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What in the EV are We Talking About? with Perry Husband Part 1
Welcome to The Baseball Awakening Podcast, where we dive into the raw, unfiltered, unsexy side of player development.
Perry Husband is a pioneer in the world of baseball science as he introduced many of the modern hitting metrics to include exit velocity and launch angle. Perry, also discovery through the discovery of effective velocity there were many pitching breakthrough to include the EV tunnel , located adjusted speed, and many other. Perry also had written a handful of books and design a handful of programs which can be found on hittingisaguess.com
Website: Hitting is a Guess
In Part 1 of this Conversation Perry talks about:
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Geoff: On today’s show, we interview Perry Husband. We talk hitting, pitching EV – effective velocity.
Intro: Welcome to another episode of The Baseball Awakening Podcast where we dive into the raw, unfiltered, unsexy side of player development. Get ready for some knowledge bombs with your host, Geoff Rottmayer.
Geoff: Welcome to the Baseball Awakening Podcast, I am Geoff Rottmayer and today we are sitting here with Perry Husband with hittingisaguess.com Again, that is hittingisaguess.com. Perry has a very long bio, but I’m going to shorten it up. Mr. Husband is a pioneer in the world, the baseball science as he introduced many of the modern hitting metrics to include exit velocity and launch angle Perry, also discovery through the discovery of effective velocity there were many pitching breakthroughs to include the EV tunnel, located adjusted speed, and many other. Perry also had written a handful of books and design a handful of programs which can be found on hittingisaguess.com. But with all that Mr. Perry Husband. How are you, sir?
Geoff: I’m excited to have you on it and you are. You Sir. Area pioneer in the world of baseball science, you introduced a lot of the metric that we use in today’s game, such as exit velocity, launch angle effect velocity, broth to the tunneling and stuff like that. But why don’t you kind of tell our listeners in a nutshell, if someone were to ask you what you do, how would you define what you do?
Perry: I would think at the most core level. I’m a baseball instructor. You know, that’s how it all started was with me doing. I had a little baseball school and enjoying lessons and clinics and testing. I started making all these weird Aha moments, um, because like you, when you look at when you look at hitting the way I look at it and that is I wanted to find out like everybody else, w w what the best mechanics work and the best mechanics needed to be tested. So that’s why I started with the exit velocity and we got j bell who was um, 17 years, big leaguer at the time and was with the diamondbacks, but he was, he was my roommate in minor league baseball and I got him to do a video with us which was just kind of a before and after we tested a swing, put it on. I’m on film with exit velocity. And then we also added an element of, of seeing how close to perfect he could make contact both off the tee and in life. And so in, when you start looking at, at it that closely, we, we put a target 50 feet away. So if you could just picture the back of a cage. We had a, we had a target set up to where if he hit it perfectly, it was, it was a small little area about the size of the strike zone, but at 50 feet away that’s pretty, that’s pretty minute. And so he, his job was to try to hit it perfectly in the middle and we measured that. We looked at the exit speed, how hard it was coming off the bat. We looked at how far right or left, how far up or down. So the launch angle was, was something that was built into the target and when, when we started looking at it super closely, there was just, all these questions started coming up was, you know, if it’s that hard to hit a ball sitting on a tee that a major league baseball player has trouble hitting, I’m more than three out of, in fact it was actually one out of 10 was perfect and that, that, that was what I had found in all my working with kids was that it’s just not easy to hit a ball perfect even off the tee. So we started looking at live stuff at that point and thinking, um, you know, if it’s that hard off the tee, it’s got to be ridiculously hard when guys are throwing 95 miles an hour with, with sink in and cut and you know, all the different ways that the ball can move it. It’s got to be a nightmare. So the more I started looking into it, the more things started not to make sense, in other words, I didn’t think that that hitter could actually do all the things that the top hitting instructors we’re talking about, you know, get your foot down early, let the ball travel. Um, and it just didn’t seem like there was that much time to be able to, to have all that take place and still be 100 percent on time. So that’s when I really started looking at the pitching side of it was through testing to find out what hitters could and couldn’t do. And that list was pretty long actually. So I guess to answer your question, I’m a baseball instructor that made some weird discoveries about pitch speeds and kind of had to take it to the next level in order to let the rest of the world know about what was really going on with the interaction between a pitcher and a hitter.
