See Also: Area Code Games Day 1
See Also: Area Code Games Day 2
See Also: Area Code Games Day 3
See Also: Area Code Games Day 4
See Also: Area Code Games Day 5
See Also: Area Code Games Day 6
LONG BEACH, Calif.—The innovative company TrackMan and its game-changing technology returned to the Area Code Games this year after attending the 2010-2012 events. The good folks at TrackMan have been kind enough to share some of the leaders from the six-day event in Long Beach.
TrackMan is a military-grade 3D Doppler radar system that uses a sample rate of 20,000 measurements per second to precisely quantify 27 different measurables on the baseball field, including pitch velocity, pitch spin rate and exit velocity of batted balls, among others.
TrackMan launched its new app that allowed scouts and others to get the official TrackMan data on a pitch-by-pitch basis in real time. The web app is available at http://trackmanbaseball.com, and will be used at select Perfect Game events, including the WWBA Championships in October. For more information about the app email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are the top performances in each of four categories (peak fastball velocity, highest fastball spin rate, highest breaking ball spin rate and high batted ball exit velocity) from the 2014 Area Code Games in Blair Field, comparing them to 2010-2012 leaderboards.
|Avg. Rk.||Player, Position, School||Avg.||Peak||Peak Rank||Diff.|
|1||Justin Hooper, lhp, De La Salle, Concord, Calif.||93||95.9||1||2.9|
|2||Ashe Russell, rhp, Cathedral High, Indianapolis||92.3||94.2||2||1.9|
|3||Beau Burrows, rhp, Weatherford (Texas) HS||92.1||93.9||4||1.8|
|4||Joe DeMers, rhp, College Park HS, Pleasant Hill, Calif.||91.8||93.3||7||1.5|
|5||Cody Morris, rhp, Reservoir HS, Fulton, Md.||91.6||93.6||6||2.0|
|6||Mike Nikorak, rhp, Stroudsburg (Pa.) High||91.4||94||3||2.6|
|7||Shane Tucker, rhp, Union Grove HS, McDonough, Ga.||91.1||93.2||8||2.1|
|8||Matthew McGarry, rhp, Menlo HS, Atherton, Calif.||91||93.8||5||2.8|
|9||Kolby Allard, lhp, San Clemente (Calif.) HS||90.9||92.6||12||1.7|
|10||Sati Santa Cruz, rhp, Sahuarita HS, Sahuarita, Ariz.||90.6||92.6||12||2.0|
|11||Luken Baker, rhp, Oak Ridge HS, Conroe, Texas||90.2||92.5||14||2.3|
|12||Austin Smith, rhp, Park Vista Community HS, Lake Worth, Fla.||90||93.1||9||3.1|
|13||Christifer Andritsos, rhp, The Woodlands (Texas) HS||89.7||92.7||11||3.0|
|14||Peter Lambert, rhp, San Dimas (Calif.) HS||89.7||92.5||14||2.8|
|15||Jiovanni Orozco, rhp, Salpointe Catholic, Tucson, Ariz.||89.4||92.8||10||3.4|
|2010 High: Lucas Giolito||96.3|
|2011 High: Lucas Giolito||96.9|
|2012 High: Dustin Driver||94.2|
|Average Fastball||Avg. MPH|
|Top Draft Picks (Rds. 1-3)||91|
|Elite College Conference||89|
The players in the fastball velocity chart are ranked by average velocity, not peak. The group’s average peak velocity was 93.4 mph and the group’s cumulative average velocity was 91.0. Although most of the top peak velocities largely track with the average velocities, a few players stood out because of their ability maintain a velocity much closer to their peak than their peers. Righthander Joe DeMers, for example, maintained his velocity toward the upper end of his velocity range better than any player on the list, with only a 1.5 mph difference compared to the group’s average of 2.4. Although Kolby Allard‘s listed weight of 175 pounds is less than any other player on the list, he had the second-smallest velocity separation between his peak and average velocities at 1.7 mph.
