How Pitchers Like Blake Snell Dominate Hitters and What Hitters Need To Understand About Pitch Tunnels & Timing
Perry Husband is a pioneer in the world of Baseball Science. He introduced many modern hitting metrics to baseball, including Exit Velocity and Launch Angle. Working with Jay Bell, he used metrics to diagnose and improve performance in both Exit Velocity and Launch Angle in one session with Jay’s swing. Jay had an increase of 10 MPH in Exit Velocity and improved his Launch Angle to the equivalent of today’s ‘Barrel’, a ball hit at 100 MPH at a Launch Angle of 25-30 degrees. He also improved his contact consistency by almost 50%.
Perry also introduced ‘Tubing’ to the baseball world, inventing the original J Bands, sold by Alan Jaeger. The Resistance Belt concept was also a surgical tubing product introduced in the Hitting Is A Guess series for training hitters. Plyometrics in hitting training was the workout prescribed in that same video series from 2001. The underload/overload concept in hitting training was designed and introduced by Perry in the Hitting Is A Guess video, promoting explosiveness, balance and proven bat speed and Exit Velocity increases.
Through the groundbreaking discovery of Effective Velocity, there were countless pitching breakthroughs, including Ev Pitch Tunnels, Location Adjusted Speed (True Reactionary Speed) and many, many other Deception Metrics.
Perry Husband is the Author of the Downright Filthy Pitching Series, including 4 books, Downright Filthy Pitching Books 1, 2, 3 & Getting Filthy – Implementing Effective Velocity.
This cutting edge series uncovers the Patented science of Effective Velocity, which has been used by MLB coaches, pitchers and hitters for more than.
The Foreword is by Dr. Tom House, who helped bring the science to light introducing Ev to both Japan and Korea. Ev has also been adopted by hundreds of university coaches/players in both softball and baseball, including many NCAA champions
Perry also created the Hitting Is A Guess video series that introduced the hitting world to Exit Velocity and Launch Angle, as mentioned.
Perry also authored the Time Training Hitting Programs that helped Carlos Pena lead the American League in homeruns in 2009. Time Training Level 1 is a book and online video course that focuses on mechanical efficiency. Time Training Level 2 introduced the world to Pitch Recognition and Timing, as never understood before. Time Training Level 3 is the most advanced game planning mindsets to date. These are the same mindsets that helped Carlos Pena lead the MLB in Exit Velocity. These same advanced mindsets helped the Back to Back National Champions in softball, University of Oklahoma and UCLA softball programs to become two of the most potent offenses in the game this past season.
As a collegiate player, Perry was the MVP of the Division II College World Series in 1984 where he captained the NCAA Champion Cal State University Northridge Matadors. Perry tied the record for most hits in the Division II College World Series with an 8 for 11 day. At the Junior College level, he led California JCs in hitting and set a record with a 32 game hitting streak.
Perry is an inductee into the CSUN Hall of Fame as well as the Antelope Valley College Hall of Fame and the Lancaster JetHawks Hall of Fame, minor league affiliate of the Colorado Rockies.Perry was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 16th round and played two years in the minor league system, setting records for double-plays with Jay Bell, 17 year MLB vet and 2 time All Star.
You can follow Perry on Twitter.
Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/playballkid/message
Perry Husband Show Transcripts
Sammy: [00:00:00] Perry. Are you ready?
[00:00:03] Perry: [00:00:03] Yes, sir. Let’s do it. Let’s play ball.
[00:00:05] Sammy: [00:00:05] So you can’t mention many baseball terms today without some of them being attributed to you. You came up with the work behind launch angle, exit velocity barrels, and of course, effective velocity. Can you tell us what led you to describe these terms initially before a lot of the technology from today was out there?
[00:00:23]Perry: [00:00:23] Part of it was because the technology did not exist when we did the Jay bell video back in 2000. There was no such thing as exit velocity on anywhere, number one. Number two, you could get it off the tee, but you could not get it with a live pitched ball. So the radar only went one direction.
[00:00:41] So you could get the pitch coming in, or you could get a ball hit off the tee. Or like a catcher’s pop time. You could get their exit velocity. Their velocity out of hand, but you couldn’t get a pitched ball coming in, get the velocity and then get the velocity of the exit speed going out.
[00:00:59] So we did this test with Jay bell and he was like a two-time all-star 17 year big leaguer at that time. And was my roommate in the minor leagues. And what we were trying to do, there was the same thing I’ve been doing with my little academy, which was a before and after. So we tested his swing off the tee and his swing off the tee basically created.
