Why Do Radar Guns Hate me?


#1

I am a Senior in high school and am exclusively a pitcher on my team. I am 6’5" RHP and have had allot of success the last few years with an era less than 2 and been getting a good deal of ks against pretty good talent. The one thing stopping me from getting allot of looks from scouts is that i don’t exactly put up huge numbers on the radar gun, average about 82-84 toping at about 87. Having this said, batters almost never get around really well on my fastball and by the witness of those watching it looks like im throwing very hard, about 3-5 mph faster than what the gun says. I have thrown after some pitchers in bull pens and look like i am throwing considerably harder than them but the gun says we are throwing the same velocity. I even had a Braves scout change out radar guns on me because he thought his was broke only to find other guns reading similar velocitys. Could it be that radar guns read my velocity different for some reason? Could my height or explosive throwing motion have anything to do with this?


#2

Tall,

You’re looking in the wrong direction for answers, bud.

Radar guns measure the peak speed of the baseball, which is the speed of the ball at the moment that you release it. There aren’t different radar guns for tall guys or exceptionally explosive guys.

The factors you are describing are all human perception, which means a lot in terms of your quality as a pitcher, but they mean nothing at all in terms of speed measurements made by a machine.

If you want to try for further velocity increases, in my opinion the right direction to look is: Mechanics, conditioning, your work ethic to follow efficient routines for optimizing your mechs & conditioning, and nutrition.

I obviously don’t know your personal situation, but you might also want to consider getting some very high-level coaching specifically to work with you toward your goals…get somebody with a track record.


#3

thanks, I do work hard and have been trying to maximize my mechanics. I just dont want not exceptionally great velocity readings to hinder me even though my game performance is good.


#4

Could be that you have good, efficient mechanics that, coupled with your height, let you get your release point closer to home plate than most other pitchers. So, even though your numbers on the gun might not be that impressive, the shorter distance the ball travels through the air lets the ball get to home plate quicker. That’s called “perceived velocity”.

If this is what’s happening, good job!


#5

Could be the way that your ball moves too. People have always said that I look like I am throwing slower than I actually am, and because of that they wait for it when its comming in at low 90s and get caught way off guard. I guess it is cause my ball dives and tails a ton somehow so your eyes think its going slower… Everything is about perception, timing, and throwing off timing. So I would say its a good thing people are saying that about you, but not necessarily good that you arent actually throwing that hard.


#6

Radar guns—phooey! They’re nothing but machines, and like most machines they tend not to be all that reliable. It’s not that they “hate you”, because they are incapable of any human emotion. It’s the guys who operate them who are stuck in a preconceived idea that a pitcher has to throw 100 miles an hour in order to merit any consideration.
So—don’t worry about it. If you have good sound mechanics, and because of your height your release point is closer to the plate than most other pitchers, and you’re throwing strikes and getting the batters out, you’re doing all right. Let me tell you about something that happened to me when I was eighteen and winning a lot of games with my arsenal of snake-jazz:
I had been warming up prior to the start of a game, and suddenly I threw a pitch that was a good deal faster than the mid-to-high-70s which I had assumed to be my top speed. I threw a few more, and I realized this was not a fluke, and when I was consulting with my catcher before taking the mound he asked if I wanted to try it in the game. I did, and I liked the way it moved, and I liked the way the batters weren’t having any luck trying to hit it. A few days later I was talking to my pitching coach—an active major league pitcher—and I told him about it, and he ran into the Yankee clubhouse and got a catcher’s mitt and a stopwatch and told me to throw eight or nine of those pitches because he was going to time them. A few minutes later he said to me, “I’ve got news tor you! You have a fast ball!” I was flabbergasted at this news. He told me that he had timed that pitch at 81 miles an hour, and what I had was a good four-seamer with a lot of movement on it.
And so I added that to my already substantial arsenal.
One thing I had been doing all along was something I had seen the Yankees’ Big Three guys doing: they were all driving off the lower half of the body, using the legs, the hips and the torso in one continuous, seamless motion, and that was how they were getting the power behind their pitches. I had picked up on that, and I was a natural sidearmer on top of that. So that made for another weapon I could use against opposing hitters. :slight_smile: :baseballpitcher:


#7

Thanks guys you have given me alot to think about. Sunset and Roger your explanation make alot of sense because i do throw a fairly strait four seamer but it is ok because i couple it with my very high to low throwing angle and closer to the batter release point. I guess i wont worry about it too much as long as im still doing what i need to get batters out.


