The Sixth Tool: Training Baseball Pitch Recognition

The skill of pitch recognition, measured with metrics such as 0-Swing%, Line Drive %, and BB/K ratio, is so important that it’s become a virtual sixth tool in baseball. But it’s generally considered to be more a talent than a learned skill … and therefore not trainable. This talk describes and demonstrates a new approach that adapts the video-occlusion method developed in sport science research laboratories in order to both test and train this elusive perceptual-cognitive skill. Running on a laptop computer, video-occlusion can be used to measure the pitch recognition ability of prospects, diagnose pitch recognition problems, and systematically develop pitch recognition skill in high-performance baseball batters.

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