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Thread: Gunning an 8-y/o... for batspeed?

  1. #1

    Gunning an 8-y/o... for batspeed?

    OK, I'll confess that I picked up a "glove radar" off of ebay for fairly cheap. I'm impressed with its consistency. But I understand the concerns here about hurting a youngster who is pitching, so I don't really do much with it.

    I found it in the garage the other day and thought I'd see if it can measure bat speed. So I held it up in front of my youngster and had him take a few cuts... lo and behold, it seemed to give a pretty reliable speed reading.

    So....


    Do you see any value in "gunning" a youngster to check his bat speed? Maybe a way to see if a switch-hitter (which he is) is getting similar power from both sides? Or a tool to help pick out an optimum weight/length of bat (how would you do this)? Or to figure out if a new cue is a step forward or a step back? Now I know that a focus on batspeed is probably going to lead to long, draggy swings (but maybe the tool can prove that a shorter, 90% effort swing has as much batspeed as all-out?)

    My guess is that batspeed is of very limited value; otherwise we'd see the measurement of batspeed used a lot more in the pros, perhaps even as a scouting tool. What do you think?

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    I had no idea those things could measure bat speed. I thought they worked off of impact. You learn something new every day here at BBF!
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  3. #3
    Unless you are catching the bat with your glove...I am not sure how it reliably measures bat speed....Care to elaborate?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bbrages View Post
    OK, I'll confess that I picked up a "glove radar" off of ebay for fairly cheap. I'm impressed with its consistency. But I understand the concerns here about hurting a youngster who is pitching, so I don't really do much with it.

    I found it in the garage the other day and thought I'd see if it can measure bat speed. So I held it up in front of my youngster and had him take a few cuts... lo and behold, it seemed to give a pretty reliable speed reading.

    So....


    Do you see any value in "gunning" a youngster to check his bat speed? Maybe a way to see if a switch-hitter (which he is) is getting similar power from both sides? Or a tool to help pick out an optimum weight/length of bat (how would you do this)? Or to figure out if a new cue is a step forward or a step back? Now I know that a focus on batspeed is probably going to lead to long, draggy swings (but maybe the tool can prove that a shorter, 90% effort swing has as much batspeed as all-out?)

    My guess is that batspeed is of very limited value; otherwise we'd see the measurement of batspeed used a lot more in the pros, perhaps even as a scouting tool. What do you think?
    What's the point of the measurement??? What does swinging faster bring to the table at that age?

    HS and above maybe, but even then the measurement S/B how he hits not how fast he swings.
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    I don't see the value of measuring anything in a pre teen baseball players except how much fun he has playing the game. Practice to improve. But don't measure anything. Theres no value in measuring prepubescent kids. All the meausrements go out the window when puberty balances the playing field. Then measurements have value.

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    Oh brother! Let's not keep score in games either. Let's not have grades in school. It might hurt their feelings. Sheesh.
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    Quote Originally Posted by songtitle View Post
    Oh brother! Let's not keep score in games either. Let's not have grades in school. It might hurt their feelings. Sheesh.
    What does keeping score have to do with this thread? Kids should learn to win and lose. It's a character lesson. But measuring prepubescent kids like college and pro prospects doesn't make sense.

    An eight year old kid isn't going to sit around discussing bat speed with his friends. This is all about the father. But most fathers won't understand the meaning of the kid's bat speed. High school coaches, college coaches and pro scouts would find measuring an eight year old's bat speed amusing.

    Please explain why an eight year old's bat speed is relevant. He's either getting around on pitching and making quality contact or he's not. If a father ever came to me as a coach and told me his son's bat speed, I would say "Uh huh" as it went in one ear and out the other.

    Perfect Game is the top college prospect and pro recruiting platform. They never gunned my son's bat speed. He was timed in the sixty and had his throwing velocity gunned. I never saw anyone else's bat speed gunned. Coaches and scouts looked at hitters and could see whether they had the bat speed or not. They can look at an athlete and determine what they believe they can improve.
    Last edited by tg643; 02-13-2012 at 03:49 PM.

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    High school coaches, college coaches and pro scouts would find measuring an eight year old's bat speed amusing.
    Why would an 8 yo care about these coaches?

    Perfect Game is the top college prospect and pro recruiting platform. They never gunned my son's bat speed.
    What does PerfectGame have to do with an 8 yr old?

    Why are so many in baseball scared of a simple measuring device?



