Prep Baseball Report

PBR Future Games: Hop+ Leaderboard & Insight

Shooter Hunt
Vice President, Scouting

Click for Hop Score Introduction

The evolution of data-driven baseball has hardly been on a slow rise in the industry, and to say that it is not at the forefront of the sport is to see the game pass you by. Data and analytics are here to stay (though they were always present). New departments have been developed within organizations, as the drive to perfect the sport, a sport that so famously deals in failure and the overcoming of it, rages on daily.

But how do these new metrics and possibilities fit into amateur baseball? Is there a need for such detail oriented specifications? Is it possible to unite data-driven analytics with a human element?

Since it was first established in 2005, the Prep Baseball Report has been built around the promise to provide the most comprehensive coverage of amateur baseball in the country. Accomplishing this goal is a process that is never finished and perpetually evolving. Just as college recruiting and scouting have made advancements, PBR aims to be at the forefront of all things amateur baseball, and help connect the player/parent along the line.

Demonstrating its commitment to the player, family, recruit and scout, PBR’s Trackman and data initiatives have helped shrink the baseball world even more by providing the most credible and comprehensive platform for all parties to meet on.

Thanks to the work of PBR’s analytics department, with some of the top thinkers in the space, the quantification of Trackman’s pitching metrics into separate scores (Hop, Hop+, Sink, Hammer) aims to help players shoot for future advancements while making it easier for college coaches and scouts to sift through data sets that they deem most valuable.

Below is an initial look at some of the players and scores from the country’s most prolific underclass event, the PBR Future Games.

From a recruiting standpoint, there is no better event than the PBR Future Games. Every player is uncommitted with nearly every state in the country represented. More than 300 college coaches were in attendance at Lakepoint in 2021, and to date there are more than 200 players that have made college commitments after the event. As Vice President of Scouting, I pride myself in trying to see EVERYTHING that goes on in the amateur baseball space, but especially at the Future Games. However, for as hard as I try to do so, there is always something that slips by without me seeing. This is why I was so fascinated by the introduction of the Hop/Hammer/Sink scores as a whole, but specifically at the Future Games. Much as a college recruiting coordinator would do in reviewing notes, this list provided even greater insight to quantifying my thoughts, but even more importantly uncovering missed values.

Rank Pitcher Hop+ STATE 2-way?
1 Finn, Sean 101 PA YES
2 Velazquez, Alfredo 100 MI YES
3 Nycz, Cole 97 TN  
4 Underhill, Elijah 96 KY YES
5 Prescott, Peyton 93 FL YES
6 White, Caiden 93 IN  
7 Och, Josh 92 MN YES
8 Pitzer, Tyler 92 PA YES
9 Lee, Matt 92 MA  
10 Graham, Drew 92 OH  
11 Benes, Seth 92 MO  
12 Shelor, Will 91 AZ YES
13 Strachan, Ryan 91 AL YES
14 Heuer, Jeffrey 90 GA  
15 Sutton, Ethan 90 GA YES
16 Brands, Buddy 90 OR YES
17 Ortiz, Avery 90 OK YES
18 Thomas, Kaleb 89 ON  
19 Hershberger, Alec 89 IN  
20 Stevens, Zach 89 AL YES
21 Simmons, Logan 88 TX  
22 Butash, Mason 88 VA  
23 Batten, Chase 88 TX
24 Gotschall, Hunter 88 CO YES
25 Frers, Nick 88 BC

+ RHP/SS Sean Finn (Springside Chestnut Hill HS, PA) was one of those missed values. Now a UConn commit, the 5-foot-10, 175-pound two-way player got some impressive torque with strong rotational acceleration at the plate in barreling balls from the right side in batting practice, so there was obviously athleticism present prior to stepping on the mound. Easily overlooked because of his shorter stature, Finn flew under the radar even with an 87-90 fastball on the mound at the event. However, the Huskies definitely saw something in the plethora of swings and misses that the fastball produced, and especially his polished delivery and athletic movement down the mound. In reviewing the video, it was easy to see that the ball jumped out of the hand (he also spins a tight slider that will be covered in a future piece), and the velocity backs it up. The Trackman data, and more specifically the Hop Score, help to eliminate the variable of who he was facing. Whether he was going against a 10-year-old or Mike Trout, those metrics play independently of the result. This is paramount in helping to make judgements/assessments in retrospect. Finn’s athleticism is sure to help him continue making velocity advancements, which is helpful in generating whiffs, and given the data behind his present stuff, it should have a strong chance of producing similar results at the next level.

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