Trackman Traits - Pitching: 2022 RHP Connor Grotyohann (Pope John XXIII)

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 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.


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 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. 


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 (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. 

Connor Grotyohann

Class of 2022 / RHP

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2022
  • Primary Position: RHP
    Secondary Position: 1B
  • High School: Pope John XXIII
    State: NJ
  • Summer Team: NJ Marlins
  • Height: 6-4
    Weight: 215lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R

Scouting Report



6-foot-4, 210-pound projectable frame. At the plate, the right-handed hitter's best exit velocity was 85 mph. Started in a balanced stance with a small load, then used a leg kick to start his swing. Shows an upward swing plane, explosive bat speed and extension on his finish. Barreled up multiple balls throughout the round. In the infield, his best throw was registered at 74 mph; had soft hands and a fluid exchange. Used a long arm action to the bases. He clocked a 60 time of 7.55 at the event. Projectable on the mound, he showed quick arm speed, used an over-the-top angle and a loose arm action. He is a up-tempo type pitcher and uses some effort. A tall balance point. Lands square. Produced a fastball that came in at 84-85 mph and topped out at 85 mph; showed late life. His changeup (74-76) has fading action. Throws a 11/5 curveball (70-72).




Fastball Breakdown

Velocity: Grotyohann possess upper level velo for the HS level. According to th chart above he would be slotted in the top 10% for high school level velocity. This allows him to simply over power hitters regardless of knowing pitch profiles or how he can succeed in the strike zone. Aside from topping out at 90 MPH, he is able to cruise along at 87-89 MPH. It is easy to pluck out an elite arm, and the number one indicator of that is how well someone can hold velo. Being able to hold velocity late in games makes a starting pitch that much more valuable. 

Spin Rate: With the top end velocity, we dive into spin rate next. Cruising along with around 2010 RPM on the heater slates Grotyohann around the top 25% of high school arms. As we know spin is a solid indicator of pitch movement, but it is all dependent on spin. Grotyohann induces 1:30 tilt on his ball which means its being release from a 3/4 arm slot. With this type of spin and tilt, you typically see some solid horizontal movement numbers due to the spin not being completely end over end. This allows the ball to fade to the arm side some, while still making it possible to have good vertical break numbers. 

Bauer Units: As we have discussed Bauer Units in the past, we know that this measurement is an easy way to determine how much spin a guy should have for their given velocity. Grotyohann's Bauer Unit measurement is 24 units max and most likely around 22-23 units on average. This means that he doesn't possess any elite spin on the upper or lower ends. This is not a bad thing by any means, it just means that his pitch movement will just be near average as well. 

Induced Vertical Break: Grotyohann induces about 16 inches of vertical break on average and near 20 inches at max. This means that his fastball is in the top 50% of movement with some flashes of being on the lower end of the movement chart. Being under the average means that his fastball is "sinking" more than the average ball. If he is able to kill the spin or increase the spin slightly he would see a change in the vertical break, giving it more sink. What we can touch on is his horizontal break numbers. He averages near 10 inches of horizontal break, meaning his ball is moving to his arm side at an above average rate. This allows him to throw down and in sinkers or two seam fastballs to right handed hitters in their dead zone. Grotyohann would see the most success in the lower half of the zone due to his low/average IVB numbers and above average horizontal movement numbers. 

Vertical Approach Angle: Grotyohann maintained around a -5.5 degree approach angle on pitches in the zone. This number is dependent on where the pitch is thrown in the zone but for the sake of coming up with a general number, we will average out the results of pitches thrown inside the lower half of the zone. This means that Grotyohann is attacking the zone at a near average level, which solidifies the assumption that he would see more success in the lower half of the zone. Commanding and attacking the fastball should be a priority in his approach to hitters. Being near average is not a bad thing, it simply means that there is smaller room for error when attacking hitters. What Grotyohann does have going for him is his movement profile on his heater. Throwing a running fastball at the high school level can be deadly if commanded properly. 

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