    Should we ban all measuring devices? What about:
    - Stopwatches
    - Outfield fence
    - Distance markers on the outfield fence

    What age should these be allowed? Is 13 old enough? 18?

    A bat-speed measuring device would prevent many coaches from spewing nonsense, since they couldn't use their cues to create improved swings.

    / soapbox rant over
    Last edited by songtitle; 02-13-2012 at 04:21 PM.
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  9. #9
    I've never seen a radar gun, that wasn't specifically designed for bat speed, reliably measure bat speed. Take whatever readings you're getting with a grain of salt. I don't have any issues with you recording it like some do, but at this age being able to hit the ball matters more than how quickly you can swing!

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    Bat speed is a means to an end, not an end in and of itself, which is why many great hitters don't have best-in-class batspeed.

    Of course, a lack of hits could be indicative of too little bat speed or it could be indicative of too much bat speed.

    The best way to judge whether a hitter's batspeed is sufficient is to see if the are hitting the ball, if they are hitting it hard, and if they are getting hits.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris O'Leary View Post
    which is why many great hitters don't have best-in-class batspeed.
    I assume you aren't going to perpetuate the Pujol's 'bat speed is lower than most' myth? Who are these players?
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    Quote Originally Posted by songtitle View Post
    I assume you aren't going to perpetuate the Pujol's 'bat speed is lower than most' myth? Who are these players?
    Pujols' bat speed is lower than most.

    His bat speed is "only" 87MPH, versus a peak of north of 100 MPH.

    There's a reason why he can hit for both power and average.

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    Quote Originally Posted by songtitle View Post
    Why would an 8 yo care about these coaches?


    What does PerfectGame have to do with an 8 yr old?

    Why are so many in baseball scared of a simple measuring device?



    Should we ban all measuring devices? What about:
    - Stopwatches
    - Outfield fence
    - Distance markers on the outfield fence

    What age should these be allowed? Is 13 old enough? 18?

    A bat-speed measuring device would prevent many coaches from spewing nonsense, since they couldn't use their cues to create improved swings.

    / soapbox rant over
    My point was if things aren't done at higher levels why would it need to be done at the preteen level? But I guess your logic would be the same that has preteen kid pitching more frequently than college and pro pitchers who are physically mature. Afterall we can't compare what might be excessive for a kid with what's excessive for older players.

    No one is afraid of the devices. Experienced people see the absurdity of measuring eight year old bat speed. I would offer measuring an eight year olds bat speed may do more harm than good. The kid may overswing to generate speed while altering his swing mechanics in a negative way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris O'Leary View Post
    Pujols' bat speed is lower than most.

    His bat speed is "only" 87MPH, versus a peak of north of 100 MPH.

    There's a reason why he can hit for both power and average.
    See Bat Speed, Batted Ball Speed (Exit Speed) in MPH by Age Group, look for the "Myth - Albert Pujols bat speed is slower than MLB average" section near the bottom.

    This myth started with those baseball experts at GQ, in their September 2006 GQ article. They confuse his 'bat speed' with another player's 'exit speed'.

    If you look at 2011 'exit speed' for HRs at http://www.hittrackeronline.com/top_sob.php, you will see that Pujols exit speed is among the top at 114.1 mph, compared to the highest exit speed of 118.4 mph.

    Pujols 86.99 speed from the 2006 GQ article is bat speed, not exit speed, and is among the highest in the MLB.
    Last edited by songtitle; 02-13-2012 at 07:16 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tg643 View Post
    The kid may overswing to generate speed while altering his swing mechanics in a negative way.
    That would be the point of measuring wouldn't it? One 'overswing' that generates a slower bat speed, and you would be able to correct it on the very next swing.

    Radar is the only way to determine, accurately and without bias, if your swing is getting better, or worse.

    For example, you would be able to test Boardmember's advice and know right way if it's working... or not
    Last edited by songtitle; 02-13-2012 at 07:55 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by songtitle View Post
    That would be the point of measuring wouldn't it? One 'overswing' that generates a slower bat speed, and you would be able to correct it on the very next swing.
    What??? On an eight year old???

    "Johnny you're 1.5 MPH over on you swing, let's go for 45 this time." ???????????

    Radar is the only way to determine, accurately and without bias, if your swing is getting better, or worse.
    Again, what??? How can you possibly use bat speed to determine effectiveness on an 8 year old? How about just effectiveness?

