Interpreting Hitting Spin Rate

Hitting spin rate is the number of times a ball rotates per minute off of a hitter’s contact and is measured in revolutions per minute (RPM). Hitting spin rate’s interaction with spin direction, exit speed, and launch angle may result in longer distances and more powerful hits.

If a hitter consistently has an optimal spin rate combined with backspin, it is likely that the ball will carry and travel farther resulting in a successful hit. The jury is still out on what spin rate and direction will result in very specific hit outcomes such as a powerful ground ball that finds a gap in fielders, but generally we have found that midrange spin rate, specifically 1500 rpm to 3500 rpm, combined with backspin will result in longer distances.  

Hitting and pitching spin rate differ in many ways. Although they both refer to the amount of rotations per minute of a ball, hitting spin rate is caused by contact with a bat instead of how the ball is thrown. The optimal spin rates are also different for hitting and pitching spin rate.

Pitching and hitting spin rate also differ in the way they should be interpreted. Pitching spin rate is often used as a goal or a metric which pitchers strive to add onto their fastballs or take away from other pitches. On the other hand, depending on the type of hitter you are or want to become, hitting spin rate should be used as an indicator of the type of contact made. It allows coaches and players to use practice metrics to predict what contact types will create successful, in game hits.

Download our recent paper on Interpreting Hitting Spin Rate to gain a better understanding of what hitting spin rate is, how to understand it and its effects.