Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

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

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.

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


Thanks to
for his generous support.


You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOakland A's acquire Jed Lowrie from Houston Astros for RHP Brendan McCurry
(6 - 10:16pm, Nov 25)
Last: Joyful Calculus Instructor

NewsblogComcast takes shot at Yankees in dispute as cable operator says not many folks watching the games on YES
(3 - 10:13pm, Nov 25)
Last: JE (Jason)

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - November 2015
(1193 - 10:03pm, Nov 25)
Last: Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play

NewsblogTommy Hutton out as Miami Marlins TV analyst after 19 years | Miami Herald
(20 - 9:46pm, Nov 25)
Last: Infinite Yost (Voxter)

(780 - 9:38pm, Nov 25)
Last: JE (Jason)

NewsblogStarting pitchers should throw fewer innings |
(45 - 9:10pm, Nov 25)
Last: bobm

NewsblogReport: MLB in 'advanced negotiations' to play games in London
(41 - 8:45pm, Nov 25)
Last: the Hugh Jorgan returns

NewsblogAlex Avila lands with Chicago White Sox
(4 - 7:43pm, Nov 25)
Last: Greg K

NewsblogFree-agent starters Red Sox may try to sign |
(30 - 6:46pm, Nov 25)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogOne way to help improve the Red Sox pitching in 2016: Keep Jackie Bradley
(5 - 6:46pm, Nov 25)
Last: tfbg9

NewsblogRed Sox prospect Yoan Moncada is more muscle than man | For The Win
(23 - 6:36pm, Nov 25)
Last: SY Ruined School Lunches!

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-25-2015
(36 - 5:17pm, Nov 25)
Last: just plain joe

NewsblogOffseason plotting for Cubs and White Sox picks up steam at GM meetings - Chicago Tribune
(11 - 5:15pm, Nov 25)
Last: SouthSideRyan

NewsblogMuñoz’s path to the Phillies doesn't often happen
(6 - 4:31pm, Nov 25)
Last: Zach

NewsblogWin a Free Copy of THT 2016! | FanGraphs Baseball
(4 - 3:42pm, Nov 25)
Last: Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC)

Page rendered in 0.2883 seconds
46 querie(s) executed