Stalker vs. Jug

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February 20, 2004 11:10 AM

Can somebody explain the difference to me? I've only been clocked on a stalker, and I want to know what it would corrolate to on a jug. And do scouts use stalkers or jugs (same with television stations, when I watch a game do I see stalker or jug gun readings?) Thanks.

NJ Pitch
 
 
 
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February 20, 2004 11:22 AM

NJ

It has been my experience that the Stalker reads plus or minus 2 MPH slower than the JUGS

We use the STALKER at all our events

TRhit
 
 
 
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February 20, 2004 1:11 PM

Went to a college game a couple of years ago to see a close friend pitch against a standout opponent and took my jugs. It happened that I sat right next to a bunch of scouts and there stalkers. We were all comparing readings and having a good time. Some stalkers would be higher and some would be lower than my jugs. It was always very much the same +/- 1 or 2. The angle between YOU and the PITCHER and the DISTANCE along with battery strength are the primary factors of radar readings.

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February 20, 2004 1:12 PM

The reason for the variation in reading on the radar guns is where the reading actually takes place in the ball flight. Stalker picks the ball up 2-4 feet later than the jugs gun therefore it reads on average 2mph slower than the jugs.
 
 
 
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February 20, 2004 3:44 PM

I was sitting next to a scout at a game with a pitcher throwing in the low 90's. Suddenly one pitch registered at 98. The scout said, "oh, thats the bat." How does he know? Could be right because it was 5 mph faster than the other readings - but how does he know when a batter swings whether the radar picks up the pitch or bat for a guy swinging a similar speed as the pitcher is throwing?

Also, I would think that whats important is that a given scout is using the same gun day after day, week after week. So if he measures someone at high 80's on Tuesday and then the next guy at low 90's on Wednesday, then he knows the 2nd guy throws a little harder than the first. Doesn't seem to me that it matters within 1 or 2 mph whether or not his gun is EXACTLY right - just the relative recordings from pitch to pitch and game to game.

90% of the guns I saw at events are stalkers. The other 10% with Jugs are dads or college coaches who haven't bought a new gun lately. I've sat behind them both - they're not very different - as others have said, slightly higher on the Jugs on average, but not necessarily on every pitch.
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Last edited February 20, 2004 3:49 PM
 
 
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February 20, 2004 3:50 PM

OK, so if I know my speed on a stalker (which I do), then that would be my speed if a scout saw me or if I was measured in a big-league game (when they put the speed on the scoreboard)?

I just want to know that when people say "this speed is a 6, this is a 7" I want to know where I am.

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February 20, 2004 4:22 PM

NJPitcher,

I believe most of the Professional Parks have Jugs Gun setups. However the comparisons, usually talked about here, are between the small portable (Hair dryer) type Jugs gun and the Stalker Pro. I should add that we have seen many ballpark readings that are way off what the gun in our hand reads. (both ways)

The old Jugs gun will give very close to the same readings as the Stalker. The small Portable Jugs will normally read higher than the Stalker and the old Jugs gun. We use the Stadium type Jugs setup in our building and it is very close to the Stalker. We use the Stalker for everything else because it's what most of the MLB scouting departments use.

Below is fairly close to what it means when "scouts" say a pitchers velocity is a 7 or 8. Remember this is just regarding velocity. There are other things that go into a grade, even for a fastball. Some clubs actually use a little different formula than this example, but it's very close.

5 or 50 is MLB average - 88-90
6 or 60 is above average - 91-93
7 or 70 is - 94-96
8 or 80 is - 97 and above

8 or 80 is the highest score possible and would compare to the best fastballs in MLB. Anything below 88 is below average MLB fastball velocity.
 
 
 
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February 20, 2004 4:22 PM

Post modified - PG had a better explanation.

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Last edited February 20, 2004 4:24 PM
 
 
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February 20, 2004 4:38 PM

What about those s e t p r o little digital read out type radars? I think that is what they are called. My son pitched into a net with one of those set up behind it at a short distance earlier this week. How accurate are they?
 