[00:01:26] And this is a long story without visuals, a little bit tough, but he basically was hitting hard ground balls, low line drive, hard ground balls to the left side. So in other words, he was a little bit early. And because the swing plane was a little bit upward. He’s catching the top of the ball.
[00:01:42] And so a good bulk of the balls that he was hitting was low left because he’s a right-handed hitter swinging up a little bit and being early a little bit and hitting a lot of balls, like what would go to the five, six hole for a base hit to left field. And so when we did the live, the same thing happened a little better trajectory, but by and large, his launch angle was about averaging downward.
[00:02:08] We didn’t have a line for that. We gave it a numerical number, which was basically like a 3.5. So on a scale five being a perfect line drive and then four going up above that. Being 10 degrees away from that. And then a three 10 degrees higher than that. So what we were trying to do is give the visual of a side view.
[00:02:32] As you’re watching someone hit in a batting cage and the pitch coming in and the ball going out, and we were measuring the launch angle and we were trying to add it to the exit velocity, but we didn’t have that. We didn’t have. So we created , basically the barrel was created that day and it was.
[00:02:52] It was four of us judging it with Jay bell being the final judge. In other words, I crushed that ball, like I really got that one good was the only feedback that we got. We could hear it. We could see it jump off the bat or not jump off the bat, but we could always see the line.
[00:03:11] We could always see the launch angle. So that was the beginning of that . Was, we had to recreate a way to show on video how to affect ball flight, both the exit velocity. So what we were doing, we call it a traject angle and it was a combination of how hard did you hit that? And at what launch angle did you hit it? And so that was the birth of that.
[00:03:34] Sammy: [00:03:34] Efective velocity is a term that is important to both hitters and pitchers. As a pitcher, what do I need to know about EV to make the most out of my outings?
[00:03:46] Perry: [00:03:46] Whew. We could talk for two hours and me never stop on that one. The most important thing probably in the beginning is just knowing that speed is relative.
[00:03:57] Meaning where you throw it in the zone dramatically changes the reactionary time of the hitter. And so once you understand how the zone works, that’s definitely step number one is knowing that 90 miles an hour on the middle in part of the strike zone is very different than middle away. So if you’re living on the outside part of the plate, you’re allowing the hitter about two and a half extra miles per hour, depending on how hard you throw.
[00:04:29]You’re giving up a couple miles an hour, at least by just locating the ball middle away versus middle in. And so once you understand that your, every pitch you throw is dependent on where it ends up as to what the actual reaction time is that’s lesson number one, that’s like the ABCs of effective velocity.
[00:04:52] After that, it gets a little bit more complicated, but the second thing is that once you understand what your pitches are doing now, you have to understand what the hitter’s trying to do. And the hitters trying to load up, recognize a pitch, and then try to pull off his best swing.
[00:05:11] That’s going to create damage. We call that, I call it 100, 100. It’s actually three, one hundreds, but it’s every ball that’s hit hard. The hitter is close to, or at a hundred percent mechanically efficient and a hundred percent on time to the contact. So as a pitcher, you’re trying to avoid 100, 100, you’re trying to make him 80, 80.
[00:05:37] If he does hit the ball, you’re trying to get to a place where he’s hitting it off his handle, or hit hitting it off the end, or he’s underneath it, popping it up. And so all of that is a huge percentage of that is about disrupting what his mechanics are or disrupting his timing and there in lies the art is how do you do that? And I’m going to give you one example of a big leader superstar Mike Trout for the last 10 years, at least has been one of the best, if not the best in the game and his average exit velocity on fast balls in the up and in box. Of the nine boxes in the up and in corner in the strike zone, his average exit velocity is around 73 miles an hour.
[00:06:27] And if you look at the middle in box, the up and in box and the middle up box combined, that’s a third of the strike zone. His average exit velocity on fastballs over the last five years is 83 miles an hour. It’s actually closer to 80 but it’s when you think about that for a second, he becomes a high school baseball player when fast balls are located inside, when that same fastball is thrown away, his average exit velocity is 101.
[00:06:59] So immediately that has to tell you a ton about what does it mean? How should I use my fastball? Should I use it up, down in and out? And I think the answer to that is not no, but heck no, no chance. Should I leave a fastball down and, or a way to Mike Trout because there’s just, we saw it.
[00:07:23] We’ve seen the damage on what he does on those pitches. And I’ll simplify this in another answer. But basically think about speed as one, two, three, four. One is the fastest pitch that any pitcher throws, it would be whatever your fast ball is on the plus side of the strike zone, meaning that diagonal that’s created by those boxes that are down in middle, and up and away.
