My son recently went to a college showcase where they measured his bat speed.  This is the first time we have encountered this.  It was reported that his best tee exit velocity was 79mph.  The coach that did the evaluation stated that this was very good.  My question is, is 79mph good for a 16yo High School Junior.  (Yes he has a late birthday.  Early July.)  What speed should he be targeting?  Thank you.

Original Post

Exit speed is an interesting topic. Some coaches base their whole hitting evaluation of a player on it and it's quite ridiculous. Obviously, it's somewhat important because bat speed will allow a hitter to wait longer before starting his swing, thus giving him more time to recognize the pitch and decide to swing or not.

 

However, bat speed will never compensate for sound pitch recognition, a good approach, and an understanding of what the pitcher and defense is trying to do to you.

 

In short, I guess what I'm trying to say is high baseball IQ will beat incredible bat speed at a higher level. (provided that the hitter has a minimum of athletic ability; i.e a good enough bat speed to catch up with a fastball)

Per the Demarini Top 96 Evaluation sheet: Based on hitting a line drive off of a tee with a BBCOR bat.

 

High School - 63-78 mph with 69 considered average.

College - 82-93 with low level at 82-86, mid level at 87 - 89, and high level at 90-93

Pro Level  - 102

 

With added strength and maturity, he will probably get his bat speed up to the low 80's and if he focuses on practice with the tee for the exit speed test, maybe another 1-2 mph. So, with strength, maturity and practice, 84-85 should be attainable in time.

To avoid confusion in this thread.

Bat speed is the speed of the bat itself.  (This is problematic since you don't know where in the swing plane you achieved the speed - ex after contact, etc.)

Exit speed is the speed of the ball after it hits the bat.  (Tee is best for consistency, or use same pitch speed, and bat weight/type)

Exit speed is a great indicator for scouting (if same pitch speed and bat type/weight).  Great MLB (wood bat, and 90 mph pitches) exit speeds are 100+.  Stanton hit 119.9 this year.

What speed should he be targeting?

Just get faster each time.  Try different things and see if they are faster.

I don't think the focus on one particular number is all that helpful.  It is an easy number to measure, but what does it really tell you.  All things being equal, the higher exit speed should equate to a longer ball.  But in the real world, rarely are all things equal.  IMO, hitting the moving pitch is a better indicator of future performance. 

Sigh, bat speed means nothing. It could be a long loopy swing open gate swing. Are you in control when you swing 100%? Amateur hitters  proly swing only 80% in a game. This can be applied to hitting off a tee since the ball is stationary and can sing 100%. Also since ball is stationary less force is needed to move the balls inertia. in regards to force, it's not the acceleration that's the defineing variable, it's the ability of the batter to put his mass behind the bat

.

LABall,

 

With respect I would have to disagree that bat speed means "nothing". It may not be the most important thing, but if everything else were equal (ability to square, strength/weight/mass, pitch recognition, etc.) then bat speed becomes a big separator.

 

There is out of control bat speed and there is under control bat speed.  I agree that "control" is most important.  There have been successful MLB hitters with below average bat speed.

Bat speed alone doesn't get the job done.  However, take Pujols or anyone else and subtract a good amount of bat speed from their norm and the results will not be as good.

 

Even though I disagreed with LABall when he stated bat speed means nothing.  What he mentioned at the end of his post is the most important thing.  And it is possible to have 100mph bat speed and still be a bad hitter.  Similar to a pitcher having a 100mph fastball yet not being a good pitcher.  However, having a 100 mph fastball tends to create a lot more opportunities than having 100mph bat speed.

Originally Posted by SultanofSwat:
Originally Posted by playball2011:

Saw big kid at showcase with bat speed listed at 90. 

Went 0-5 in game. 

90 bat speed would be better than most MLB hitters.  I'll take him.

Go ahead, he's gotten no interest from anyone I know of. They look at him because of his size but he doesn't produce in real games. Some players showcase better than they play. Bet I could find a large bodybuilder who can hit 90 off a tee, doesn't mean he's a baseball player.