Geoff: Nice. Then and why, in your mind, what was the idea behind wanting to know what, what one, exit velocity is?
Perry: Well, I was always a small player as a player and it always bothered me because I knew I hit the ball harder than most people around me, but as long as you’re small in mine. In my era, I played at Cal State Northridge and 2000 we are actually hitting, sorry, 2000 84. We won the national championship and up until that, up until that moment, up until the college world series, I had no idea that I would ever get drafted even though I really felt like I was one of the better players and around I because I was small and that time if you’re not 6’4, you’re not getting drafted. And you know, it was just, it was simple as that. And, and that always bothered me. It was, it was a little bit on the Moneyball side. Like I want to prove that there are guys pound for pound that are much better players than the guys you’re drafting just because they’re. They fit the mold. And so that was part of it was to kind of start proving that some of the players that I was working with were actually really good, even though they didn’t fit that mold, but also, um, it was a way to, to quantify, I mean, that kid right there is, is making swings that I’ve worked with them on and they would go to another coach and the coach would tell them, all of a sudden you can’t, you can’t hit with that, with that swing here. And, and in my mind, I’m like, what are you talking about that kids better than anybody you have on your club and let’s measure it and find out. And that’s, that’s kind of where that started was kind of a way to end arguments because when you talk about hitting, you open up a huge can of worms. Even in today’s technology with the ability to test everything there still arguments about what the best mechanics are.
Geoff: It’s crazy. I don’t get it, but for another time. So with the idea of trying to hit the ball 100 percent on time, off a tee, what was that thought? Um, were you trying to find the right mechanics or were you trying to see what, what was, what was the goal? What were you trying to improve?
Perry: Yeah, it was mechanical at first for sure it was what mechanics are going to create the very best contact. And that means the hardest contact that means the most consistent contact that means the best launch angle. And so what, what is it that causes that? And it was, it was mechanically based for sure. I, I was up, I spent about four and a half or five years as a golf pro after I got out of, um, after the minor leagues I have, I taught golf for about almost five years and I really learned to hit after I played, after I learned how to hit a golf ball because it’s so precise and I realize that baseball is so imprecise and that, that was one of the reasons why everything that I did was based around measuring was based around, well, let’s find out if you think that that mechanic is the best one and let’s test it and find out. And what I kept finding over and over and over again was, will no, it’s not, that’s not the best method because, um, it doesn’t produce as much exit velocity and when, you know, when you squish the bug on your winning, when you spin on your back foot and squish the bug, you lose somewhere between three and 11 miles an hour of exit speed and there are still players in the big leagues that do that. And when you look at their statistics, they will take a fastball right down central and foul it off about 50 percent of the time, which is one of those things that happens when with that mechanic, it also lets them get underneath the ball. And so they, they tend to hit weaker ground balls and they do hit a lot of homers, but they, when they miss hit it slightly, it results in one of those foul tips or a ball that’s hit weekly. Um, so it was definitely mechanically based, but I soon found out that there was a lot more to it than just the mechanic’s side of it.
Geoff: I got a lot of golf. W, what would the biggest takeaway from golf that you tried? Could. One of the questions I was going to ask, what? What made you try different things and you kind of answered that with golf. So what would the biggest thing that you saw with the golf that you tried with the baseball swing?
