Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

SF Gate: Multimedia (image)

This makes me want to take a trip to the batting cage.  I was a fair hitter in high school, but now I have a tough time making hard contact off live pitching.

Sean Forman Posted: October 23, 2002 at 05:00 AM | 1 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags:

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Bangkok9 eschews 1 from Column A Posted: October 23, 2002 at 07:12 AM (#177364)
The accompanying article is a pretty good read also.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2002/10/21/SP68726.DTL&type=sports

Found this nugget interesting: "Bonds may get a head start from... a vast store of 'pitch templates' -- pictures in his head of particular pitches and the associated swing that connects with each pitch."

This would certainly make sense as you couldn't hope to hit a pitch if you didn't have some certainty of where it was going to be at the plate. But that seems to beg the question of what other information a hitter absorbs and processes to help him guage whether a pitch should be swung at and which swing template to use.

If I remember correctly a 4-seam fastball rides more [drops less] than a 2-seam fast ball because of the greater air resitance on the underside of the ball. But the mechanics of the delivery should be the same and the performance difference of the ball in flight should be imperceptible until after the swing has been started. The fact that anyone can adjust to the inch or two difference in location is pretty staggering.

But how does the batter sort all that out? Does a 4-seamer make the ball look just a little bit redder because of the extra seams? Or can the mind actually perceive the rotation of the ball even if it's just a blur to the conscious mind?

They said Ted Williams could see the rotation [and that he hated movies because of the way they flickered] and if that's more than apocryphal then it's evidence of a 'rate of perception' -- some people 'see faster' than others. I can see where a faster frame-rate would be better since you'd get more frames per distance traveled and have a better identification of the type of pitch.

Now really going out on a limb, could it be possible that every pitcher has a more or less individual rotational signature on his pitches? You hear about guys losing arm strength, but that would only affect pitch speed. Do guys ever gain or lose wrist strength, which I'd think is where most of the rotation rate of the pitch is generated?

What I'm thinking is that there may be some sort of relationship between a batter's frame-rate of perception and a pitcher's rotational rate, and that could explain why certain batter-pitcher matchups are so lop-sided even when the players' competencies are generally different. [Yes, I'm trying to hypothesize 'ownage' -- the slugger who can't hit the journeyman pitcher or the light-hitting utility man who kills the Cy Younger.]

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Infinite Joost (Voxter)
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - January 2015
(1726 - 1:10pm, Feb 01)
Last: nick swisher hygiene

NewsblogPuig says Cardinals are Dodgers' biggest adversary
(35 - 1:06pm, Feb 01)
Last: Into the Void

NewsblogOT: Soccer January 2015
(434 - 1:04pm, Feb 01)
Last: The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB)

NewsblogA platoon in right field could render Alex Rodriguez unnecessary - Pinstripe Alley
(11 - 12:45pm, Feb 01)
Last: toratoratora

NewsblogOT: NFL/NHL thread
(11758 - 12:44pm, Feb 01)
Last: puck

NewsblogPitchfork: Jack White Gets His Own Baseball Card
(264 - 12:18pm, Feb 01)
Last: Gonfalon Bubble

NewsblogOT - Politics January 2015 - Mario Cuomo, New York Governor and Minor League Ballplayer, Dies at 82
(4330 - 12:04pm, Feb 01)
Last: BDC

NewsblogOT: NBC.news: Valve isn’t making one gaming console, but multiple ‘Steam machines’
(1514 - 11:38am, Feb 01)
Last: DJS and the Infinite Sadness

NewsblogWhere does the Mets' future lay? A look at the farm system and prospects | NJ.com
(4 - 11:17am, Feb 01)
Last: Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee

NewsblogJohn D'Acquisto Remembers the Late Charlie Williams
(12 - 11:11am, Feb 01)
Last: Batman

NewsblogMiLB.com: Mariners Prospect Arrested After ABL Brawl
(7 - 11:01am, Feb 01)
Last: Greg K

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1902 Discussion
(12 - 10:10am, Feb 01)
Last: MrC.

NewsblogMinor League Legend Rocky Bridges Dies at 87
(15 - 8:38am, Feb 01)
Last: What's the realistic upside, RMc?

NewsblogA cut above: Best tools of Top 100 Prospects list | MLB.com
(3 - 2:04am, Feb 01)
Last: Dog on the sidewalk

NewsblogIs old school Pat Gillick the right man for his new job?
(43 - 10:24pm, Jan 31)
Last: bbmck

Page rendered in 0.1764 seconds
47 querie(s) executed