So you wanna learn how to increase your exit-velo and see what a good exit-velo by age looks like?
This is good because exit-velo is important. Why? Because what gets measured gets managed.
Simply put. The higher your exit-velo, the higher your chances of solid contact, hard-hit balls, and let's be honest, the most important thing.
Winning the at-bat!
So how do we train, measure, and increase our exit velocity? We have to first understand the aspects of the swing that generates torque, as well as a few mental hitting principles that factor into bat speed and peak performance.
Bat Speed & Timing
Before we can even begin considering what a good exit-velo by age looks like, we have to understand something very important.
You can have elite-level exit velocity off the bat, and the most perfectly mechanical swing in the world, but if your approach stinks, you're hosed.
So much of hitting goes beyond exit velocity and actually starts with a hitter's approach and ability to compete.
Bat Speed VS Elite Exit Velocity
Hitters, I can’t stress enough the importance of having a swing that leverages your entire body.
The lower half, your core & center of gravity, the leverage in your wrist, arms, and scapula.
You develop your hitting muscles by getting in the reps every day.
Hitting is a craft that you need to work on every day to become the elite of the elite (EOT).
If being an EOT is a priority, you’ll find a way. If it’s not, you’ll find an excuse.
How Should We Measure Exit Velocity?
In baseball, exit velocity is a measurement of how fast the ball leaves the bat. The average exit velo by age in baseball varies widely from young players to established MLB all-stars, but two things are certain:
1. the more efficient your swing, the faster your bat speed, the faster the exit velocity, and the further the ball is going to travel.
2. the hitter's ability to swing with intent to do damage plays a huge factor in reaching your highest exit velocity.
Typically, the device to measure baseball exit velocity is called a radar gun.
Let's make some key distinctions.
Bat speed is the speed of the bat head as it moves through the strike zone until point of contact.
Ball speed or exit velo is the velocity fo the ball off the bat.
Exit velocity is the speed at which the ball travels after it strikes the bat.
So if you swing your bat at 100 mph and there’s a force of gravity pulling down on it at 9.8 m/s2, your exit velocity will be 109.8 m/s.
Through the perspective, that what gets measured gets managed, ideally we want to be able to maximize both bat speed and exit velo.
Three Variables When Measuring Exit Velo
The type of ball - depending on the type of baseball you're using, you'll want to use a game-ready ball.
Where the ball is placed - off of a tee or a pitched ball will also affect how fast the ball travels. In general, most combines will use Tee work to measure exit velo to get a more consistent reading.
Aluminum, wooden or composite bat - In general, the harder the surface, the higher the exit velo. Coaches and baseball recruiters will typically want to see exit velo with a wooden bat to judge how your bat speed projects at the next left.
Exit Velocity & Launch Angle
The simplest way I could put the importance of exit velocity is in the following. The higher the exit speed of the ball off the bat, the higher the chances of a base hit. When it comes to the proper mechanical checkpoints that lead to maximized exit velo as well as measurements that are used for predicting future success at the plate, it really can be broken down into the following.
Slow feet, fast hands, and a quiet head. Minimizing head movement contributes to efficient rotation of the core and hips. The slower the feet, the quieter the head - the faster the hands, as well as better pitch recognition.
I touch on this a bit more in this video about searching for the perfect swing.
How Do You Measure Exit Speed?
There are a number of ways to measure and document your exit velocity.
The most common way is with the standard Pocket Radar. We have an exit velo measurement tool that's been placed in the Applied Vision Baseball Roadmap.
What Should Your Exit Velo Goal Be?
If your goal is to be elite, and it should be, then understanding what elite-level exit-velo looks like is important.
Below is a list of elite-level exit-velo by age as well as average exit-velo segmented by age, live batting practice, front toss, and off-the-tee.
Elite Level Exit Velo Averages By Age
|PLAYER AGE RANGE||AVE EXIT VELOCITY|
|Ages (8-10)||56-65 mph|
|Ages (11-13)||56-65 mph|
|Ages (14-15)||75-80 mph|
|JV (15-16)||80 mph aluminum / 75 mph wood|
|Varsity (15-18)||90 mph aluminum/85 mph wood|
|College Level||95 mph aluminum/90 mph wood|
|Professional Level||100+ mph wood|
Exit Velo Averages By Age
If you're looking to get a general idea of what the average exit-velo is by age, here's a solid breakdown. These are just examples; there's no need to panic if your child doesn't fall into this range. Most kids will be within 3 mph of their own category's average exit velocity, so if they're over that number or under that number, it's not the end of the world.