Perry: Well, in the golf swing, if you’re, if you’re one degree off, if your clubface is one degree off at impact, you’re a long ways away, right? Or left, you know, you, you, you simply can’t play. If you can’t get the club back to pretty much square. I mean within one degree you’re pretty good. But the second you get to two or three degrees away from, from perfect contact, you can no longer play this game at a high level because you’re going to be spraying the ball all over the yard. So the precision of it was something that fascinated me when I was when I was learning, even when I was playing, when I was still playing. I, uh, my brother owned some golf courses in southern California and me, I worked, that’s where I worked at CAA. And during college, so every time I picked up a club I was getting a lesson, so I learned the game really quickly and so I would hit balls practice a lot even when I was playing in college. And, and during that time I started making some realizations about how incredibly difficult it is to hit a ball pure with the golf swing. And then it, I started to kind of think about it a little bit as far as baseball was concerned, but I didn’t really put it all together until, until after my baseball career was kind of over. And I started teaching and when I started teaching, then I started realizing how many huge correlations there are. You know, when you learn how to hit a golf ball a long way, you have to stretch all the right rubber bands in your body and the ball just sitting there, right? So it’s all you. And so everything good or bad that happens is you. And so you realize that you have to, if you want to hit the ball 300 yards, you better do a lot of things exactly right. And so every movement is pretty precise. And in golf, they don’t argue too much. I mean, some, there are some peripheral things, but put, by and large, a long time ago, they agreed that you need to release off your backside, you need to stretch your lead arm and lock it out in order to maximize the ability to repeat your move and to be able to stretch all the right rubber bands. So everybody does that. Not One player doesn’t do that. And that’s the one thing about golf that fascinated me was they measure it and then um, they do it. And in baseball, there are so many different swings in the game. It’s, it’s actually less so now than it was back when I was playing. But they’re there. There’s still a, there are still huge arguments about mechanical issues. But the reason is that nobody’s actually ever tested anything to the degree as we have. Um, you know, we’re not out there in a big way just yet. I think it’s just a matter of time. But the mechanical side of hitting is, is really, in my opinion. There’s a lot of myths out there. There are a lot of things that if you just test them, you’re going to find that, that, that philosophy does not hold water. It doesn’t, it doesn’t test out, can’t hit it as consistent. You’re not going to hit it as hard. And, and so that, that’s Kinda the that’s the basis of, of the correlation in putting in golf. It’s like I’m this May, this may actually help you a lot. I don’t know if you’ve ever played golf, but you got a ball sitting there and it doesn’t move for the most part. It just sits there and, and you, you load up and you make your best move at it. And if you’re really, really good, you hit it. Uh, I think Jack Nicholas said in a round of 69, he would average six perfect shots, six shots that he felt like he absolutely hit perfectly pure and, but all the rest or Mrs. Right? And so it becomes, uh, uh, the understanding is that the better your swing is, the better I missed the ball. And even though I might hit that at 98 percent of me, most of my purest a contact, that’s not 100 percent and that might be good enough. And that’s what, that’s where we’ve gotten to in baseball. Okay. Is that. It’s good enough. It’s good enough to get me there. It’s good enough to get me that contract. So why would I ever change it? There are guys in the big leagues that might hit 100 homeowners if they knew if they really made some adjustments. But we’ll, we’ll, we’ll get into that in a second. But, but now picture that golf ball in the middle of my backswing, somebody moves the ball right and then move it closer to me and they move it higher by six inches, let’s say. So in the middle of my swing, all of a sudden now I have a new contact point and now I’m gonna have to adjust my swing in order to get the clubface to that new location. So I’m going to lose power. I’m going to not swing at it as hard because now I’m adjusting my swing. And, and it’s very unlikely that I’m going to hit it all that solid because now everything’s changed, right? That’s