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Hitting a fastball--what are the upper limits of mph?

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  • Hitting a fastball--what are the upper limits of mph?

    For this thread, assume a robotic pitcher could deliver consistent mph and location (a dinner-plate sized zone at the center of the plate), with no movement on the pitches. Normal pitching distance.

    What are the physical/neurological limits of a pro batter?

    --As measured by the % of pitches that they'd square up (hard grounders; line drives; hard-hit flies--yeah, it's subjective) at 90mph/95mph/100mph/105mph


    My guess. Hypothetically:
    MLB'ers could square up 90% of 90mph fastballs off the robot.
    60% of 95mph fastballs off the robot.
    20% of 100mph fastballs off the robot.
    5% of 105mph fastballs off the robot
    [pure luck--close eyes, swing hard]
    Skip

  • #2
    I think that once they have timed the pitches coming in on a repetitive nature, it doesn't matter the speed, they will consistentantily square up on it

    Comment


    • #3
      I think that Major League batters would do a lot better than that. I am a 57 year old man who is way past his prime and even I can hit a 90 mph fastball from a pitching machine. (I doubt that I could hit one from a real live human pitcher) I would assume that most professional batters could easily hit a 105 mph ball from a machine once they got the timing down.

      Comment


      • #4
        Are you talking realistic speeds(upper limit) that a human could throw or at what speed is in humanly impossible for a batter to catch up to it? At some point, a ball can be too fast to catch up to, but it may not be possible for a human to throw it that fast.
        Last edited by cps; 01-22-2010, 11:06 AM. Reason: spelling

        Comment


        • #5
          Yeah from a machine they could hit 110+ I think. With a machine you have a lot more time since location and speed are quite constant. That means you start the swing at an earlier point of the ball flight.

          At the point where yyou start a swing on a machine when you are grooved in you don't even know whether it's a ball or stike on a live pitch.

          With live pitches I've seen Mark mcgwire hit a 104 mph pitch from randy into the stands(youtube), so it's possible even with live pitching. I guess with machines those guys could go even higher.
          I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

          Comment


          • #6
            my robo-son can hit anything your robo-pitcher can deal.

            http://www.break.com/index/first_bas...ing_robot.html

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by dominik View Post
              With live pitches I've seen Mark mcgwire hit a 104 mph pitch from randy into the stands(youtube)
              The fastest pitch I see for Randy is 102 in 2004. Do you have the details on this? The only pitchers over 103 mph in a MLB stadium that I know of are Ryan, Feller, Zumaya.
              efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

              Comment


              • #8
                My guesstimate are based on my belief that the human ability to react on-time and precisely to a pitched ball falls off very rapidly at the upper ends of the speed spectrum.

                In other words, discounting extra movement, a 100mph pitch is much harder to square up than a 95mph because the faster pitch approaches the human limits, mostly having to do with visual acuity--being able to pick the ball up out of the hand, and track an object that is beginning to look like a blur rather than a ball.

                The difference, IMO, is not a simple linear increase in difficulty based on a proportional difference in reaction time.

                When a pitcher exceed 95mph, each addtl mph means a LOT.
                Skip

                Comment


                • #9
                  I still hit once in a while for fun. I'm not in great shape and so perhaps Harley is in better shape. Hitting 90 mph is not an easy feat when talking about squaring up. In HS I hit off of a couple that hit high 80s and low 90s with 3 or 4 playing professionally. Heck that was hard then and they were not trying to out think us. Pure gas. So, the average person who isn't swinging it often would struggle with 90 imho. For the pro, 90 would be centered and owned. I'd say that if that robot is as precise as stated in the op, then they'd center 100 more times than not because of the ability to know exactly where the pitch is going to be. I might suggest that after 100 it'd get harder. Why? Anyone remember the first time you hit off of someone who really threw 90+? Oh, we've all hit off of the guy throwing 86 but claiming to throw 90. That first 90+ mph I saw almost made me sick. Then, it was gut check time to step up.
                  Granny said Sonny stick to your guns if you believe in something no matter what. Because it's better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you're not.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Coach C View Post
                    my robo-son can hit anything your robo-pitcher can deal.

                    http://www.break.com/index/first_bas...ing_robot.html
                    Bring it on! Here's a prototype of my son.

                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTqfnGbtOXY

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cannonball View Post
                      I still hit once in a while for fun. I'm not in great shape and so perhaps Harley is in better shape. Hitting 90 mph is not an easy feat when talking about squaring up. In HS I hit off of a couple that hit high 80s and low 90s with 3 or 4 playing professionally. Heck that was hard then and they were not trying to out think us. Pure gas. So, the average person who isn't swinging it often would struggle with 90 imho. For the pro, 90 would be centered and owned. I'd say that if that robot is as precise as stated in the op, then they'd center 100 more times than not because of the ability to know exactly where the pitch is going to be. I might suggest that after 100 it'd get harder. Why? Anyone remember the first time you hit off of someone who really threw 90+? Oh, we've all hit off of the guy throwing 86 but claiming to throw 90. That first 90+ mph I saw almost made me sick. Then, it was gut check time to step up.
                      I think you’re pretty much right on. Since the OP put the criteria of it being a pro batter, I don’t see any reason why velocities of even 100 would pose a problem. Would they square up on every single one? I doubt it, but since squaring up on every swing even from a tee is next to impossible, I don’t see a problem.
                      The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Here is the machine we practice off of :
                        Attached Files
                        Granny said Sonny stick to your guns if you believe in something no matter what. Because it's better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you're not.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by azmatsfan View Post
                          Bring it on! Here's a prototype of my son.

                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTqfnGbtOXY
                          very impressive velo for his size
                          I have an anti-bat-drag pneumatic pump in transit, after the install lets get some bp in.
                          Last edited by Coach C; 01-22-2010, 01:18 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Cannonball View Post
                            Here is the machine we practice off of :
                            Holy cow I bet you could launch balls over the Arch with that!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Cannonball View Post
                              I still hit once in a while for fun. I'm not in great shape and so perhaps Harley is in better shape. Hitting 90 mph is not an easy feat when talking about squaring up. In HS I hit off of a couple that hit high 80s and low 90s with 3 or 4 playing professionally. Heck that was hard then and they were not trying to out think us. Pure gas. So, the average person who isn't swinging it often would struggle with 90 imho. For the pro, 90 would be centered and owned. I'd say that if that robot is as precise as stated in the op, then they'd center 100 more times than not because of the ability to know exactly where the pitch is going to be. I might suggest that after 100 it'd get harder. Why? Anyone remember the first time you hit off of someone who really threw 90+? Oh, we've all hit off of the guy throwing 86 but claiming to throw 90. That first 90+ mph I saw almost made me sick. Then, it was gut check time to step up.
                              Cannonball, I'm sure that you could still hit a 90 mph ball coming out of a machine. The machine my team uses is so accurate that after you see a few pitches, you know exactly where it's going to be the next time and when it's going to get there. However, I doubt I could hit off of a human throwing anything over 80 because I have no idea where that ball is going to end up and I don't know at what speed it's going to be traveling.

                              Comment

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