Originally Posted by NYdad2017:
Originally Posted by SultanofSwat:
 

90 bat speed would be better than most MLB hitters.  I'll take him.

 

In 2006 Pujols had his bat speed measured at 87mph.  0 for 5 or not, that kid is better then Pujols.  

 

Better at what? I've never seen anyone hit a HR off a tee

Originally Posted by playball2011:

Saw big kid at showcase with bat speed listed at 90. 

Went 0-5 in game. 

I'm guessing here, but I imagine you are confusing exit speed with bat speed.

 

Anyone with a wood bat speed of 90 will be looked at.  Even a body builder.  I could teach them how to hit the ball.

 

Someone with an exit speed of 90 would not be so great.

Originally Posted by playball2011:
Originally Posted by NYdad2017:
Originally Posted by SultanofSwat:
 

90 bat speed would be better than most MLB hitters.  I'll take him.

 

In 2006 Pujols had his bat speed measured at 87mph.  0 for 5 or not, that kid is better then Pujols.  

 

Better at what? I've never seen anyone hit a HR off a tee

I've seen Dante Bichette Sr. do it many, many times...

About a month ago my 14u son was measured at 85mph off a tee with a wood bat.  He hasn't had it measured off a pitched ball as of yet.  Maybe he'll get that info at the PG Mid-Atlantic Underclass in late August.  Most of the kids at the PBR event that he did were below 85mph with BBCOR.  Maybe 2 were higher (highest was 90mph), also with BBCOR.  Why my son elected to be the only one swinging wood, I have no idea.

 

Originally Posted by SultanofSwat:

WWBA exit speeds

 

These are wood bats, and pitched balls.

 

These speeds would be comparable to posted MLB exit speeds.

 

These speeds could be roughly 8 mph higher if they used non-wood bats. Their exit speed would also be approximately 17 mph slower using a tee.

 

 

That exit speed data is interesting.  Notice that the farthest hit balls are mostly below the fastest exit speeds --- mid 90s vs 100+.  I would guess that would have to do with angle of attack and ability to square it up.

Distance would be a function of exit speed + launch angle + spin rate.

Based on a personal Trackman experience, I saw spin rate variances cause approx 15-20 feet extra distance.  I think the numbers were 2000 avg and 3500 high rpm.

And that is backwards from the Trackman page on Spin Rate for Golf.  They say higher spin rates are bad for golf balls.  I'm not sure I understand that.

Originally Posted by SultanofSwat:

Distance would be a function of exit speed + launch angle + spin rate.

Based on a personal Trackman experience, I saw spin rate variances cause approx 15-20 feet extra distance.  I think the numbers were 2000 avg and 3500 high rpm.

And that is backwards from the Trackman page on Spin Rate for Golf.  They say higher spin rates are bad for golf balls.  I'm not sure I understand that.

I think it has to do with the aerodynamic properties of a golf ball.  High spin rates are desirable on short shots so you can "stick" the ball on the green.  You see the pros put so much spin on the ball, they can back it up.   

Originally Posted by SultanofSwat:

Distance would be a function of exit speed + launch angle + spin rate.

Based on a personal Trackman experience, I saw spin rate variances cause approx 15-20 feet extra distance.  I think the numbers were 2000 avg and 3500 high rpm.

And that is backwards from the Trackman page on Spin Rate for GolfThey say higher spin rates are bad for golf balls.  I'm not sure I understand that.

they are looking for spin rates of 2000 to 2500 or so for golf, that is for drivers off the T. short irons spin rates are 5k and up that is how they stick on landing or depending on the swing and conditions back up.

 

I think your spin data matches golf pretty close if you are looking for distance numbers.