what hitting a baseball is like is you load up just like in golf, but now here comes the ball and we don’t know where it’s going yet. We don’t know how fast we don’t know in what area and we. So we have to wait to see what pitch it is and when we see what pitch it is, now we have a split second to readjust the swing and try to hit it. And that’s what it is. That’s the that’s the philosophy all around the Internet. If you listen to guys talk, I’ve had a lot of discussions on twitter, whatever. And that’s their basic philosophy is to see the ball away and adjust. In other words, look, look to try to hit the ball to right field. If you’re writing in a hitter and then when the balls inside you just adjust your swing to hit it. But the problem with that is that you’re only at about 70 or 75 percent of your Max when you do that. So if you look at JD Martinez, every time he brings his hands in and adjusts to an insight fastball, he averages about 87 miles an hour of, of exit velocity in there, which is only about 75 or 77 percent of his Max. Aaron Judge is the same. He’s 75 percent of his Max when he draws his hands in to hit an insight basketball. So regardless of what anybody says, yes you can hit it, but there is a number that says what’s perfect and 75 percent isn’t anywhere near right for most mortals. That’s not even a home or you can’t even hit a homer. 80 seven doesn’t leave the yard. So if, if everybody through JD Martinez nothing but fastballs in and he kept the same approach, he wouldn’t, obviously he would adjust. But if, if he kept the same approach, he would have a very difficult time hitting a ball over 75 percent of his, his Max. So that philosophy doesn’t really work and it and it. And the only reason it works at all because obviously, it works for JD Martinez, is, is that pitching is still in the stone age when it comes to understanding what they’re doing. They’re throwing a lot of balls in the same area that that matches what JD Martinez, his thought processes. So if you could picture your JD with the ball on the tee, pitchers are throwing a lot of pitches that match his perfect spot on the, on the tee, if that makes any sense. So they’re throwing pitches that are going in the same angle as his bat. So when a fastball heading down at the bottom of the zone is somewhere between seven and 12 degrees downward and the slider is going to be a little more than that down and the curveball more than that. And, and so if you just swing the bat that’s somewhere between eight and 14 degrees, you’re going to get a lot of pitches in the big leagues that match your swing plane. And that’s, that’s why mechanics can work different mechanical ideas can work because there are so many possibilities of the way pitchers are going to pitch you. Um, I mean it’s okay if you’re at 75 percent of that pitch if nobody’s throws that pitch to you, right? Who Cares? If I’m only going to get that one in 10, who cares? I’m going to focus on the area that makes the most sense. And that’s what’s going on in major league baseball right now. There’s a lot of guys whose careers have been made based on really bad pitching philosophy that’s going to change pretty soon though. Trust me that, that, that part of that part of it is going to come out really soon. The idea that pitchers are still in the dark when it comes to the way they go about their business, but, but that’s why mechanical inefficiencies can survive is because the world of baseball, the guy that’s, that’s attacking them doesn’t know their weakness. They pitch to their strengths instead of to their opponents. The obvious weakness that it’s actually not that obvious unless you look at it like I do. It’s really kinda hard to see because you look at JD Martinez, you think that Guy Awesome, right? There’s nothing he can’t do. He can hit every pitch. He hit fastballs, curveballs, sliders, and all of that’s true, but it there, it doesn’t hit all of those in places that, that would. Um, if you were an EV, if you’re a black belt ineffective velocity, you wouldn’t throw pitches that are anywhere near where he, where it’s gonna match his bat path or the speed that he’s prepared to hit, but right now that’s what, that’s the way pitchers go about it, is they don’t look at it through the right lens in my opinion,
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Geoff: I liked how you explained the concept of a ball on a tee and imagine it and moving and having to make an adjustment to do that. The I think that the great visual and I can see how you’re looking at it. So, so with that approach, looking away and looking in, we’re now talking about looking for a certain pitch at a certain speed. Would that, would that be correct?