[00:07:48] That’s the diagonal. So anything moving to the inside or elevated is a plus it’s adding speed to that pitch. So that’s a one. Everything on that side, that’s gaining speed is a one. All the fastballs that are away or down is a two, hard off speed pitches are threes, and slow off speed pitches are four.
[00:08:08] So if you think of speed like that, 70% of big league pitches right now, almost 70% are twos and threes. So fast balls away or down and a hard off speed pitches and guys like Mike Trout they feast on twos and threes and on the ones, not so much . Most hitters don’t handle ones very well at all. And most hitters handle fours, but only when they’re super obvious out of the hand.
[00:08:40] So that’s where we get into the next levels of effective velocity. So in order to try to avoid 100, 100 contact, if I’m facing somebody like Trout, number one is I got to use more number ones. It’s just as simple as that I have to attack with the weapon that works the best and avoid that the worst pitch in baseball, in my opinion, which is fast ball away.
[00:09:08] Sammy: [00:09:08] So in the league right now, who do you think is the best at doing that?
[00:09:14]Perry: [00:09:14] Good question. If you watch the world series, you saw a phenomenal example of Blake Snell in game six. Absolutely dominating the best hitting team in the game this year. Literally just dominating and the reason when you go back and you look at sequence by sequence, he’s hiding pitches, he’s creating perfect or not near perfect EV tunnels.
[00:09:41] So his fastball was elevated. And when you elevate your fast ball, you can hide your change up and your slider off of that curve balls in the dirt guys, chase it a lot more often when it has that tunnel. And basically that tunnel is when the pitch has the same horizontal and vertical plane. They can be on the same vertical plane, like right next to each other and hitters will still see it.
[00:10:05] Or they could be one on top of the other. And if there’s a half a ball in between the two, hitters, will see that. So they need to be literally right on top of each other from the hitters view. So they would have to hide each other there the flight for at least a third of the way and with great pitchers, it goes way beyond a third of the way. A lot of pitchers have a pitch combinations that’ll stay in a tunnel for beyond halfway, sometimes even past the point of no return, which is about two thirds of the way to the plate. The hitter has to start the swing. If they’re going to get around on a 95 mile an hour, fastball.
[00:10:45] So at it’s roughly about 0.2, six, seven seconds. If you’re throwing 95 and it’s on the inside part of the plate, a one, then the hitter has to start his swing at 0.2, six, seven seconds. If he doesn’t, he’s going to be late on that fast ball in. And so that 0.2726, seven seconds. If you can get, if you can have pitches hide for that length of time, forget about it because they literally load. They start to recognize the first part of the flight. They see nothing different than the fastballs that they’ve seen, and then they have to start their swing. And now the slider comes out of that tunnel. Now the curve ball goes to the dirt and that’s why you see so many guys chasing such horrible pitches is based off of that tunnel concept.
[00:11:38] Sammy: [00:11:38] So there’ve been some people who have been critical about the concepts of EV and EV tunnels. If I were to come across a coach, who doesn’t understand it in the future, how could I help them buy into the concept?
[00:11:51]Perry: [00:11:51] The numbers are very succinct. It’s it? It depends on how you look at it. You can make numbers, do anything you want.
[00:11:59]But when you look at all of the hard hit balls and I’ve done so many studies, it’s crazy when we looked at, like world series all through the playoffs. One year, Carlos Pena, who’s a former client. He is now an MLB network analyst. And in 2017, before the first pitch, we predicted how the hard hit balls were going to go.
[00:12:23]And we were within about one percentage point in every category. And the reason that we can do that is because they always happen the same way. They 100% happen the same way. And it’s a rule. It’s an EV rule called 50, 20, 2010. 50% of all hard hit balls happen as a result of being thrown within six miles an hour, the last pitch.
[00:12:49] So if you throw a fastball away and let’s say you throw 85, and your fast ball away is now closer to 82 EV miles per hour. And now you throw, let’s say a change up at 78, but that change up moves to the inside part of the plate where it’s gains one, one or two miles an hour. So now that 78 turns into 80.
[00:13:15] So now you’re throwing 82 and 80, even though the radar gun has a bigger spread. You’re still thrown within 6 EV miles an hour. And that’s 50% of all the hard hit balls happen in that fashion, it’s usually fast ball and then another fast ball and usually a fast ball and a slower fastball from an for example, let’s say I throw a fastball in as a message and then I come back and I throw a fastball away.
