Trackman Traits - Pitching: 2022 RHP Clayton Poliey (Don Bosco Prep)


TJ Hunt
Director, PBR New Jersey

Welcome back 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. Higher velocity doesn't necesarily make a pitcher "better," but it does give the pitcher a better chance of getting swings and misses, and ultimately, outs. The pitcher can get away with 'mistakes' easier with higher velocity.

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, fastball 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. Ideally, you would want your curveball and fastball to "match up" if you envision a clock. If your spin direction on your fastball is 1:00 as a right hander, then you would want your curveball direction to be at 7:00.

 



Clayton Poliey

Class of 2022 / RHP

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2022
  • Primary Position: RHP
  • High School: Don Bosco Prep
    State: NJ
  • Summer Team: Wladyka
  • Height: 6-0
    Weight: 175lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R

Statistics

Pitching
86
Max FB
(09/20/20)
84 - 85
FB
(09/20/20)
69 - 72
CB
(09/20/20)
76 - 77
CH
(09/20/20)
Pitching
Max FB
86
FB
84 - 85
CB
69 - 72
CH
76 - 77
Pitching
Max FB
83
FB
81 - 83
CB
66 - 68
CH
73 - 75
Trackman - Fastball
86.0
Velocity (max)
(09/20/20)
84.9
Eff Velocity (avg)
(09/20/20)
2606
Spin Rate (max)
(09/20/20)
2446
Spin Rate (avg)
(09/20/20)
Trackman - Fastball
Velocity (max)
86
Velo Range
82.9 - 85.4
Eff Velocity (avg)
84.9
Spin Rate (max)
2606
Spin Rate (avg)
2446
IVB (max)
IVB (avg)
HM (max)
HM (avg)
Extension (avg)
Release Ht (avg)
Spin Score (max)
Zone %
Trackman - Curveball
72.5
Velocity (max)
(09/20/20)
71.2
Eff Velocity (avg)
(09/20/20)
2314
Spin Rate (max)
(09/20/20)
2263
Spin Rate (avg)
(09/20/20)
Trackman - Curveball
Velocity (max)
72.5
Velo Range
70.9 - 72.1
Eff Velocity (avg)
71.2
Spin Rate (max)
2314
Spin Rate (avg)
2263
IVB (max)
IVB (avg)
HM (max)
HM (avg)
Extension (avg)
Release Ht (avg)
Spin Score (max)
Zone %
Trackman - ChangeUp
76.4
Velocity (max)
(09/20/20)
77.9
Eff Velocity (avg)
(09/20/20)
1893
Spin Rate (max)
(09/20/20)
1893
Spin Rate (avg)
(09/20/20)
Trackman - ChangeUp
Velocity (max)
76.4
Eff Velocity (avg)
77.9
Spin Rate (max)
1893
Spin Rate (avg)
1893
IVB (max)
IVB (avg)
HM (max)
HM (avg)
Extension (avg)
Release Ht (avg)
Spin Score (max)

Scouting Report

9.20.2020
Lanky, athletic frame at 6-feet 175-pounds. Fastball sat 84-85 touching 86 in his two innings of work at the event. Was one of the top overall performers. Ripped off a few sharp, late-breaking curveballs at 69-72 and wrinkled in a changeup at 76-77 with armside fade. Long, easy and repeatable mechanics and arm action from a high-3/4 slot. Finishes square to homeplate with momentum continuing forward. Strike thrower. One of the top uncommitted 2022s in the state.




FASTBALL BREAKDOWN

Velocity: Poliey presents quality velo for a '22 arm. In the 82-86 range, Poliey is above average with his fastball velocity.

Spin RateWith an average of 2446 RPM and a max of 2606, Poliey's fastball has exceptional spin rate when you factor in his velocity. The average MLB fastball is at 91-93 MPH - with that same velocity, the average spin rate is in the 2200-2300 range. Poliey's average velocity to considerably below the average MLB velocity, but his spin rate is considerably above. This tells us that Poliey's fastball seems to "rise" when it is located at the top of the strike zone. Players with high spin fastballs have a better chance statistically of getting swings and misses but also have a higher chance of fly ball %. 

Bauer Units: With a max Bauer Unit measurement of 31, Poliey's fastball plays up in the zone and he should look to utilize the upper part of the strike zone to his advantage. With well below average fastball velocity compared to MLB and well above average spin rate, his fastball will garner swings and misses up in the zone and appear harder with later life. Poliey's high Bauer Unit on his fastball tells us that although his velocity is under that of an MLB arm, his spin is elite and the overall pitch profile is outstanding despite the velocity.

CURVEBALL BREAKDOWN

Spin Rate: Poliey possesses a top 25% curveball spin rate at the high school level, which is a great pitch for him. As mentioned before, the more the spin the nastier the stuff. His spin is 2263 rpm (average).

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 (toward a lefty batter), it is a negative number and if a pitch moves to the right (toward a righty batter) it would be a positive number. Poliey utilizes -15.7" of IVB and -8.2" on horizontal break to create a nasty, swing and miss sweeping breaking ball. I like to picture a pitcher's arsenal on a coordinate plane, just like you would learn in high school math class (y = mx + b). If Poliey's fastball is at the coordinate point (18.7, 1) and his curveball is at the coordinate point is at (-8, -15.7), both points/pitches are so far away from each other that they create big differentials in terms of movement and complement each other excellently. 

Bauer Units: Again, Bauer Units provide a template of comparing the same pitch despite the velocity. Poliey's breaker as a max of 32 Bauer Units, making it a top of the line pitch.