PBR Introduces Hop Score
June 4, 2021
Fastball Hop Quantified
Up until now, hop was used to subjectively describe fastballs with life that visually jumped through the strike zone. Our goal was to define and quantify hop within a fastball to be able to compare and evaluate hop across levels. With the Prep Baseball Report's new hop scores and metrics, we can now objectively evaluate and compare fastball hop.
Using key measurements from pitch data PBR has developed Hop and xHop scores.
Hop score quantifies the level of hop in a fastball. A fastball with hop has a flat vertical approach angle, more rise than run, and visually jumps through the strike zone. Hop generates higher Whiff and Pop-Up percentages, especially when thrown up in the zone.
xHop score estimates the level of hop on a fastball using key measurements. PBR created xHop to minimize errors introduced by calibration with the portable TrackMan systems.
Hop metrics take and normalize hop scores across a level. The mean hop score is set to 100 and 1 unit above or below that is equal to being 1% above or below that mean for the level of play.
Hop+ is calculated by dividing a pitcher’s hop by the mean hop of the level of play and multiplying by 100.
xHop+ is calculated by dividing a pitcher’s xHop by the mean Hop of the level of play and multiplying by 100.
MLB Fastball Hop Leaders 2015-2020
MLB’s mean Hop score for Fastballs is 10.6.
Hop metrics provide a simple way to objectively compare and evaluate fastballs with hop characteristics between levels and over time. Fastballs with hop produce more whiffs, especially when thrown up in the strike zone. PBR created xHop to estimate hop and deliver a more stable hop score on a portable TrackMan. Both metrics give PBR the new ability to objectively quantify the level of hop within a fastball.