I know this thread is a little old but I just had to chime in.  Why does it seem like a certain percentage of people on here - by no means a majority but some - are numbers haters?  Early on here I have encountered some really smart baseball people.  And I think we all understand no single number stat or projectable body type guarantees success.  But on the other hand there are numbers that guarantee failure and numbers that at least show potential.  If you top out at 80mph you will never be drafted period.  If you throw 100 you have about a 100% chance of being drafted.  You may or may not succeed but you will be drafted.  An exit velocity of 75  is going to be too slow for pro ball.  And probably d1 as well.  Remember its not just about power.   Its about being able to wait that little extra tick before starting your swing.  A catcher with a pop time of 2.50 will not be a catcher long.  The numbers do matter.  And they are a great objective way to see if your son is on track.  And its ok if he is a little behind.  Just has to work a little harder.  But the answer is not to say the numbers are invalid.

Numbers are just a benchmark and often don't tell the whole story.  Look at the exit speed data referenced above.  The farthest hit balls did not have the highest exit speed.  So if you're look for a kid who can really mash, exit speed alone may not get it done.  With that said, you certainly need certain threshold numbers to get noticed. 

 

 

Joilietboy

 

Numbers do matter to most baseball guy's. Some of us love to do our homework with the numbers that are provided to us, and then go watch the kid play and see how he uses these tools in the game.

 

 If someone told me that there is a kid coming up to bat with a 105mph exit speed, I'm not leaving until I see him hit. The real smart guy's know that some awesome numbers that are posted should be discounted because of how the player looked while maxing out. (every time he hits 90mph he throws it over the backstop, or a catcher with a1.85 pop but never below 2.10 in a game) And at the same time other scouts like these impressive numbers, and they see it as raw talent and now it is their job to get the player to duplicate these peaks in a useable form.

 

 I love numbers they are attention getters and then the player has to go perform. With 6" of snow on the ground in the middle of January sometimes numbers is all I got to get me through the winter.

Originally Posted by The Doctor:

       

Joilietboy

 

Numbers do matter to most baseball guy's. Some of us love to do our homework with the numbers that are provided to us, and then go watch the kid play and see how he uses these tools in the game.

 

 If someone told me that there is a kid coming up to bat with a 105mph exit speed, I'm not leaving until I see him hit. The real smart guy's know that some awesome numbers that are posted should be discounted because of how the player looked while maxing out. (every time he hits 90mph he throws it over the backstop, or a catcher with a1.85 pop but never below 2.10 in a game) And at the same time other scouts like these impressive numbers, and they see it as raw talent and now it is their job to get the player to duplicate these peaks in a useable form.

 

 I love numbers they are attention getters and then the player has to go perform. With 6" of snow on the ground in the middle of January sometimes numbers is all I got to get me through the winter.

no
       

Very well said
Originally Posted by Golfman25:

Numbers are just a benchmark and often don't tell the whole story.  Look at the exit speed data referenced above.  The farthest hit balls did not have the highest exit speed.  So if you're look for a kid who can really mash, exit speed alone may not get it done.  

It's all numbers, my friend, you're just missing one.

 

Distance = exit speed + spin rate (+ launch angle of course)

How are these speeds being measured?   I saw Zepp offered this info at Baseball Heaven.   Not really sure of the accuracy as I took a swing that was measured at 101.   I'm 45 and not even a weekend warrior any longer.  In my defense, though, I have recently hit a 390' HR with a wood bat in a competitive game.

Originally Posted by ephins:

       

How are these speeds being measured?   I saw Zepp offered this info at Baseball Heaven.   Not really sure of the accuracy as I took a swing that was measured at 101.   I'm 45 and not even a weekend warrior any longer.  In my defense, though, I have recently hit a 390' HR with a wood bat in a competitive game.


       
swing being 101 is impossible.  Must be a misread.  But if you are talking exit velocity (how fast the ball comes off the bat) then yes that's about right.  Actual swing speed is just about impossible to measure without equipment made specifically for that purpose.  Thats why showcases and tryouts etc. Rely on exit velocity.  Much easier and more accurate.  Usually the player its off the tee into netting and the person with the gun stands behind the netting.  Best read id the ball coming right at the gun.
Originally Posted by jolietboy:
Originally Posted by ephins:

       

How are these speeds being measured?   I saw Zepp offered this info at Baseball Heaven.   Not really sure of the accuracy as I took a swing that was measured at 101.   I'm 45 and not even a weekend warrior any longer.  In my defense, though, I have recently hit a 390' HR with a wood bat in a competitive game.


       
swing being 101 is impossible.  Must be a misread.  But if you are talking exit velocity (how fast the ball comes off the bat) then yes that's about right.  Actual swing speed is just about impossible to measure without equipment made specifically for that purpose.  Thats why showcases and tryouts etc. Rely on exit velocity.  Much easier and more accurate.  Usually the player its off the tee into netting and the person with the gun stands behind the netting.  Best read id the ball coming right at the gun.

 My bad.   Exit velocity is what I meant.  Thanks

best bat speed and ball exit: here is how to accomplish maximum distance no matter the science and people have been doing it for hundreds of years.

1) Step in the box 

2) grab crotch

3) bat tap each side of the plate

4) stare down pitcher

5)smash first pitch fastball

6) pimp that Sugar Honey Ice Tea

Originally Posted by right arm of zeus:

best bat speed and ball exit: here is how to accomplish maximum distance no matter the science and people have been doing it for hundreds of years.

1) Step in the box 

2) grab crotch

3) bat tap each side of the plate

4) stare down pitcher

5)smash first pitch fastball

6) pimp that Sugar Honey Ice Tea


That's what Billy Butler did last night on his rbi single - 112mph exit speed.

We do use exit velocity off the tee as part of our tryout for this simple reason: it doesn't tell me who CAN hit, but it tells me who CAN'T hit. 

 

Like many of you said, a great exit speed doesn't mean that they will be able to hit, it just means that they might be able to.  

 

In the BBCOR era if a varsity player is producing exit speeds in the 70s, they probably won't be able to generate enough power to hit at that level.   

 

Originally Posted by BCRockets:

       

We do use exit velocity off the tee as part of our tryout for this simple reason: it doesn't tell me who CAN hit, but it tells me who CAN'T hit. 

 

Like many of you said, a great exit speed doesn't mean that they will be able to hit, it just means that they might be able to.  

 

In the BBCOR era if a varsity player is producing exit speeds in the 70s, they probably won't be able to generate enough power to hit at that level.   

 


       
well said

I'm confused.  An earlier post stated: 

 

Per the Demarini Top 96 Evaluation sheet: Based on hitting a line drive off of a tee with a BBCOR bat.

 

High School - 63-78 mph with 69 considered average.

College - 82-93 with low level at 82-86, mid level at 87 - 89, and high level at 90-93

Pro Level  - 102

 

Now the post above says exit speeds in the 70's aren't good enough for HS varsity?

Guys in the 70s will struggle to stay in the lineup usually.  I coach in the largest classification in Missouri.  We are a good team, but it is due to pitching/defense, not hitting.  We currently have 14 guys at 80+ off the tee (with wood).  They aren't necessarily our 14 best hitters, but if you are at 72-74, there probably aren't going to be at-bats coming your way this spring.

How do those speeds translate in real life?  IOW does a squared up line drive hit in the 70's make it out of the IF?  I'm assuming that a squared up fly ball hit in the 70's right at an OF doesn't get over his head, cause from what I've seen only the strongest kids can do that with a BBCOR.

70s definitely makes it into the OF if it is "squared up".  So much is depended upon size of field, competition, level of school, etc.

 

If you hit 75 off the tee as a sophomore, you will probably get cut in large class California, and be all-state at a small school in Delaware.

 

What exit velo in the 70s does is prevent extra base hits, and give little margin for error at times.  However, it will still get you in the lineup at some places, using a variety of factors.  But I highly doubt there are guys that hit it 75 that are going D-1.

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