[00:13:42] So you’ve got a fast ball and then a slower fastball. So you throw a one and then you come back with a two. And that two is the most common hard hit ball by far. And it’s because hitters train in that fashion. You’re a hitter, right? So you, when you train you and you swing the bat and your tiny bit late, you feel it.
[00:14:03] And what do you do? You adjust? So once you adjust now, you’re changing the timing on for the next pitch. So when pitchers throw pitches back to back that are within six EV miles an hour, You’re helping the hitter by making the timing easier. So the numbers are dramatic 20% of those hard hit balls happen when you create no tunnels.
[00:14:30] So you throw fast ball away and you throw a curve ball away. It’s impossible to have those two pitches look alike and end up in the same place when they have different speeds. It’s you just can’t, it can’t be done. They can end up in the same place, but they’re going to look different on the way to the plate and hitters recognize that right out of that right out of the gate.
[00:14:51] And then the other 20% is when pitchers just throw pitches in the speed range, that hitters are geared to. A la twos and threes. So if you’re throwing a boatload of pitches in that two, three category, then you’re throwing a lot of pitches that are at risk every time you throw them, because that’s the speed that they hitter gears to all the time.
[00:15:11] You hear them every day. They’ll say, yeah, I’m really going good when I’m hitting the ball the other way. So I look for the fast ball out over the plate, and I’m trying to hit the ball to right center. If I’m a right handed hitter and I’ll pull the ball, that’s the off-speed pitch. So in other words, what they’re telling every pitcher in America is I’m going to wait for the outside fast ball and I’m going to let the three I’m going to hit the two, I’m going to gear to the two, and I’m going to let the three run into my bat when it’s on the inside part of the plate.
[00:15:43]So if you understand the message that they’re screaming at you, that we are prepared for outside fastballs and you stop throwing those outside fastballs, the whole world changes, but the numbers back up effective velocity and the numbers, I just ran through 90% of all hard hit balls happen as a result of bad pitching concepts, bad sequencing, not hiding your pitches. Not creating big enough spreads throwing two pitches back to back that are easy to time. So it is that’s an astounding number that it hasn’t sunk in yet to major league pitchers. It will very soon, but 90% of all of the hard hit balls that guys give up are on pitch sequences.
[00:16:32] That don’t make any sense from an EV perspective and what you saw in game six. Is a guy taking advantage of that. Blake Snell, throwing pitches that were when they were within six, it was like a change up away in the strike zone. And then he reads that the hitters, not that on that. And he comes back with another change up in the same speed range, but it’s off the plate or you’ll throw fast ball in the strike zone and then come back with a fast ball that’s above the strike zone. That’s adding EV speed. So while you do have to throw pitches back to back, when you do it poorly you pay the price and when you do it you just make the atmosphere harder for the hitter. It’s kinda it’s kinda if you’re an arsonist you need, if you’re going to create fires, you got to have oxygen.
[00:17:24] You got to have an atmosphere that is going to help you with. With creating fires and in hard hit balls, there’s an atmosphere. And that atmosphere is you make it easy to time by throwing pitches back to back all the time that are in the same speed range you throw pitches in and in a speed range that they’re the most prepared to hit.
[00:17:44] You throw pitches that are easy to identify out of the hand. You throw them with less speed differential between them. And you give them more time to react. So if you want to create hard hit balls, then you throw your fast balls instead of making them ones, you make them twos. And that buys the hitter a little bit of time.
[00:18:03] And now they’re also heading to a place where you can’t hide any other pitch. So it’s I think I’ve gone away from your question a little bit, but at the end of the day, the numbers back up the fact that it’s only a matter of time before pitchers and coaches realize that effective velocity has been right since at the beginning.
[00:18:24] And it’s still a hundred percent right now.
[00:18:27] Sammy: [00:18:27] So as a, how can I train for when a pitcher is using effective philosophy against me?
[00:18:35] Perry: [00:18:35] That becomes that’s a that’s about a seven hour answer. Because right now, what do you hear hitters? What does, what is, what would you hitting coach say depending on who your hitting coach is?
[00:18:48]There, there are a few guys out there that, that really have a really good understanding, but for the most part hitters, yeah. Hitting coaches are teaching you to try to keep it simple. See it, hit it. Get your foot down early, let the ball travel, hit the ball the other way. And so if you are of that mindset, then we got a lot to talk about because that’s exactly the reason why effective velocity works is because of the hitting philosophy of today.
[00:19:20] So for hitters, they have to train different for pitchers. It’s an overnight thing. If you just change a couple of things about the way you sequence and the location of your pitches. You can literally change overnight. I’ve seen it hundreds and hundreds of times. But from a hitter standpoint, it’s different because a hitter’s standpoint, you have to change your paradigm.
