Stories from Spring Training: How Pros Are Using Rapsodo
Warm weather. Green grass. Birds chirping. These sights and sounds only mean one thing for baseball fans: Opening Day is near. With the first pitch upon us, teams are wrapping up their preparation for the season at Spring Training.
One thing that seems consistent across the league this Spring Training is the use of Rapsodo. Over the past month, we’ve seen some of the best hitters and pitchers in the game ramping up their player development by utilizing our latest and greatest technology.
Baseball’s 2-Way Player
Baseball’s unicorn, Shohei Ohtani, got to Arizona a few days before pitchers and catchers reported to get a head start on his Spring Training.
Ohtani was seen launching nukes with HITTING 2.0 as well as using PRO 3.0 at Angels camp.
From College Reliever to Starting Pitcher Prospect
The Seattle Mariners drafted Bryce Miller out of Texas A&M with the idea he would be a reliever because of his slight frame. Miller was a reliever up until his senior season, so it only made sense.
Little did he know, a talented Mariners pitching staff and Rapsodo data would open another avenue in the early stages of his professional career.
Miller credits the use of technology like Rapsodo to evaluate and improve on his arsenal while allowing him to try new pitches.
Bryce Miller went from college reliever to a top pitching prospect for @Mariners.— Rapsodo Baseball (@rapsodo) February 22, 2023
Rapsodo was part of the journey, helping him evaluate and improve on pitches as well as allowing him to try new things.https://t.co/emeWULnhUs pic.twitter.com/3JNdNZFcKx
“Honestly, as soon as I got here, we dove more into the analytics of everything,” he said. “We had access to that stuff at A&M and we just never really got too far into it. When I got here, it was presented to me, and I was able to implement it into my pitching. It’s helped me out a lot.”
You can read more about Miller’s journey to the Mariners starting rotation here.
I’ve Got a Fever. The Only Prescription is More Knuckleballs.
Former Nebraska pitcher and member of the Padres organization, Matt Waldron, has a love-hate relationship with the knuckleball.
The day Waldron thought might be the beginning of the end of his pro career was actually the moment he began his climb toward the major leagues.
Waldron dusted off his knuckleball one day during a minor-league bullpen session, curious what it might show. The Rapsodo data was enough to catch the attention of his organization’s analytics department.
Former @Husker_Baseball pitcher Matt Waldron dusted off his knuckleball on a whim, curious what the Rapsodo numbers would show.— Rapsodo Baseball (@rapsodo) March 7, 2023
He then began his climb toward the major leagues.https://t.co/jv2Vzt3vnQ pic.twitter.com/J0VHoovpDC
The pitch was incorporated into his arsenal as he began to experiment with the knuckleball and tunnel the ball so it moves on the same path as his fastball and slider.
You can read more about Waldron’s journey here.
Josh Jung, Texas Ranger
Josh Jung enters the 2023 season as the Texas Rangers top prospect and rightfully so. Jung made a splash in his professional debut by hitting a home run in his first plate appearance.
What makes his feat more impressive is that it happened shortly after his rehab stint recovering from a torn labrum in his shoulder.
Jung is a certified hitting nerd who embraces technology and analytics to improve his development. Through his rehab and offseason, Jung utilized Rapsodo’s PRO 3.0 to get instantaneous feedback and help him get better faster.
In an interview with FanGraphs, Jung said, “I also train with a Rapsodo. After pretty much every swing, I can get instantaneous feedback. It’s ‘This is what I felt, this is what happened.’ Can I be consistent with that, or do I need to tweak something, or tell myself something to do it better?”
The Rangers prospect spoke at Rapsodo’s booth at ABCA to provide more insights into his journey. You can watch and listen to it here.
Blue Jay Battles for the Starting Rotation
Toronto Blue Jays lefty pitcher, Yusei Kikuchi, showed flashes of brilliance in his first season with the team. However, command proved to be an issue.
Kikuchi’s performance in 2022 led to a career-best strikeout percentage of 27.3% that was overshadowed by a walks rate of 12.8%, (among the bottom 3% of the league).
He spent this offseason with his focus being on command, training in his backyard bullpen in Arizona.
Using Rapsodo data to track his progress, Kikuchi showed up to Spring Training with a new arm slot adjustment that has made an early impression with the organization.
Kikuchi is now on track to become the club’s fifth starter in their 2023 rotation.
Read more about the Blue Jays lefty and his offseason development here.
Get Better Faster With Data-Driven Products Trusted By The Pros
More than 300 MLB players have purchased their own Rapsodo unit to improve their performance in the off-season.
From pitch design to rehab, adding MPH to their exit velocity or improving launch angles, our technology allows the best players in the game to get instant feedback on their performance.
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