Last night a big update was made to the Batted Ball tab on player profiles for BCTeam! After some time of just showing average exit velocity, we have added six additional dropdown options to the Heat Map visual for both pitchers and hitters. Each of these metrics will be broken down in this blog.
Average Launch Angle
To help tell the whole story of contact type in the strike zone we believe average launch angle is a big piece to that puzzle. By adding in Avg LA, pitching coaches can see where their pitchers are limiting line drives in different parts of the zone. Even if one of their pitchers allows a higher EV in the bottom part of the zone, they can still limit the hitter’s ability to do damage by inducing ground ball outs (assuming the infielders are doing their job 😬 ).
Hard Hit %
Currently on the BaseballCloud platform, we consider “hard hit” balls as batted balls with an exit velocity of 90mph or greater. Through our analysis of thousands of batted balls in college baseball that is where we have seen xBA and SLG% exponentially increase for hitters. The average Hard Hit % of some of the top teams in college baseball hovers around 42%.
This is a relatively new metric added to the BaseballCloud platform and we define “damage” as batted balls with an exit velocity greater than or equal to 90mph and a launch angle greater than or equal to 10 degrees, essentially meaning hard hit balls in the air. Again through our research we have seen this have an even greater impact on SLG% for hitters when crossing those two thresholds. We are going to continue to do research on new batted ball metrics as we learn more about batted ball profiles, but adding this to the Heat Map visual was a no-brainer for us to help provide more context on where in the zone hitters do the most damage.
GB% LD% FB%
These three metrics can be grouped together when talking about contact type and were obvious choices to include in this Heat Map update. Each metric takes average launch angle a step further when looking at what type of balls a hitter is putting in play. If in the bottom part of the zone a hitter hits mostly popups and ground balls, then his average launch angle could show something like 12 degrees (or a line drive that could reach the gap). In reality, that average launch angle would be a misrepresentation of the type of contact that hitter is making; so by adding in the context of these metrics, the coach would be able to see that this hitter actually struggles to square up the ball in that part of the zone, and an adjustment should be made to his approach.
If for some reason you do not see these changes on your account, then go to your browser settings to clear your cache and refresh the page.
We are excited to keep updating our products to help coaches develop their team more efficiently and provide them all the information possible on their players. Be on the lookout for even more updates to the BCTeam platform over the next couple of weeks!