Hey all. Son just went to PG showcase and radar readings were surprising. I thought low 80s, read cruising 75, topped out at 78. I'm his Dad, so take my post with a grain of salt. I'm also an ex player so I do a lot of eye ball testing when I watch games and I felt like the gun was off 2-3 mph for other kids too. Bunch of people (not pitcher's Dads) behind gun were all saying the same, that kids at 83-84 seemed 86+. Watching the gun is like going to Web MD to check your symptoms. Drives you nuts. Anyone else have an experience similar? I know the Stalker is the best gun out there and PG knows what it's doing but eye ball test and gun weren't aligning to me. The good news: it pissed my son off so I think he's extra motivated now. Wanted to throw again on Day 2 to hit 80 but told him his call but I wouldn't do it. Has some time to improve velo. Thankfully he listened to his old man. Any thoughts would be appreciated. I realize I might have been seeing what I wanted to see, not what was real. Ball don't lie, right? 

 

Original Post

In our circle when the kids were 14 or 15 the pitcher's dads would tell us what the kids were gunned at and that provided some points of reference for velo (eg Johnny throws 85 and this is a little less so must be 82).  Then at 16 and 17 when there were actual guns at the events we found out that our estimation was a good 5 MPH to the high side.

All makes sense. In our case, going to this PG event was actually worth it to get a bit of a reality check for me and my kid. I didn't expect anything big to come of it other than to see how he stacked up, which is pretty much right in the middle across the board. Hoping some hard work and adding 15 pounds by next summer can help on the velo front. 

When faced with the choice of actual data and your beliefs, argue with the data.

Seriously, it's in PGs interest to have correct readings; otherwise, who would go and incur the costs?

Buy a radar gun (cover the cost by skipping one event); use it at local HS and college games. Play this game: gun without looking at the number and see how close you are. If it's so easy to get it right, why do scouts gun prospects until they get a base line (at which point they move down the line to watch more parts of the delivery)?

I've been using the radar gun for over a decade, gunned literally thousands of pitchers and I can get my eyeballs (usually) within 2-3 mph of the guns reading - up or down. BUT, I still use it because I want and need accuracy.

"Where kids would throw at one venue, then a few days later at another and have pretty large swings."

So many variables go into the velo (especially for younger players) numbers one day to the next. For example, how many days between readings, how'd the kid sleep the nite before, how was the mound, did he have a fight with his GF, are his mechanics consistent (especially with young players), was it cold, was he throwing one inning one day and three the following time, etc?

That's one reason scouts see prospects more than once. 

Buy a gun. There's a reason why every seasoned scout has one. They do this for a living and they don't trust there "eye". Throw in dad bias and it's always wrong and always to the high side. I've seen dozens of dads say their kid throws higher than they do, in fact every single one. I've never seen a dad say his kid throws lower that what the gun will tell them later. End the debate in one swipe of the credit card. Buy a gun.

Agree with GooseEgg...there are any number of factors that can affect the radar results.  Most kid pitchers do not know how to warm up their arms properly, and these events tend to add a level of anxiety to it.  Unfortunately, it is going to cost more, but going to another PG event in a few months might be your best option, or wait until next year if he has time.  The good thing is PG shows a chart with FB velocity progression so it should be all up from here if he works on getting stronger and improves his arm.

If you don't want to shell out for a Stalker, buy a pocket radar for $200. It's accurate and within 1-2 mph of the stalker every time. 

I know that the showcase was a positive experience for your kid, but you would be wise to hold onto that money and wait until he hits 84/85 before going to another. 

I have a pocket radar and yes they are very accurate compared to stalkers, however they have way more missed readings or false readings (like registering a 26 for an 80 fastball). But once you find a good spot it's pretty good. I found that distance is the key factor, get as close as you can to the action, accuracy falls off pretty quickly when you move off the backstop. It also seems to round down, so a Stalker 85.8  will read as an 85 on PR.

