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Trackman Traits - Pitching: 2022 LHP Tait Lakin (Pikeville)


Zach Guth
KY Contributor/PA-NY Advanced Scout

Welcome to Trackman Traits! In this piece we will be dissecting the numbers the Trackman produces and the effect they can have on a pitcher's approach. Below there will be definitions of each category that we believe to be the most important for a young arm to keep in mind as well as breaking down an arm and giving suggestions on how they can improve their game. Keep in mind, in some categories it is better to be further away from average even if the numbers are wavering on below average. 
 

FASTBALL VELOCITY

Fastball velocity doesn't go much deeper than just looking at the numbers and comparing them to the graphic below! Fastball velocity complements just about all of the other metrics that are measured. If you throw hard, it makes all your other pitches/metrics even better.

FASTBALL SPIN RATE

Spin rate is a measurement that if you are below average or above average, you can pitch with more room for error. On the other hand, if you are average you should try to throw in the bottom half of the zone with exceptional command. High spin fastballs profile as one that is frequently described as having "late life". Low spin fastballs tend to profile as a fastball that has heavy feel to it. Pitch movement is still dependent on spin direction of the pitch but Trackman does not have that metric displayed on profiles. 


BAUER UNITS

Bauer Units are an easier way of determining how useful the spin numbers are compared to the velocity. We can calculate this metric by taking average spin rate and dividing it by average velocity. Bauer Units are useful because we can have a case of two pitchers with the same spin numbers, ex. 2200 RPM, but one pitcher throws 90 MPH and the other throws 83 MPH. The pitcher throwing 90 MPH with 2200 spin is not as impressive as the pitcher throwing 83 MPH with the same spin. Typically, we would tell the harder throwing pitcher to throw up in the zone purely off his velocity and his high spin, but because his Bauer Units would equate to around 24 that would be only 1 unit off of average (23), therefore he would want to hammer the bottom of the zone. On the other side, the pitcher throwing 83 MPH has a Bauer Unit measurement of 26 which is incredibly impressive. This would allow him to throw up in the zone even though his velocity is not blow away type numbers because he produces above average spin with that slated velocity. 

FASTBALL INDUCED VERTICAL BREAK

As far as deception and importance goes, fast induced vertical break (IVB) may be the most important. Induced vertical break is not what is sounds. IVB simply means the pitch is "breaking" upward from the average level a pitch falls from release to home plate. This is a stat that you want to stay away from being average at. Fortunately, this can be tweaked slightly depending on release height. To put it simply, the higher number =  more "rise" the pitch has compared to average. Lower number = more depth the pitch has to it. 

CURVEBALL SPIN RATE

Spin rate on curveballs is pretty simple: higher spin = nastier stuff. There are some ways to manipulate spin numbers slightly but for the most part spin is spin. At the moment, there are no well known ways to change your spin in a big way. Spin not only dictates how sharp your curveball is, but it can also aid in keeping hitters honest by having similar rotation matching that of your fastball. 

 

Tait Lakin

Class of 2022 / LHP

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2022
  • Primary Position: LHP
    Secondary Position: 1B
  • High School: Pikeville
    State: KY
  • Summer Team: MidAmerica Prospects 17u Scout
  • Height: 6-2
    Weight: 195lbs
  • Bat/Throw: L/L

Videos

(1/23/21)

 



Fastball Breakdown

Velocity: Leading off, its pretty easy to determine that Lakin has exceptional velocity from the left side. He's slated at just under the top 10% in the high school category for velocity. With a healthy frame to add strength to, there's big upside from Lakin. 

Spin Rate (SR): Lakin is definitely a top tier arm when we take velocity and spin rate into consideration. He's in the top 10% among high school arms in both categories. With high velo and spin, it creates a filthy fastball with some hop to it. The more spin he can add from here on out, the better. It won't be anything eye popping but the little gains matter when you're up as high as he is in the spin column. 

Bauer Units: Bauer Units are valuable in the evaluation of if the spin is good for the level of velocity. Falling in around 28 units, it is apparent that Lakin creates some really good spin for his velocity. His spin is well above the typical amount for his velocity. For those without a Trackman unit at their disposal, Bauer Units is an easy, but very surface level, way of determining if you or your athlete's fastball plays up in the zone or not. There are some other things that also go into ball flight (i.e. tilt, release angle, etc.) but this gives you a general idea of whether it is a hoppy fastball or a heavy fastball. 

Induced Vertical Break (IVB): So as said previously, it was pretty easy to determine from just a velocity and spin standpoint that Lakin was a top of the zone arm. With the IVB numbers directly in our faces, it becomes even easier now to come to this conclusion. Although he doesn't fall into the top 10% or off the chart at the HS level, it is still an easy assumption. What makes it easy is the velocity that Lakin is able to produce. Taking his high level spin and adding his even higher level velocity, it will make hitters lives tough in the box against Lakin.  

Curveball Breakdown

Spin Rate (SR): Lakin is able to induce some top end spin on his breaking ball as well. Topping out around 2288 RPM sets him in the top 25% again among high school arms. It is pretty evident that Lakin is and always will be a high spin arm. This will only go uphill from where he is at right now. The curveball is a pitch that can gain larger levels of spin because maybe right now Lakin isn't generating as much efficiency on his curveball as he could be. 

Horizontal/Vertical Break: When we look at horizontal movement (HM) you want to think about it on a number line scale from the pitcher's view to home. At pitcher's mound, the measurement would be zero if someone threw a pitch that didn't move to either side. If a pitch moves to the left, it is a negative number and if a pitch moves to the right it would be a positive number. Lakin throws a curveball with 15.9" of break to his glove side. This is a sweepy pitch with little vertical movement that isn't considered average. This could be intentional or could be accidental, either way this is a great pitch to throw into RHH knees and away from a LHH in late counts. Seeing as how this is not a "get me over" type or a drop-it-in-there curveball, he should be establishing his fastball early and late in the counts and using the breaking pitch to keep hitters honest. 

UPCOMING EVENTS

SHOWCASE STATE DATE LOCATION
Louisville Preseason ID Showcase 1-23-21 KY 01/23 Legends Sports Academy
PBR Kentucky Introduction To Showcases 1-23-21 KY 01/23 Legends Sports Academy
Western Kentucky Prospect ID Showcase 1-24-21 KY 01/24 Planters Bank - Jennie Stuart Sportsplex
Preseason All-State Showcase 2-6-21 Invite Only (Class of 2023-2024) KY 02/06 Champions Sports
Preseason All-State Showcase 2-7-21 Invite Only (Class of 2021-2022) KY 02/07 Champions Sports
Super 60 Pro Showcase NATIONAL 02/07 MOSH Performance Center