Perry: Well, every hitter does that. Whether they know that, that or not. And when you test players, like I have the Boston red sox coach, Tim Hires, he and I about 20 some years ago, I think it was 2003. I can’t, I’ll have to look at data. But we did a, we did a test. He, he had uh, he was running at that time, a huge facility in, in Georgia. And right near it was about 10 minutes away from the perfect game event that’s happened in east Cobb where every literally every kid in America that is, that the high school age player goes through this tournament. It’s a huge showcase thing for perfect games. And we took 192 players and we tested them at his facility. We tested them off the tee for exit velocity. I’m actually batting speedballs, ball speed. And we, we had, um, we did a live test, reactionary test and time actually random the live reactionary tests and it was um, it was so telling, it was one of those fit pitching machines, if you can imagine that we’re the, you see the big video and they see pitcher’s motion and then the ball comes out of this hole where whereas hand goes to, right. And the pitching machine was really precise so you could program it to throw it wherever you want it to. And we, we chose, we were going to use 90 miles an hour. But the more we started thinking about it, we actually went down to 70 miles an hour. So we chose 70 miles an hour, like a batting practice speed pitch. And we set the players up to where they had eight swings in the first round. And then we had eight swings that counted. And what ended up happening was we used effective velocity in the warmups. We went middle and middle away. So we set the teeth in their mind and the speed in their mind to kind of in a way fast fastball, which is what the world does right now. And and so they hit the ball pretty well in the warmup round, but then when we went to the live round, the one that counted, we, we went fastball middle-in fastball and in fastball down in a way that’s down middle fastball down and away, basketball up and in. And so the the reactionary times were very different even though the speed of the pitch didn’t change at all. It was every pitch was within one mile an hour 70 and the locations were in the strike zone. They weren’t outside the strike zone jam and people, you know, in that way they just were in the strike zone. But in those different boxes, there are nine boxes, right? So we used them, the ones that made sense from an EV perspective and the average player. And these are elite perfect game players, right? These are elite high school hitters. The average was a .187 hard-hit ball rate on 70 miles an hour bp pitches. And that was astounding when you really think about that, um, that that’s an astounding discovery that all you have to do is move the ball around in the strategically in the zone and you get players off the barrel that easily. Now obviously there were a few players that that squared up a couple more balls than, than some of the others, but the average was one and a half out to eight. Think about that. I mean, that’s a crazy number. And they broke every bat we had made them use a wood bat. And every one of the bats we had, I think we had 13 or 14 bats, every one of them that they were using was shattered, was 70 miles an hour. So what that, what that shows is that guys are not nearly as good at reacting to pitches as they think they are. And so when pitchers understand that and they begin to look at the analogy of the tee is actually pretty good. If a hitter walks up to the plate and him, he wants to hit a pitch, he’s ready to hit some pitch, he just doesn’t know which pitch it is exactly. But through my research, what I found was that the hitter walks up to an outside fastball speed. That’s the general first thing that happens when they get into the box. So when you throw pitches, let’s just say you’re facing a guy like, um, uh, it doesn’t really matter if you’re throwing. If whoever throws 93, the outside fastball speeds about 90. So when he hit her face is a guy that throws 93, he’s gonna take his best swings at 90 miles an hour. When you look back at the or totals and you look at the location of the pitch and the speed of it, almost all the homers happen at right around that. That speed, because that’s the speed that they’re the most geared to. That’s where their tea is there. Mental t is placed. Okay. So now any pitch that matches that speed, like a slider at 85, but it’s Middle End, right? The guy hangs a little bit and it’s the middle end. It’s not because he hangs it, that makes the guy hit it. It’s because it’s the speed matches that outside of basketball, so other words ticket, close his eyes and swinging and outside basketball and run into the slider that’s inside because that’s where his bat is going to be. When that aid, that slower slider shows up, it’s going to be right where his bat was or would be when, when he makes a full swing at an outside fastball. So there’s a lot of contact points, um, that could actually, uh, run into that, that. So if you, if you had a, you had a robot and you can teach that robot to focus at 90 miles an hour, his swing at 90 miles an hour. And then you took a typical major league pitcher up there. Everybody that through