As I have said before, “average” metrics at a showcase will not make you stand out. Your baseball IQ and other “stuff” is obviously important, but without decent numbers it’s hard to make it onto the coaches’ “follow” lists.
The data used in this article was provided to us by a showcase operator and the Perfect Game database and it covers high school players of all grades. The averages might seem a bit high or low depending on the metric, but keep in mind the data includes freshmen as well as seniors. So, let’s review what metrics are considered average and what you should be striving for if you’d like to play at the next level.
I am not really sure how this metric originated as a tool for evaluating ball players. Perhaps it’s just easy to measure. There are definitely better alternatives to measuring speed and explosiveness but it seems like the 60-yard is still the most commonly used metric. Here is the data on 3 years of showcases that we were provided:
I recently wrote about Exit Velo (click here). Unlike the 60-yard dash, Exit Velo says a great deal about a player’s raw power at the plate. It’s pretty hard to drive the ball with a decent exit velo.
In a game of inches, arm strength is just as relevant as any other metric. However, since the data covers all fielders, please keep in mind that velo expectations might vary from position to position. For example, velo expectations of an outfielder would be higher than that of a first baseman.
Catcher Pop Time
Pop Time is a combination of many things, including catcher’s footwork, the exchange (from glove to release) and arm strength (velocity of throw). It is generally a much better assessment of a catcher’s ability to throw out baserunners than arm strength alone. A catcher with a great arm isn’t going to throw out many baserunners if it takes him a while to transfer the ball to his throwing hand and then release the throw. The chart provides the summary of the showcase data for Pop Times (sec) for high school level players:
Like our discussion in Part 2 where the average pitching velo was 80 mph and college interests seem to pick up around 83-84 mph, the same goes for players’ metrics. At the very least, you need to be above average. Obviously, you don’t need to be rated Top 100 by Perfect Game in your grade to get recruited, but the table below gives you a good idea of where the showcase data we were provided stacks up against Perfect Game’s Top 400 high school players:
And to get even more specific, here is Perfect Game’s Top 100 players by grade currently in high school. Once again, you don’t need to be Top 100 in your grade to get recruited but they these do provide decent markers.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get a hold of similar data from Perfect Game on Exit Velo. But anecdotally, I can add that you would need to be at least in the mid to upper 80’s to get noticed by the better college programs.
If you find that your metrics are near or below the showcase averages doesn’t mean you can’t get there. It just takes hard work. And honestly it isn’t much different than what we recommend to our pitchers, get assessed to find out what’s holding you back physically, get strong, eat and get to work. Here is brief summary with relevant links:
- Get an assessment by a qualified practitioner to find out what’s holding you back physically
- Enroll in a high-quality Strength Training Program (2-3x per week minimum) for the duration of the off-season and maintain your gains 1-2x per week while in-season
- Follow a proper nutrition plan to increase lean muscle mass (click here)
“Go to the showcase when you have something to show.”
Here is another article with some additional food for thought!
By Bahram Shirazi (BSEE, MBA, Co-owner RPP)