Radar Guns and You!

Hey guys, I have a few questions about everyone’s favorite piece of equipment: The Radar Gun.

To get things started, if there is one, what gun is generally used in the majors (guns used by scouts and the ones at the ball park)? Where are the velocity readings taken (as in, out of the hand or before the plate)?

Other than buying one, is it normal/acceptable to ask a college coach to be gunned if you’re not on the team?

What is a good radar gun to buy for personal use/ is it returnable :wink: ?

Thanks for the help!

Almost all MLB scouts use a Stalker. Everyone who wants credibility uses a Stalker or a JUGS gun.

Velo readings are taking from behind the plate, but both the Stalker and JUGS guns can get it out of the hand as well the final velocity (when it hits the catcher’s mitt). This is called a “roll” function.

Dunno about the college coach. Email him. Some are weird.

I bought my gun on Ebay. Got a huge discount.

Don’t bother with Bushnell or cheaper guns.

Thanks for all the answers! Sorry, but I have two more questions.

Does anyone know where ballparks take their velocity readings? I sometimes see velocities pop up as the ball hits the catchers mit or slightly before it (usually in older clips). Sometimes they seem to only appear if the ball gets to the catcher and some show up if the batter hits the ball. This makes me believe velocity readings are not standardized things.

If I were to try out for a major league team and a scout took a reading of my velocity. Where are those readings taken?

CodenameX,

A scout will get both the reading from your hand and when it crosses the plate. Typically it will show in the display one on top of the other in the right hand side. At least, this is where the Stalker Sport 2 shows speeds. Which by the way you can get brand new in a deluxe package with hard shell carrying case for 6 hundred dollars.

A good review here:

PNC Park actually has a pitch tracking system that uses triangulation from three origins in the ball park. The speed of the pitch can be known at any point from release until it is hit or caught by the catcher.

Thanks for the help! That’s a pretty good review for the gun (ah, if only quality was cheap). So the ballpark can take a reading from anywhere, gotcha. Generally speaking, is the velocity displayed at the park the velocity out of hand? Or is that more of a ball park dependent thing? I read that some parks dial back visiting pitchers velocities for a more physiological battle.

I’ve been saving my pennies to get a pocket radar. I’ve read generally good reviews on them on the internet and my sons pitching coach uses one. He said he used his many times side by side with the stalker and it’s always within a mile an hour or so. I’ve watched him use his on my son and it seems pretty simple and straightforward.

i have the pocket radar myself but cannot say im very impressed with it, you mostly need to be 3 to get accurate readings and sometimes the readings are way off like i throw warm up pitches at like 56mph then when i reach back and throw gas i hit an incredible 62 mph which doesnt makes sense. i make my catcher scream from pain and get a 60mph reading btw im 6’1 200lbs and 23 year old and went to a mlb tryout where was gunned 80mph and i was focusing on hitting the target more then velocity. so this just seems ridiculous…
ohh and other times i get to throw 124mph too…

[quote=“4pie”]i have the pocket radar myself but cannot say im very impressed with it, you mostly need to be 3 to get accurate readings and sometimes the readings are way off like i throw warm up pitches at like 56mph then when i reach back and throw gas i hit an incredible 62 mph which doesnt makes sense. i make my catcher scream from pain and get a 60mph reading btw im 6’1 200lbs and 23 year old and went to a mlb tryout where was gunned 80mph and i was focusing on hitting the target more then velocity. so this just seems ridiculous…
ohh and other times i get to throw 124mph too…[/quote]
124mph seems pretty accurate! I mean it was probably 1-2 mph off.

[quote=“4pie”]i have the pocket radar myself but cannot say im very impressed with it, you mostly need to be 3 to get accurate readings and sometimes the readings are way off like i throw warm up pitches at like 56mph then when i reach back and throw gas i hit an incredible 62 mph which doesnt makes sense. i make my catcher scream from pain and get a 60mph reading btw im 6’1 200lbs and 23 year old and went to a mlb tryout where was gunned 80mph and i was focusing on hitting the target more then velocity. so this just seems ridiculous…
ohh and other times i get to throw 124mph too…[/quote]

That’s too bad. My son’s pitching coach has used his on him time after time and all the readings are consistent across the board. He also stated that he checks it periodically against a friends stalker and the readings are always consistently on. Maybe your unit is defective?

