BaseUnlike the name, the radar gun isn’t used for shooting, it is an acronym. It stands for radio detection and ranging, which sort of describes how it works.
Just like an echo is a sound wave that bounces off something and returns, radar is a radio (electromagnetic) wave that does the same thing.
A Radar gun is a device that measures the speed of an object that exceeds its field of vision.
No matter how good a coach is, he can’t possibly measure the speed of the athletes he’s training accurately with his naked eyes and assessment. That’s why he always needs a good and reliable radar gun for baseball.
The art of pitching depends on speed barometers, and it’s not always about the fastball. A breaking pitch is more about movement, but getting the velocity right is key to achieving a perfect curveball. There are a variety of radar guns and accessories for measuring various baseball pitches that will be useful in personal training.
- Fastball – The basic and most important pitch in baseball. The Pitcher launches the pitch with the palm perfectly facing the batter, producing very high velocity. How fast are we talking? Generally in the 90-95 mph range, even though few pitchers have been known to hurl over 100 mph.
Regardless of the movement, the basic idea here is to overpower the batter, so that he gets to swing late and misses.
- Changeup – It is an off-speed pitch, which is thrown with less velocity than the fastball. Though the batter doesn’t know when one is coming because a good pitcher is able to use the same arm speed as he does for the fastball.
- Curveball – These are the pitches that appear arc up toward the batter’s chest (or even head) before dropping into the strike zone like a bomb as they reach the plate.
The speed is calculated by the difference between the transmission frequency and the receiving frequency (known as the Doppler shift).
You get a speed out of the hand from one type of radar gun and as it crossed the plate with another. Scouts called both guns with “the fast gun” and “the slow gun.” Both of which were inaccurate measurements of speed but, depending on the aim of the person with the gun and the precision of the gun itself.
Now, with Pitch F/X being the recognized authority for pitch velocities for many years, and with Stat Cast capturing, even more, information and now taking over as the standard, things have changed. So, obviously, the fastest point should be just after the pitcher releases it pitch. And so, under stat cast pitchers are suddenly “gaining” velocity report on their pitches.
Stat Cast captures the fastest measurement of the ball at any point from the point it leaves the pitcher’s hand to the moment it crosses the plate.
Trainers can also use changeups to confuse the batter because it can be able to slow down all the way to around 15mph slower and really confuses the batter. The start rate of the batted ball is one of the best predictors of how the batter exactly sets the ball and handles it well.
The baseball radar gun is a good training tool, which would enable pitchers to measure speed differences between fastballs and their changes.