Spin Rate-What is it?

Spin rate is measured in RPM’s or revolutions per minute. It is the rate of spin on a baseball after it leaves the pitcher’s hand. Spin Rate is important to a fastball, with fastballs below 1800 rpm and above 2600 rpm being vastly more effective than those that ride the line in the middle. A higher spin rate fastball will appear to rise, and is more difficult to square up.

If a pitch throws the same pitch at the same speed it will end up in a different place acting upon the rate of spin (RPM) of the ball . Combining a fastball with high spin rate will cause the ball to appear to rise to the batter. The same pitch with lower RPM’s  will tend to come in at the same spot continuously and give an advantage to the batter.

 

Really simple isn’t it? The higher the spin rate, the better the fastball, curve or slider.

Spin Rate-Highest per Pitch

Here are the teams in 2020 with the highest spin rate on fastballs according to MLB Statcast.

1) Reds: 2,489 rpm
2) Marlins: 2,386 rpm
3) Rangers: 2,380 rpm
4) D-backs: 2,368 rpm
5) Brewers: 2,360 rpm
MLB avg. 4-seam spin rate: 2,309 rpm

Here are the teams in 2020with the highest spin rate on curveballs according to MLB Statcst.
1) Reds: 2,884 rpm
2) Dodgers: 2,763 rpm
3) Astros: 2,754 rpm
4) Cubs: 2,689 rpm
5) Braves: 2,603 rpm
MLB avg. curveball spin rate: 2,515 rpm

spin rate

 

 

The Reds? Really. Yes , it make sense as the organization has hird Kyle Boddy  to initiate their analytics approach to the game. Last year, they went and got Trevor Bauer and added him to Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray who possess some of the highest RPM’s in the game.

Kyle Boddy according to wikipedia:

Kyle Boddy  is an American baseball pitching trainer and consultant. He is the founder and owner of baseball performance training system Driveline Baseball, which uses a sabermetric approach to increase pitching velocity and improve conditioning. He is also employed by the Cincinnati Reds of Major League Baseball.

Here are the top five pitchers in 2020 in spin rate using the fastball.

Highest 4-seam spin rate, 2020
1) Trevor Bauer (CIN): 2,827 rpm
2) Lucas Sims (CIN): 2,803 rpm
3) Dillon Maples (CHC): 2,792 rpm
4) Luke Bard (LAA): 2,747 rpm
5) Corbin Burnes (MIL): 2,676 rpm
MLB avg. 4-seam spin rate: 2,309 rpm

Here are the top pitchers in spin rate using the curveball.

1)Garrett Richards (SD): 3,343 rpm
2)Seth Lugo (NYM): 3,269 rpm
3) Lucas Sims (CIN): 3,116 rpm
4) Joe Kelly (LAD): 3,065 rpm
5) Casey Sadler (CHC): 3,008 rpm
MLB avg. curveball spin rate: 2,515 rpm

 

Check out this YouTube video on spin rate in games.

Spin Rate- Can it Be Taught

All of the expert have said “maybe, not sure yet”

One thing they agree on is being in the middle or or near the average spin rate is not good. Either a high spin rate or even a low spin rate is better than the middle. This is because in the middle is where the pitch is kind of flat, with no movement.

The phrase, “spin to win,”  has become increasingly more important to major league baseball. 

 

About the author– Tom Knuppel has been writing about baseball and sports for a few decades. As an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan he began with the blog CardinalsGM. Tom is a member of the United Cardinals Bloggers and the Baseball Bloggers Alliance. He also maintains the History of Cardinals website. More recently he has been busy at KnupSolutions and the primary writer of many sports at KnupSports and adds content at Sports 2.0. Tom is a retired High School English and Speech teacher and has completed over one hundred sportsbook reviews. He also can be followed on Twitter at tknup.

Feel free to contact Tom at [email protected]

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