KPI Pitcher Development Program Winter ‘21-’22 Review
November 8th – February 8th
At KPI, our Winter Program lasts about 12 weeks (3 months), and leads right into the HS or College seasons. This report is only looking at the data of our High School pitchers. During those 12 weeks, we had 65 HS pitchers participate, 45 of them went through pitch design & velocity training . Outside of velocity, the main metrics we tracked were pitch movement metrics such as vertical & horizontal break as well as spin direction (or tilt). We also focused on command metrics like strike % and short box execution.
Methods: Starting in early November, our pitchers finished their On-Ramp phases (most of them), and began a velocity phase. Out of the 65 pitchers, 45 of them went through either pulldowns or plyocare velo training. This phase lasted 3-4 weeks, and then they finished their training with 3 weeks of live/scripted competition. Pulldown training consisted of 10-15 throws at 90-100% RPE with varying weights (4-6 oz). Plyocare velocity training consisted of 2 drills (Step Back & Drop Step) off the mound, 8-10 throws with varying weights (150-450g).
During this time we tracked velocity (mound,pulldowns & plyocare), pitch movement metrics (VB,HB,Spin Direction), as well as command (Strike %). Our winter phase leads right into season, which is why we decided to focus on the metrics that correlate to more in-game success.
The average mound velocity increase over the 12 week span was 2.8 mph. We also found that our 450g & 225g plyo velocities didn’t change at all from our reviews in ‘21 to ’22. Our 150g velocities for Step Back & Walking Windup drills had a change of 4 mph from ‘21 to ‘22. For our velocity deviation findings, there was a 10 mph drop from 225g velocities to 450g velocities (on average), & there was a 5 mph increase when looking at 225g compared to 150g velocities.
The results we got from our pitch movement findings were very significant. On average our pitchers increased their changeup total movement by ~2.5 inches, and their breaking ball movement by ~7.0 inches.
During our 12 weeks winter program, we had 65 pitchers participate, 45 of them went through velocity testing during that time. We found significant findings regarding pitch movement and plyocare velocities, but continue to search for more answers surrounding mound velocity and command data for future programs.
Plyocare Velocity Findings
Looking back at our 2021 plyocare velo report, we decided to compare, especially considering there’s not much data out there other than Driveline’s research. (Driveline Baseball, 2017). We took a look at 2 things…
- Step Back & Walking Windup Plyo Velo Changes from ‘21-‘22
- Plyo Velo Deviations by Weight
- Correlation of Pulldown Velocity (by weight) to Mound Velocity
For our Step Back & Walking Windup plyocare velocities, we found that our 450g & 225g plyo velocities didn’t change at all from ‘21-’22 . We did find however, the 150g weight for those 2 drills had a change of 4 mph within the year. We don’t know what caused the change, we will continue to monitor our 150g plyo velo’s to find more information on the why. – We do know however from our Winter ‘21 review that the 150g plyocare ball (5.4 oz) had the highest correlation to mound velocity (.94).
- We took a look at the deviation of velocity from the 225g ball to both the 450g & 150g to get a good indication of what velo to expect based on your 225g velocity.
- Our findings were that our athletes should expect their 450g velo to be 10 mph (~ 14%) less than their 225g, & 5 mph (~ 7 %) more for the 150g velo.
Pitch Movement & Command Findings
- Outside of velo, the main pitch movement metrics we tracked were vertical break, horizontal break, & spin direction (or tilt). ● Our results showed that in 12 weeks, RHP had an average increase of ~ 6 inches for total movement on their breaking balls (Curve or Slider)
- Our results also showed that LHP had an average increase of ~ 6 inches for total movement on their changeups (or splitter), and ~ 7 inches for total movement on their breaking balls (Curve or Slider).
- Overall the group increases ~ 2.5 inches on their changeup, and ~ 7 inches on their breaking balls. That’s almost 4 inches more than what we had for average breaking ball movement the previous 12 weeks.
- We saw the first month that strike % was relatively low, and considering we were leading into the season for most of our pitchers, we decided to focus on that pretty heavily the last 8 weeks.
- Our results found that LHP struggled more than our RHP, especially with fastballs.
- RHP Increased their strike % on fastballs & changeups, & LHP increased their strike % on their changeups only.
Review by: Justin Sanders Director of Pitching (firstname.lastname@example.org)