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

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  • 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?

  • #2
    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!
    efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

    Comment


    • #3
      Unless you are catching the bat with your glove...I am not sure how it reliably measures bat speed....Care to elaborate?

      Comment


      • #4
        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.
        "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
        - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
        Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

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        • #5
          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.

          Comment


          • #6
            Oh brother! Let's not keep score in games either. Let's not have grades in school. It might hurt their feelings. Sheesh.
            efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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            • #7
              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, 02:49 PM.

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              • #8
                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, 03:21 PM.
                efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

                Comment


                • #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!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    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.
                    Hitting Coordinator for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

                    I also work with the pitchers who are dealing with injury problems.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      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?
                      efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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                      • #12
                        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.
                        Hitting Coordinator for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

                        I also work with the pitchers who are dealing with injury problems.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          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.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            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, 06:16 PM.
                            efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              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, 06:55 PM.
                              efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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