    You would be able to test Boardmember's advice and know right way if it's working... or not
    Are you suggesting BM uses bat speed to measure effectiveness???
    BM????
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    Quote Originally Posted by songtitle View Post
    That would be the point of measuring wouldn't it? One 'overswing' that generates a slower bat speed, and you would be able to correct it on the very next swing.

    Radar is the only way to determine, accurately and without bias, if your swing is getting better, or worse.

    You would be able to test Boardmember's advice and know right way if it's working... or not
    I give up. You win. You're right. One thing I've noticed on this site is you love to argue and question the experience of people who have been through the journey and/or have coached at higher levels. I defer to your kiddie ball expertise.

    On another board a handful of 8th and 9th grade parents are telling posters of college and pro players, travel coaches and pro scouts how it is. It's much more entertaining at that level. If I posted measuring an 8yo's bat speed on that site it would be ridiculed as foolishness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tg643 View Post
    I give up. You win. You're right. One thing I've noticed on this site is you love to argue and question the experience of people who have been through the journey and/or have coached at higher levels. I defer to your kiddie ball expertise.

    On another board a handful of 8th and 9th grade parents are telling posters of college and pro players, travel coaches and pro scouts how it is. It's much more entertaining at that level. If I posted measuring an 8yo's bat speed on that site it would be ridiculed as foolishness.
    I believe it is here as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tg643 View Post
    On another board a handful of 8th and 9th grade parents are telling posters of college and pro players, travel coaches and pro scouts how it is.
    Tg, you know as well as anyone this is the way it is at most discussion boards and the reason many unmoderated boards fall apart.

    Ever hear the joke about the old bull and the young bull......???
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    Quote Originally Posted by tg643 View Post
    I give up. You win. You're right. One thing I've noticed on this site is you love to argue and question the experience of people who have been through the journey and/or have coached at higher levels. I defer to your kiddie ball expertise.
    You must think I am someone else.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Patterson View Post
    What??? On an eight year old???

    "Johnny you're 1.5 MPH over on you swing, let's go for 45 this time." ???????????
    I am assuming a normal person (vs some imagined lunatic), would say "Johnny, let's try the tip that Jake gave us and see if it helps...."
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    Back to the OP... bbrages, I would recommend using radar to test everyone's pet theories.

    I used radar on my son for pitching (only) starting around 10yo (gasp!!). (tg, I never gave these readings to Jerry at PG, though). We would try something, measure it, and if it was faster, we kept it (unless it was an injurious maneuver).

    It worked out for little song.

    Pitching instructors don't like to use measurement devices, because most of them don't know what they are talking about.

    If I was smart, I would have used my gun during batting as well. Good luck.
    Last edited by songtitle; 02-13-2012 at 07:57 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by songtitle View Post
    I am assuming a normal person (vs some imagined lunatic), would say "Johnny, let's try the tip that Jake gave us and see if it helps...."
    I'm uncertain this even makes sense...
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    Quote Originally Posted by songtitle View Post
    See Bat Speed, Batted Ball Speed (Exit Speed) in MPH by Age Group, look for the "Myth - Albert Pujols bat speed is slower than MLB average" section near the bottom.

    This myth started with those baseball experts at GQ, in their September 2006 GQ article. They confuse his 'bat speed' with another player's 'exit speed'.

    If you look at 2011 'exit speed' for HRs at http://www.hittrackeronline.com/top_sob.php, you will see that Pujols exit speed is among the top at 114.1 mph, compared to the highest exit speed of 118.4 mph.

    Pujols 86.99 speed from the 2006 GQ article is bat speed, not exit speed, and is among the highest in the MLB.
    You're comparing apples and oranges by comparing bat speed and ball exit speed.

    It's not mutually exclusive to have average bat speed and top-level ball exit speed.[1]

    If you hit a ball squarely, you are going to get more exit speed than if you miss it by just a bit.

    [1] A scientist says as much in the GQ article.
    Last edited by Chris O'Leary; 02-13-2012 at 08:00 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by songtitle View Post
    Back to the OP... bbrages, I would recommend using radar to test everyone's pet theories.

    I used radar on my son for pitching (only) starting around 10yo (gasp!!). (tg, I never gave these readings to Jerry at PG, though). We would try something, measure it, and if it was faster, we kept it (unless it was an injurious maneuver).

    It worked out for little song.

    Pitching instructors and coaches don't like to use measurement devices, because most of them don't know what they are talking about.

    If I was smart, I would have used my gun during batting as well. Good luck.
    Hopefully, everyone sees this advice for what it is... Personally, I feel it's bad at this age.
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