Trackman Traits - Pitching: 2023 RHP Andrew Malec (Cathedral Prep)


Zach Guth
PA/NY 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. 

CURVEBALL SPIN RATE

Spin rate on curveballs is pretty simple: higher spin = nastier stuff. There are some ways to manipulate spin numbers slightly but for the most part spin is spin. At the moment, there are no well known ways to change your spin in a big way. Spin not only dictates how sharp your curveball is, but it can also aid in keeping hitters honest by having similar rotation matching that of your fastball. 

 

Andrew Malec

Class of 2023 / RHP

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2023
  • Primary Position: RHP
    Secondary Position: 3B
  • High School: Cathedral Prep
    State: PA
  • Summer Team: Keystone St. Bombers
  • Height: 6-4
    Weight: 185lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R

Scouting Report

6/15/20

 

Physical: Long, lean and projectable 6-foot-3, 170-poind build. 7.18 runner in the 60.

Offensively: Begins with an upright stance and an even base, he uses a big leg kick to get into his swing. He utilizes his lower half well and has direct barrel path to the ball and he finishes high with two hands. Peak exit velo of 89 during his BP round.

Defensively: Starts upright but walks into a low and wide ready position, he showcases smooth and confident footwork taking good routes to field balls with ease. 77 mph arm from across the diamond and should continue to climb as he fills out and matures.

Pitching: Starts tall and balanced in the center of the rubber, he takes his time during his motion, specifically with a slower leg lift before striding out towards home plate, utilizing his long arms, long stride, and high ¾ arm slot to get downhill on hitters.

Fastball: Able to spot the fastball for strikes, has some natural arm side run while sitting in the high 70s and reaching 80 mph.

Curveball: Thrown out of a similar window to the fastball, the curveball tunnels well with the fastball thanks to its late, downward, 11-5 action

 


Videos

(6/15/20)




Fastball Breakdown

Velocity: Today, velocity will ride in the back seat of this article. Most importantly we will be talking about spin, but for the sake of this section of the article we need to touch on velocity. Coming in around 80 MPH on average, Malec doesn't have blow-it-by-you velocity, but I think something even more important than the velocity at this present moment is his projectability. Standing at 6-foot-4, 175 lbs, Malec is a pretty imposing presence on the mound with a ton of room left to grow. When he can fill his frame and get a feel for his body and how it moves, the velocity will trickle in in no time. 

Spin Rate: As said before, the most important piece of Malec's game will be his innate ability to spin the baseball. Although he doesn't have elite velocity like his spin would indicate, having incredibly high spin is always a good thing no matter how hard you're throwing. With a max of 2568 RPM, Malec not only trumps the high school level for spin but he even is off the charts at the MLB level! The top 10% of major leaguers averages around 2488 RPM on their fastballs and Malec is almost 100 RPM higher than that. When we compare spin and velocity it's important to remember what level of play they are on, so for a high school level pitcher to have the same spin as an elite major league fastball, its nothing but green grass in Malec's velocity future. Malec is a young arm that still has a lot of room to grow and a lot of time to find his ideal mechanics. 

Bauer Units: Diving into the Bauer Units numbers, we realize even more how impressive Malec's ability to spin the ball for his current velocity truly is. At a max measurement of 33 units, Malec comes in almost 10 units above the league average. This means that Malec's velocity has a ton of more room to come up to meet his spin levels and he will always be a "high spin arm" for the rest of his career. In all the time I have done Trackman Traits Pitching articles, I think 33 Bauer Units is the highest I have come across. Like spin numbers, Bauer Units are best to be furthest away from average on either side of the scale,  but Malec has established himself among the very top of said scale. 

Induced Vertical Break: Now that we have everything analyzed and figured out, we know for a fact that Malec can spin it indefinitely. This last section is an easy write because it just sums up the thoughts so far. Malec will find success in the top of the zone the rest of his career most likely. He possesses such elite spin that from where he is right now to where he has the ability to pitch, he will always blow his fastball past hitters simply because of his spin and IVB numbers. At the moment he checks in around 20" of IVB. This puts him among the top 25% of high school arms. The more Malec can dial in his velocity, the better his stuff will be and the more punch outs he will be able to rake in. Malec, from only a fastballs standpoint at the moment, has a very bright future ahead of him. It will be interesting to see how Malec has grown and filled out when we see him this February. 

Curveball Breakdown

Spin Rate: Once again, we should have been able to predict that Malec would have elite spin on his breaking ball too. The spin he produces on his curveball slates him around the top 15% of high school arms and the top 50% of college arms. This is a good sign because in his videos, it is easy to see that his curveball is still under developed. With some time and trust, Malec's curveball could turn into an elite curveball for every level of play. 

Horizontal/Vertical Break When we look at horizontal movement (HM) you want to think about it on a number line scale from the pitcher's view to home. At pitcher's mound, the measurement would be zero if someone threw a pitch that didn't move to either side. If a pitch moves to the left, it is a negative number and if a pitch moves to the right it would be a positive number. Malec induces around 10" inches of depth on his curveball (off the chart at high school level and top 15% among college curveballs) and 13" of horizontal movement. With 10" down and 13" to his glove side, the breaking ball plays to more of the slurve level than it does a true breaking ball. This gives Malec the ability to throw it as a swing and miss pitch in late counts and as a get-me-over pitch early in the count. Altogether, Malec is one to watch as he continues to grow and mature. Malec's older brother, Jack, who is a Mercyhurst University recruit, was also a late bloomer. Appearing at the PA State Games topping out at 83 MPH off the mound, was reported to be topping out at 86 MPH in a summer ball tournament earlier in the fall of 2020. This makes Andrew's case all the more encouraging that he will develop into a strong arm form the right side. 




Recent Trackman Traits





UPCOMING EVENTS

SHOWCASE STATE DATE LOCATION
2021 Preseason All-State - South/Central PA 02/06 Iron Horse Sports Complex
Super 60 Pro Showcase NATIONAL 02/07 MOSH Performance Center
2021 Preseason All-State - Pittsburgh (3PM Session) PA 02/07 All American Fieldhouse
2021 Preseason All-State - Pittsburgh (9AM Session) PA 02/07 All American Fieldhouse
2021 Northeast ProCase (2021 Grads Only) PA 02/13 Liberty Sports Arena
2021 Preseason All-State - Erie PA 02/13 Erie Premier Sports
2021 Preseason All-State - North/Central PA 02/14 Liberty Sports Arena
2021 Preseason All-State - East (11AM Session) PA 02/27 Keystone State Baseball Academy
2021 Preseason All-State East (3PM Session) PA 02/27 Keystone State Baseball Academy
2021 JR PA State Games Trials - Central PA 03/06 Liberty Sports Arena
2021 JR PA State Games Trials - East PA 03/14 Keystone State Baseball Academy
2021 JR PA State Games Trials - West PA 03/14 All American Fieldhouse