i am just wondering if anyone has any experience using hit trax . There is one of them at the hitting facility my son goes to. I haven't seen it used . Are they accurate and do you think any useful information can come from them ? Or is it basically  a baseball video game?

Original Post

They have one at our local Mega Baseball supply store.  It costs $20 and it was used to determine which bat fit his swing the best.  He tried out 7 different bats and we were surprised that his go to bat brand actually scored the worst of them all. 

 

The data that was emailed to me contained AvgVel, MaxVel, AvgDist, MaxDist, HHA, LD%, percentages of ground/Fly/line drive balls, and which at bat was his best.  These were neat to have regarding which bat fit his style the best, but I'm not sure what value there would be at a hitting facility unless you were trying out different things such as stances/bats/grips...etc.

CaCO3Girl posted:

They have one at our local Mega Baseball supply store.  It costs $20 and it was used to determine which bat fit his swing the best.  He tried out 7 different bats and we were surprised that his go to bat brand actually scored the worst of them all. 

 

The data that was emailed to me contained AvgVel, MaxVel, AvgDist, MaxDist, HHA, LD%, percentages of ground/Fly/line drive balls, and which at bat was his best.  These were neat to have regarding which bat fit his style the best, but I'm not sure what value there would be at a hitting facility unless you were trying out different things such as stances/bats/grips...etc.

 

I’m assuming the $20 is per “session”. What does a “session” consist of? Do” consist of? The reason I’m asking is I’m trying to figger out how many swings you get in a “session”. Also, how are the balls “delivered”? Tee, pitching machine, live pitcher, soft toss, or something else.

 

Can you make “modifications” to the bats to try to zero in on the best fit?

My son uses hittrax every time he hits. His instructor also uses a programmable probatter pitching machine to enable live ABs all year round. We fill extremely lucky to have a coach who runs his own shop which he has filled wtih high end tech for his hitters.

Hittrax uses similar technology as the tech being used by MLB to track batted balls and outfielder movements on balls in play. The feedback is extremely useful and provides a lot more information than the old "cage bomb" method.

The fact that the feedback is presented graphically on a large TV monitor that the hitter and instructor can watch does add a video-game like quality to each session. There is a "fun factor" to it for sure. But each session can be tracked and databased to provide information over time. Plus with the internet, you can "play" mini-games with other facilities that use the same tech!

 

We actually have a national indoor hitting league that uses HitTrax.  The playoffs have facilities from different parts of the country competing.  So you can have a facility in California playing against a facility in Florida or New York without any travel involved.

It is really a lot of fun for the kids involved.  In addition to Allthe traditional statistics, it gives us other metrics that can be used for scouting purposes.  Things like peak and especially average velocity off the bat.  After some 100 ABs against exactly equal pitching (pitching machine velocity) those with the highest average  exit velocity could be arguably the best hitters.  This has already created interest in a few relatively unknown players.  It's simply hard to ignore  the highest "average" exit velocity.

Stats4Gnats posted:

I’m assuming the $20 is per “session”. What does a “session” consist of? Do” consist of? The reason I’m asking is I’m trying to figger out how many swings you get in a “session”. Also, how are the balls “delivered”? Tee, pitching machine, live pitcher, soft toss, or something else.

 

Can you make “modifications” to the bats to try to zero in on the best fit?

In my sons case a session was 6 swings with 7 different bats off of a tee.  Keep in mind this was done at a retail shop.  My son and I looked at the wall of bats, picked out a few, had the sales person pick out a few more and then he hit in the cage with the HitTrax.  After his session we were able to look at the data, he chose a bat, and because I purchased a bat that day the cost of the HitTrax was deducted from the cost of the bat.

CaCO3Girl posted:

In my sons case a session was 6 swings with 7 different bats off of a tee.  Keep in mind this was done at a retail shop.  My son and I looked at the wall of bats, picked out a few, had the sales person pick out a few more and then he hit in the cage with the HitTrax.  After his session we were able to look at the data, he chose a bat, and because I purchased a bat that day the cost of the HitTrax was deducted from the cost of the bat.

 

Kool.

 

Similar, except closer to what a BP session with good velocity  would look like. Pitching machine is set at the same speed at all locations.  This is done by the HitTrax machine that also measures pitch velocity.

So if the machine is set at 80 mph, every hitter will be hitting against 80 mph. The obvious difference is there are no breaking balls or change of speed.  The HitTrax also calls balls and strikes. It measures where the ball is hit, how far it travels, and scores it accordingly... single, double, triple, HR. It keeps all the traditional stats, B Ave., RBI, Slugging%, runs, etc.  Most importantly, it measures exit velocity both peak and average.  As I said before IMO the average exit velocity over many ABs is especially interesting.

HitTraxes uses graphics that allow you to play in MLB parks, no matter the age group.  Biggest difference is the parks distances are adjusted for each age group.

Perhaps the biggest drawback is the cost of this equipment.  By the time everything is considered it could cost up to $30,000 for the complete set up.  I believe about $20,000 plus is the cost of the HitTrax equipment.