around 93, they would find it very difficult to miss bat if they did what they do every day. If they threw fastballs, sliders, changeups, and curveballs, they would have a tough time missing that robots bat. And I know that sounds crazy, but if they just threw fastballs down in a way and missed in the normal ways that they miss and they threw slider’s away and curveballs away and changeups away like they do in the big leagues. When you see that you, you would be shocked how often that barrel would run into pitches and that even though it’s not very popular, is exactly what’s going on every night and majorly baseball, right? Because the second that scenario changes every hitter’s terrible if that, if I went wrong, then they would hit and all kinds of circumstances. But when you look at, like for example, last year Carlos Pena went on and we did a, we did a prediction of eve that before that, before he went on the mob now, and he did, he made a prediction that, um, the, the hard-hit balls in this postseason are going to happen exactly like this. Fifty percent of them are going to happen within six miles an hour. The last pitch Evie miles an hour, which is basically what we just described, right? That that means that you threw that slider at 85 in and the fastball away, and so the speeds are really close, or you throw two fastballs in a row that were in the same area or you know, whatever you, you, anything within six eating miles an hour makes up for about 50 percent of all heart had balls and wand then 20, 20 percent of the balls that are going to be hit hard are going to be because there’s no tunnel and then 20 percent is going to be because you throw it in exactly the speed range that the hitters the most prepared for, which is that outside basketball speed. And then 10 percent of those hard hit balls are going to be earned. They’re going to be when a pitcher is actually using Evie concepts and they’re using tunnels and the pitches are more than six miles an hour apart. When that happens, only 10 percent of hard contact happens at the major league level. And I’ve done a thousand studies if I’ve done one and they’re all exactly the same. Um, and, and that’s what, that’s what, that’s how I know that what went on in that test that Tim and I did way back when is the same thing that’s going on in every big game. Every night guys are going up to the plate and they’re expecting a pitch in a certain area and they’re gearing for that pitch and a lot of other pitches are in that vicinity in that neighborhood that they swing the bat at. And the second that goes away and it, it went away this year in the postseason, you saw it, you saw the Dodgers often went south because people started elevating fastballs and now that launch angle swing doesn’t work because you can’t hit a flat basketball with a swing plane that’s going up at 18 degrees. It’s just not gonna happen. And so that’s what I’m talking about is when, when pitchers begin to really understand effective velocity, the mammoths seasons that guys are having offensively is going to go away. A really good batting average is going to be very much lower than it is now because you can’t. It’s the human animal, the the the person is standing there swinging the bat. It takes too long to swing the bat. In other words, when guys throwing 93 plus and everybody is, that’s the average major league speed now. Right? So when you, when you’re talking about 95 miles an hour fastballs on average, there is zero chance that you can stand in there as these kids did in that test. They couldn’t do it at 70. Big Leaguers can’t do it at 95. You can’t wait to see what the pitches and get around on a 95 mile an hour. Fastball inside can’t be done. Of course, they can. They can expect that pitch and sit on that pitch and hit that pitch or they can do what big leaguers do. They can hit it at 70 percent of their Max and wait, wait for the picture to come back to that happy zone and they always do
Geoff: great information there. But for the people that are listening, who may not be familiar with you and your work on the EV – effective velocity, can you talk a little bit about what that is and why it’s important to understand?
Perry: Well, on the base, on the most basic level, a fastball at 90 miles an hour is really only 90 miles an hour. It’s hard to explain it because it’s a very complex thing. But, but on the core level, it’s really simple. Everywhere I throw that 70 miles an hour batting practice pitch that we talked about before when I throw it, let’s just stay with that for a second. Um, if, uh, if I throw 70 right down the middle, then whatever the radar gun says it is, that’s what it is to the hitter. It’s 70 miles an hour of speed. And because they hitters world is in the middle, right? They practice them in the middle, they put the t in the middle, they hit the ball up the middle in the batting cage that you know, everything is about the middle. Everything’s about the middle, middle, right? And so when you, when you see the ball in the middle, that’s the one that they are kind of geared to that, um, they’re actually late to that, but only a little bit late. There, they’re, they’re geared to the outside basketball speed because for 100 years we’ve