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Monday, October 22, 2012

Analyzing High-Speed Video from NLCS

This page contains clips of high-speed video from the 2012 NLCS. Fox Sports is using a 5000 frames/sec camera. The super-slo-mo nature of the images often reveals some interesting physics that is invisible to the naked eye. Take a look at some of the interesting clips I have found along with my physics explanation of what is going on.

zempf Posted: October 22, 2012 at 12:16 PM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: general, nlcs

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   1. dr. scott Posted: October 22, 2012 at 01:24 PM (#4279009)
Im at work, and they block all videos, but ive been very impressed by the High speed videos Fox has shown this year. really cool stuff. i specifically remember a scutaro broken bat that was quite amazing....
   2. zempf Posted: October 22, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4279033)
These are actually (very large) animated GIFs, and they do have a clip of that Scutaro broken bat.
   3. tshipman Posted: October 22, 2012 at 01:57 PM (#4279049)
Cool page, but those GIFs take forever to load. The purpose of an animated GIF is compression. Using 10mb pictures means you're failing at GIFs.

I will say that I've been impressed with Fox's super slo-mo cam.
   4. Rants Mulliniks Posted: October 22, 2012 at 02:56 PM (#4279117)
One thing I've noticed from those super slo-mo broken bat shots is how many players are holding their bat incorrectly. The bat should always be held so the ball strikes it parallel to the grain direction. You may remember your little league coach (if you're old enough to have used a wood bat) telling you to the hold the bat with the label up, for this reason. The third video in the article show's this perfectly - you can see of the bat slabs off, indicating the grain direction is running 90° from where it should be.
   5. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: October 22, 2012 at 03:12 PM (#4279137)
One thing I've noticed from those super slo-mo broken bat shots is how many players are holding their bat incorrectly. The bat should always be held so the ball strikes it parallel to the grain direction. You may remember your little league coach (if you're old enough to have used a wood bat) telling you to the hold the bat with the label up, for this reason. The third video in the article show's this perfectly - you can see of the bat slabs off, indicating the grain direction is running 90° from where it should be.

It's possible that none of these players are old enough to have played with a wooden bat in Little League. By the time they get to the pros, nobody's going to tell them, "You're holding the bat the wrong way."
   6. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: October 22, 2012 at 03:13 PM (#4279141)
These are incredibly cool. One thing they show is something that I always assumed was true but have never been able to see in real-time: the reason a bat stings the #### out of your hands sometimes is that the bat is rattling back and forth and essentially slapping you over and over. Another interesting thing is the way Scutaro's bat slows down after hitting the ball in the last GIF. That makes sense, but there's usually no sensory experience of having it happen when you play.
   7. smileyy Posted: October 22, 2012 at 03:48 PM (#4279178)
By the time they get to the pros, nobody's going to tell them, "You're holding the bat the wrong way."


An ego-less Rookie/A-ball employee who tells new pros how to hold their bat is the new market inefficiency.
   8. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: October 22, 2012 at 04:21 PM (#4279218)
Another interesting thing is the way Scutaro's bat slows down after hitting the ball in the last GIF. That makes sense, but there's usually no sensory experience of having it happen when you play.

This is why it's weird to me that more MLB guys don't use those "fan" or "chute" things for their bats, instead of weighted donuts, in the on-deck circle.* The fan / chute forces you to really push all the way through the ball, without altering the bat's weight. The donuts create more momentum, which I'd think would be training you to quit on your swing. The fan/chutes are not new things - there's film of Reggie! using a "fan" on deck when he was in the World Series with the A's.

* Though "They look silly, and nobody else uses them" would be my guesses.
   9. jacjacatk Posted: October 22, 2012 at 05:00 PM (#4279250)
One thing I've noticed from those super slo-mo broken bat shots is how many players are holding their bat incorrectly. The bat should always be held so the ball strikes it parallel to the grain direction. You may remember your little league coach (if you're old enough to have used a wood bat) telling you to the hold the bat with the label up, for this reason. The third video in the article show's this perfectly - you can see of the bat slabs off, indicating the grain direction is running 90° from where it should be.


Too lazy to look it up now, but I seem to recall reading that the advice for maple bats is opposite that of ash for reasons having to do with how they break and/or the composition of the grain, but they still print the label in the same place on both, on the face of the grain.
   10. Bhaakon Posted: October 22, 2012 at 07:03 PM (#4279372)
This is why it's weird to me that more MLB guys don't use those "fan" or "chute" things for their bats, instead of weighted donuts, in the on-deck circle.* The fan / chute forces you to really push all the way through the ball, without altering the bat's weight. The donuts create more momentum, which I'd think would be training you to quit on your swing. The fan/chutes are not new things - there's film of Reggie! using a "fan" on deck when he was in the World Series with the A's.


I'm not. There's a lot of research out there proving that swinging with weights actually decreases bat speed, and batting coaches know it, but on deck circle routines remain more or less sacrosanct. Players don't like to change the habits that got them to the majors (or even just got them drafted), and coaches learn to pick their battles.

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