Biomechanics Recap – Summer ’22

The 2022 college summer training season 2022 is winding down. Players are returning to school for fall ball, competing for playing time, and gearing up for the upcoming spring season. Back in Kent, we’re able to take a step back and catch our collective breath before ramping back up for the pro offseason in a few weeks.

As we transition between those training periods, we thought it would be a good time to reflect on everything we accomplished this summer. Here’s our by the numbers recap of the 2022 college summer at Driveline…

All stats you see below are taken from our internal pitching and hitting biomechanics databases which process every pitch and swing we record in the motion capture lab and update nightly. For the purpose of this article, we will filter down to between May 1st and September 1st.

How many athletes assessed?

Athletes Assessed Number of Pitches/Swings
Pitchers 213 1,394
Hitters 141 1,670
Retests (Pitchers + Hitters) 156 Included in above
Total 510 3,064

Summary Stats (Pitchers) (fastballs only):

  • Average speed: 83 mph
  • Pitches above 85 mph: 597
  • Pitches above 90 mph: 138
  • Average speed gain on retest: 1.75 mph
  • 50% of pitchers gained at least 1.95 mph

Summary Stats (Hitters):

  • Average exit velocity: 89 mph
  • Average bat speed (blast): 67.2 mph
  • Total home runs hit: 111
  • Total doubles hit: 429
  • Total distance of balls hit: 351,618 ft
    • 66.6 miles 🛣
    • 12 Mount Everests stacked on top of each other ⛰️
    • 0.028% of the distance to the moon 🚀
  • Average bat speed gain on retest: 1.48 mph

If you include retests, we conducted just over 500 assessments in one summer training period. In other words, we collected a lot of data.

For pitchers, this meant processing biomechanics data from (at least) five fastballs + any relevant offspeed pitches, pairing Rapsodo, Trackman, and Pulse data, and uploading that paired data to our internal databases + the athlete’s TRAQ profile. We also automatically recorded slow motion Edgertronic videos for each rep.

On the hitting side, this meant processing biomechanics data from at least 8 swings, pairing HitTrax and Blast data, uploading that paired data to our internal databases + the athlete’s TRAQ profile, and recording each swing in high-definition slowmo with our synched Edgertronics.

Surely collecting all that data overtaxed your employees!

It actually didn’t! Let’s break it down with some back-of-the-napkin math…

For one of our department’s key performance indicators (KPIs), we track how much time we spend

1) in the lab physically collecting data

2) sitting behind a desk processing the data and

3) troubleshooting any bugs that happen to come up during processing.

All these categories are combined into one “Mocap Operations Hours” KPI.

Obviously, we want that number as low as possible.

As you can see from the figure above, we were well under 2hrs/assessment for the majority of the summer busy season. According to our time tracking, we spent 611 total labor hours on 510 assessments, which comes out to 1.2 hrs/assessment.

Let’s look at it from a department resource standpoint…

As of the time of this blog, there are five full-time sports science employees at Driveline Baseball. If you assume 40 hr work weeks (which we know is not the case during pro and college teams’ busy seasons) over the ~ 18 weeks between May 1st and September 1st, you get 3,600 total labor hours (5 employees * 40 hours * 18 weeks).

611 Mocap Operations hours represent approximately 17% of the total department labor hours. Our employees spent less than 1/5th of their time collecting, processing, and troubleshooting biomechanics data; leaving over 4/5ths of their time for better things.

What better things?

What better things, you ask? Well, things like building our first occlusion + deception models, documenting return to play progress in unprecedented motion capture detailtesting our new Smash Factor Balls™, developing video reports to better communicate biomechanics reports to visual learners, investigating mechanics of two-way playersmeasuring catcher receiving and blocking performancecollecting more longitudinal data on our academy athletes to better understand youth skill development, helping our academic partners with theirs research projectsrevamping our premium biomechanics services, telling everyone how cool our systems areand more…

You get the point; we’ve been busy.

What’s next?

Summer ’22 offseason training paints an optimistic picture. Players are getting better on both sides of the ball. On the pitching side, pitchers are throwing the ball harder and their stuff is getting nastier. On the hitting side, hitters are swinging the bat faster, hitting the ball harder, and making better swing decisions. From a systems perspective, test-retest feedback loops are getting tighter and department resources aren’t being dominated by repetitive processing and analyzing tasks. Efficient systems will allow us to scale our assessment process to new facilities, like ours recently opened complex in Phoenix, Arizonaand any contracts/mobile assessments we do for facilities, schools, and organizations.

And we can’t wait for Summer ’23.

If you are an athlete looking to make the most of your career, email [email protected] to get started.

If you have biomechanics data and want us to help you make the most of it, give us a shout.

Leave a Comment