Glossary

With the vast amount of information that is available to analyze every single pitch in today’s game, it can be overwhelming just trying to decide where to start. When looking at exit velocity numbers or metrics regarding a pitcher’s release point, baseball can quickly go from being the best sport in the world to looking more like a math test that even the teacher doesn’t know the answers to. Let this page serve as a guide to make sense of any and every meaningful data point and metric that can be valuable to players and teams alike. Click the links for a more in-depth look at each metric.

Hitting

  • Exit Velocity: The speed of the ball when it initially comes off the bat, measured in MPH.
  • Launch Angle: The vertical angle of the ball when it initially comes off the bat. A positive number means the ball is initially traveling upward while a negative number means it is initially traveling downward.
  • wOBA: A ‘catch-all’ batting metric that measures a batter’s at-bats based on their value in terms of run creation.
  • xwOBA: xwOBA analyzes the exit velocity and launch angle of every batted ball from a hitter. From there, a probability of the outcome of the batted ball is determined. This creates a metric that shows what a hitter’s wOBA should be.

Pitching

  • Release Dispersion: Our unique release point dispersion metric is a measure of how closely concentrated a pitcher’s release points are. A higher value represents less consistency, whereas a value of 0 shows all the pitches were released at the same point. A sample of MLB data showed that pitchers at that level have a dispersion of approximately .2, but this varies greatly by the type of pitcher.
  • Spin Rate: The speed at which the ball is spinning when it initially leaves the pitcher’s hand. Measured in revolutions per minute (RPM).
  • Release Height: The height above home plate that the pitcher releases the ball at. This data point is collected by FlightScope and Trackman machines alike and, when combined with the metric ‘Release Side’, can be used to create visuals to display a pitcher’s release point on any pitch.
  • Release Side: Distance from the center of the pitching rubber at which the pitcher releases the ball. Balls thrown from the right side of the mound from the pitcher’s perspective will have a positive number, and balls thrown from the left side of the mound from the pitcher’s perspective have a negative number. This data point is collected by FlightScope and Trackman machines alike and, when combined with the metric ‘Release Height’, can be used to create visuals to display a pitcher’s release point on any pitch.
  • Release Extension: The horizontal distance from the pitching rubber to the point where the pitcher releases the ball.
  • Release Dispersion: Release dispersion is a measure of how closely concentrated a pitcher’s release points are. A higher value represents less consistency, whereas a value of 0 shows all the pitches were released at the same point. A sample of MLB data showed that pitchers at that level have a dispersion of approximately .2, but this varies greatly by the type of pitcher.
  • ERA: The most popular metric used to measure a pitcher’s performance, ERA shows the number of earned runs a pitcher allows per 9 innings. Measured by (Earned Runs*9/Innings Pitched).
  • FIP: An advanced pitching metric that projects what a pitcher’s ERA should be based on plays that are not affected by the defense.

 Plate Discipline

  • O-Zone Swings/Pitches: The number of swings (or pitches) outside of the strike zone. For hitters, this represents how many balls they chased out of the zone while for pitchers, it will reflect the number of chases they were able to induce. These numbers are broken down by pitch type.
  • Z-Zone Swings/Pitches: The number of swings (or pitches) in the strike zone. For hitters, this represents how many balls they swung at in the zone while for pitchers, it will reflect the number of swings against them on pitches in the zone. These numbers are broken down by pitch type.

Contact Types

  • Hitting
    • GBRepresents the percentage of time that a ball put in play by a batter is a ground ball.
    • LDRepresents the percentage of time that a ball put in play by a batter is a line drive.
    • FBRepresents the percentage of time that a ball put in play by a batter is a fly ball.
    • PURepresents the percentage of time that a ball put in play by a batter is a pop-up.
  • Pitching
    • GBRepresents batted balls in play that are a ground ball (launch angle below 10 degrees).
    • LDRepresents batted balls in play that are a line drive (launch angle above 10 degrees and below 25 degrees).
    • FBRepresents batted balls in play that are fly balls (launch angle above 25 degrees and below 50 degrees).
    • PURepresents batted balls in play that are pop-ups (launch angle above 50 degrees).

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