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Baseball Pitching - Actual Velocity vs Perceived Velocity

I wanted to talk about pitching velocity. More specifically, actual velocity vs perceived velocity.

Have you ever seen a pitcher who you think is throwing very hard but then come to find out, the radar gun says a lot different? Well, that is because his perceived velocity is higher than his actual velocity.

There are a few things that contribute to actual velocity vs perceived velocity including:

1) The pitchers release point. A pitcher who releases the ball closer to home plate will have a faster perceived velocity because the batter has less time to react.

2) Pitch Location. Depending on where a pitcher is throwing can increase or decrease a pitchers perceived velocity. Meaning an inside pitch can seem faster to a hitter because he has to swing earlier to hit it well, thus giving him less time to react. On the other hand, an outside pitch may seem slower because he has more time to react because he can hit it deeper in the zone.

3) Distance from the eyes. A fastball up an in (chin music) will most certainly look faster than a low and away fastball. Think of a train a mile away in the mountains. It looks like it's going slow even if it is going fast. Take that same train and stand right in front of the tracks and the train will seem like it is going tremendously faster.

4) One last thing I didn't mention in the video below which I think you should watch is deception. A pitcher can have a funky deliver in which the batter has a hard time timing and in return can seem faster.

Watch this video on actual velocity vs perceived velocity to get a better understanding of how pitching velocity is seen to a batter.