Last edited February 20, 2004 4:40 PM
 
 
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February 20, 2004 5:31 PM

ob24,
I believe you are referring to the speedchek unit. They are fairly accurate when used the way you did. They'll tend to read about 2 to 3 mph slower than a fast gun depending on how far you are from the unit when you release the ball.
 
 
 
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February 20, 2004 6:38 PM

Can anyone tell me why a gun might scroll numbers as the ball is coming in and THEN "settle" on a number? I've always seen a number just "pop" onto the screen, not scroll. This happened at a Showcase once and it was the only time I saw it happen.
It was a stalker gun.

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February 20, 2004 9:43 PM

Just about every scout that I know uses the stalker. My experience is the stalker gives you a slower reading than the jugs. If the stalker is showing you at 85 the jugs is ususally 88-89. Or 3 to 4 mph faster than the stalker.
 
 
 
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February 20, 2004 11:30 PM

Coach May - Thats a poorly tuned Jugs gun. I sat behind a lot of both last summer and most were within 1-2 mph of each other. Rarely did I see 3-4 mph - and if I did - it was for one pitch, not consistently. And sometimes it was the Stalker that was higher.

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February 22, 2004 8:46 PM

No I have to disagree with you. I have never seen a stalker read higher than a jugs. My experiences have been that the jugs reads around 3-4 mph higher than the stalker. Lets have some scouts that use them on a consistent basis weigh in on this.
 
 
 
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February 22, 2004 8:54 PM

We have a Stalker gun and it can read up to 3-4 mph slower than the Jugs...sometimes less, and occasionally the same. We had it recently checked and tuned and it is still the same way. Parents who are used to the Jugs readings rarely like what our gun reads. Keeps our son humble, though.
 
 
 
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February 22, 2004 9:04 PM

Mr and mrs.,

When you see the numbers scroll that means that they do not have the "peak hold" button turned on. What it is doing is catching the first speed out of the hand and then scrolling down to the speed at the plate. That is the speed that is registered after the pitch. If you then hit memory recall, it will tell you the speed out of the hand or "top speed". It is sometimes useful for chartiing breaking balls,etc.

I had a guy come up to me at a game this Saturday when his kid came in and asked me his speed. It was 76. The dad sprinted away yeling that my gun must be wrong. I told him that I could put it on kph if he would like. Smile

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February 22, 2004 9:07 PM

Thanks Big,
So what's the difference then? Readings at 90 for instance... is that out of the hand or at the plate? If it were on this "scrolling" function and reads at the plate, what might the difference in mph be?

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February 22, 2004 9:15 PM

Coach May - While I certainly agree that the Stalker reads lower AND more accurately, I absolutely have seen the Stalker read higher than a guy right next to it with a Jugs - not once, but numerous times. You are right that far more times the Jugs will read higher, but again, I have not seen 3-4 mph, more like 1-2 mph. And I've sat next to multiple Stalkers all reading +/- 1-2 mph on the same pitch as well.

I'm sort of embarrassed to even write this post because it really doesn't matter what I have to say - its just what I've seen.

In any case, the Stalker is the gun nearly all scouts are using and the one that will be quoted in a scouting report.

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February 22, 2004 9:29 PM

It starts out of hand and works to plate. the drop on a fb can be 6-9 mph. The more speed the ball carries to the plate, the more perceived explosiveness. A reading a 90 would be out of hand. Seldom do the socuts use the scrolling function. If it was 90 at the plate, the guy would be a definite first rounder.

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February 22, 2004 9:53 PM

Thanks again.
See.........another lesson learned on HSbbweb!!

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February 23, 2004 1:53 PM

Just a thought....

When I was a cop (speed gun radar) we used to calibrate with a tuning fork and then log that we did. This was done after every stop, so that we knew and could show in court that the readings were accurate.

On saturday, son was clocked at 91 mph at a "pro tryout". Now I know that my boy doesn't throw anywhere near 91, more like 83-85... 91 had him dancing and I'm afraid that he'll think "Well I worked real hard this offseason, and now that I've hit the "almighty ninety" I don't need to work as hard".