Also, where you are positioned can affect the gun reading.  Directly in line with the pitcher gives the most accurate reading.  If you are more than a few degrees off of straight-on you introduce parallax error which will give an incorrect reading (unless you've got a gun such as Stalker that can be calibrated to compensate for this).

I know this is not the right forum but my kid went to his first PG event, they took his EV reading with a pocket radar behind the net barely 4 feet on front of the hitter. The radar was not vertical and his fingers were blocking the sensor. My kid, god bless his moxy informed the guy and got a snarky reply. He then sent an email to the organizer, proud of him for that.

I have found PG's speed to be right on with my PR and the college coach's around me.  I was always off so I bit the bullet and bought one.  It is great for training and when the team says some kid is supposed to throw 87 and he is actually 82.  I love when a dad says his kid is ?? and then I break out my gun and he is 5 mph slower.  Then come the excuses which many times are legitimate.  My son's speed fluctuates during the summer a lot more than in the school year.  For him, he loses the competitive drive of school ball and just throws his game.  But it is mound, weather, his mood, the team he is facing, and many more factors.

I gave up on the eyeball test a long time ago... Only people that are close on velo numbers are the catcher and the hitter. Even my son will say, I wasn't feeling it today and his velo is up 1 or 2 mph. So he couldn't tell how hard he was throwing. Stadium guns, scout guns, pocket radars... it's crazy. Why do you see everyone in the stands with guns when the stadium gun is on? Some people talk about "hot" guns for TV broadcasts. But it is important 2 mph can be the difference between getting an offer or not. 

K9 posted:

In our circle when the kids were 14 or 15 the pitcher's dads would tell us what the kids were gunned at and that provided some points of reference for velo (eg Johnny throws 85 and this is a little less so must be 82).  Then at 16 and 17 when there were actual guns at the events we found out that our estimation was a good 5 MPH to the high side.

Absolutely, this! Had my radar out the other day, and almost without exception the kids were throwing far less mph than the parents claimed. 

 

 

Attended two PG events where the radar gun was pointed toward either the short stop or 2nd baseman.  Pricipals of radar will tell you this in not the most accurate position for the intended application.  Yes, adjustments in the software can off-sett this deviation, but most of the PG events I saw there were kids running the gun. Highly doubt they programed the deviation into the gun before hand.  

Even Trackman is not accurate in some PG venues....only found this out as I was sitting behind scouts with Stalker 2  guns while following the trackman reading on their website.  1-3 miles an hour variance was noted.

Have you ever seen a pitcher who appears to be throwing gas by the way he moves his body only to find out the velocity is 3-4 miles an hour less than what you thought you saw?  Compare that to a pitcher who looks effortless and the ball jumps out of thier hand....

 

BaseballDad72 posted:

 Hoping some hard work and adding 15 pounds by next summer can help on the velo front. 

He needs technique improvements if he's throwing in 70s.  You may need a new instructor.  Get instruction where they measure improvements (radar).  If you don't know how fast he's really throwing, how can you tell if he's getting better?

And as far as eyeball tests, that's a joke.  I have a radar gun and I never saw anyone that could guess readings for kids that did not have known speeds.  The catcher's mitt pop or no pop, plus the herky jerky pitcher movements throw most people off.

nycdad posted:

While we're on the topic. Are the board readings at Lakepoint Trackman? While at the 16U there were differences between what was recorded in DK (assuming this is the gun reading from behind the plate) and what flashed on the scoreboard.

No, connected to gun behind the plate. Trakman is what is recorded in their profiles/daily leaders etc. 

Go44dad posted:
nycdad posted:

While we're on the topic. Are the board readings at Lakepoint Trackman? While at the 16U there were differences between what was recorded in DK (assuming this is the gun reading from behind the plate) and what flashed on the scoreboard.

No, connected to gun behind the plate. Trakman is what is recorded in their profiles/daily leaders etc. 

Is DiamondKast velo also using that gun? Trying to figure out why the readings would sometimes be different.

