Since the beginning of baseball, if you wanted to develop a new pitch or make a bad one better, you had one option available to you: guess. Before Rapsodo Baseball, modern pitchers were still developing pitches the same way that Old Hoss Radburn did. Try out a new grip, throw it, see what happens. Try another grip. Apply different fingertip pressure. Ask a guy how he grips a pitch. Try that. See what happens.
The only validation of that experimentation was your catch partner or, if you were lucky, a good catcher.
What is Rapsodo Baseball?
Rapsodo is a radar-triggered camera system that captures real-time ball-flight data, allowing pitchers to get an accurate understanding of exactly what their pitches are doing during flight. This allows for now-standard pitch measurements like velocity and spin rate, but, because the data is captured visually, Rapsodo units can also measure spin axis, true spin and spin efficiency.
How Accurate is Rapsodo Baseball?
We did an extensive validation study of Rapsodo units against the best velocity and spin tracking technology on the market. We also used high-speed video to validate the spin rate and axis data. Bottom line: it is accurate. If you’d like to read more about the validation study, it is on our blog.
Why Use Rapsodo Baseball?
The additional pitch-flight data captured by the unit allows coaches and players to ask better questions and get better results. During the 2016-2017 winter off-season, we had dozens of professional baseball players combine Rapsodo and high-speed video to learn more about how their breaking pitches work.
Here are a few ways we use Rapsodo Baseball with those players to drive a better pitching process:
- Reshaping the way a curveball broke. Moving from a slurve-y pitch with lots of glove-side break to one with more 12-6 break.
- Adding a split-finger. Normally, the process for learning a new pitch can take months or years. Because we started with specific velocity/break/spin targets in mind, this process was shortened to a matter of days to get a usable pitch and weeks to fully refine a Spring-Training-Ready splitter.
- Adding velocity to a breaking pitch. By throwing a cutter harder, how does that impact its break profile?
And the data is actionable. All sent directly to a training app that pitchers and coaches can check in real-time.
Throw a pitch. Learn. Throw another. Learn more.
— Driveline Baseball (@DrivelineBB) April 27, 2016