[00:19:45] You have to change the way you think completely not completely, but you have to train very differently. You have to learn how to ignore what your eyes are telling you. Because your eyes as a good athlete, you trust your eyes almost a hundred percent that almost everybody does, and your eyes are lying to you against good, great pitching because what your eyes are telling you is, Oh, wow.
[00:20:08]That’s a fast ball middle, and then it runs in on your hands. And so that pitch is lying to you. So if you trusted your eye, Eyes, you load up, you see a pitch in the middle, you start you’re swing, and now the ball moves in towards you. And now you’re late because the balls gaining speed every inch that it moves towards you because you have to hit it further out in front and then a slider that’s in that same tunnel is moving away from you and it’s slower, right?
[00:20:39] So you load up, Oh, there’s fast ball away and you start your swing. And then now the ball moves away and it’s a lot slower than the other pitch. So you create that you’ve created a situation where you can’t handle those two extremes and nobody can mean literally no, no hitter that’s ever played this game can hit pitches that are beyond about eight miles an hour.
[00:21:09] If they come out of the same tunnel. So if the pitch comes out of the same tunnel and you throw fastball in and sliders away, and they have more than six 80 miles an hour between them and they and you’re using a tunnel that makes up only 10% of the hard hit balls. That’s a crazy number, but that’s the reality is nobody is literally nobody hits EV efficient sequences.
[00:21:34] Very well. So the answer to your question is you have to become a Jedi. You have to start training some other senses. You have to learn how to look at pitches. Different. You have to create a tool set that allows you to read pitches better and still be in a great position to hit them.
[00:21:52] Because right now, what guys are doing I would say it like this, most of the swings across America right now. Are what I refer to as a swing adjust kind of theory, which means they load up and they start their move and then they recognize the pitch and then they decide, and they adjust their swing to match the timing of the pitch.
[00:22:21] And that means that on the fly, in this crazy amount of time, they’re going to make a brand new swing. That’s going to try to match this, the speed that they’re reacting to. So in other words, they’re in the middle, they’re looking for balls in the middle to away, and they’re looking for that tunnel.
[00:22:41] And then you see that tunnel and now the fast ball runs in on your hands and the slider runs away from you. And so you’re stuck exactly in the middle. So you’re going to be late and early to that pitch combination. And there’s very little you can do about it. If, as long as you have that set of tools, if, and that mindset of I’m going to get my foot down early, and then I’m going to start going, and then I’m going to adjust my swing in the middle of this process.
[00:23:10] And it can work as long as pitchers cooperate and throw lots of twos and threes and fours that are super obvious out of the hand. You can operate under those circumstances. But my prediction is that really soon pitchers all over the world are going to wake up and they’re going to stop listening to an analytic theory that is that takes you down a rabbit hole.
[00:23:42] And we’ll get into that hopefully to the great ground ball myth. But basically the pitchers are gonna wake up really soon and you’re going to see more outings, like what you saw in game six, which is domination of amazing hitters because Blake Snell took away time. He made the guy’s reaction faster because he started throwing ones.
[00:24:07] And when you throw ones, you force hitters to have to make a faster reaction time. And every test ever done on policemen , in any circumstance when you have to make a decision and time is of the essence with less time reactions or your decisions get worst. And so by speeding hitters up, you force them to have to make a faster decision.
[00:24:32] And when they have to make a faster decision, it’s rarely a good one. So therefore you’re going to get away with a lot more stuff. So hitters have to train in a very different way, but first they have to change the way they think, because right now what they’re thinking is that I’m good enough. I’m quick enough to where I can wait, see the ball and react to it.
[00:24:53] And they can, as long as pitchers, keep throwing twos and threes at 70% of the time. So you have that’s about to stop. Trust me.
[00:25:06] Sammy: [00:25:06] So you’ve worked with former and current big leaders. What do you think needs to happen to help hitters in the next few years?
[00:25:15]Perry: [00:25:15] I think that number one, you have to test every hitter and there’s some of that going on now, but the Tim Hyers is the Boston Red Sox hitting coach. And when I was working with Carlos Pena in 2009, he was with the Red Sox in the minor leagues and would call me pretty often we talked on the phone a lot because he’s been following along with this whole ideology for a long time, the effective velocity, the hitting side of it.
[00:25:53] And. I don’t know for sure, but I think that’s the reason why he got the job was because the minor league guys liked the Bogarts and the Mookie Betts, and guys like that, that were in the minors when Tim was, I think the players requested him to come be the hitting coach. But way back, like in early two thousands Tim and I, we did a test with about 200 showcase kids, really elite high school players.