Go44dad posted:
nycdad posted:

While we're on the topic. Are the board readings at Lakepoint Trackman? While at the 16U there were differences between what was recorded in DK (assuming this is the gun reading from behind the plate) and what flashed on the scoreboard.

No, connected to gun behind the plate. Trakman is what is recorded in their profiles/daily leaders etc. 

That doesn't make a lot of sense as the satellite venues (mostly local high schools) don't have Trakman.  I would think PG is mining the DK data for all of the profile stats, daily leaders, etc.  My son threw in two games at the WWBA this summer, neither at Lakepoint, and the data in his profile matches the data in DK.

Velo Smelo...... the batter will let you know all you need to know....... granted 80 poo won't get you too far long term...

Asked a friend of mine once how many pitchers were in camp  he said "about 80"   I said how many break 90?  he said "about 80"   

velo might get you there, command keeps you there. 

22and25 posted:
Go44dad posted:
nycdad posted:

While we're on the topic. Are the board readings at Lakepoint Trackman? While at the 16U there were differences between what was recorded in DK (assuming this is the gun reading from behind the plate) and what flashed on the scoreboard.

No, connected to gun behind the plate. Trakman is what is recorded in their profiles/daily leaders etc. 

That doesn't make a lot of sense as the satellite venues (mostly local high schools) don't have Trakman.  I would think PG is mining the DK data for all of the profile stats, daily leaders, etc.  My son threw in two games at the WWBA this summer, neither at Lakepoint, and the data in his profile matches the data in DK.

My son's DK data matches his profile as well. I was talking about the number displayed on the scoreboard at Lakepoint. DK had at least two pitchers that were different between the board and DK (DK was a mile or 2 higher). I'm not complaining, but there was definitely a discrepancy between DK and the scoreboard at LP. 

nycdad posted:
22and25 posted:
Go44dad posted:
nycdad posted:

While we're on the topic. Are the board readings at Lakepoint Trackman? While at the 16U there were differences between what was recorded in DK (assuming this is the gun reading from behind the plate) and what flashed on the scoreboard.

No, connected to gun behind the plate. Trakman is what is recorded in their profiles/daily leaders etc. 

That doesn't make a lot of sense as the satellite venues (mostly local high schools) don't have Trakman.  I would think PG is mining the DK data for all of the profile stats, daily leaders, etc.  My son threw in two games at the WWBA this summer, neither at Lakepoint, and the data in his profile matches the data in DK.

My son's DK data matches his profile as well. I was talking about the number displayed on the scoreboard at Lakepoint. DK had at least two pitchers that were different between the board and DK (DK was a mile or 2 higher). I'm not complaining, but there was definitely a discrepancy between DK and the scoreboard at LP. 

I was replying to this statement by Go44Dad:

 

"Trakman is what is recorded in their profiles/daily leaders etc. "

If you are close enough to the plate(40' or so), you can hear 90. Kind of a humming, buzzing sound. Varies a bit pitcher to pitcher. Spin rate?

Never trust the pop of a glove. When I used to catch, I had one disgusting thick old glove that made a sound   like I was catching Nolan Ryan. Another, like I was catching my mother. When I was trying to freak out the other team, or give my pitchers a confidence boost, I'd with the "loud one".

57special posted:

...Never trust the pop of a glove. When I used to catch, I had one disgusting thick old glove that made a sound   like I was catching Nolan Ryan. Another, like I was catching my mother. When I was trying to freak out the other team, or give my pitchers a confidence boost, I'd with the "loud one".

My kid firmly believes this. He makes sure the mitt pop echoes to the other dugout during the warm up pitches. Not so much to intimidate but to give his pitcher confidence

Was at a big PG tournament in Ft Myers this fall.  One of the dads didn't like the radar readings so went up to the guy(kid) behind home plate taking them and told him he needed to have his gun re calibrated. Off the guy went. He came back and, in fact, the gun had been reading low.  (FWIW my kid isn't a pitcher.)

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