Trackman Traits - Pitching: 2022 RHP Gavin Lill (West Chester East)


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. 

 

Gavin Lill

Class of 2022 / RHP

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2022
  • Primary Position: RHP
  • High School: West Chester East
    State: PA
  • Summer Team: MSI 2022 black
  • Height: 6-2
    Weight: 200lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R

Scouting Report

8/02/20

Physical: Imposing demeanor in a large and projectable 6-foot-2, 200-pound frame featuring advanced strength and athleticism throughout. 
Pitching: RHP - The primary righty started from the right side of the rubber with quick pace throughout the delivery, side rocker step to medium leg lift, got directional towards the plate with good feel for the backside while driving out, above average hip shoulder separation allowing the arm to jolt through a whippy, power high ¾ slot upon release getting downhill play and high spin on all pitches. FB ranged from 85-88 MPH showing advanced horizontal movement coupled with an upwards of 2305 RPM of spin per Trackman Baseball, made hitters look uncomfortable in the box and had no fear of running it in on the hands at will, paired a sharp two-plane 74-76 MPH breaker that has the chances of becoming a plus pitch (2476 RPM and 11/5 shape) while showing ability to sweep it with two strikes. The real deal on the mound and pitches with intent, a true competitor on the mound with in game results to back it up. 

 


Videos

(6/15/20)



Fastball Breakdown


Velocity: Initially, we would look at Lill's velocity and immediately jump to the top of the high school portion of the chart, but something to take into consideration is that he already falls into the velocity category of "average" for college. This means at this moment, Gavin Lill has a fastball that compares to the average college pitcher's velo. 

Spin Rate: So based off of what we know, spin rate tends to be linear with velocity, given that Lill's velocity is top 10% in the HS category, so is his spin rate. Assuming he continues to mature and becomes more physical, his velocity will continue to travel uphill and so will his spin rate. Given spin rate alone, without looking at any other measurable, Gavin can venture up in the zone with his FB for a punch out pitch. 

Bauer Units: League average among MLB players, the only form of in depth measurement to determine an average, is 22-23. Lill maintains a Bauer Unit max of 27 and an average of 25. This is the measurement that tells us "is the spin effective for the level of velocity". Displaying an average of 25 Bauer Units, Gavin has the spin attached to his fastball that would make it deceptive in the upper half of the zone. 

Induced Vertical Break/Horizontal Break: Lill showcases an IVB measurement of 13.6 on average. Comparing this number to the chart indicates that Lill would fall in the top 90%. IVB can be effected by tilt on the baseball and the spin efficiency. By looking at video and his release height numbers, we can figure out that Lill is throwing from a low 3/4 slot. So by taking all of this into account we can figure out that Lill throws a fastball with heavy arm side run (ASR). What makes all this even easier is if we can take a look at his horizontal movement, which has a max of 17.4 and an average of 13. This number is positive because horizontal average is based off of the middle of the rubber. Think of the center of the rubber as zero and a negative number would be something moving to his glove side and the positive number is something moving back to his arm side. 

Curveball Breakdown

Spin Rate: Lill falls into the top 10% in curveball spin rate. Right away we can figure that he is throwing a quality breaking ball that has a great amount of bite to it. The CB has slight tilt to it induced from his slot and is between a 12-6 and a slurve. 

Horizontal/Vertical Break: The curveball has good depth along with horizontal movement to it. It is definitely a pitch has has taller movement than side to side movement as a typical curveball should be shaped. It is a somewhat tall breaking ball but also shows good horizontal movement to it making it a very sweepy breaking ball.

Slider Breakdown


Horizontal/Vertical Break: Looking at his horizontal and vertical break we can easily tell that his slider fights gravity well and stays on the same vertical plane well and has a sweeping action to his glove side. Looking at numbers alone, we can assume that this pitch is/will be a swing and miss pitch.