#8

mid-80s with your frame get you to juco unless you walk the world. that will give you two more years to mature and possibly throw harder. some guys do not get their strength and velocity until they approach 20. get people out and work on arm strength religiously. i think that is your best option. find a good juco and get to work. that’s exactly what roy oswalt and billy wagner did. they turned out pretty good


#9

yes i am already committed to a juco, and thats what i plan on doing.


#10

I didn’t read through all the posts so idk if anyone has mentioned this.

It’s possible that your fastball jumps, as in it doesn’t slow down as much on it’s way to the plate as most do, making it look faster than it is at the moment of release.


#11

[quote=“laflippin”]Tall,

You’re looking in the wrong direction for answers, bud.

Radar guns measure the peak speed of the baseball, which is the speed of the ball at the moment that you release it. There aren’t different radar guns for tall guys or exceptionally explosive guys.

The factors you are describing are all human perception, which means a lot in terms of your quality as a pitcher, but they mean nothing at all in terms of speed measurements made by a machine.

If you want to try for further velocity increases, in my opinion the right direction to look is: Mechanics, conditioning, your work ethic to follow efficient routines for optimizing your mechs & conditioning, and nutrition.

I obviously don’t know your personal situation, but you might also want to consider getting some very high-level coaching specifically to work with you toward your goals…get somebody with a track record.[/quote]

Bingo, Bango, Bongo, Flip is a genius! The gun don’t lie!


#12

I was sitting in a I-Hop having breakfast when two people behind me were talking about a game they recently attended and how this youngster posted his fifth (5) shut-out for the year. I stretched out my cup of coffee and then listened in to learned the school, and his last name.

When I got back to my motel room, I called someone who had access to the web, looked up the school (high school), found when and where their next game was, then stuck around an extra day.

The young man did not have professional makings then and there - but, he did have the things that could be developed, brought along and groomed. What impressed me the most was his demeanor, maturity, composure, and he definitely had a nose for the game - great instincts. And every once and a while, a smile that showed a real personality that was “sell-able” - fan pleasing stuff.

So, after checking out, I got home and made some phone calls. One to the school, identifying myself, got the name of the AD, then wrote a letter with my observations and suggesting a JUCO not that far from home that would compliment his future development in the game. Just by coincidence, the AD was already working hand-n-hand with his coaches and a JUCO that he had contacted to do that very thing. I was asked to put in writing my observations and my title, addressed to a contact at the JUCO, which I did. That AD and I became pretty good friends over the years, until his passing a few years ago. My Mrs., and his Mrs., still correspond from time to time.

As things turned out, he was switched to a position player - shortstop. His cat like reflectes, his howitzer of an arm, and his outstanding understanding of the game earned him that spot in addtion to being one of the captians. A few years later he was in his shopmore year, on the West Coast playing DI ball. The AD’s Mrs., informed us of the young man’s progress, in additon to other things.

Bottom line here is, this is a very small world- very small. You’ll find people in the most unlikely places with an interest in this game and willing to pass on some helpful advice and more. In fact, your skills in this game could be going in a direction that’s better suited elsewhere - trust me on this one. A professional eye knows quality and the right stuff when he/she sees it. So, trust in your work ethic, your personal inventory of character and honesty, and if it’s to-be, it’ll be.
Oh yea, let everyone know that you have goals that you’re striving to attain. Wanting to play ball, but keeping it to yourself, limits you in many ways.

Coach B.


#13

thanks coach Baker that makes me feel alot better.