Trackman Traits - Pitching: 2022 LHP Jonah Snowberger (Central Martinsburg)


Zach Guth
PA/NY Advanced Scout

 

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.

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. 

 

Jonah Snowberger

Class of 2022 / LHP

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2022
  • Primary Position: LHP
    Secondary Position: 1B
  • High School: Central Martinsburg
    State: PA
  • Summer Team: Flood City Elite
  • Height: 6-4
    Weight: 195lbs
  • Bat/Throw: L/L

Scouting Report

6/15/20

 

Physical: High waisted, long and lean 6-foot-3, 175-pound frame with plenty of projectability in the build. 7.57 runner in the 60-yard dash. 

Offensively: LHH. Wide, open stance with balance in the setup and hands that start high at the ear with movement. Utilized a bat wiggle for the load coupled with a knee-knock stride allowing for advanced whip through a slightly uphill barrel path during batting practice. Showcased quick hand speed at launch towards contact creating lift to the pull-side gap and ability to handle velocity in game. Hit into a stiff front side while showcasing a strong and powerful setup at impact allowing him to get well through extension after contact. Recorded a 90 mph bat-exit velocity per Trackman Baseball. 

Defensively: The first baseman demonstrated a solid feel around the bag with active footwork and a soft glove hand that plays with confidence on balls hit to either side of the body. Can create space with the drop step technique, or come and get it with an understanding of when to utilize them. Got back to the bag easily on double play feeds displaying enough feel that he should stick there if need be moving forward. 1B - 78 mph

Pitching: LHP - Tall, lengthy presence on the mound with a compact delivery featuring a deliberate pace and intent on the release through a long, high ¾ slot with extension on the front side. Falls off to the third base side pretty hard, but that only creates increased deception a 76-79 mph FB showing present arm-side run. Mixed in a slow breaking 65-68 mph CB with 1/7 shape and countered with feel for a 67-69 mph CH with occasional fade and adequate sell in the arm speed.


Videos

(6/15/20)


 

Fastball Breakdown

Velocity: Snowberger is a quick riser in the '22 class. Appearing at the Preseason All-State South/Central showcase at Iron Horse Sports Complex this past weekend, he made sure we knew his name before he left. With slightly above average velocity, Snowberger made good use of his fastball out of low effort mechanics that yielded 83-84 MPH pitches. Low effort in the mechanics tend to make for higher perceived velocity out of the hand. More importantly, Snowberger does this from the left side, which makes him incredibly valuable to any college program recruiting him. Snowberger was so impressive, this article has been written before our team can get video of him up on his profile from the 2/6 event. Trust me when I say this, he will be one to watch moving forward. 

Spin Rate: Snowberger relies on his low spin on his fastball to be successful. As he has decent velocity, his has low end spin numbers which present a heavy feeling on his fastball. Rolling in around the lower 75% of high school arms he finds himself teetering on the below average to minus range on the chart. I'd like to reiterate that low spin is not a bad thing at all. What is bad is how a pitcher manages his repertoire with the spin he induces. Low spin arms tend to find success in the bottom of the zone due to the ball sinking more than an above average or average fastball does. Snowberger is able to reap all the benefits of his low spin fastball by dialing it in all within the bottom half of the zone. 

Bauer Units: When we dive into the Bauer Units portion of the TM report, we notice quickly that Snowberger has average BU measurements. This is due to his low spin, but higher velo than the spin would compare to. This solidifies the statement that Snowberger is and always will be a low spin pitcher with an advantage in the bottom half of the zone. 

Induced Vertical Break: This part of the article is going to blow your minds. It has been  frequently mentioned within the article that Snowberger has the upper hand against hitters at the knees, but this puts it all into perspective. The "average" pitcher induces around 18" of IVB on their fastball, the very below average (minus) pitcher induces 13" of IVB on their fastball, Jonah Snowberger induces 8"(!!!) of induced vertical break on his fastball. This means his ball is sinking nearly triple what the average fastball does on its way to home plate. Snowberger could induce 0" of horizontal movement on his heater and be just fine...but he doesn't! Snowberger induces up to 18" of horizontal movement which is off the chart on not only the high school level, but also the college and professional level. From the left side, he generates above average velocity, sinks the ball into oblivion, and induces enough run on the ball to miss every bat he faces. Jonah Snowberger is valuable with the raw numbers, but if you take a look at his TM numbers, he more than likely doubles his stock for recruitment. 

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UPCOMING EVENTS

SHOWCASE STATE DATE LOCATION
2021 Preseason All-State - South/Central PA 02/06 Iron Horse Sports Complex
Super 60 Pro Showcase NATIONAL 02/07 MOSH Performance Center
2021 Preseason All-State - Pittsburgh (3PM Session) PA 02/07 All American Fieldhouse
2021 Preseason All-State - Pittsburgh (9AM Session) PA 02/07 All American Fieldhouse
2021 Northeast ProCase (2021 Grads Only) PA 02/13 Liberty Sports Arena
2021 Preseason All-State - Erie PA 02/13 Erie Premier Sports
2021 Preseason All-State - North/Central PA 02/14 Liberty Sports Arena
2021 Preseason All-State - East (11AM Session) PA 02/27 Keystone State Baseball Academy
2021 Preseason All-State East (3PM Session) PA 02/27 Keystone State Baseball Academy
2021 JR PA State Games Trials - Central PA 03/06 Liberty Sports Arena
2021 JR PA State Games Trials - East PA 03/14 Keystone State Baseball Academy
2021 JR PA State Games Trials - West PA 03/14 All American Fieldhouse