Lucas Giolito topped the list in 2010 and 2011 and would have ranked at the top of the chart this year. Justin Hooper‘s 95.9 surpasses the 2012 leader, Dustin Driver‘s 94.2, which would have tied for second with Ashe Russell.
|Rk.||Player, Position, School||MPH||RPM|
|1||Beau Burrows, rhp, Weatherford (Texas) HS||92||2515|
|2||Drew Finley, rhp, Rancho Bernardo, San Diego||89||2511|
|3||Ryan McKay, rhp, Satellite (Fla.) Senior HS||85||2456|
|4||Cody Morris, rhp, Reservoir HS, Fulton, Md.||92||2420|
|5||Peter Lambert, rhp, San Dimas (Calif.) HS||90||2410|
|6||Andrew Noviello, rhp, Bridgewater-Raynham Regional, Bridgewater, Mass.||86||2383|
|7||Mike Soroka, rhp, Bishop Carroll HS, Calgary, Alb., Canada||87||2353|
|8||Jiovanni Orozco, rhp, Salpointe Catholic, Tucson, Ariz.||89||2340|
|9||Karsen Lindell, rhp, West Linn (Ore.) HS||88||2337|
|10||Nolan Watson, rhp, Lawrence North HS, Indianapolis||91||2335|
|2010 High: Bryan Brickhouse||2420|
|2011 High: Nolan Gannon||2631|
|2012 High: Chandler Eden||2562|
|Top Draft Picks (Rds. 1-3)||91||2200|
|Elite College Conference||89||2180|
|2014 D-I Fastballs|
|Spin Rate (RPM)||% Swinging Strike|
|RPM (00s)||SwStr%||GB %|
|20 – 21||6.10%||43.00%|
|21 – 22||6.80%||40.30%|
|22 – 23||7.70%||38.70%|
|23 – 24||8.70%||37.40%|
|24 – 25||10.40%||36.30%|
There is a positive correlation between fastball spin rate and swinging strike rate, with an inverse correlation to groundball rate.
Players bolded (Burrows, Morris, Lambert and Orozco) appeared on both fastball velocity and fastball spin rate leaderboards, portending swing-and-miss and flyball tendencies.
Righthander Drew Finley‘s fastball plays up beyond its pure velocity, largely sitting in the 88-89 range early in his outing. Finley creates tremendous deception in his delivery by hiding the ball, gets above-average fastball extension out front and has the second highest spin rate on his heater. He was one of the top performers of the Area Code Games.
Cody Morris‘ combination of fastball velocity, high fastball spin rate and strike-throwing ability has enabled him to emerge as one of the top performers throughout the summer. He has struck out 18 in 13 innings while allowing only one walk across the big four national events (Perfect Game National, Tournament of Stars, East Coast Pro and Area Code Games).
|Rk.||Player, Position, School||MPH||RPM|
|1||Justin Marsden, rhp, Auburn (Wash.) Mountainview HS||75||3055|
|2||Colton Eastman, rhp, Central HS, Fresno, Calif.||76||2942|
|3||Jonathan Hughes, rhp, Flowery Branch (Ga.) HS||76||2789|
|4||Kyle Molnar, rhp, Aliso Niguel HS, Aliso Viejo, Calif.||77||2782|
|5||Gray Fenter, rhp, West Memphis (Ark.) HS||78||2641|
|6||Mike Soroka, rhp, Bishop Carroll HS, Calgary, Alb., Canada||76||2633|
|7||Raul Rizo, rhp, Lincoln HS,||76||2566|
|8||Brendon Little, lhp, Conestoga HS, Berwyn, Pa.||74||2559|
|9||Patrick Sandoval, lhp, Mission Viejo (Calif.) HS||78||2550|
|10||Sean Wymer, rhp, Flower Mount (Texas) HS||75||2548|
|2010 High: John Magliozzi||2968|
|2011 High: Paul Blackburn||2943|
|2012 High: Tyler Allen||2820|
|Top Draft Picks (1-3 Rd.)||76||2300|
|Elite College Conference||76||2280|
|Major League Average (2010)||2450|
|Elite College Conference||80||2230|
|2014 NCAA D-I Curve Spin (RPM)||% Swing Strike||AVG||SLG|
|Elite – 2600 +||13%||.170||.197|
|High – 2300-2600||10%||.187||.234|
|Low – < 2300||8%||.212||.260|
Breaking ball spin rates correlate positively with swing-and-miss rates. Justin Marsden’s breaking ball spin rate of 3,055 RPMs is the highest in the four-year sample from the Area Code Games, topping the previous high of 2,968 held by Johnny Magliozzi.