That has been observed quite a few times - It seems to be from mistimed button clicks.

EDIT: That is a joke.

I have a pocket radar coming this week.

If it gets delivered to me by Thursday I will use it all weekend at a Perfect Game event in Ft. Myers and let you know how it performs.

They use Stalkers at all their games so it will be a good chance to compare.
I’ll post results sometime next week.

j

Two quick things:

  1. Every MLB organization uses Stalker guns as already said. They’re reliable within 1-2 MPH. Make sure you point the gun towards the release point of the ball, which is where speed is measured, not in mid-air or worse, when it reaches the catcher.

  2. TV and ballparks radar guns are generally “tampered with” to add a couple of MPH more for added coolness. The reliable speed is the one given by Pitch f/x which you can find on the live games on MLB.com or on fangraphs.com

Thanks for all the replys guys!

Let me know how those pocket radar readings come out.

Andrea91- Thanks for the info. Fangraphs.com is pretty sweet. I’ve been poking around the website for a while, it’s pretty cool. And yeah, after a little more research I found that some parks will rig the readings at the stadium for a psychological warfare kind of purpose. And I’m so glad to hear those readings are near the release point and not near mid-flight or the plate. I would have been so depressed if 90 m.p.h readings were taken closer to the plate than the hand. I also feel that my goal to throw 90 m.p.h is that much closer (literally).

[quote=“CodenameX”]Thanks for all the replys guys!

Let me know how those pocket radar readings come out.

Andrea91- Thanks for the info. Fangraphs.com is pretty sweet. I’ve been poking around the website for a while, it’s pretty cool. And yeah, after a little more research I found that some parks will rig the readings at the stadium for a psychological warfare kind of purpose. And I’m so glad to hear those readings are near the release point and not near mid-flight or the plate. I would have been so depressed if 90 m.p.h readings were taken closer to the plate than the hand. I also feel that my goal to throw 90 m.p.h is that much closer (literally).[/quote]
Ah well, the only 90 mph reading at the plate you will ever get comes from a pitch that was going about 98-100 mph. Not many people can or ever will do that :wink:

Good luck and as I always tell pitchers who worry about speed: remember that control and movement are more important!

Very true. I haven’t been on a mound in a long time. I’m working a bit on mechanics (just going through it slowly and working on drills), but I can’t do too much without that mound. I’ve been throwing with a friend every so often (a lot) to whip my arm back into shape. I really want to use that radar gun to see where I sit right now and how much progress I can make. And my control could use a booster as well (but I guess that’s what happens after a few years off). Have you used any guns/found any specific (hopefully cheap) guns to be useful?

Well I was gunned all the time in the Minors and where I play right now also I’m gunned very often. In the Minors they used Stalker guns, where I play now they have a JUGS. Both are reliable. I never used a radar gun myself though, all I know is how they work and that you should aim them at the release point to get a proper reading.

And the lack of a mound sounds bad, pitching from a flat ground is a messy business. Can’t you make some kind of a self-made ramp that simulates a mound like those used in indoor facilities?

OK… verdict.

It sucks!

Most of the time I could not even get a reading. The times I did get a legit reading it was fairly accurate compared to the stalkers on FASTBALLS. Within 1mph as advertised… Offspeed pitches were never accurate usually 5-6 miles difference from stalker.

It was a major disappointment.

oh by the way for those that dont read entire thread… this is referring to the pocket radar which i just purchased in time to use at Perfect Game event this weekend. Tons of games so got to experiment with it on all types of pitchers.

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.

Coach B

Well said Coach B.

Nice post Coach Baker. It’s always interesting to see how different people view the same piece of equipment and it’s potential. And whoa, an HD video camera and radar gun sounds like quite the nice setup . :wink: I’d love to get my hands on something like that one day if I could.

Out of curiosity, when do you use the gun/camera? Is it only for high school players?