been taught that the best is to throw his outside fastball outside of basketball. And so when they hit a pitch at 90, in their mind they’re not really hitting 90 the in their mind they are. But in reality, they’re hitting 87. It’s always two or three miles an hour later than they think. And that’s why even in the middle they’re actually late on, on a ball that’s right in the middle. Then strong. I’ve done a lot of work with Brent and he made the comment one time and actually got in trouble. But the middle is actually a better way, better pitch than middle away by a lot because it’s two and a half miles an hour faster than, than the version of that same pitch on the outside part of the plate. So speed is really relevant. It changes because the hitters reached changes, so if we go back to our tea analogy and I put the key in the middle and you throw a pitch at 90 miles an hour right down the middle, then I’m going to time that up. I’ll be a tiny bit late, but eventually, all time that pitches up pretty good. But now you move the ball to the inside part of the plate, right? Just six inches. So it goes from middle to inside. Will the bad is making a circle, right? So if I continue that circle out to the place where I’m going to be at maximum efficiency, it’s actually 18 inches further out in front. Then I’m going to make contact. It’s not like right next to its not six inches away. It’s 18 inches away because where I have to reach in order to make contact. So 90 miles an hour, the middle end is really 92 and a half because now I have to hit it as though it was in [inaudible] 92 and a half mile an hour fastball because of where it’s at. I’m at. That’s a hard concept. But you know that when you, when you get on a plane, they always tell you exactly when you’re going to land, right? Because they know we’re taking off from lax, we’re going to be traveling at this distance, we’re going to be going this mile an hour, we know the winds in our face, so we’ll adjust for that. But then they put it in the most crucial piece of information to be able to tell you when that plan is going to land. And that is where’s the landing spot? Well, in baseball you don’t have a landing spot. You have, you go up to the plate and there are 150 places within six inches of the strike zone that the hitter can reach. In other words, if you could throw a fastball within the hitters reach and you didn’t have very much command. There are 150 different places that that ball could go within the, within the strike zone and within a six-inch area around the strike zone. I mean that’s a lot, right? That’s a lot of areas. And every one of those places that you throw the ball, it actually has a different speed, a different landing time because the hitter has to swing a bat that takes him point one, three seconds, point one, five seconds with some players. Um, it takes, it takes one slash third of the flight to swing the bat. So before the plane lands, they actually have to start swinging the bat in a place where they think it’s going to be. And so that’s why it’s so weird and hard to explain, but it’s really kind of easy if you think about it, a fastball away, you have more time and the fastball in you have less time. And that’s, that’s really what the core essence of, of effective velocity is on that smallest level is, you know, the the ABCs of, of, of eve is that its speed is location adjusted. You have to adjust the speed based on the location because the time changes.
Geoff: Yeah. So at the hitter, I tell you, I’m going to give you two questions. So at the hitter, why they’re important to me to understand that. And then the second one, that’s a picture, why is it important for me to understand that
Perry: it’s less important for the hitter to. I shouldn’t say that. If they don’t understand it, then they’re bound to repeat the same mistakes over and over and over and over and over. How many times have you heard the announcer go? Oh, he filed that straight back. He’s right on that 20 times a night. Right? And they’re actually wrong every time they say that because they hit her in every major league swing, the barrel goes down below the pitch line and then it makes its way back up to the pitch line. If you watch the arc of the swing, they’re all upward basically to some degree and they all go below the pitch line and then they make their way back up to the pitch line. So if they were actually on time or they were really close to being on the pitch, like they tell us, then they would foul it off half the time below. In other words, when the pitch comes that when the back goes up through the pitch line and I’m early, I catch the top of it when I saw tip it and when I’m late, I catch the bottom of it and solid straight back. Well, about 99 points nine percent of the foul balls that happen at home plate happen straight back, meaning they’re always, they’re always late. They’re always about two and a half miles an hour late and they don’t know it and so that’s why they don’t adjust is because they don’t know that they’re late. They think that they’re on time for that and so that’s why it’s important for hitters to understand it is because speed is lying to you all the time and if you go up to the plate expecting speeds to