Toward a Better Pitch Tracker: Post 43

All commercial pitch tracking devices either

  1. Measure the ball movement and total RPM and compute the active spin and axis based on a Magnus Effect model (Trackman) or
  2. Measure the RPM, axis and pitch location and predict the ball path (horizontal and vertical break) based on a Magnus Effect model (Rapsodo).

It is my understanding that no commercial pitch tracking device is “model free.” Which is a big problem, because there are effects other than Magnus going on, like, say, the Seam Shifted Wake! (click the link above to see tons of discussion on that)

So, let me be the first to say it.

We Need a Model Free Pitch Tracking Technology!

So far, we’ve done fine without one since the models work on most pitches. But once we tell the world how to throw a seam-shifted wake pitch, the baseball world will be lousy with them. Rapsodo and Trackman will misread these pitches.

Several people have asked me about a model that will relate a seam-shifted wake pitch trajectory to its orientation. I am frankly skeptical that this can be done. It would be complicated at best.

We need a device that directly measures the trajectory AND the spin axis. Clearly this is possible, since different technologies measure one or the other.

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2 thoughts on “Toward a Better Pitch Tracker: Post 43

  1. Hey man, love your stuff. Bet you’re surprised to see a 14 year old who researches this stuff, much less understands it and uses it. I would love it if you made an instagram account for baseball aerodynamics just because accessing the website can be a pain and it’s hard to pick stuff up quick. I’m not really a twitter person. Maybe if you don’t get in IG I’ll get Twitter not sure. Nice job man.👍

    1. Thanks for your interest, Jake! I was thinking about Instagram, but then I leaned that facebook owns them, and they will never make another dime off of me.

      Tell me why the website can be a pain. I’d like to fix that. Do you view it on a phone? I think I have work to do for that.

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