What do these stats tell a coach?


#1

USSSA event 13U
total Innings pitched: 6
Strikeouts: 5
First Pitch Strikes: 18
WHIP 2 games: game 1 (2innings): .75
game 2 (4 innings) 1.50

What do these stats tell you as a coach what other tracked results would be helpful and why?

Second question: Should a young pitcher be made aware of his stats? Which ones would be helpful?


#2

At 13 years old I’d be more concerned about if he’s throwing well than the results on the stat sheet. Is he improving, throwing with intent and how’s his demeanor on the mound? At 13 stats can be influenced by level of competition and/or how well the defense is playing behind him.


#3

The level of competition is 13 Major, which is the highest level of competition in our state. That level exists hitting as well as the defense. This specific game both offense/defense were evenly matched


#4

Stats are important, and the one I use to hone in on was the on base percentage (OBP) in the apposing lineup- and why. So the next time you, your teammate, your son or someone else is pitching, checkout the OBP of who that pitcher is facing. You’d be surprised at how easy it is to slot pitchers at the right time.
****** there’s one of a pitching coach’s secrets that’s not open to everyone****


#5

Thank you!


#6

I work with U9/10 pitchers and we track the following.

K/W Ratio
K per inning
Pitches per Out

I agree first pitch strike is important. We probably look more at K/W ratio at the younger age simply because the defense is so variable in quality and we don’t track errors well enough for WHIP or ERA to really tell us much. K/W let’s you know how well a pitcher can throw his way out of trouble at the younger ages.

K per inning isn’t really a focus for us statiscally but let’s the coaches know who is dominating hitters as opposed to someone where we need to really see just how they are getting their out. At the younger levels with small sample sizes there is a lot of variability. A kid may only have two innings pitched and a low ERA but if he got two or three outs on the basepath and has low strikeouts that ERA means a bit less than a kid who gave up more runs but struck out 2 per inning.

Pitches per put is our big efficiency metric. We also track ball to strike ratios but we found this was an easier number for kids to absorb at the younger ages and understand their progress. It also accounts for the ability to finish guys off once you have them down as opposed to getting fouled off. After all the objective is to get outs.

We share most stats with our pitchers and are debating sharing everyone’s stats with everyone else. Haven’t done the later thus far but likely will come Spring of our U10 season.


#7

What if a kid is darn near untouchable but is wild? Where some pitchers are more likely get an out based on contact, one that has a lot of velocity but lacks in the control department doesn’t get the chance to have the count reset after said hit. That is going to send his pitches per out higher than most.

I’m asking because well… that is my kid, and this is the track taken by his coaches. He has hardly given up any hits in the last year but you can bet he is going to walk 1 or 2 or sometimes 3 an inning. He is also going to strikeout the side. I trust his coaches but when he walks a few and the gets pulled his confidence goes in the tank!


#8

Pitching is an emotional rollercoaster for everyone - pitcher, coach(s), sponsors, etc.
However you look at it, figure it, calculate it, it all boils down to simple math of “90 feet.” When I had a pitching staff, I would gauge my pen on 90 feet, plus or minus. Every time a batter takes first, or beyond, my guy is 90 feet or more in the hole. The chance for fielding error goes exponential, as does the pressure added by runners on.
No granted, whether a batter takes the base path, or not, is based on other stats that come before walking the chalk. On the other hand, there are so many variables with amateurs in their preteen and teenage years that one must be careful not to put too much emphasis on said numbers. However, in highly competitive college and beyond, some numbers are better than others, depending on the coaching and player pool.


#9

That is why we also track the K per inning so we know what we are getting into. But then you are venturing in my view into the realm of opinion and style. I don’t mind a reasonable amount of wildness if it means there are lots of K’s. If I see a K/W ratio at or above 1 at the young ages I cut the kids some slack. The only way they will find more command is to practice more and spend more time on the mound in games. If you are striking out 2 or more per inning I don’t mind 2-3 walks so long as strike ratio is trending up over the long term.


#10

I always liked WHIP as a good indicator of success when WHIP < 1 or thereabouts. First pitch strike is meaningless without knowing how many batters were faced. FPS% is a much more meaningful stat. To make it more meaningful, combine it with average pitches per batter faced.

Not sure how your guy got a .75 WHIP over 2 innings (did he let 1 1/2 guys on?) :slight_smile:


#11

The most important stat for a 13U player is smile %. Is he having fun and enjoying the game? Focus on the stats when your son is 15 and in high school. Have fun learning the game, J.


#12

I know that’s what everyone loves to say but it’s not realistic and I for one don’t think the “so long as they are having fun” method is really what’s best for kids.

Now, I am not saying it should be life or death or win at all cost by any means. But kids should to some degree be pushed to do their best and strive to be better and getting better means having some sort of measurement. It also means having some standards beyond are they smiling. I mean there are kids that just don’t get it who are up there throwing 70% balls who are thrilled with it.

One of the best things boys can learn by pitching is the relationship of work and effort to results and how to compete both with others and themselves. They also can learn to fail (especially that there is a possibility of failing) and how to move past it. It’s actually something I think schools do a pretty lousy job at. Kids who aren’t doing well move into IEP’s and still get good grades. Taking that away from sports and making it about smiles is doing a disservice to kids in my view.

Pitching is a wonderful life lesson in that most kids with any aptitude for it are going to see progression in line with their effort. When a kid puts in effort (real, focused effort) they will see results. Strike % will rise. Walks will drop. Taking the time to learn a new pitch can shorten AB’s and raise K rates. Even comparing them to their teammates (oh the horror won’t someone think of the children) teaches a lesson. You want to explain to a kid the results they get from their work show them how they improved relative to kids that just work at practice and in games. When they improve faster than their peers they will understand why their going outside to throw three or four days a week while their teammates are playing xbox matters. Numbers are part of accountability.

Ultimately while one isn’t here to win necessarily at the young ages you at least owe it to yourself and kids/players to teach them how to get everything out of themselves. Understanding measures of success and failure is how they hold themselves accountable and see the results of their work or lack therof.


#13

I’m just saying your son is 1 year removed from little league, probably hasn’t reached puberty. Let him have fun learning the game. I have seen absolute “studs” over the years that quit because it wan’t fun. Baseball is called a “game” for a reason. Don’t get me wrong, at a certain point (in high school) if he wants to continue playing he is going to have to perform. My son did well in Little league but struggled at 13 and 14 years old with failure. I had to move him around a little to find a team which wasn’t so focused on winning. He’s now 17 and verbally committed to a D1 school. My son may have been more fragile than yours but what worked for my son may not work for others. All the best, J.