QU Dashboard — A Progressive Understanding in Player Development Part 2: Hitters

Robert Frey
5 min readOct 28, 2020

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(If you haven’t read Part One of this series on Pitchers, please read it here: https://rfrey22.medium.com/qu-dashboard-a-progressive-understanding-in-player-development-part-1-pitchers-34ee75f50915).

For our hitters, I wanted to encompass a wealth of information at their fingertips in a variety of ways with tables and graphs, as well as video.

Here’s what the top of the page looks like for hitters:

Again, the date range will subset any data or charts within the date range. The box to the right has three dropdowns, which are season stats, game box score (filtered by the date selection on the left), and Blast Motion Data (shown below). The Season Stats data showcases Plate Appearances, At-Bats, Batting Average (BA), On Base Percentage (OBP), Slugging Percentage (SLG), On Base Plus Slugging (OPS), Strikeout Percentage (K%), Walk Percentage (BB%), Hits, Doubles, Triples, Home Runs, Runs Batted In, Groundball Percentage (GB%), Line Drive Percentage (LD%), Flyball Percentage (FB%), Pop Up Percentage (PU%), and Hard Hit Rate (Balls 90+ mph off the bat). This gives us a quick look and the player on how they are doing over the course of time.

Here is the basic blast motion data, averaged out by every swing in a date range. We can see here, Swings, Bat Speed, Peak Hand Speed, On Plane Efficiency (How Long the Bat stays On Plane), Time to Contact, Attack Angle, and Median Attack Angle. This gives these guys a quick bird’s eye view of metrics and how you can see week to week differences when you select a week in date ranges.

Moving on to Video:

Under video we have a dropdown with four options, “Live”,”Most Recent”,”Earliest Date”, and “Random”. The results are pretty self-explantory. The Live plate appearances are filtered by each plate appearance, in this case, the fourth plate appearance. The reason I have Earliest Date, Random, Live, and Most Recent is that we can quickly see video of progression in a swing as well how the body has moved differently over time. We have video of every BP session from non-intrasquad days, so it’s good for the players to see what they are doing differently in games versus practice, as well as us coaches to see what we are telling our players in a practice.

Next in the hitting dashboard is are illustrator plots like on Baseball Savant (https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/illustrator) and like the plots on the Pitching Dashboard. There is also an Exit Velocity/Launch Angle graph to quickly display what batted ball types each player is having and to help them and us understand where they are at with result metrics, so that we can make changes to process metrics.

The one slight variation from the Pitch Types plot is having an additional subset of hard-hit balls. We can see that this player feasts on Fastballs middle to up in the zone and also out of the zone (who said you can’t hit the ball hard when it’s not in the strike zone?). The other subsets of Pitch Type are “All Pitches”, “Swings”,”Whiffs”, and “Balls in Play”, like that of the Pitching Dashboard Page. Also, there is a Pitch Heatmap and a Pitch Hexbin chart (both shown below). These plots are allow shown from the Catcher’s perspective.

Going back to the exit velocity and launch angle graphs, 2e can see that this player has a hard-hit rate of 40%, and can graphically see most of his batted balls are line drives in that cluster of 85–95 miles per hour of exit velocity, which is where we want him to be. So, we want him to work to attain those values (85–95 mph, though more is always better and a launch angle of 15–20 degrees) more consistently. The crucial point in training this player, or any player for that matter, is to relay what I just said above in a manner that he understands. We can go back into the video and see how his body moves when he is in that range and work to train that more. I’m also going to add a radial chart like that on Baseball Savant. Here is an example.

Lastly, we have charts for Blast Motion data, as well as explainer videos to help guys understand what these metrics are, what they mean, and how they can get better with it. Big thanks to Blast Motion for having videos to help explain and train metrics for improvements.

Looking at this specific metric, Connection at Impact, which measures the relationship of vertical bat angle and body tilt at impact with the baseball, we can see this particular player is well within the acceptable range of values and is less than 100, which is a potential indicator of hard-hit balls up in the zone as shown on this player’s chart earlier (https://www.drivelinebaseball.com/2019/04/pairing-blast-hittrax-data-part-2-specific-focuses/).

The more data we have, the better we can optimize it and use it to our advantage to help players understand themselves. Once players better understand themselves, their development increases tenfold and their roles are all the more important.

Stay tuned for the third part, which are leaderboards, hitting, pitching, and custom leaderboards.

Follow me on Twitter: @RobertFrey40

YouTube Channel (for those that want to learn to code and make cool graphs like these)

If you like my work and want to support me: patreon.com/robertfrey or https://paypal.me/RobertFrey40

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