NEW YORK, Feb. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, GameChanger, the leader in pro-style stats and live game updates for amateur sports, launched its first annual report, "Redefining Success," analyzing player stats both nationally and state-by-state.
Analyzing over 1 billion pitches, 300 million at-bats and 7 million games scored, GameChanger highlights three "process-based" metrics – First Pitch Strike Percentage (FPS%), Hard Hit Balls (HHB) and Quality At-Bats (QAB) – that coaches can use to redefine player success, enhance player development, and improve player safety.
"Anyone who has watched or played baseball knows about home runs and RBIs. While these stats are fun to track and glamorize the game, there are better ways to measure a player's impact and help them improve," said Ted Sullivan, co-founder and CEO of GameChanger. "These process-based stats measure what a player can actually control, simplifying the game for young athletes."
Make the First Pitch Count – First pitch strikes lead to more outs, fewer baserunners and fewer pitches thrown per inning
When pitchers throw a strike as the first pitch of an at-bat, they are far more likely to succeed. According to the study, at-bats that start with a strike result in a .322 on-base percentage, whereas if the first pitch is a ball, opponents reach base half the time (.500).
According to the study, the national average for FPS% is 58 percent. Pitchers with a 70 FPS% threw on average 14.4 pitches per inning, while those who had a 55 FPS% threw nearly three more pitches each inning. To further emphasize the importance of first pitch strikes and pitchers staying ahead of the batters, according to the study, lead-off walks lead to a run scored 46 percent of the time.
Hit the Ball Hard – And your batting average will take care of itself.
For batters, focusing on Hard Hit Ball Percentage improves both batting averages and slugging percentages. A hard hit ball is a line drive or a hard ground ball. Players who have a HHB% of 10 percent have a batting average of .297. If the HHB% is increased to 25 percent, the batting average jumps to .334. Slugging percentages skyrocket from .348 to .470 when increasing HHB% from 10 to 25 percent. The takeaway: young hitters should focus on their own execution, not the results of the at-bat.
Win Each Battle at the Plate – And your team will eventually win the war on the scoreboard.
According to the study, players with high HHB% also have more Quality At-Bats, which leads to more wins. Teams with 12 or more quality at-bats during a game win at least 60 percent of the time, whereas only 6 quality at-bats cuts a team's winning percentage in half. GameChanger's definition of a QAB: any at-bat with at least one of the following: 3 pitches after 2 strikes, 6+ pitches, extra base hit, walk, SAC bunt, SAC fly.
Sullivan continued, "No metric or stat can replace the intangibles the best coaches bring to a team. The positive message for your players is that they can focus on their process and execution -- and the results will follow. By providing players and coaches with these alternative metrics, we hope to help teams have more fun and improve their performance."
To read the full report including state-by-state comparisons, please visit: gc.com/redefining-success.
Methodology – Insights were based on over 1 billion pitches, 300 million at-bats, and 7 million games scored by baseball and softball players between the ages of 8 and 18 using the GameChanger platform.
Based in New York City, GameChanger (www.GC.com) is the leader in amateur sports scorekeeping, statistics, analytics and live game updates. Available on iPhone, iPad and the web, GameChanger provides real-time local amateur baseball, softball and basketball game updates, analytics and insights. Fans can use GameChanger to follow games in real-time. In 2015, more than 100,000 teams across the country have used GameChanger.