Rapsodo Provides New Recruiting Tool With Verified RapScore
Rapsodo isn’t trying to upend baseball scouting as we know it, but fully enhance it with a data-driven, verifiable marker. The company known for real-time analytical baseball metrics launched RapScore, a standardized national test that calculates a score to rank player performance at all levels. Available for both hitters and pitchers in baseball and softball, Rapsodo built RapScore off the time-tested principals of the 20-80 scouting scale to rank players amongst peers.
“Right now, when coaches and scouts can’t travel around the country to recruit, to go see guys, RapScore gives a 20-80 score, an assessment and puts their score on a national database completely open to anyone,” says Brian Page, Rapsodo certified manager, key accounts and recruiting. “If coaches and scouts can’t go see guys, RapScore allows them to see a trusted score. All Major League Baseball teams use Rapsodo, as do many college teams. It helps a player’s chance to get scouted and recruited.”
The RapScore is available at over 75 training facilities across the country, administered by a trained coach. These certified sessions—15 pitches or 15 swings, the same as a player would experience at a showcase event—include video, verifying the data. The Rapsodo technology uses an algorithm to compare an individual’s pitch metrics to the ideal form of that pitch type and calculates a RapScore based on dynamic weighing of the pitches thrown. The hitting score is determined using a player’s max and average exit velocity as well as launch angle through the certified session. These metrics are compared by the athlete’s level and accurately placed on the 20-80 scale.
Chris Fetter, the recently appointed pitching coach for the Detroit Tigers, previously the pitching coach at the University of Michigan, had implemented RapScore when with the Wolverines to evaluate players virtually. “The two pillars of our program at Michigan are recruiting and development and we try to back up everything our eyes tell us with the objective data Rapsodo provides, both with our current players and potential student-athletes,” he said before moving to Detroit. “The Rapsodo database and RapScore have been critical to our recruiting efforts by giving us a better glimpse into what the athletes we are watching online can do with the baseball.”
With staff who have trained through a Rapsodo certification course to help run a bullpen or batting session, this allows athletes to come into a facility and perform during a certified session. When a player goes through one of these sessions, they not only earn a score in the national database that ranks them with peers across the country based on age, but they also receive data through video. It essentially gives a blue checkmark of reliability to the data and video.
Eric Minshall, owner of the Ohio Baseball Science Academy & Cincinnati Throwing Club, says “verified data can be the X factor for an athlete in his development plan. An athlete needs to know exactly what to work on and how to get there. Data points and correct interpretation assist a coach and a player to come up with a strong development plan.”
The RapScore is broken into the tiers of youth, high school, college and pro. Each session gets graded based on a player’s peer group. If a high school junior, for example, runs a session, his RapScore would register on the high school scale, but, if strong enough, could also show on the college and pro scales. This allows scouts and coaches to compare a high school player with a college player who is years older. “If a scout wants to evaluate a junior in college or a high school player, this score can put them on the same level of assessment,” he says.
Minshall says having verified data to compete against helps players see where they truly stack up against their peers and also defines specific areas for growth and skill acquisition. “Having the ability to be measured and know what you have to do to improve your RapScore and ranking gives you a literal roadmap to success,” he says. “That is where the athletes have to commit to the process and embrace the hard work that is ahead of them.”
Greg Vogt, founder of PRP Baseball, says trusted data from a respected company is key for college coaches and pro scouts and categorizing pitchers into different tiers is important for the system. “Pitchers are constantly developing all pitches, velocity and command,” he says. “As they progress in level, the tiers that they are graded on should be considered as well. Even better, you can track progress through the RapScore with follow up tests. The scripted bullpens and evaluation system provide real feedback on all fronts. The scoring systems combines all components into a score graded off each category.”
He says players understanding their RapScore provides them with an assessment to build from while offering a showcase to coaches and scouts. Page says that running a certified RapScore session multiple times in a year can help players see their development across time and give them key areas of focus.
The national database, open to coaches and scouts, tracks all RapScore assessments and automatically updates when a player runs a new session and improves their score. “This is certified, verified data,” Page says. “For us to share this data with coaches from a verified source, a verified location, coaches can trust it.”
For more information, reach the Rapsodo team at firstname.lastname@example.org.