|Rk.||Player, Position, School||Exit Speed||Play Result|
|1||Hickman, Michael, c, Seven Lakes HS, Katy, Texas||108.9||Foul|
|2||Garrett Whitley, of, Niskayuna (N.Y.) HS||108.7||Double|
|3||Luken Baker, 1b, Oak Ridge HS, Spring, Texas||108.1||Home Run|
|4||Wyatt Cross, c, Legacy HS, Broomfield, Colo.||107.7||Foul|
|5||Joe Davis, c/1b, Bowie HS, Austin, Texas||106.9||Out|
|6||Demi Orimoloye, of. St. Matthew HS Orleans, Ontario, Canada||106.9||Single|
|7||Tyler Williams, of, Kellis HS Glendale, Ariz.||106.3||Single|
|8||Chris Betts, c, Wilson HS, Long Beach, Calif.||105.6||Foul|
|9||Ryan Johnson, of, College Station (Texas) HS||105.6||Single|
|10||Demi Orimoloye, of. St. Matthew HS Orleans, Ontario, Canada||105.6||Single|
|11||Luken Baker, 1b, Oak Ridge HS, Spring, Texas||105.5||Foul|
|12||Daniel Reyes, of, Mater Academy, Hialeah Gardens, Fla.||105.5||Double|
|13||Garrett Whitley, of, Niskayuna (N.Y.) HS||104.7||Triple|
|14||Jeremiah Burks, inf, Wood HS, Vacaville, Calif.||104.7||Triple|
|15||Chris Betts, c, Wilson HS, Long Beach, Calif.||104.6||Single|
|16||Ryan McKenna, of, St. Thomas Aquinas, Berwick, Me.||104.5||Single|
|17||Josh Naylor, 1b/of, St. Joan of Arc, Maple, Ont.||104.2||Single|
|18||TJ Collett, 1b, Terre Haute (Ind.) North Vigo||104.2||Out|
|19||James Terrell III, of, St. Patrick-St. Vincent, Fairfield, Calif.||103.9||Out|
|20||Ryan Mountcastle, inf, Hagerty HS, Oviedo, Fla.||103.7||Home Run|
|2010 High: Michael Conforto||104.7|
|2011 High: Stryker Trahan||103.1|
|2012 High: Stone Garrett||110.2|
Four players had multiple batted balls that registered in the top 15 exit velocities for the Area Code Games, including two of the biggest breakout players in Garrett Whitley and Demi Orimoloye. Orimoloye was the only player to register multiple batted balls in the top 10, ranking sixth and 10th overall.
The Yankees (Northeast) team offered arguably the most talented lineup at the event and accounted for seven of the top 20 (35 percent). Catcher Chris Betts had the eighth- and 15th-best exit velocities. He has been a consistent performer on the TrackMan leaderboards after producing the farthest hit ball that TrackMan registered at Perfect Game National. He also had one of the hardest hit balls in Sunday’s Perfect Game All-American Classic.
Although Joe Davis’ name appears only once on the leaderboard he made consistent hard contact and was one of the top hitting performers in Long Beach and also won the Home Run Derby.
This list includes two home runs, Baker’s pull side shot as well as Mountcastle’s, and likely would have included another, the towering home run to right field on the second pitch of the event by breakout outfielder Nick Plummer, but TrackMan was not yet operational.
The top exit velocity in 2012 was Stone Garrett‘s 110.2 mph, which was not surpassed this year. But the leaders from 2010 (104.7) and 2011 (103.1) would have fallen well short of that threshold this year. In fact, the 2011 leader would have not ranked in the top 20 this year, as the 20th-ranked velocity this year (103.7) surpasses Stryker Trahan‘s 103.1. Michael Conforto‘s 104.7 in 2010 would have tied for 13th this year.