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What Is The Rapsodo System For?

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What Is The Rapsodo System?

The Rapsodo system is a device that tracks pitches and gives you valuable feedback and statistics that will help you take your game to the next level. It is a data-driven tool that allows coaches and players to analyze and improve their games. It tracks stats such as speed, velocity, spin rate, and other similar helpful stats. 

The device itself is easy to set up and easy to use. That is why the Rapsodo system is used by tons of professional teams, collegiate teams, and all MLB teams.

How It Helps

The Rapsodo system is the tool that professionals use to measure things like spin rate, spin direction, horizontal & vertical break, gyro degree, and even more. If you want to take your game to the next level, this will allow you to dive into the numbers. It measures these numbers and then sends them to an interactive app in which you can analyze exactly what you need to improve on. You may be wondering what is the optimal spin profile for certain pitches, so we will cover that in the next section.

4 Seam Fastball 

    • Perhaps the most common pitch in all of baseball. Even with all the fancy breaking pitches and change-ups, the 4 seamer is still the king. You may think there is nothing to it other than rearing back and throwing it as hard as you can, but there is actually a lot more going on than it seems. Let’s go over the ideal spin profile and breakpoints for the classic 4 seamers.
      • Spin Profile – Its spin is actually backward which keeps its movement down to a minimum, so you won’t see any major drops or curves in this pitch. According to Rapsodo the typical spin rate for a 4 seam fastball is anywhere from about 1700-2600 RPMs. Most great pitchers in the MLB have a spin rate towards the top of that range and beyond, but if you are in that window you’re doing something right. 
      • Break Plots – Now typically breakpoints are super important when it comes to breaking pitches, but not so much with fastballs. One of the cool things about fastballs is that if you are around the 2600 rpm mark it will actually appear to rise. 

Pitch visualizations in this article were created using the Driveline Edge-Free Pitch Visualization tool. Click the link to try it out for yourself!


    • Ah, the good ole’ 12-6 curveball. It’s fun to throw, and even more, fun to watch someone try to hit a good one. These can make people look foolish when someone has a nasty one. Let’s dive into the numbers behind them.
      • Spin Profile – Most MLB pitchers throw their curve with approximately 2450-2530 RPMs, but it is fairly common to see some of these numbers in the 3000 rpm range as well. If you were wondering how the major leaguers get their curves to “drop off the table” this is the secret – the spin rate. 
      • Break Plots – Ideally, you want to see about 10-17 inches of vertical drop and about 0-12 inches horizontally depending on the type of curve being thrown. For example, a “12-6” curve may have a very little horizontal break, but a more traditional curve might have anywhere from about 3-12 inches of horizontal break. 


    • Now the change-up can be one of the most frustrating pitches to deal with. Every time you see one it seems like you’ll be able to crush it, but we all know how this one goes – you’re left watching the ball cross the plate because you swung way too early.
      • Spin Profile – Most sources will say it should be about the same spin rate as whatever your fastball is, but the difference will be the speed at which it arrives. The speed difference is typically 8-15 mph After all, the idea is to fool the batter into thinking a fastball is coming. Some pitchers tend to throw a change-up that dives a little more than a typical one and with those, you might see an uptick in RPMs.  
      • Break Plots – A change-ups break plot really seems to be dependent on the pitcher,  in a sense, where some pitchers throw a straight change and some change-ups will drop off a bit. Usually, the lower the spin rate, the more tumbling will occur. 


    • The slider can be a truly devastating pitch. Not only is it thrown hard, but it generally has a big horizontal break along with it. The slider can be a very tough pitch to deal with because you generally don’t lose a lot of speed off of your fastball. For these reasons, it can be a lot tougher to manage than other pitches.
      • Spin Profile – A slider’s RPMs are very similar to that of a curveball, which is typically in the 2450-2530 RPMs range. We’ve had some pro’s clock in between 2800 and 3100 rpm’s when they are really ripping them.
      • Break Plots – The best sliders typically break not only horizontally, but also break down a bit. According to the Rapsodo system, the horizontal break of fewer than 8 inches doesn’t affect the swing and miss rate much, but if it drops a bit vertically as well that’s when you’ll start to it increase.

Pitch visualizations in this article were created using the Driveline Edge-Free Pitch Visualization tool. Click the link to try it out for yourself!

If Verlander is still working on this, you can too! See the post below

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