Radar guns and Other Things to Consider
I was attending a game last week and others in my business had their devices set at various readings, particular to what they were look for – pitch for pitch, inning by inning, endurance and consistency, etc.
Can a radar gun or similar device actually help a scout, cross-checker, look at a variety of qualities and quantities other than velocity? You bet – big time.
When used by a professional, this simple device can actually do a lot of the job for him/her, supporting and backing up other things. Going one step further, those interested in velocity alone are usually not in attendance to get the big picture on a pitcher. But rather a narrow snapshot in time of just a portion of a man’s given ability – for now.
I on the other hand had a much wider lens to my attendance. The gun goes up like everyone else, I set to record and keep, then down it went. What I noticed with the pitcher’s ability to work with his backstop, take signs that he could work with, and some he couldn’t, stayed ahead of each pitch with the potential of what would might happen two plays ahead, shake off a sign and take responsibility, for it – good or bad, anticipated bunts/squeeze plays, incorporated instincts for covering first –third - the plate, even got into action at first with a rundown.
He never got animated with calls that didn’t go his way, nor did he pay any attention to the hecklers sitting right next to his bench. He covered his shoulders and arms after every inning or work, even though it was in the 90’s.
His fastball velocity was not noticeably good – low 80’s. But, low ,80’s at consistently, 1st inning through the 6th. His ability to read every tendency of every batter more than made up for it. His breaking stuff was subpar, but this was glaringly apparent during his bullpen. I know, I watched. But he went along with his skipper’s game plan without antics or complaining.
Next year will be the start of this young man’s senior year in high school. A small school tucked away in corner of nowhere. Everyone there with a pad and recorder left after the third inning. I stayed.
I stayed to watch him shake hands with the opposing team at the game’s end, and I watched him smile and congratulate the opposing coaches – his team lost. I watched him walk to the parking lot where his father was waiting. He placed his stuff in the back of the family SUV – no throwing of his gear, no complaints.
Right next to my Stalker was my HD video. Along with my notes is the DVD I made when I got home and unpacked.
When the time is right for contacting this young man – I’ll be the only one to approach him. I saw more than numbers. I saw a work-in-progress of a professional someday – and the price will be right too.