Baseball is heavily focused on metrics now – exit velocity, spin rate, pop time and so on. We see pitching velocity in real time and home run distance just as fast. Improving metrics can motivate athletes just like improving grades can motivate students. For MLB, the metrics Bible is Baseball Savant. But how do youth athletes know what are good metrics for their age to determine their strengths and weaknesses relative to other players at the same age? Perfect Game collects the metrics during combines at showcase days, so you can look at some player profiles and see how they rank on a variety of numbers. Other than that, there’s no one place that publicly collects the comparison data, but there are a variety of sources depending on what you’re looking for that can help.
- The Professional Baseball Strength and Conditioning Society provides a good summary of how hard kids throw by age and then get into additional metrics about 14u players including 30 time of 4.55 seconds, fastball at 70 mph and throw 225 feet from the outfield. Similar metrics about 12u and 13u players are provided as well
- Dan Blewett talks through pitching velocity by age
- USA Baseball’s Player Development Program (PDP) metrics captures data from many of its events including 30 times, broad jump distance, CMJ height and exit velocity. The data is a mixture of ages, so you have to look carefully to find comparable information. There’s also a page that shows an example PDP report and explains the PDP metrics
- You can find it for 14u USAB testing including 30, barrel speed and pop times
- Another option is 2018 USAB national team championships testing, which has data for the 14u, 15u and 17u levels for 10 and 30 yard, pop time, reaction time and barrel speed
- Exit velocity by age data provided by Rapsodo and summarized in this baseball exit velocity chart
- The NSCA provides percentile rankings by age for vertical jump, pro-agility (aka 5-10-5), 10 yard dash and 40 yard. It’s the most detailed data for those metrics that we’re aware of
- Driveline explains force production tests, but doesn’t provide comparable metrics
- Though non-baseball specific, Science for Sport gives us a dynamic strength index and scale base on the results
Hitting the ball hard, running fast and throwing far are key tools for a complete player. Based on what you find from comparing metrics for kids of a similar age, you can tune training programs to best suite their needs to maximize their strengths and minimize weaknesses.
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