Trackman Traits - Pitching: 2021 RHP Jake Faherty (Great Crossing HS)


Zach Guth
KY Contributor/PA-NY Advanced Scout

Welcome to Trackman Traits! In this piece we will be dissecting the numbers the Trackman produces and the effect they can have on a pitcher's approach. Below there will be definitions of each category that we believe to be the most important for a young arm to keep in mind as well as breaking down an arm and giving suggestions on how they can improve their game. Keep in mind, in some categories it is better to be further away from average even if the numbers are wavering on below average. 

FASTBALL VELOCITY

Fastball velocity doesn't go much deeper than just looking at the numbers and comparing them to the graphic below! Fastball velocity complements just about all of the other metrics that are measured. If you throw hard, it makes all your other pitches/metrics even better.

FASTBALL SPIN RATE

Spin rate is a measurement that if you are below average or above average, you can pitch with more room for error. On the other hand, if you are average you should try to throw in the bottom half of the zone with exceptional command. High spin fastballs profile as one that is frequently described as having "late life". Low spin fastballs tend to profile as a fastball that has heavy feel to it. Pitch movement is still dependent on spin direction of the pitch but Trackman does not have that metric displayed on profiles. 


BAUER UNITS

Bauer Units are an easier way of determining how useful the spin numbers are compared to the velocity. We can calculate this metric by taking average spin rate and dividing it by average velocity. Bauer Units are useful because we can have a case of two pitchers with the same spin numbers, ex. 2200 RPM, but one pitcher throws 90 MPH and the other throws 83 MPH. The pitcher throwing 90 MPH with 2200 spin is not as impressive as the pitcher throwing 83 MPH with the same spin. Typically, we would tell the harder throwing pitcher to throw up in the zone purely off his velocity and his high spin, but because his Bauer Units would equate to around 24 that would be only 1 unit off of average (23), therefore he would want to hammer the bottom of the zone. On the other side, the pitcher throwing 83 MPH has a Bauer Unit measurement of 26 which is incredibly impressive. This would allow him to throw up in the zone even though his velocity is not blow away type numbers because he produces above average spin with that slated velocity. 

FASTBALL INDUCED VERTICAL BREAK

As far as deception and importance goes, fast induced vertical break (IVB) may be the most important. Induced vertical break is not what is sounds. IVB simply means the pitch is "breaking" upward from the average level a pitch falls from release to home plate. This is a stat that you want to stay away from being average at. Fortunately, this can be tweaked slightly depending on release height. To put it simply, the higher number =  more "rise" the pitch has compared to average. Lower number = more depth the pitch has to it. 

CURVEBALL SPIN RATE

Spin rate on curveballs is pretty simple: higher spin = nastier stuff. There are some ways to manipulate spin numbers slightly but for the most part spin is spin. At the moment, there are no well known ways to change your spin in a big way. Spin not only dictates how sharp your curveball is, but it can also aid in keeping hitters honest by having similar rotation matching that of your fastball. 


Jake Faherty

Class of 2021 / RHP

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2021
  • Primary Position: RHP
    Secondary Position: OF
  • High School: Great Crossing
    State: KY
  • Summer Team: Commonwealth Baseball 17u express
  • Height: 6-4
    Weight: 180lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R

Scouting Report

6/23/20

 

Faherty has yet to work out his control issues, which has kept him on the recruiting board, but the arm is electric. His fastball sat 90-92 with elite spin rates up to 2652. He threw two breaking balls at 73 mph, one of which was sharp and in the strike zone with a spin rate of 2758. If he can figure out how to repeat his delivery, there is a special talent waiting to happen in his 6-foot-4, 170 pound frame.

 


Videos

9/13/20




Fastball Breakdown

Velocity: Immediately we notice that Faherty possess top tier fastball velocity. What is not seen is the velocity jump in a recent bullpen. It's reported that Faherty is up to 97 MPH with Trackman numbers to prove. For the sake of the integrity of the article, let's stick with the PBR Trackman numbers of 92 MPH. 92 MPH is among the top 10% in fastball velocity for the entire collegiate baseball level. This will get the job done at the high school level, assuming command is in check, and will get the job done post-high school as well. 

Spin Rate (SR): With an average of 2567 RPM on his fastball, Faherty has off the chart spin. With general knowledge on the subject, we know that velocity correlates with spin rate. With increased arm speed you get more spin, so it is not surprise Jake possesses elite spin. Spin allows the ball to move through the air easier, thus creating the lift on the ball. Spin alone will create such an intimidating presence behind his fastball, allowing him to establish himself at the top of the zone forcing hitters to try and catch up. 

Bauer Units: As you can see, Faherty does have incredible Bauer Unit measurements to help us establish the thought of throwing in the top of the zone. The spin he possesses is indeed high even for his fastball velo, and the Bauer Units can confirm that as well. 

 Induced Vertical Break (IVB): One thing we want to do is compare his IVB with the correct column according to his velocity. The thing about IVB is: the harder you throw the baseball, the harder it becomes to keep the high IVB numbers. Because we compared Faherty's fastball to the top level of the NCAA column, we need to compare his IVB numbers among NCAA as well. When we look at this, we realize that his IVB average of 19.7" slates him among the top 25%. This is incredibly impressive for a young high school arm. 

Curveball Breakdown

Spin Rate (SR): One thing that we know about spin is that you don't lose the ability to naturally spin the ball. So before even seeing Faherty's spin numbers on his curveball, we knew that they were going to be absurd simply because of the fastball SR. High spin on his curveball gives him the opportunity to tunnel the ball off his fastball very well. SR creates movement in the direction of the spin, and we'll find out how well his curveball moves below. 

Horizontal/Vertical Break
:
 When we look at horizontal movement (HM) you want to think about it on a number line scale from the pitcher's view to home. At pitcher's mound, the measurement would be zero if someone threw a pitch that didn't move to either side. If a pitch moves to the left, it is a negative number and if a pitch moves to the right it would be a positive number. Faherty's curveball may be more impressive than his fastball in the sense of pure nastiness. With an IVB of -18.4" alone, it makes the pitch a dangerously sharp breaking ball. Now, let's add in the horizontal movement as well. With an average of 9.2"  to his glove side, this pitch is what some people call a "Bugs Bunny pitch". This pitch tunneled off his "rising" fastball will be a dangerous combo for opposing hitters. As velo on all pitches go up, as will the movement so this pitch has the potential to be a swing and miss pitch in any count.  


UPCOMING EVENTS

SHOWCASE

STATE DATE LOCATION

 

Western Kentucky Prospect ID Showcase 1-24-21

KY 01/24 Planters Bank - Jennie Stuart Sportsplex

Super 60 Pro Showcase

NATIONAL 02/07 MOSH Performance Center