Had to bring him back down to earth! When I told him that this guys gun was reading approx 3mph higher than others in operation, and that it was a jugs, and that they read +/- 3 mph higher than stalkers, you could see by his whole body laguage that the air had been let out (that was not my intention, just wanted him to keep working hard)!

Question: Shouldn't the scout/ operator try an calibrate these things so they know they're accurate? I've been around enough to know what it looks like when a guy's really bringing it, but ....

By the way, got the boy out of the doldrums a little when one of the scouts told him that he had a "plus" breaking ball and a "plus" change and that his FB had real good movement. This guy was standing behind the mound and wanted to know who that kid was!

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February 23, 2004 2:26 PM

First of all, the stalker that I see used has a tuning fork to "check" calibration. The directions clearly state that if the calibration is incorrect that it must be sent to the factory. So I don't know if the scouts can calibrate it themselves.

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February 23, 2004 2:38 PM

quote:
Originally posted by justbaseball:
Coach May - While I certainly agree that the Stalker reads lower AND more accurately, I absolutely have seen the Stalker read higher than a guy right next to it with a Jugs - not once, but numerous times. You are right that far more times the Jugs will read higher, but again, I have not seen 3-4 mph, more like 1-2 mph. And I've sat next to multiple Stalkers all reading +/- 1-2 mph on the same pitch as well.

I'm sort of embarrassed to even write this post because it really doesn't matter what I have to say - its just what I've seen.

In any case, the Stalker is the gun nearly all scouts are using and the one that will be quoted in a scouting report.

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"Pitching is the art of instilling fear," Sandy Koufax.


This idea that a stalker is always -3 mph slower than a jugs sounds like an "old wives tale" or maybe that's an "old scouts tale" to me. I've been doing radar reading for years right along side the scouts and their stalkers and my jugs almost always reads exactly the same as the stalkers. In many cases a stalker or two would be higher. Maybe the cosine of the angle is playing in here, not sure tho.
Smile

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February 23, 2004 2:46 PM

Jugs guns are tuned with a fork also, with exactly the same instructions that BigHit quoted for the Stalker...that is, if out of synch, must send it back to the factory.

Biggest error I see with multiple people using radar guns at the same game - is the cosine error from not being centered on the pitcher/catcher. That will cause 1-3 mph depending how far off that centerline the user is and at a big event, that can happen a lot.

There was a guy standing side-by-side in the local academy with a Stalker and Jugs with a guy throwing mid-80's. 9 times out of 10 they were either the same or the Jugs was 1 mph higher. Never more than 1 mph from what I remember.
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Last edited February 23, 2004 2:49 PM
 
 
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February 23, 2004 6:23 PM

with regard to the scrolling...I don't know if you guys ever go on mlb.com and watch the draft videos that show each players scouting videos, but they have a gun reading, and the top is out of hand and then the bottom scrolls and the bottom is usually 6-7 mph slower in the higher picks, while lower picks usually lose more (like 11-12, and they seem to be trying harder too). Just thought I'd throw that in. BTW, thanks guys.

NJ Pitch
 
 
 
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February 23, 2004 7:11 PM

NJpitcher, good post and great observation. I watched the videos last year. I noticed the same thing that you did. If 2 guys threw 92, the one with the lowest drop in speed usualy went higher.

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February 23, 2004 8:37 PM

Could that be part of the definition of a pitcher throwing a "heavy ball?" (Remembering earlier threads).

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Last edited February 23, 2004 8:37 PM
 
 
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February 23, 2004 9:06 PM

I guess it could be looked at as a heavy ball or explosiveness.

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February 23, 2004 9:32 PM

pitchinside

Your point is well taken

I regularly have my STALKER checked and calibrated by their rep in the region---he incidently is the individual who handles all the radar guns for the state troopers

TRhit
 
 
 
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February 23, 2004 9:41 PM

I guess my guys will be happy to hear this about my stalker. I'll send it back to get calibrated. I too use the fork but maybe its internal calibration is off.
 
 
 
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February 24, 2004 10:54 AM

Sorry guys. The fork is used to Verify calibration. Guess I used the wrong choice of words, my bad.

My point was that radar readings should be as accurate as possible. And people who use these readings should feel obligated to keep it that way.

