From a focus on refining a swing to preparing a brain, Tuesday’s announcement of the integration of two baseball training apps—Diamond Kinetics and Axon Sports—gives this new "family of apps" a more far-reaching training platform.
Diamond Kinetics CEO C.J. Handron said allowing players to train their swing and brain seamlessly, the new platform offers a "distinctive solution that also showcases both the quality and foundation of each company's continued technological development."
In the Diamond Kinetics' SwingTracker Baseball mobile app, players get measured on 11 metrics across speed, power, quickness and control. Six of the metrics routinely show up in camps and showcases—such as max barrel speed, impact momentum and max acceleration—while the remaining five serve as teaching metrics, valuable to improve a swing, such as hand cast distance, distance in the zone and speed efficiency. SwingTracker also turns the metrics into 3D models to reinforce the data.
The Axon Baseball app helps players recognize pitches more accurately and faster, helping train the brain for split-second adjustments. By progressing users through 20 levels of pitch recognition, the app first has users establish pitch type within the first 20 feet of the pitch. Once a user reaches 90 percent accuracy in the opening levels, the app then adds in trajectory recognition and speed awareness. An app spokesperson tells Baseball America that players can see drastic improvements with 1,000 reps per month, so Axon helps up the reps by making pitch recognition available in the car, the hotel, before bed or anywhere.
Axon uses a variety of different pitchers, allowing the user to build skills across varying handedness, height, release points and types of pitches thrown. The app bullpen includes three base pitchers and a feature pitcher, who rotates throughout the year. Users can also join groups in-app and compete against their teammates.
By integrating both the Diamond Kinetics and Axon projects into one family, it allows the user to seamlessly flip between the two. "At Axon Sports and Diamond Kinetics, we have a history of working with top professional and collegiate hitters and teams,"Axon Sports CEO Jason Sada said. "With this platform launch, I'm very excited we are able to provide this same elite-level training to all hitters, in the form of a revolutionary, integrated solution. This is changing the way hitters learn, train and improve."
To get the most out of the two apps, a typical use of the app on a game day could start early with an Axon Baseball session to warm up the brain while eating breakfast. From there, the player's daytime hitting session might use the SwingTracker app and its 3D modeling to reinforce key points of focus for that evening's contest. The app also has live, in-app chat, so any questions a player needs to answer when a hitting instructor isn't present gets done immediately. The hours before a game may include choosing a specific Axon pitcher to practice on, one that mimics the style of pitcher the batter will face in that evening's game, along with a fine tune with SwingTracker to work on a specific metric.
All along the day, Diamond Kinetics and Axon Sports aim to train both the swing and the brain.
Tim Newcomb covers gear and business for Baseball America. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.