[00:26:22] And we tested all kinds of things. We tested heavy bat versus light bat. We tested line drive consistency off the tee. Exit velocity off the tee. And then we tested reactionary abilities, but we did it really simply using EV miles per hour. So we created this we had one of those really high end pitching machines that could pinpoint where the ball was going, but it also could, it had the big arm coming, you saw this big screen and it had a pitcher going through a windup. And then when his arm got to that point of release, the ball would come out of his hand. So there were, they were sinked up and we, we created this test where they had eight warm-up swings and then they had eight swings that counted. And I don’t know why we picked eight. It was that’s weird. Cause we should’ve picked 10 like a normal number, but we picked eight and I think it was just time constraint. And we, so what we did was we took, we should have taken 90 miles an hour because these kids were all facing that in these elite showcase games.
[00:27:28]But we didn’t, and we didn’t choose 80. We chose 70 miles an hour, and we threw the first set of pitches, middle of the strike zone and middle away middle away. So basically that 70 miles an hour and every pitch was 70. We didn’t throw any pitches beyond one mile an hour, just the margin for error, but it was 70 miles an hour.
[00:27:50] Middle is 70, 70 miles an hour, middle away, 68. So we were gearing these kids to around 68 EV miles an hour. And so that was the first round. The second round we started throwing pitches. We went middle and up and in and down in a way or 72 EV miles an hour, 74,EV miles an hour and 66 miles an hour.
[00:28:19] And the results were astounding. By just doing that one thing. Changing locations strategically, we had a 187 hard hit ball rate on 70 mile an hour batting practice pitches. Meaning one ball 1.5 hard hit balls per eight was what was happening back then. And when you think about that’s an amazing number because you’re not a, you’re not even throwing barely batting practice speed.
[00:28:52] And yet just moving the ball strategically around the strike zone, carved these hitters up, and some did a little bit better than others. And some were absolutely awful. We broke every single wood bat that we had. We had a couple dozen wood bats and they shattered all of them because they’re hitting it off the handle, hitting it off the end.
[00:29:13] And it’s 70 mile an hour batting practice pitches. That’s crazy. When you think about that but that’s what the answer to your question is you have to test to find out what your reactionary ability is. As far as I know, we were the only ones have ever done that still to this day, which is astounding with all the advancements that have happened.
[00:29:32]Nobody’s doing that and it’s crazy. Because everybody has a different reactionary ability and you need to know that before you design your approach. So there’s a physical set of tools. There’s a visual set of tools. There’s a set of tools that has to do with learning, how to read speed better. And then you have to put all those tools together into a mindset and a game plan.
[00:29:59] That makes sense. That buys you the most. Amount of pitches that you can be 100, 100 on. And that’s what I did with Carlos Pena in 2009, his hard hit ball rate was ridiculous. Like 369. It was a hundred points higher than his batting average. And just to put that in perspective, Evan Longoria that year, it was the reverse.
[00:30:24] His batting average was 100 points higher than his hard hit ball rate. He hit a Homer every eight and a half at bats that second half of the season and batting average went up 25% and strikeouts went down 25%. So what we were doing, they’re still not doing today. They’re trying to, but they have no idea what we were doing.
[00:30:45]And I think one of the reasons why is because they haven’t accepted EV yet, they don’t understand. The EV mile per hour, how would a dramatic thing that is? And we did. And so that one day you’re going to see guys start to train completely different, but it starts with testing.
[00:31:03] They have to test in order to show themselves that you really can’t react as well as you think you can. Nobody. And that’s everybody, not a single player can react beyond about six or seven miles an hour of speed differential.
[00:31:19] Sammy: [00:31:19] If you can share two or three pieces of wisdom that you’ve not seen change much in the 30 plus years, you have been around the game, but are not discussed much.
[00:31:28] What would they be?
[00:31:31] Perry: [00:31:31] Great question. One is the testing. Guys have not tested hitters. And so you never hear about the fact that this player has better reactionary skills than that player. This players, has the ability to recognize pitches at this level. They’re doing it on a computer and they’re trying to measure that kind of thing.
[00:31:53] But I don’t personally believe that’s the answer because you can get better on the computer, but if you’re not locking it into movement patterns that you’re creating in real life, I don’t think it’s going to translate all that well. So I think that hitting. Has made very few advancements.