It is a big drawing card in our facility. Used both for training and the hitting League.  Extremely entertaining!  Kids can actually compete rather than just hit in cage. More enjoyment and competition leads to more improvement. The league games actually draw a crowd. I would recommend the HitTrax for any indoor baseball facility that can afford the cost.  If they join the National PG Indoor League it can become a great revenue producer.

I can sure see how it would be a lot of fun to use it, especially in the off-season, and in places where weather is a big factor. I can also see how following a well-planned program could help a player improve. The only thing I question is how close the “stats” would be to game stats. I’ve scored way too many games to ever believe there wasn’t a huge does of kismet and serendipity involved in baseball.

 

The thing that’s always intrigued me about baseball is how the most minute things can and often do affect the outcome. FI, if 2 pitchers threw every pitch 80mph 4 seamers to the same lineup, no two outcomes would ever be the same, be it a batter, an inning, or an entire game.

 

 

You would have to ask the developers regarding how it is programmed.  My guess is it takes into account the placement, direction, exit velocity, distance, etc. , in judging hits or outs.  Obviously it doesn't account for things like errors or bad hops, but it does award infield hits/bunts if they are placed correctly at a certain speed.

In no way does it compare to a real game.  After all, it is played within a cage with a pitching machine using technology to score.  However, it does give certain valuable metrics and does provide statistical information.  It's just better than just hitting in a cage and a lot more fun.

HitTrax has algorithms for a variety of field dimensions and defenders abilities.  If you have an 8U group working with it, you can "down tune" the field dimensions and ability of the fielders. It also tries to mimic field "reputations." For example, if the kids decide to hit in the SF Giants park, a ball hit at 85MPH and a launch angle of  25 degrees to Left Center generally gets caught. In contrast, the same ball hit to Right Center ("Triples Alley") will get down for a triple.  There are also some glitchy hits that get down like bleeder-flares to the short outfield, whereas hard hit liners in the same direction seem to mostly get caught by the MIF. And part of the fun is the boys figure this out over time and start exploiting it when playing in Hit Trax "games."

My son's instructor has been shooting some video of his ABs this season and is putting an edit together to help market the PG Indoor League as well as his facility. Hopefully that'll get posted somewhere and I'll be able to link it in this thread!  

PGStaff posted:

Similar, except closer to what a BP session with good velocity  would look like. Pitching machine is set at the same speed at all locations.  This is done by the HitTrax machine that also measures pitch velocity.

So if the machine is set at 80 mph, every hitter will be hitting against 80 mph. The obvious difference is there are no breaking balls or change of speed.  The HitTrax also calls balls and strikes. It measures where the ball is hit, how far it travels, and scores it accordingly... single, double, triple, HR. It keeps all the traditional stats, B Ave., RBI, Slugging%, runs, etc.  Most importantly, it measures exit velocity both peak and average.  As I said before IMO the average exit velocity over many ABs is especially interesting.

HitTraxes uses graphics that allow you to play in MLB parks, no matter the age group.  Biggest difference is the parks distances are adjusted for each age group.

Perhaps the biggest drawback is the cost of this equipment.  By the time everything is considered it could cost up to $30,000 for the complete set up.  I believe about $20,000 plus is the cost of the HitTrax equipment.

It is a big drawing card in our facility. Used both for training and the hitting League.  Extremely entertaining!  Kids can actually compete rather than just hit in cage. More enjoyment and competition leads to more improvement. The league games actually draw a crowd. I would recommend the HitTrax for any indoor baseball facility that can afford the cost.  If they join the National PG Indoor League it can become a great revenue producer.

PGStaff

How many ABs would you need to see before you say

"That's his average exit velocity"? How does that compare to scouting a player taking BP outside or  trackman at a tournament? I understand it is kind of comparing apples and oranges, especially trackman at a tournament. I look at a lot of the profiles on your site. Just wondering how many ABs a scout/evaluator needs to see before they say makes constant hard contact or has huge power. Can we expect to see HitTrax on PG profiles?

Obviously the more ABs the more accurate the evaluation.  However it doesn't need to be many ABs to draw interest.  In the end it all boils down to what happens against higher level pitching.

Yes, HitTrax data will be added to player profiles.

HitTrax is not ideal for out door use.  Designed to use in indoor cages.

Wow, I had no idea that HitTrax or the ProBatter pitching simulator even existed! I thought the Home Plate pitching machine was state of the art, but I'm obviously way behind the times. Up next will be an Oculus Rift headset in which you face pro pitchers in virtual reality . . .

Dom that's exactly the set up at Pro Series Baseball in Puyallup, Washington where my son hits. The top video on the page I linked above is him hitting last month. ProBatter is expensive, but I haven't seen another system that enables pitch to pitch programming that enables live at-bats for every level of hitter. Definitely expensive, but I didn't have to buy it!

2019Dad posted:

Wow, I had no idea that HitTrax or the ProBatter pitching simulator even existed! I thought the Home Plate pitching machine was state of the art, but I'm obviously way behind the times. Up next will be an Oculus Rift headset in which you face pro pitchers in virtual reality . . .

About half a year ago I contacted zepp about creating a hitting game ( similar to that Nintendo wii thing) using the zepp device and the zepp rep told me that is a great idea and he will forward it but so far it has not happened. Will probably happen in a couple years.

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