Trackman Traits- Pitching: 2022 RHP Ryan Rzepinski (St Peter's Prep)


Zach Guth
Advanced Scout

Welcome back to Trackman Traits. In this piece we will be dissecting the numbers the Trackman produces and the effect they can have on a pitcher's approach. Below there will be definitions of each category that we believe to be the most important for a young arm to keep in mind as well as breaking down an arm and giving suggestions on how they can improve their game. Keep in mind, in some categories it is better to be further away from average even if the numbers are wavering on below average. 

FASTBALL VELOCITY

Fastball velocity doesn't go much deeper than just looking at the numbers and comparing them to the graphic below! Fastball velocity complements just about all of the other metrics that are measured. If you throw hard, it makes all your other pitches/metrics even better.

FASTBALL SPIN RATE

Spin rate is a measurement that if you are below average or above average, you can pitch with more room for error. On the other hand, if you are average you should try to throw in the bottom half of the zone with exceptional command. High spin fastballs profile as one that is frequently described as having "late life". Low spin fastballs tend to profile as a fastball that has heavy feel to it. Pitch movement is still dependent on spin direction of the pitch but Trackman does not have that metric displayed on profiles. 


BAUER UNITS

Bauer Units are an easier way of determining how useful the spin numbers are compared to the velocity. We can calculate this metric by taking average spin rate and dividing it by average velocity. Bauer Units are useful because we can have a case of two pitchers with the same spin numbers, ex. 2200 RPM, but one pitcher throws 90 MPH and the other throws 83 MPH. The pitcher throwing 90 MPH with 2200 spin is not as impressive as the pitcher throwing 83 MPH with the same spin. Typically, we would tell the harder throwing pitcher to throw up in the zone purely off his velocity and his high spin, but because his Bauer Units would equate to around 24 that would be only 1 unit off of average (23), therefore he would want to hammer the bottom of the zone. On the other side, the pitcher throwing 83 MPH has a Bauer Unit measurement of 26 which is incredibly impressive. This would allow him to throw up in the zone even though his velocity is not blow away type numbers because he produces above average spin with that slated velocity. 

FASTBALL INDUCED VERTICAL BREAK

As far as deception and importance goes, fast induced vertical break (IVB) may be the most important. Induced vertical break is not what is sounds. IVB simply means the pitch is "breaking" upward from the average level a pitch falls from release to home plate. This is a stat that you want to stay away from being average at. Fortunately, this can be tweaked slightly depending on release height. To put it simply, the higher number =  more "rise" the pitch has compared to average. Lower number = more depth the pitch has to it. 

VERTICAL APPROACH ANGLE

Vertical Approach Angle (VAA) is essentially how steep or shallow the ball is entering the strike zone. The average entry into the zone is around -5.5 degrees for the Division 1 college level. Anything below or above that number is considered an outlier and would be ideal because it is not what the hitter is used to seeing. A VAA of -4.5 degrees would be considered a shallow entry, this, with some other variables mixed in (IVB, velocity, release height), allow for success up in the zone due to the "ride" or even sometimes "rising" effect. A VAA of -6 degrees would be considered a steep entry. This is the type of ball that has a lot of success in the bottom of the zone (including the same variables mentioned previously) because it feels like the pitcher is throwing it off Mt Everest. With the perfect combination of low IVB and high release it could be a very steep entry that would be hard to hit. 



Ryan Rzepinski

Class of 2022 / RHP

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2022
  • Primary Position: RHP
    Secondary Position: 1B
  • High School: St. Peter's Prep
    State: NJ
  • Summer Team: US ELITE
  • Height: 6-7
    Weight: 245lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R

Scouting Report

7/06/20

 

