Pitch Design Portal

Link to app

Announcing the Pitch Design Portal

While pitch tracking devices allow us to understand how pitches move better than ever, it’s not always straightforward to know what a pitcher should be targeting when it comes to Pitch Design.

I’m excited to announce the Pitch Design Portal.

The Pitch Design Portal allows users to enter pitch metrics from devices that measure movement from release and receive an objective assessment of current pitch quality compared to professionals, and goals to aim for in Pitch Design.

My hope is this will allow teams across the country to use pitch tracking devices they’ve invested thousands of dollars into more effectively.

By navigating to the Pitch Design Portal and registering for an account, you’ll be able to create a trial account which will allow you to Generate up to 25 reports. If you’d like to generate more reports, save pitches in the app, and download reports, an annual subscription costs $50/year and you can contact david@howellbaseballdataservices.com for an invoice. Trial accounts may be revoked at any time and the price will never be lower than $50/year for an annual subscription.

How it works

Once pitches are entered and selected, Pitch Design plans can be easily generated by clicking Generate Report. The report will then display in the Pitch Design tab at the top of the screen. Pitch Scores are on the 20-80 scale and are scored by models which predict how successful the pitches would perform in-game. Pitch Scores are independent of pitch type and allow pitches of different types to be compared, and Pitch Grades are in relation to other pitches of the same type. The models were trained and validated against publicly available pitch data. Recommendations are automatically generated based on the characteristics of the pitches submitted, and adjustments can be made to what’s recommended in the Target Arsenal by using the panel on the left. If only a marginal potential improvement to a pitch is found, no change is suggested.

From there, clicking the Run Strategy Reports button will generate charts that show where in the Strike Zone pitches in the current arsenal will perform best in different counts and against different handed batters. Scores for the strategy charts are on the 20-80 scale and relative to possible pitches that could be thrown in that count.

For subscribers, reports and charts can then be saved to load later, and the report can be downloaded into a printable HTML document.

Other considerations

Because the models were trained on data from professional pitchers, pitchers with lower velocities may not receive accurate pitch scores. A strong argument can be made that for pitchers who want to reach the next level, focusing on pitch design before being able to throw 90 MPH+ is likely misguided. The tool was designed to be conservative in suggesting adjustments to pitches for pitchers with lower velocity.

With this in mind, strategy charts can still provide value in understanding where a pitcher’s stuff will play best relatively for those with lower velocity, though the scores may be inflated/deflated.

For accurate scores, horizontal and vertical movement should be from release, with typical horizontal break for a RHP’s fastball being a positive number and negative for a LHP’s fastball.

There will be times when a recommendation seems unfeasible or a pitcher struggles to get the right shape of a pitch. If this happens, you can manually filter out recommendations by using the left panel.

Further questions? Found a bug? Contact david@howellbaseballdataservices.com. Patent Pending.

Link to app

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