Trackman Traits - Pitching: 2023 RHP Casey Vaughn (CBA-Syracuse)


Zach Guth
PA/NY 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. 

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. 

 

Casey Vaughn

Class of 2023 / RHP

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2023
  • Primary Position: RHP
    Secondary Position: RHP
  • High School: CBA - Syracuse
    State: NY
  • Summer Team: Real Ballers 2023 National / Syracuse Sports Zone
  • Height: 6-2
    Weight: 155lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R

2020 Scouting Report

9/11/20

Physical: 6-foot-2, 155 pounds; lanky, long legged build.
Pitching: Methodical tempo in his delivery, creates a lot of shoulder tilt down the mound. Long, whippy arm action from a high 3/4 slot. FB: Peak velo of 83 MPH, while sitting 80-83 MPH. Established his FB down in the zone, has good life to it. CB: 67-70 MPH. Displayed a quality CB that tunnels well off his FB, making it a good 2K pitch. CH: 70-71 MPH. Throws a good CH with comfort to his arm side, slightly tips the pitch by the way he holds it in his glove compared to his other grips. 

8/02/20

Physical: High waisted, projectable 6-foot-2, 155-pound frame with high level athleticism in the actions. 
Pitching: RHP - Begins from the middle-left side of the rubber, short side rocker step, moderate pace throughout the delivery, medium / high leg lift with slight hip coil around the backside, good lower half drive out towards the plate, stays relatively high in the posture at land, high ¾ arm-slot on the release out of a full arm circle. FB played from 82-84 mph per Trackman Baseball with an upwards of 2363 rpms of spin. Mixed in a sharp swing and miss 68-70 mph CB with 11/5 shape and late depth. Countered with a 71-72 mph SL showing even more feel for spin at nearly 2500 rpms and more horizontal plane. Both swing and miss offerings and give hitters a different look out of the same slot. Tough at bat against with confidence on the bump.

 

7/06/20

Physical: Long, high waisted 6-foot-2, 155-pound frame with plenty of projectability in the build and feel for his body in the movements. Room to fill out as he matures and likewise should see a velocity increase in the near future. 
Pitching: RHP - Moderate pace in the delivery with present hip coil at the top of a high stack; quality lower half leg drive allowed a loose, high ¾ slot to play downhill into the zone. Fastball worked 82-85 mph with heavy action and 2363 max spin through the zone and got groundball outs in game action. The 64-66 mph curveball showed well with 11/5 shape and feel for spin creating swing and miss opportunities at times. A 66-67 mph changeup is an adequate third offering, but lacks true deception and should see a closer velocity difference to the FB. 


Videos

(9/11/20)




Fastball Breakdown

Velocity: Vaughn produces velocity that puts him right around average. He has been up to 85 MPH but this was at a non Trackman recorded event. Because we don't have the Trackman numbers for that, we are going to work with what we have on record. If he works on the high end of his velocity it'll put him up around the top 25% among high school arms. When the velocity isn't quite present yet, another number I like to look at is the zone %. This is pretty self explanatory but for those that don't understand, it is a measurement of how often he will throw his fastball for a strike. At 70%, Vaughn can essentially throw his fastball in the zone just about whenever he wants.v

Spin Rate: What is impressive though, are Vaughn's spin numbers. Vaughn spins the ball exceptionally well. With 22-2300 RPM we would expect the velocity to be around 87-88 MPH. Not saying that is the magic number that Vaughn will be throwing in the next couple months, but it is a good sign for him. Right now, it doesn't seem like Vaughn will see success throwing elevated fastballs, simply because his velocity just doesn't make it possible...yet.

Bauer Units: When we see someone come in with a Bauer Unit measurement far above average (22-23) it is never a bad thing. Although it does mean the velo is lower than the spin would indicate, which could mean there is a leak in velocity within the mechanics or the player isn't physically capable of throwing that hard yet. Either way, it is a good thing when Vaughn has a Bauer Unit measurement of 28. At the moment, Vaughn's fastball plays up to a higher velocity but as said previously, it isn't recommended that Vaughn tries to be a top of the zone pitcher. 

Induced Vertical Break/Horizontal Break: With 17" of IVB, that slates Vaughn around the average among high school arms. Now we have actual concrete numbers to look at that back up the statement made previously that Vaughn is not a top of the zone type arm just yet. What is interesting though is that Vaughn is only inducing around 4" of horizontal movement on his fastball. This means that the ball has almost no side to side movement and it is a flat fastball. This would make the case even stronger that Vaughn needs to spot up in the bottom of the zone as flat fastballs are traditionally a pitch hitters like to see. Again, Vaughn throws his fastball in the zone around 7/10 times. He should have no issues carving up hitters with his fastball. 

Curveball Breakdown

Spin Rate: Vaughn owns a top of the line curveball. With a max of almost 2500 RPM, he has the pure ability to spin the baseball. Producing quality spin along with appropriate velocity for the pitch makes Vaughns curveball elite. He throws it with the ability to make it a swing and miss as well as a get me over pitch for early counts.

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. Vaughn induces 12" of vertical break on his best curveball. This would be an off the chart measurement, but he only averages about 5". As said many times in Trackman Traits - Pitching articles, curveball reliability is about trust and confidence. As Vaughn throws his curveball more and tweaks with it he will be able to make the 12" of IVB his average instead of his max. Not only does he induce great movement vertically, Vaughn can spin it horizontally very well too. The curveball on average is far more sweepy than a traditional curveball is, but when his IVB is around his max number it turns into a slurve pitch. A curveball turns into a slurve when the IVB and HB numbers are almost the same and getting equal break. 



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