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February 24, 2004 11:35 AM

The true difference between the stalker pro and the portable jugs gun is the sampling rate. The jugs gun picks up the speed of the ball out-of-hand when it has traveled about 3-5 feet. It will give you a good determination of release speed.

The older forms of stalker picked up the ball after approximately 20-25 feet of travel. It invariably read about 3 mph slower than the portable jugs, since the velocity slows about 1 mph for every 7 feet of travel (on the average).

The "rate of decay" in the velocity is also affected by the pitch type. A two seamer will slow down more than a four seam fastball. The long seams will trap air against the surface of the baseball and decrease the amount of drag.

The newer stalkers have the ability to give release speed, and speed at plate, but I haven't been fortunate enough to get my hands on one yet to play with.

Back to the original thought: It's not that one measures faster than the other ... they are both accurate +- 1/2 mph. The difference is where the pitch is measured in flight.
 
 
 
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March 8, 2004 10:28 AM

quote:
Originally posted by HiHardHeat:
The true difference between the stalker pro and the portable jugs gun is the sampling rate. The jugs gun picks up the speed of the ball out-of-hand when it has traveled about 3-5 feet. It will give you a good determination of release speed.

The older forms of stalker picked up the ball after approximately 20-25 feet of travel. It invariably read about 3 mph slower than the portable jugs, since the velocity slows about 1 mph for every 7 feet of travel (on the average).

The "rate of decay" in the velocity is also affected by the pitch type. A two seamer will slow down more than a four seam fastball. The long seams will trap air against the surface of the baseball and decrease the amount of drag.

The newer stalkers have the ability to give release speed, and speed at plate, but I haven't been fortunate enough to get my hands on one yet to play with.

Back to the original thought: It's not that one measures faster than the other ... they are both accurate +- 1/2 mph. The difference is where the pitch is measured in flight.
 
 
 
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March 8, 2004 10:30 AM

Sorry about the wrong way to reply on my last post, but I'm new to this board. My question is how does the speed on a Bushnell Speedster compare to a Juggs? Thanks.
 
 
 
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March 10, 2004 7:49 AM

Stalker Site

The new Stalker picks up out of hand pitch speed like the Jugs has always done.

Having been a Cop for 28 years, I can tell you the most crucial factor to get the best reading is the reading with the least amount of angle involved between you and the target.

All the tuning fork does is tell you whether the unit is working properly. If you've got a 61 mph fork and you tap it and put it in front of the unit and the unit reads anything but 61 mph, you need to send it in for repair.

I think Jugs and Stalker are about like a ford or chevy, it's what ever you like.

CV

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Last edited March 10, 2004 7:49 AM
 
 
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March 10, 2004 7:55 AM

quote:
Originally posted by ncplayer:
Sorry about the wrong way to reply on my last post, but I'm new to this board. My question is how does the speed on a Bushnell Speedster compare to a Juggs? Thanks.

My information on the speedster is also a little dated. I wouldn't buy an older model from the internet, because they seemed to have a very limited range. From the people I've talked to, the Speedster doesn't have the range for general use. If you are right behind the catcher, it works Ok. You could use it in bullpens, but it's not a good gun to carry to games.

They used to call the Jugs gun the "Steroid Gun" since it picked up out of hand speeds. From others that I have talked to, the newer Stalker models not only pick up speed out-of-hand, but also plate speed on the same pitch. That can be valuable information, as it relates to spin rates, life on the ball, speed of decay, etc.

Unless you are a pro, buy which ever of the two guns you can get the best deal on. They both work fine and have solid reputations.
 
 
 
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February 4, 2005 10:03 PM

Sorry to bring up an old topic like this but, I recently damaged and now being repaired Stalker Sport (dropped on concrete) and have the chance to buy the now discountinued Jugs Sonic Speed. To those have used it, how would you rate it compared to SS and the current model Jugs radar gun as well as the claims of actually being able to gauge bat speed? Being discountined is a pretty good clue, but I want to make sure it was dissatisified customers and not a lack of demand as to why the product failed.

Thanks in advance...
 
 
 
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