Side Toss

Tech in Baseball
Presented with Diamond Kinetics

Skill Set: Hitting
Difficulty Level: Medium
Number of Athletes and Coaches: 1-2 athletes and 1 coach, or 2 athletes as partners
Average Time to Complete: 5 minutes
Equipment Required: Bucket of baseballs, bats, helmets 

Goal: Focus on loading, staying behind the ball, and hitting the ball up the middle 

Description of the Drill: 
• Hitter sets up even with the plate, while partner kneels on the other side of the plate about 8 feet away
• Partner tosses a ball to the front part of the plate
• Hitter should load, stay behind the ball, and make contact with the ball just in front of the front hip.
• Partners switch after 10 swings

Using Diamond Kinetics SwingTracker Sensor and mobile App - the following metrics and tools can help you measure your swing and see improvement when doing this drill:

Max Acceleration 
Overview: This is the maximum acceleration the bat experiences during a swing. To be clear, acceleration is not how fast the bat is moving; that’s barrel speed. Acceleration determines how quickly a hitter can reach that top speed. Great bat acceleration is in the DNA of elite hitters

Top 10% of Age Groups: 
• U10 Players: 25 G’s +
• U12 Players: 32 G’s +
• U14 Players: 35 G’s +
• U16 Players: 38 G’s +
• U18 Players: 42 G’s +
• D1 College:   49 G’s +

Coaching Insights:
• Max Acceleration tells coaches & scouts if a player can get the bat up to speed in a shorter time, allowing them to… 1) wait longer to recognize the pitch 2) decide what to do 3) And still have the ability to achieve their goal.
• This is a high-level metric that can sometimes stand apart from Max Barrel Speed and Impact Momentum. Max Accel requires all parts of the swing to sequence together, achieving that ‘snap’ of the bat that indicates great acceleration.
• You’ll often hear people say, ‘when that kid hits, it sounds different.” This metric is the science behind that old adage.  

Max Barrel Speed 
Overview: Using Barrel speed, hitters can know the maximum speed of the bat’s barrel during their swing.  It’s measured in miles per hour, so it’s easy to understand and measure improvement over time.  Higher barrel speed is the main factor in producing high exit velocity after contact so the ball goes further… faster

Top 10% of Age Groups: 
• U10 Players: 49mph +
• U12 Players: 54mph +
• U14 Players: 58mph +
• U16 Players: 63mph +
• U18 Players: 69mph +
• D1 College:   72mph +

Coaching Insights:
• This is the maximum speed of the bat’s barrel during a swing, at a point 20% from the tip of the bat (i.e. the sweet spot). It is the main factor in producing high exit velocity when the ball is hit. It greatly affects both the distance and speed at which the ball travels after impact
• Keep in mind that hitters need to “square the ball up” to maximize ball exit velocity.
• Increasing barrel speed is an important goal. Improvement should be measured over time to see if there is real physical and/or swing-mechanic growth. 
• Mechanics are important, but so is size & strength. So when thinking about a kid’s projectability, keep in mind if a player is not done growing yet.

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