If you’re a baseball or softball player, chances are you’ve hit more than a few heaters throughout your career. You’ve probably also hit a few dribblers. The difference between these two types of hits comes down to one metric: exit velocity.
What is Exit Velocity?
Exit velocity (or exit speed) is the speed of a baseball or softball as it comes off a bat immediately after contact. As you can expect, hard hit balls have higher exit velocities than dribblers. While exit velocity is a great indicator of a player’s raw power, this metric alone cannot tell you the distance a batted ball will travel. To know how far a baseball or softball has been hit, you will need to know:
- Exit Velocity
- Launch Angle
- Spin Rate
Still, exit velocity is an important metric when it comes to evaluating the skill of a hitter. If you want to stand out to scouts and recruiters, knowing how hard you hit the ball on average is a great first step.
How do I find my exit velocity?
There are a few ways you can find out what your average exit velocity is. These metrics listed above (and others) are measured by Rapsodo’s HITTING 2.0 softball and baseball swing analyzer technology. The quickest way to get your exit speed is to head to your nearest Rapsodo Certified Facility and schedule a Certified Assessment. After your session, you will get a full report that includes your average exit velocity and other important hitting metrics – including launch angle and RapScore.
What should my exit velocity be?
Your average exit speed will depend on a few factors: swing timing, swing mechanics, your overall strength, where exactly you hit the ball, and age. As athletes grow and develop, raw power and talent typically increases, leading to more powerful swings and higher exit speeds.
If you’re wondering “what should my exit velocity be”, keep in mind that every athlete is different. Your power will depend on many factors, including your height, strength and swing mechanics.
How to Increase Exit Velocity
Having a high exit velocity will result in harder (and farther) hit balls. There are a few things you can work on during training sessions to immediately increase your exit velocity.
- Adjust point of contact
If you are doing tee work, try moving the tee to the middle of your stance. If you are hitting the ball too far back in the zone, your hands will be forced to pull back tight into your body. If it’s too far out in front, you will probably miss the sweet spot of the ball when swinging.
- Keep launch angle low
The highest recorded exit velocities in the MLB are low-line drives. When focusing on increasing exit velocity (not distance), focus on hitting line drives.
- Experiment with your swing
My swing only “changed” a few times over my softball career – but it did evolve a lot. Good hitters should always look for ways to improve, and there are tons of resources and videos available online to help you find a stance and swing that works best for your body. Take the time to experiment during batting practice with driving your hips through, extending your hands, and holding your finish – and use exit velocity as your measuring stick for improvement.
For more information on how you can start measuring your exit speed and other hitting metrics, visit: