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It's amazing what's possible today. The announcement that PG and TrackMan have entered a partnership could turn out to be pretty significant over time.


Here's a summary of Trackman, for those who, like me, hadn't heard of it (even though 17 MLB organizations are apparently already using it):


- Military-grade 3-D Doppler radar measurement system

- Sample rate of 48,000 measurements per second

- Precisely measures the location, spin, angles, velocity and trajectory of a ball in flight

- Radar sits high behind home plate

- Operator used computer attached or networked to radar to tag game results


To think that technology developed to track missiles is now being used to measure the spin of a curve ball, the speed and trajectory of a ball off the bat, and 25 other things ... again, to me anyway, is just mind boggling. I'm betting it'll spawn a whole slew of new data that Moneyball advocates in particular will lock onto.


They had Trackman set up on five fields in Jupiter, and also had a cage set up where players hit in the Prime 9 Challenge. JP thought it was really cool (He actually finished in top 3 in wood bat, and won a Louisville Slugger MLB Prime birch bat!)


Here's Baseball America's article on the partnership:


And here's their article on the top in-game numbers over the course of the tournament:





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Here's what it measures, btw:


TrackMan Measurements
Pitch ReleasePitch MovementPlate LocationBatted Ball
ExtensionSpin RateTime Of FlightExit Speed
Release SlotBreaksLocationLaunch Angles
AnglesSpin Axis/TiltApproach AnglesTrajectory
Velocity  Position at 110 feet
   Hang Time
   Spin Rate

*There are fewer than 27 categories listed in the table above. The final number of 27 is computed because a few of the categories above, like trajectory, have both a vertical and horizontal component.

That is really cool stuff.


I had a conversation with someone yesterday about a similar topic….


Many academies & showcase companies are now doing lots of measurements of lots of different things.  Obviously velo, foot speed,  bat speed are all important.  Not sure how throwing a med ball or long jumping translates though, for example.


The beautiful thing about baseball is that a slow bad body guy can square up a baseball or prevent hitters from doing so.  While that physical specimen with chiseled abs might throw like a girl (no offense to any girls).


Remember about 6 years ago when Nike Sparq was THE thing?  I don't know any coaches that recruited a kid based off their Sparq test scores.


Measuring athleticism and spin rates and exit speeds is really cool.  But I don't think you can measure baseball players like that.  Will some top players measure high?  Absolutely. Will some bad players measure high?  I bet they will.  


But I bet parents can't wait to see where their kid will land on the ranking list!



Trackman provides very valuable scouting information.  I'm trying to think of any Trackman data that would allow for a bad player to look like a good player.  What it can't do is predict who will be the best player in the future, but the data even helps in that area.


Based on our testing the Trackman technology, it is very obvious that the top prospects coincide with the better Trackman numbers. It doesn't measure athletic ability, it measures exactly what the ball is doing whether hitting or throwing. It also measures actual mechanical information from pitchers release, how well he repeats, distance from release to the plate etc.  It measures and charts control and command. It shows why a 88 mph fastball can be better than another pitchers 90 mph fastball.


Anyway, we are very excited about Trackman.  It will only make our job more thorough.  There are actually 18 now using it in the Major Leagues.  That number will probably include every MLB stadium before long. When MLB players are providing the measurables it really helps amateur scouting.  After all, the scouting scale used by MLB scouts already is based on MLB high and low measurements with 5 on the 2-8 scale being MLB average.  With Trackman there are many more measurables for comparison. For example... There is now an average MLB spin rate on every pitch.  When we see a young pitcher who might lack great velocity, but shows MLB average spin rate on breaking pitches, it adds another component to consider.  If that pitchers velocity improves, he already has the ability to spin the ball as well as an average MLB pitcher.


Truth is... every bit of Trackman data is important.  It can quantify what you see and it can tell you what you might not see.  There is no gimmick here, they started at the very top (MLB) not at the bottom.  Real interesting stuff!

In my opinion, PG's partnership with TrackMan is the latest in a fairly long list of reasons why their events are THE events to attend for elite-level players.


The fact that PG was already measuring, tracking, and reporting all kinds of things to a searchable database of players (that virtually every D1 school and every MLB team uses) already set them apart in my eyes.  Now they can accurately measure all kinds of things that can only enhance player evaluation and scouting.  Because they already have years of MLB data, they can report that a kid has MLB-caliber spin on a curve ball, or batted ball exit speed, or any number of things that used to be "measured" by scouts subjectively.  Now, as they gain data with HS age players and follow them into the pros, they'll get some really interesting data on player development at the elite level that should really improve scouts' ability to "project" kids down the road.


Very exciting, to me.


[Edit: Was writing as PGStaff was posting.  What he said.   ]

Question for PGStaff, though:  will TrackMan data eventually be reported on PG player profile pages, much like 60 times or velo are now, with a percentile report for where a player stands relative to his class peers (and the pros)?  Also, will TrackMan be used at more fields in the future?  I'm thinking in particular about the fields at LakePointe, and whether there might be permanent TrackMan installations there.


Thank you for utilizing this technology.  PG is to be commended for such forward thinking.  (Oh, and thanks JP for bringing up the topic.  I'm not sure the baseball community fully appreciates yet what a huge step for scouting this should turn out to be.)

"It shows why an 88 mph fastball can be better than another pitcher's 90 mph fastball."


This is one of the many things I find fascinating. So often we hear from parents and others who don't understand why a pitcher with lower velocity is more highly scouted.


Perhaps over time this technology will even have a noticeable, positive impact on the HSBBW Forum.

I might be splitting hair here.  But I'm not really of the opinion that having MLB teams worth $500 million requesting data is game changing. 


If & when the "little guys" start utilizing this data that will be game changing.  I have friends coaching that make less per year than what 2 of those units cost.  Heck, I have friends that don't have the budget to pay for the PG subscriptions.  When that guys changes his recruiting based on spin rates or extension I'll consider this game changing. 


Very very cool.  The top of the top will probably really benefit from it.  The majority may never flinch.  I can't remember a coach saying "that kids exit velocity is awesome!".


Like I said before, time will tell.  I hope it helps everybody.  





The plan is to make some of the data available to everyone, more than likely via the profiles. Some of the information will be available to only scouts and college coaches. We haven't decided how to handle it yet.


It will be permanent at the PG complex at Lakepoint.  Trackman has developed a portable model that we have tested with great results.  Our goal is to use Trackman at every event we do.  We really want the information on every player we see.  Not sure of we can accomplish that next season or not, but that is the goal.  For sure we will have Trackman at the major events.


I'm glad you like this, I truly think this is ground breaking stuff for amateur scouting. The more data we compile, the more meaningful that data becomes.  And not just in scouting, but even for development and training.  Young players will know what the numbers are that they need to work towards.  The players history will have a lot more information to use for projection purposes.  


I have friends that are old and old school scouts.  They have problems dealing with a cell phone.  Their experience and knowledge is great.  They are still great scouts that see things most people would miss.  That part of scouting will never be replaced.  That will always remain the most important ingredient in scouting IMO.  It is the ART of scouting and evaluating talent.  


However, I have always wanted as much meaningful information as possible.  In fact, I didn't even really care how meaningful it was, it was all worth something.  So now days we have the new way of scouting.  It does not and never will eliminate the old way, but the technology and metrics simply provide much more information that makes scouting much more thorough. Never exact, but closer to getting it right. This part is called the SCIENCE of scouting.  When you put the ART and the Science together it becomes a great combination.


When I talked to the founder and the head tech guy for Trackman, I was in over my head.  These guys are genius like and I am a dumb shit.  However, after a short time we were exactly on the same page. At least when it comes to baseball. These were the modern day scientific tech guys with MIT type degrees talking to an old school scout/coach about baseball and both sides understanding each other perfectly.

Thanks for the reply, PGStaff.  Saying I like it would be an understatement.  I never envisioned this might be available to HS players, and completely agree with you about how ground-breaking it can be for both scouting and instruction/development.


BTW, I understand and completely agree with what you are saying about the value of the old-school art of scouting, and didn't mean to suggest or imply that this might in any way replace that.  I do think it enhances it, though.  


Really, really cool stuff.  Thanks again.



Do those college coaches you know care about velocity?  The radar gun reading is used pretty much everywhere.  There is no subscription involved in knowing what every pitchers peak velocity is.  Heck, the coach doesn't even have to purchase a radar gun or  buy a subscription to get that information.


You sound skeptical for some reason.  Of course, I guess you have the right to be skeptical.  At the same time, I'm not going to come on here and say your bus trips don't mean any of those colleges will be interested in the kids on the bus. I guess time will tell! Truth is I think you have come up with a good idea.  I think it can be very helpful to certain kids.  Then again, are all those kids potential college players? And what about the small guys that can't afford the bus?


I really think what you are doing is a great opportunity for some.  Just trying to prove that anything can contain skepticism.  When I hear the words, we will see or time will tell! I have to wonder.  Of course, those words can be used with anything new.  We might somehow screw the whole thing up, but there is no WAIT and SEE involving the value of Trackman information.  It is proven to be valuable, it's only new when it comes to us using it.  The cost Involved isn't going to involve any college, small or large.  Most could never even get access to the equipment even if they could afford it. I can only say that if the information is available and they don't care about it or use it, they should be doing something else for a living. It doesn't replace anything available now, it just adds more information.


Perhaps, I've allowed my emotions to get the best of me with this post.  But I didn't come on here starting the subject to advertise our business partnership with Trackman.  I'm not trying to talk people into going to PG events because we have Trackman.  I've simply replied to a topic that I am very excited about that will help the scouting community.  As always, it will only help those kids who stand out. Won't mean a thing for those who don't produce meaningful numbers. Trackman has created a lot of excitement in baseball. That is with or without Perfect Game being involved!


If I took you comments or intentions wrong I apologize.

PGStaff - 


No disrespect was meant.  Did not mean to get you fired up.  PG is the top of amateur baseball.  I trust that if your organization is partnering with a new technology that it will be exciting and useful…. like GameChanger.  Love, love, love GC!


My skepticism is probably from my frustrations with the "old school" mentality" of many coaches that are slow to adopt technology.  I'm thinking that if coaches are so hesitant to film their players for communication purposes, how will they adopt this very high tech info?  


I'm of the opinion that information is king.  The more information the better.  


This is really good use of technology!  I hope it takes off.  I hope my bus tours take off too!  Like you said, time will tell.







Originally Posted by jp24:

I'm curious why you think it could hurt your 2016?

I was curious about the same thing.


I'm guessing, but I suspect Everyday Dad might think those measurements may reveal his son to have average or less measurements and fall behind some kids whose measurements are higher / professional caliber.  Here's the thing, though: right now, we can't tell much other than whether in that particular snapshot in time, a player compares favorably to major league averages.  It is going to take time and accumulation of data as players progress to pro levels before we can tell much about expected/projected development.  Until then, that is still going to be more or less the purview of those old school scouts PGStaff was talking about, and the ART of scouting, and rightly so.  Recruiters and scouts are always going to trust their eyes first; eventually I hope the data TrackMan provides will supplement and confirm what those scouts see, and help them to narrow and improve their focus in scouting.


The other thing is, as a parent, even if the end result is that TrackMan data "hurts" our sons in the sense that it reveals them to be more "average" than we might've hoped, I still think that's a good thing.  How many parents do you think you've seen come to HSBBWeb seeking advice on how best to determine "where their son fits" in the grand scheme of baseball?  This can only help to clarify that question, IMO.  And just because a player starts out as "average" (or worse) doesn't mean that's where you have to end up. Not everybody follows an "average" progression of development, and as PGStaff said, having this data can help a player focus his training to improve in areas where he may be deficient, and the ability to be re-measured in future events and track improvement can be a huge motivator.  No matter how you slice it, I can't see any negative to the use of this information.

Last edited by EdgarFan

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