Evaluating Power – Written By: Kyle Attl – Director of Professional Baseball
Power. It’s the name of today’s game. But how do you evaluate it?
When evaluating a player’s power profile, keep in mind the following metric definitions. You will find greater explanation below:
- Bat speed equals raw power, and is the speed of the barrel’s sweet spot at impact.
- Rotational acceleration equals efficient power, and is how quick the hitter accelerates the bat into the swing (think of 0 to 60 of a car).
Based on the level of play and what level the player strives to be, one or both of these are valuable for hitters to have.
Bat Speed – Measured in mph
The chances of receiving a hit go up the harder the ball is hit. We know this thanks to correlations from open resources like statcast. Bat Speed is valuable because it contributes to hard hit balls, which equals more power. Every player builds bat speed differently. The important part is that you work to have it. Bat speed for your level of play or higher is a prerequisite to becoming a successful hitter. (Check out Blast bat speed drills.)
Rotational Acceleration – Measured in G’s (like a jet)
Rotational acceleration is how quickly you can accelerate the bat into your bat speed and how much force the bat feels early. This is measured in a short window at the beginning of the swing, also known as “out of the gate:”
**The Accel window begins when the bat transitions from load into the downswing so it can stay consistent hitter-to-hitter and swing to swing.
The bat accelerating quickly into the swing gives the hitter a scalable skill set to face better pitching and more velocity. If you want to dig in more, this video by Driveline discusses rotational acceleration. Bottom line, the higher the level you play, the more rotational acceleration can help you. (Check out Blast Rotational Acceleration Drills.) Bat speed + rotational acceleration for coaches and players:
- Bat speed – A big truck ready to crush anything in its path, more bat speed = harder hit.
- Rotational acceleration – Fast sports car that is quick out of the gate and can change direction quickly.
Bat speed + rotational acceleration for scouting/recruiting terms:
- Bat Speed = a player’s floor.
- Rotational Acceleration = a player’s ceiling.
For more information on evaluating power, check out the videos below: