Trackman Traits - Pitching: 2021 RHP Joseph Carrea (Villanova Commit)


Zach Guth
Advanced Scout

Welcome back 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. 

VERTICAL APPROACH ANGLE

Vertical Approach Angle (VAA) is essentially how steep or shallow the ball is entering the strike zone. The average entry into the zone is around -5.5 degrees for the Division 1 college level. Anything below or above that number is considered an outlier and would be ideal because it is not what the hitter is used to seeing. A VAA of -4.5 degrees would be considered a shallow entry, this, with some other variables mixed in (IVB, velocity, release height), allow for success up in the zone due to the "ride" or even sometimes "rising" effect. A VAA of -6 degrees would be considered a steep entry. This is the type of ball that has a lot of success in the bottom of the zone (including the same variables mentioned previously) because it feels like the pitcher is throwing it off Mt Everest. With the perfect combination of low IVB and high release it could be a very steep entry that would be hard to hit. 

 

Joseph Carrea

Class of 2021 / RHP

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2021
  • Primary Position: RHP
    Secondary Position: OF
  • High School: Cranford
    State: NJ
  • Height: 6-2
    Weight: 170lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R

Videos

(2/6/21)

 

Fastball Breakdown

Velocity: Carrea is not an arm you see every day. He is funky with a bit of crossfire on his foot strike with the ability to hammer the glove side extension part of the plate.This gives him the ability to remain deceptive against hitters. On top of all that, Carrea releases an 87 MPH fastball that puts him in the top 10% for high school pitchers. High velocity with some deception in the delivery makes him incredibly valuable to a college program with those two things alone. 

Spin Rate: With an average of 1971 RPM and a max of 2200 RPM, Carrea's fastball is interesting. 1971 RPM puts him in the top 50% (average) and 2200 RPM (top 10%). For this article we are going to discuss his numbers that are averaged out because the 2200 RPM pitch could be an outlier on a wild pitch or something like that. Being in the average column for your fastball spin isn't a bad thing, it just means that the movement on the ball has a ceiling of only "average" thus you need to command the fastball better. 

 Bauer Units: Bauer Units give us a good idea of the "expected" spin Carrea produces for the velocity he is throwing. With a Bauer Unit measurement of 26, Carrea's spin is a couple ticks above where a typical 87 MPH fastball should be. This just means that he is producing more spin than an average fastball of this velocity should be. Again, this measurement is not something that you want to be super concerned with. It is more valuable just to gauge you spin relative to your velocity. The bright did of the Bauer Unit metric is that it gives us an idea of how good the spin actually is. In the previous section I said that his movement will be average, but with the Bauer units we discover that he is actually spinning it better than a normal 87 MPH fastball would. I did not make any adjustments to the previous section for the sake of the reader learning how to interpret the fastball spin number in relation to Bauer Units.

Induced Vertical Break: Carrea has an average IVB measurement of 15.4 inches. This will put him in the top 75% among high school pitchers. What this means is that he is inducing more depth on his fastball that a typical HS arm would. As said previously in many articles, having low numbers in this type of metric is never a bad thing, it is typically a good thing to be further from "average". This will give him the ability to sink the ball down in the zone and throw a heavy fastball that gives hitters fits. With not only his low IVB numbers, Carrea posts exceptional horizontal movement numbers as well. With a max of 17.3 inches he is off the chart for all levels of pitchers (HS, NCAA, MLB), but on average at 13.5 inches he is slated between the top 10-25% of HS arms. This would be classified as a power sinker with this type of horizontal movement along with his above average velocity. Finding the bottom of the zone as often as Carrea can would be the most ideal spot for him to find success against hitters. 


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