[00:32:14] And the only reason that pitching isn’t absolutely dominating it, is because 70% of all pitches are twos and threes. So virtually any hitting approach will work. As long as you have a plethora, of pitches showing up at the speed that you’re most ready to hit. And if you think about it, twos are heading downward and threes are heading downward and so when you create a downward path and the pitch and the bat is going upward and about the same, almost exactly the same ascent angle you’ve got a target rich environment that you’ve created. And so from a hitting perspective, they haven’t made any advancements because. They haven’t needed to, as soon as pitchers wake up and they start to understand what a big advantage they have right now.
[00:33:07]You’re going to see some drastic changes in the home run production. The whole, the strikeouts will go up even higher than they are, which is almost impossible to imagine, but that’s going to happen, but batting averages are going to go down another 20 or so points, and then you’re going to see homers drop off the off the planet really soon.
[00:33:28] So I think that with all the advancements we’ve made in pitching it is we, they haven’t learned the lessons . Especially the simple lessons, like how does Marianna Rivera with one pitch absolutely dominate for 20 years? And the answer is the same thing that Tim Hyers and I did with this reactionary test.
[00:33:52] In other words, he took his one pitch and he changed elevations as they made sense. Like we did in our test, we would throw a little bit faster than they’re expecting and then elevate to go even faster than that. And then take some off by throwing it in an area that’s going to change the speed.
[00:34:12] So if you don’t learn that lesson of Mariano Rivera, most guys don’t even know what he did for those 20 years to be able to dominate like that. But what he did was he used EV elevations to change the reactionary time of hitters. And he did it the same exact way for 20 years. And no one figured it out.
[00:34:32]Almost no one. And. And then you have guys that have two pitches, like Koji Uehara is maybe one of the greatest almost secrets in all of baseball history. He had one of the best seasons anyone’s ever had, and he did it throw an 88, 89 miles an hour at the top of the strike zone with his fast ball.
[00:34:55] And he had a split and that’s it. He had two pitches, but what he did was he threw fast balls up and splits down. And so what he did was show everyone a tunnel in the middle and have this rise effect on his fast ball and have his change up. That was 81, 80 to 81. He varied it down below 80 at times, but by and large, he threw two pitches and he just elevated the fast ball and threw the change up down.
[00:35:26] But they came out of the same tunnel. And so just giving hitters, two choices like that, but they’re both coming out of the same tunnel and absolutely dominating is a lesson that if you don’t learn that lesson as to how that works, then you’re doomed to, to create sequences that don’t make any sense.
[00:35:48] And that’s what I, that’s a crime, I think, is not learning from the very best seasons ever. Keith Faulk was was a closer for the Boston Red Sox when they finally won it. I think in 2004 and Keith Faulk threw about 90 miles an hour and he threw like a catcher. He would show you the ball.
[00:36:10] And then release it. So his deception was virtually zero. That kind of deception where you try to hide the ball and herky jerky. He just had a normal, comfortable motion and he threw 90 miles an hour, but he threw it at the top of the strike zone. And when you throw it at the top of the strike zone, you’re creating the fastest version of that fastball. He had virtually no movement as fastball was super straight and he threw a little bit of a wrinkle of a cutter. And then he threw a change up, which was his best pitch by far. So he had one big league pitch and it was his change up and he threw it very different than most guys do.
[00:36:49] Now he threw it at about 76, 78 miles an hour. So it was a lot slower than his fastball. He created a kind of a slip effect, which is the best way to throw a change up. The greatest pitchers change ups out there they rely on that methodology. But what the secret was that he threw his fast ball up ,slider in the same tunnel, and then it would move away from righties and then change up would be in the same tunnel, and it would move down and in.
[00:37:17] He had more swings and misses, and this was something that they quoted. I haven’t actually gone back to look. But they quoted this on during that world series, he had more swings and misses as a closer than the entire Cardinals pitching staff combined. So all their starters, all their closers, he had more swings and misses than all of theirs combined.
[00:37:41] And the reason is the tunnel is so important. If you don’t learn that lesson You’re doomed to figure that there’s other reasons why guys are getting hitters out and while the answer to that is, yeah, movement’s good. Yes. The the spin rate is good, but I would tell you that spin rate and movement are hurting way more pitchers than it’s helping, because they’re not, you’re not, if you’re not using them at max.
[00:38:14]If you have a fourth high spin, fast ball, and you’re not using it at the top of the zone, like Uehara and Keith Faulk, if you’re not using it at it’s at the place where the spin is actually helping you, then it’s hurting you. So the guys that have the highest spin rate in major league baseball, when they throw it at the bottom of the strike zone, they average them like over 95 miles, an hour of exit velocity.
[00:38:39] So it’s killing you at the bottom of the strike zone. It’s helping you up here, but it’s killing you when you throw it at the bottom of the zone and guys throw it at the bottom of the zone by design all the time. And so I think when you, if you just, if we just learn the lessons of history and then apply what the, like the EV lens laid over that over why they were so successful, it always comes back to the same thing.
[00:39:08] They followed EV rules. And as soon as you stop following EV rules, you start getting hit hard. And I don’t care how good you are. We’ve seen it with lots of players that were great, and then they’re not. They’re great. And then they’re not, and every time you go back and you look at a Kershaw, who’s struggling in the playoffs, something changed, what changes he gave hitters more time.
[00:39:32] He created less deception. Less speed differential between pitches. And it always comes down to the same thing instead of elevating his fast ball and hiding stuff off of it. He’s throwing his fast ball more away. And now the slider pops. Now the big curve ball pops. And while they’re not hitting it all the time, they’re hitting it more.
[00:39:53] It, this is one more point about this, no matter what you choose, you could literally flip a coin and say, okay, fastball. And throw a fastball hitters are still going to hit there. You’re still going to have about a 70% success rate as a pitcher, even with the worst pitching plan that you could possibly come up with.
[00:40:16]You could tell the hitter what’s coming and they would probably only hit about 400, meaning you’re gonna have a 60% success rate, even if you tell them what’s coming. But at the end of the day, when you start to encourage using a little bit more tunnel using more ones to speed them up, creating bigger spreads between pitches, making the identification later.
[00:40:41] Whenever you start to add those things in they’re all common sense stuff. It’s harder to hit pitches when they’re further apart, both physically further apart like this fastball up and in, and the slider away they’re physically farther apart, but they’re also in speed-wise they’re miles apart.
[00:40:59] So that’s the end. That’s the end game is just follow what’s happening throughout history. And when you do you start to realize that it’s only a matter of time, softball has started to come around to that. I work with quite a few college teams and last year, last full season.
[00:41:18] Oklahoma had a 1.03 era, team RA. When you think about that for a second, a 1.03 team era.
[00:41:31] And the reason is because they’re taking away reaction time, creating bigger spreads, making it harder to see what pitches are and not making the mistakes that are just gifts. So there’s a there’s a lot to be learned but history can tell us a ton.
[00:41:49]Sammy: [00:41:49] What is your favorite baseball movie of all time?
[00:41:54] Perry: [00:41:54] Probably Bull Durham. Yeah, cause I lived it. When I got drafted. I was MVP of the division two college world series and I got drafted and sent to A ball to rookie ball. And they did that because I played second base at Cal State Northridge and they drafted Jay Bell as a shortstop out of high school.
[00:42:22] So they sent me to rookie ball to work with Jay Bell. And when Jay got traded, it was like my career was done. Although we broke some records in for double plays in the Appalachian league and we were 50 ahead of the pace to break the all-time record for double plays in in the Cal league, which I think is the oldest league in baseball.
[00:42:45]We were 50 ahead of the pace and then he got traded at the all-star break. And then that was done, but we turned five double plays in a night, six different times in half a season. It’s pretty impressive.
[00:43:01] Sammy: [00:43:01] Wow.
[00:43:03]Perry: [00:43:03] We we had a pitcher, Todd Butke who was like 37, 11 as a pitcher, he was going to the big leagues. And then he got, had a rotator cuff injury. He was done, never got a chance to hit arguably the best hitter that I’ve ever seen in baseball or softball. But he started playing men’s fast pitch softball, and he played at the highest level, like the last 10 or 12 years and was ridiculously good.
[00:43:30]But he was one of those guys that we played with Jay bell and I in the minor leagues. And he would jokes all the time about he, when he first started as a pitcher, he was 19 in the Appalachian league and he would come in with one out, throw one pitch, we’d roll a double play and he’s out, he’d get a, save one pitch save.
[00:43:51] He did that three or four times. I think that season. Because that was, we had a really good defense.
[00:43:58] Sammy: [00:43:58] So where can people find out more about you and your resources?
[00:44:02]Perry: [00:44:02] I’m at hitting is a guess.com is my website. The Twitter feed is at Perry, EV Perry Husband. I haven’t really started all the Instagram stuff yet.
[00:44:14] I’m planning on doing a little bit more of that kind of stuff in the future, but. I think hitting is a guess.com. They can email me if they have questions at at Perry firstname.lastname@example.org.
[00:44:26] Sammy: [00:44:26] Perry. Thank you so much for playing ball.
[00:44:29] You’re very welcome. Great questions by the way.