Super 60: Blast Motion Leaders


By Joe Tourville
Blast Baseball

On Feb. 7, Prep Baseball Report hosted its 19th edition of the Super 60 Pro Showcase on the outskirts of Milwaukee, Wis., at the brand-new Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Hospital Performance Center – or the MOSH Center, for short. Since the event’s inception in 2003, more than 300 players have been selected in the MLB Draft, including 22 first-round picks and 25 second-rounders.

We’ve been diligently breaking down our findings in the days since last Sunday’s illuminating showcase. You can find some of our previous analysis linked below:

Today, we'll be analyzing the swing metrics measured by the Blast Motion sensors that recorded each of the players' swings during live batting practice.

When we evaluate a player based on their Blast Motion data, it's important to remember the variables that come into play at showcases. It's also important to realize that putting a valuation on a player is very much a human process, but the best process is produced when the human is using the best tools around them. This is why Prep Baseball Report is so good at what they do and why they're a trusted resource throughout the baseball industry. Their investment into tech, their process for data collection, and their commitment to bringing in people with evidence-based mindsets is why they're able to cover amateur baseball at every level throughout the United States and Canada, enabling players the same access to gathering information on themselves, from budding pro prospects through players at every level of college.

Blast Motion and Prep Baseball Report share a mutual goal: democratizing access to data across all levels of baseball. It's a big reason why this partnership has been so effective. Blast Motion has been an excellent tool for evaluators, coaches, and players as a means for understanding what is happening at the plate before contact and at impact, providing them more context to results they're receiving (exit velocity, launch angle, etc.). Recently, we at Blast Motion have started bucketing our metrics into more traditional terms like power, contact, and swing consistency to help evaluators, players, and coaches better understand which metrics to correlate with each other, equipping them to make better decisions. 

For the Super 60, we decided to evaluate the player's 'Power Profile' based on their Blast Metric from the event. We've separated the categories below by the top-10 measurements on each leaderboard. Underneath the leaderboards, we've also outlined context and definitions so the player, parent, coach, fan can better understand the data and its application. Our final leaderboard is a unique one, Power Profile, designed to demonstrate and project batted-ball power traits, extrapolating the relationship between bat speed and rotational acceleration. We'll explain in greater detail when we get there.

HIGHEST AVERAGE BAT SPEED

RANK   NAME AVG. BAT SPEED STATE SCHOOL POS
1 Ryan Gilbert 79.3 mph OH Kenston OF
2 Luke Leto 77.3 mph MI Portage Central OF
3 John Rogers 77.2 mph IN Carmel OF
4 Cameron Butler 77.2 mph CA Big Valley Christian INF
5 Will Rogers 76.8 mph MN Mounds View C
6 Vytas Valincius 76.0 mph TN Baylor School 3B
7 Kelly Crumpton 75.7 mph MS Oxford  INF
8 Joey Spence 74.8 mph WI West Bend East C
9 Josh Pearson 74.8 mph LA West Monroe OF
10 Julian Stevens 74.7 mph CT Amity OF

At Blast, we measure Bat Speed by the peak speed of the barrel at impact. From an evaluation standpoint, it's usually the first thing we look at. Bat Speed is a prerequisite for success at the next level. The results of a player's bat speed can also vary based on the environment and contact point. For example, you usually see an increase in a player's average bat speed in environments like showcase batting practice where the majority of players are consistently catching the ball out in front, allowing the bat to gain speed, while also trying to display their strength. The ability to take that information and compare the datasets to different environments is always best practice. We want variable based model mindsets, not fixed. Either way, Bat Speed is a great representation of a player's raw power.

HIGHEST AVERAGE ROTATIONAL ACCELERATION

RANK   NAME AVG. ROT. ACC. STATE SCHOOL POS
1 Ryan Campos 27.6 g AZ Red Mountain C
2 Saborn Campbell 27.3 g MI Detroit Country Day OF
3 Jackson Nicklaus 27.1 g KS Blue Valley OF
4 Max Soliz Jr. 26.5 g MS Bob Jones C
5 Noah Smith 23.1 g IL Marist INF
6 Braden Montgomery 23.1 g MS Madison Central OF/RHP
7 Ian Moller 23.1 g IA Dubuque Wahlert  C
8 Will Rogers 22.4 g MN Mounds View C
9 Brock Daniels 22.3 g MO Vianney INF
10 Slate Alford 21.7 g AL Bob Jones 3B

Rotational Acceleration measures how quickly a player accelerates their bat into their bat speed. It is strongly encouraged to measure Bat Speed and Rotational Acceleration side by side. If you were grading out a player's power profile, you would use Bat Speed as the player's floor and Rotational Acceleration as the player's ceiling. Having a high Rotational Acceleration gives the hitter a tremendous advantage at the plate. Having the ability to quickly accelerate into their Bat Speed equips the hitter to be able to make later decisions on pitches, which makes the hitter less vulnerable to off-speed pitches and fastballs with high spin. The player with high rotational acceleration can utilize their bat speed more efficiently.

POWER PROFILES

RANK   NAME POWER POTENTIAL STATE SCHOOL POS
1 Ryan Campos 27.6 g / 68.9 mph AZ Red Mountain C
2 Saborn Campbell 27.3 g / 70 mph MI Detroit Country Day OF
3 Jackson Nicklaus 27.1 g / 72.9 mph KS Blue Valley OF
4 Noah Smith 26.5 g / 72.3 mph IL Marist INF
5 Braden Montgomery 23.1 g / 72.9 mph MS Madison Central OF/RHP
6 Max Soliz Jr. 23.1 g / 72.8 mph MS Oxford C
7 Brock Daniels
23.1 g / 71.1 mph MO Vianney INF
8 Slate Alford
22.4 g / 71.6 mph AL Bob Jones 3B
9 Josh Pearson 22.3 g / 74.8 mph LA West Monroe OF
10 Ian Daugherty 21.7 g / 70.2 mph OK Kingfisher C

First off, I want to say that choosing these players was extremely difficult. This is one of the most talented company of amateur hitters I've seen in a long time. I also want to mention that by using Blast Motion data, we're evaluating a hitter's "power profile" with a process-oriented mindset. We used two things, Blast Metrics (Bat Speed and Rotational Acceleration) and video to correlate their movements. We did not look at the player's track record or ball flight results. We're not necessarily looking for the best hitters right now, but hitters whose skill sets can scale to elite levels of baseball. We're looking for players who are equipped for success at the next level instead of how successful they are currently. Above is a list of the top-10 players who we felt best displayed these principles.

You can evaluate and train your power profile, too, by purchasing a Blast Motion Sensor. Luckily, because of our partnership with PBR, you can get one at an exclusive price if you click here. If you have more questions about Blast Motion feel free to visit our Instagram and Twitter pages for information, drills, and metric thresholds.

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