that means anything has to be done in a game. The problem is, someone has to be using the stopwatch on literally every pitch.

 

Stats4Gnats posted 

As you’ve pointed out, the only measurement that means anything has to be done in a game. The problem is, someone has to be using the stopwatch on literally every pitch.

 

In Jupiter (and I assume Lake Point) PG uses video and Trackman to measure pitch velo, spin rate, exit velo, launch angle, etc.  It doesn't seem like a stretch to think they can add pop time to this list.  I recognize this isn't a showcase environment but most of these showcase players also attend these tournaments.

Smitty28 posted:
Stats4Gnats posted 

As you’ve pointed out, the only measurement that means anything has to be done in a game. The problem is, someone has to be using the stopwatch on literally every pitch.

 

In Jupiter (and I assume Lake Point) PG uses video and Trackman to measure pitch velo, spin rate, exit velo, launch angle, etc.  It doesn't seem like a stretch to think they can add pop time to this list.  I recognize this isn't a showcase environment but most of these showcase players also attend these tournaments.

Why not ask PG?

Have you seen who is running the stop watches and radars at these PG events? Frequently kids who are 1/2 interested in what they are doing (speaking from first hand observation - not here say). Saw a kid this weekend who supposedly threw 90 all summer top out at 84. My suspicions are that the 90 was an exit velo from a hit ball, not the pitch. All PG numbers are suspect. That is why coaches verify everything personally.

Pop time are usually not accurate.  I agree that mechanics, footwork and transfer are what is important.  If a catcher is "2.0 on the bag" they will be successful.  I know of catchers who in showcase situation throw 1.97-2.0 and they are at the top in their conference in throwing out runners. 

JABMK posted:

Pop time are usually not accurate.  I agree that mechanics, footwork and transfer are what is important.  If a catcher is "2.0 on the bag" they will be successful.  I know of catchers who in showcase situation throw 1.97-2.0 and they are at the top in their conference in throwing out runners. 

Exactly. If the catcher is a 2.0 with an accurate throw and the pitcher is a sub  1.3 to the plate, that gives the runner 3.3 seconds to go 75-80 ft (depending on size of lead). Most HS baserunners can't do that. 

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