Trackman Traits - Pitching: 2024 RHP Zach Moss (Hopkinsville)


Zach Guth
KY Contributor/PA-NY Advanced Scout

Trackman Traits - Pitching: '24 RHP Zach moss (hopkinsville)

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. 


Zach Moss

Class of 2024 / RHP

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2024
  • Primary Position: RHP
    Secondary Position: 1B
  • High School: Hopkinsville
    State: KY
  • Summer Team: KY Prospects
  • Height: 6-5
    Weight: 175lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R

Scouting Report

8/15/20
The 6-foot-4, 160 pound RHP continues to evolve into one of the top arms in the 2024 class. Projection is off the charts. Continues to see fastball velocity rise, this time up to 82 as a member of Team KY at the Junior Future Games. Possesses elite spin rates with fastball approaching 2400 max, and sharp curveball at 2580 max at 70-72 mph. Moss should have no problem seeing velocity continue to rise and will be a coveted arm in the 2024 class.

 


Videos

(7/29/20)



Fastball Breakdown

Velocity: Taking a look at Moss's velocity we notice he only falls in the top 50% in the high school column of the chart, but keep in mind Moss graduates in 2024. When evaluating velocity in younger pitchers, the only thing you can lean on is assumptions. Seeing as how Moss is 6' 4" and 150 lbs, he has major room to grow into his body and gain feel for complex movements down the mound. With these in mind, we can assume that Moss will continue to climb the velo ladder as he matures and ages. Although velo here shows 79 MPH, he has been up to 82 MPH in other PBR events but we do not include that in this article because there was no Trackman unit present. 

Spin Rate: Another indicator of increasing velo in the future is his incredibly high spin rate. Spin rate is often reliant on velocity. With spin averaging around 2400 RPM on his fastball, we can assume that velocity will go even higher in the near future. With his high velo for his class and high spin for his level of fastball we can easily assume that he would see some swings and misses that appear to blow hitters away because his fastball has that "sneaky" jump to it.

Bauer Units: With a max value of 30 in his Bauer Units measurement, we know that his fastball spin is extremely useful for his slated velocity. Knowing now that his spin is far higher than it should be for this velocity we know that, as said previously, he may notice a tick up in velo in the coming future. 

Induced Vertical BreakWhile we notice that Moss's IVB numbers are not anything to be blown away by initially, it appears he throws a fastball that has below average sink to it. Now, looking at these numbers you immediately think "Well why is his IVB low if his spin is so high?". An easy answer to this would be: velocity. Right now, Moss just doesn't have the velocity to induce exceptional vertical break. He also could have low IVB numbers due to his release height and downhill mechanics.

Curveball Breakdown

Spin Rate: Something you do not see from young arms is the ability to spin their breaking stuff nearly as well as Moss. Normally, what you see is a pitcher relying on snapping the pitch out of their hands which in turn lowers the spin rate and bite on their breaking ball. Moss allows his grip and arm speed to do the work thus creating stellar spin numbers and a big curveball. High spin aids in movement and if you take a look at the next section, you'll understand how important spin is for the shape of the pitch

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. Moss possess a big sweeping breaking ball that  has dive as well as some frisbee movement. Not pictured in the article is curveball IVB and HM but while writing this I can tell you that Moss's numbers for each category are off the charts for the high school level. With higher HM than IVB you can visualize that Moss has a large, sweeping breaking ball with great shape to it. Owning a breaking pitch that is this caliber while being a freshman in high school is something to keep an eye on. When scouting, velo stands out but something else that pops is the shape and bite on a breaking ball. An advanced breaking ball means that the pitcher possess the ability to have exception arm speed through the ball along with good extension, all components of a hard thrower. Keep an eye on Moss in the new year, as he will be turning a lot of heads. 


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