SPARQ Baseball

This is catching fire in the Pacific Northwest, and I assume it’s only going to get more popular:

The metrics that SPARQ tests for baseball are:

-30 yard dash
-3 kg. medball throw
-20 yard shuttle
-Vertical leap

Good stuff to know and train for in the future!

Didn’t Nike purchase SPARQ

Interesting that this started in the Northwest home to Nike? I wonder if Nike is a sponsor of the event where this video was made?

[quote=“kidmullen”]Didn’t Nike purchase SPARQ

Interesting that this started in the Northwest home to Nike? I wonder if Nike is a sponsor of the event where this video was made?[/quote]

Trice Athletics (Eric Trice) is the guy who “invented” SPARQ Baseball. However, it has since been pulled from Nike’s site, and Eric Trice works out of Oregon promoting SPARQ Baseball metrics. Not really sure what the whole story is there, to be honest, but I like the metrics and the training overall.

A lot of colleges are using SPARQ as a skills test at camps/showcases; for example, Stanford.

My son has done this training, I recommend it highly.
Jared Payne (Ex- Blue Jay Minor Leaguer and Kinesiology major grad from UNF) at “The Yard” in Jacksonville and Rick Wilkins (Ex-MLB player and owner of Warning Track Baseball) both introduced it in this area about 4 years ago, in conjunction with some folks from the University of Florida.

Although I like the training aspect of it, all it really tells you is the possible level of “athleticism” or physical capability a player has. I would venture to guess that this is more indicative to a position player rather than a pitcher.

So it may help with scouting that type of player, but it won’t tell you if they can actually play.

I am curious though as to how they’re measuring the vertical jump.

??

[quote=“101mph”]Although I like the training aspect of it, all it really tells you is the possible level of “athleticism” or physical capability a player has. I would venture to guess that this is more indicative to a position player rather than a pitcher.

So it may help with scouting that type of player, but it won’t tell you if they can actually play.

I am curious though as to how they’re measuring the vertical jump.

??[/quote]

Right, this is just an indication of a player’s athleticism. I agree completely. But baseball doesn’t have these metrics, while every other sport has theirs - so it’s a great baseline to compare athletes against. Data is always good!

They measure the vertical leap by using a Vertec (the contraptions you see on the NFL scouting combine) or a Just Jump digital pad which measures hang time of the jump to calculate vertical leap.

I ran through these tests at a showcase about 2 years ago. I guess I liked it just because it set me so far apart from the players (basically all of them) who had done nothing to prepare their bodies for this kind of testing.

I’m not so sure it has direct correlation to performance from a scouting perspective. For football, I can see why some of these tests might have direct correlation to performance, but how many mlb players do you think can post 30 inch verticals? And besides, baseball is so skill-dominant that even if you do master SPARQ testing, all it shows is physical/athletic potential in a sport that requires technical skills first and foremost.

You’d be surprised. Quite a few MLB players have outstanding vertical leap, since it’s a display of fast-twitch fiber in the body - highly correlated with speed-strength, as you know.

But yes, it’s just a metric of athleticism. I like that, though - baseball players are athletes, despite what John Kruk says :wink:

House and the NPA have also been looking at using the broad jump as a measure of things - maybe a bit more than general athletism but I don’t recall what exactly. I believe they are also aligned with SPARQ.

[quote]Right, this is just an indication of a player’s athleticism. I agree completely. But baseball doesn’t have these metrics, while every other sport has theirs - so it’s a great baseline to compare athletes against. Data is always good!

They measure the vertical leap by using a Vertec (the contraptions you see on the NFL scouting combine) or a Just Jump digital pad which measures hang time of the jump to calculate vertical leap.[/quote]

I agree. Data is always good.

But it seems to me that if you just used the jump pad (which is what I thought they were using) that it would be easy to “fool” it and get a better reading (by just keeping your legs tucked under you as you were landing).

I prefer to see the vert. measured with the Vertec myself. Both together may be the best option.

[quote=“101mph”][quote]Right, this is just an indication of a player’s athleticism. I agree completely. But baseball doesn’t have these metrics, while every other sport has theirs - so it’s a great baseline to compare athletes against. Data is always good!

They measure the vertical leap by using a Vertec (the contraptions you see on the NFL scouting combine) or a Just Jump digital pad which measures hang time of the jump to calculate vertical leap.[/quote]

I agree. Data is always good.

But it seems to me that if you just used the jump pad (which is what I thought they were using) that it would be easy to “fool” it and get a better reading (by just keeping your legs tucked under you as you were landing).

I prefer to see the vert. measured with the Vertec myself. Both together may be the best option.[/quote]

You can cheat it, but they have people monitoring the jump pads to make sure this doesn’t happen. You can also cheat the Vertec by not reaching as high as possible or shrugging your shoulders when making your initial measurement.