6-foot-7, 230-pound sturdy frame. In the 60-yard dash, his time was 7.96. Begins in a tall open stance with a smooth controlled load, then uses a small leg kick. Bat speed was explosive, had uphill swing plane and good extension on his finish. Found multiple barrels with loud contact. Gap to gap approach. Rzepinski had an exit velocity of 95 mph, showing his ability to drive the ball with power. In the infield, displayed a velocity of 77 mph; had developing footwork, sure hands and a quick clean exchange. Used a high ¾ slot and a long arm action. Advanced on the mound, using a long arm action he showed some arm speed from a high ¾ arm angle. Drop-and-drive type pitcher and shows some effort. Has athletic balance point with uphill shoulders. Lands square with a falling off finish. Sat with his fastball at 83-84 mph and topped out at 85 mph; showed arm side command and running action. Has gradual action on his 11/5 curveball (63-65). His changeup (64-65) shows fading action and arm side control. Top performer on the mound.

 

7/24/19

 

Rzepinski has a 6-foot-5, 210-pound sturdy frame. Recorded an exit velocity of 83 mph. While in the infield, made throws at velocities up to 77 mph.  In the 60-yard dash, his time was 8.54. On the mound, he had a high ¾ arm angle with a long arm action. He is a drop-and-drive type pitcher. He threw his curveball with consistency at 62-64 mph. His fastball was 75-77 mph; with a max of 78 mph; shows some arm side action and consistent accuracy on fastball. Flashed a changeup at 64 mph, too. Rzepinski is a follow - and his big 6-foot-5 frame shows some projection.

 


Videos

(7/6/20)


Fastball Breakdown

Velocity: Rzepinski is a big bodied RHP that gets everything out of his frame. At 6-foot-7 and 245lbs there is a lot of projectability in this young arm. He came out the gate sitting 85-88 and touching 89 this spring in a scout day event. Big time velo this early in the year is always something you love to see, especially from a northeast arm. He has the ability to run it up into the low 90's this summer, but even if that does not happen he still is in the top 10% among HS arms in reference to the chart above. 

Spin Rate: What is interesting is how he either accidentally or purposefully manipulates his spin rate. Assuming this is an accident, it could be due to some cutting of the baseball upon release or just a poor grip on that specific pitch. If he can clean up the spin on his pitches and sit right at that mid 2100's or even get it up into the 2200's, this would help his FB arsenal out so much. Assuming he has nearly 12 o'clock tilt on his FB, the spin can contribute a lot to how his bal moves. The low spin will cause some sink, but the high spin would give him much more ride. 

Bauer Units: Maxing out at 25 Bauer Units, we know that Ryan does have a higher spin rate than his slotted velo would indicate. The more we know about ball flight and how to manipulate pitch movement, it makes it harder to assume how a pitch can move based solely off of spin. Although, when watching Rzepinski throw, it is pretty evident that he throws a FB that has very pure end over end backspin that allows him to throw a "flat" pitch with little horizontal movement. 

Induced Vertical Break: Rzpeinksi has flashes of being a high IVB arm but as any baseball player knows, it's harder to be the best you can be every single pitch, so let's work off the average measurements for the time being. Coming in at 14.6 inches of IVB, it seems the FB does not have the ride that would create a swing and miss, top-of-the-zone type fastball. Another piece that goes into developing that swing and miss, top-of-the-zone fastball is release height. Rzepinski has an extremely high release height coming in at just over 6 feet. This means he is throwing from a higher slot and the ball is coming down on the steeper, downhill plane. This would be comparable to a Glasnow type arm, obviously not as extreme, but it should help to compare visuals. With a low spin, low IVB heater coming in from a high slot, it would probably be a good idea for Rzepinski to generally throw heaters in the bottom half of the zone to see the most success. Venturing up in the zone from time to time will never be a bad thing, but doing it consistently when the ball flight is moving downhill is not beneficial for his approach. 

Vertical Approach Angle: Rzepinski has around a -6 degree VAA on most of his fastballs. This means that he has the ideal combination of IVB, velo, and release height to achieve that daunting FB coming down a steep path. This type of FB thrown in the bottom of the zone should be incredibly tough for hitters to barrel up and should garner a ton of ground balls or swings and misses. 



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