be the way they look against eve pitching, you have no chance because, and that’s what you’re starting to see there was. There was a lot of good, effective velocity examples in this year’s postseason. The brewers, Derek Johnson, has a, has been a long time eve follower. Brent Strom is a longtime eve follower. Jim Hickey who was with the cubs was one of the original guys that I introduced device to in 2005 when he was with the Astros. I’m Andrew Friedman was with the raise when I worked with Carlos Pena and um, he also was with Jim Hickey in with the race and so the Dodgers front office understands the effect of La City to some degree. And so everybody in the playoffs literally with the one thing that they all had in common was they had an effective velocity education to some degree or another. Right. And so if you don’t understand speed as a hitter, you’re bound to make the same mistakes over and over and over and over. And, and it’s really difficult to, to find out what’s wrong because that’s, that’s, that’s how this whole thing started, right? It’s a measurement easy as a measurement of timing is at the core and it’s also a measurement of deception for pitchers. And so when, if for pitchers to understand what ed means, it’s night and day. The first guy I worked with was Barry Zito in 2005 and he threw 87, 88. And so two or three miles an hour added is a huge deal. So if you go back and look at films him, you’ll see him elevate fastballs a lot back in the day when you live at the bottom of the strike zone, because that’s what everybody told you was the only safe haven. It’s actually very wrong. That’s the highest exit velocities down there. Their lowest. There’s, there’s about 20, 20 reasons why the fastball at the bottom of the strike zone is a terrible idea. But that’s the way we live for a long time. We lived under that miss. Yeah. But Zito was living at the top of the zone and because it hid his changeup and it hit his slider and it hit his curveball in the dirt. And so he learned ed tunnels in 2005 and dominated for that season. He was unbelievable at 87, 88, you know, he, he could touch 90 at times, but for the most part, he lived at 87, 88 and 88. Up and the end is about 92 93. And now all of a sudden 93 with a, you know, an 80 mile an hour or change up the that’s a huge speed differential. And so he, his heart hit ball rate was ridiculously low because it’s just too hard when you don’t have any. When you win the pitches coming out of the same shoot, it looks the same, but there’s a 20 mile an hour difference. Forget about it. You just, it takes too long to swing the bat. There’s no time to adjust without making big adjustments in my swing. And that costs me exit velocity. So the one thing that pitchers. I’m sorry, go ahead. No, go ahead. That’s the one thing. Pitchers can control his, his exit velocity. They can’t really control all that much about what the hitter does. I don’t know what the hitter’s thinking really, but I do know after testing for 20 years and observing for another 15, I know what hitters are expecting. I know what they’re thinking, I know what they’re prepared to hit. And so with, with this, would that thought process of, um, of what, what knowing what the hitter does, it’s actually really easy for pitchers to miss that, but they choose to do the opposite. They choose to throw pitches right towards that team instead of completely away from that t. So if you could imagine that t right standing there again, and I’m a pitcher and I’ve got four pitches that look like they’re going right at that t, only one of them goes up. And then instead of at 100 effective velocities. So it like, uh, uh, Craig Kimbrell fastball to a right-handed batter that basketball looks like it’s on the outer third when he, let’s go a bit, but it ends up all the way up and in, in other words, it looks like it’s going right to that tea. But instead, it goes up and in way faster than that I’m ready to hit. So their, their mind is that 95 away, but the ball is at 100 in and, and so now the next pitch is that slider that looks like it’s going right at the teeth. And then it’s gone. And the other batters box, so that’s what a hitter up against are that they, they get fooled because they’re expecting the ball to be going towards that t where they’re ready to hit and the pitches that look like they’re going there and don’t. And they have six miles an hour. That’s the only 10 percent. That’s how that makes up for 10 percent of the hard-hit balls. What happened? That’s it. That means 90 percent of all hard hit balls are happening as a result of pitcher error pitcher. Bad Strategy.
Outro: I am Geoff Rottmayer and Thanks for listening to our conversation on The Baseball Awakening Podcast. Stay tuned for our Conversation tomorrow with Mr. Perry Husband
Geoff Rottmayer is the owner of Athletic Mission Baseball Academy, a training facility in Tulsa Oklahoma. Geoff also host The Baseball Awakening Podcast, which was developed to provide content to the baseball community straight from the source. In addition that that, Geoff, is helping coaches and professional start their own podcast and find their own voice.
Geoff Rottmayer March 15, 2020
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