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NC/SC Border Battle: Analyzing Advanced Pitching Metrics


Brandon Hall
North Carolina Director of Scouting

On July 24th, top players from North Carolina and South Carolina converged on Winthrop University for the first ever NC/SC Border Battle.  The Border Battle allowed players to workout and compete in front of college coaches and pro scouts, while updating their information for their PBR Profile, connecting them with over 900 college coaches and pro scouts that subscribe to PBR.

The event was a huge success with players from each state impressing those in attendance.  The process to break all of the information down has begun.  Player statistics have been loaded to the event page and onto each player’s personal PBR Profile.  PBR Scouts are pouring over all the information to produce evaluations on each player, and notes from the event.

During the event, pitchers threw to live hitters in a controlled game setting.  While getting loose in the bullpen, pitchers were able to use a F5 Sports PitchLogic Baseball.  An advanced metrics tool, the baseball was able to feed an app information on every pitch thrown in the bullpen, gathering release, spin, and velocity information.  In the bullpen setting it is a small sample size, but it does give us an idea on each arm and how they are releasing and spinning the baseball.

 

 CLICK HERE to see the full statistics from the NC/SC Border Battle.

 

NC/SC Border Battle: Pitching Metrics from PitchLogic

Notes:

  • Recorded velocities listed are from the game play session, taken off of a stalker radar gun
  • Total Spin (rpm):  The total amount of rotations per minute put on the baseball out of the hand
  • Spin Efficiency:  Ratio of transverse to total spin... simple meaning is a higher efficiency yields more movement
  • Backspin: Component of total spin that generates vertical breaking force... does a fastball hold its trajectory (average), seem to rise, or play above the trajectory (high rate), play below the trajectory (low rate)
  • Sidespin: Component of total spin that generates horizontal breaking force.  In the charts below, a negative sidespin denotes spin that would cause movement back toward the arm side... a sinking or running type fastball.
  • Riflespin: Component of total spin that does not contribute to any breaking force.  A high rifle spin will hinder movement.

To see a breakdown of the PitchLogic metrics and the pitching analysis tools, visit www.PitchLogic.com

 

Reviewing Fastball Spin Rate


  • Several arms produced notes of arm side movement on their fastballs.  Three stood out as the movement was late and seemed to create issues on the hitters.  Those three arms had the lowest spin rate, with decent spin efficiency, on their 2 seam fastballs.  Gabriel Brewington (RHP, Corinth Holders HS, 2020, NC A&T commit), Anthony Sullivan (LHP, Hopewell HS, 2020) and Matt Hayek (RHP, Charlotte Catholic, 2020) each produced fastballs within their normal range with a spin rate under 1700 rpm.  Each arm produced these numbers on their 2 seam fastball

  • Sullivan and Brewington show up again when looking at the 4 seam fastball.  Sullivan’s average spin rate was 1344 with 84% efficiency.  Brewington sat at 1374 with a 91% efficiency to the spin.  Chas DeBruhl (LHP, Andrew Jackson HS, 2020) produced a spin rate of 1497 on his 4 seam. All three pitchers created ground ball opportunities in their outings.

  • The top three spin rates all came from SC arms with Landon Lucas (Blythewood HS, RHP, 2020, CofC commit) , Daniel Brooks (RHP, Bishop England HS, 2020, CofC commit), and Austin Gordan (RHP, Myrtle Beach HS, 2021).  All three produced an average spin rate on their 4 seam fastball ranging 2113 – 2181.  Gordon’s fastball checked in at 2113 with a spin efficiency of 99%.  The spin axis on Gordon’s fastball was at 1:23 (clock from the pitcher’s view) with a release point of 0:52.

 

Reviewing Off-Speed Spin Rates

 

  • Baker Cox (LHP, AC Flora HS, 2020, Charleston Southern commit) produced the highest spin rate on his curveball at 2483, but lost some of the action with heavy rifle spin and a spin efficiency of 52%.  Cox’s breaking ball is in position to take a big jump as he learns to be more efficient with the release and spin direction out of the hand.  Gabriel Brewington may have produced the most efficient curveball on the day with 1224 rpm of down spine (-1224 backspin on the chart).  The total spin on Brewington’s breaking ball averaged 2158 with 79% efficiency.  Jacob Coffin (LHP, Apex HS, 2021) was up there with Brewington, spinning his breaking ball with a total spin of 1829, but the down spin measured at 1443 and the spin efficiency averaged 81%.   As Coffin adds velocity to his breaking ball, the pitch is in position to have bigger, tighter bite.

  • Four players threw change-ups that, from an analytics view, should be weapons.  Several of these arms may need to adjust their release point to better mimic the release of the fastball, but with spin rates of under 700 rpm, these change-ups have action.  Andrew Bright’s (RHP, Byrnes HS, 2021) split-finger fastball almost acted dead out of the hand with an average spin rate of 210 rpm.  Bright’s split finger checked in with a spin rate under the knuckleball of Calder Garris (RHP, Wando HS, 2022), whose knuckler came out of the hand with 373 rpm.  Both Bright’s splitty and Garris’ knuckle ball tumbled out of the hand with down spin.  AJ Tolbert (RHP, Orangeburg Prep, 2021) and Chase Loggins (RHP, Bishop England HS, 2021) threw traditional change-ups with spin rates under 700 rpm.  Tolbert stayed true behind his change and created a spin efficiency of 96% on the change.

 

Complete Overview of Each Arm

 

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