There have been a hand full of hitters who have played at a high level who would be considered average at best at the youth level. Your kid is no different.
|PLAYER NAME||AVE EXIT VELOCITY - LIVE/BP, SOFT TOSS, TEE|
|AGE 10||53, 50, 52 mph|
|AGE 11||54, 53, 54 mph|
|AGE 12||59, 57, 57 mph|
|AGE 13||63, 61, 62 mph|
|AGE 14||68, 65, 66 mph|
|AGE 15||71, 70, 70 mph|
|AGE 16||74, 74, 74 mph|
|AGE 17||76, 77, 77 mph|
|AGE 18||79, 79, 79 mph|
|COLLEGE||80, 81, 80 mph|
|PRO||86, 83, 79 mph|
Average Exit Velo of Top 10 MLB players Form 2019 With 50 At-Bats or More
|PLAYER NAME||AVE EXIT VELOCITY||HIGHEST|
|Aaron Judge (NY)||95.9 mph||118.1 mph|
|Miguel Sano (ATL)||94.4 mph||114.2 mph|
|Nelson Cruz (SEA)||93.7 mph||117.0 mph|
|Franmil Reyes (CLE)||93.3 mph||115.0 mph|
|Christian Yelich (MIL)||93.1 mph||117.9 mph|
|Joey Gallo (TX)||93.0 mph||115.4 mph|
|Josh Donaldson (MIN)||92.9 mph||114.2 mph|
|Yoan Moncada (BOS)||92.8 mph||115.8 mph|
|Shohei Ohtani (ANA)||92.8 mph||115.1 mph|
|Kyle Schwarber (CHI)||92.7 mph||117.6 mph|
What Is a Good Exit-Velo Off a Tee By Age?
Exit velocity off a tee will be a MPH or two slower than front toss, soft toss or during live batting practice and at-bats. But even faster than exit velocity, you should focus on hitting hard-line drives to the big part of the field while staying inside the ball.
Exit Velo For Youth Baseball
Here’s my take on measuring exit Velo for youth players.
On one hand, measuring performance, thresholds and limits are great for pushing the envelope.
The young players who approach this sport like a craft, I say go ahead and measure your exit Velo, and try to outdo your previous performance, but more than anything with young players, it’s important that they develop a real love for the game.
The point of baseball isn't to achieve your high exit Velo, it’s to learn how to compete.
It’s not to achieve the perfect launch angle, it’s about learning how to build up your teammates and not make this game about you.
Exit Velo For High School Players
High school is when you begin to develop physically.
Some players at this stage will develop earlier, some later. I’ve seen many players experience a growth spurt during their freshman year in college.
So it’s important that when we’re measuring exit Velo even in our SR year, we’re not establishing projection and writing it in stone. Exit Velo is a measurement to help us pinpoint areas of opportunity to become better hitters.
Exit Velo For College Players
To play college baseball at high level, you have to be a great athlete. There’s no way around it. This means hitting the weights to achieve a new body at the begging of each year. Bigger, faster, stronger, and smarter.
When we learn how to play this game the right way while making sure we put work in the gym, the physical thresholds will expand.
How Can You Increase Your Exit-Velo?
There are three main aspects of a hitter's game that can be improved to increase exit velocity: mechanics, approach, and mindset.
Mechanics: In almost every case, the right approach and a feel for the bat head will position the hitter to achieve their max exit-velo. When a hitter puts too much emphasis on their mechanics, they lose their feel for the bat. You have to let it fly. Let loose, and trust your hands and natural abilities.
Approach: The approach never changes. A hard-line drive up the middle, attacking the inner half of the ball while swinging with intent to do damage. The mechanics do not have to be perfect, just efficient. The swing doesn't have to be perfect, just on time with controlled aggression.
You bust your tail in the gym to build strength & range of motion. You take hack after hack in the cage to refine the swing & build bat speed - then once it's time to actually show your skill sets, all of your hard work goes down the drain because you're performing with tension, anxiety & pressure.
You're forgetting to breathe.
How do you learn how to finally relax?
First, you have to let go of the outcome and just compete and perform with a goal to enjoy the process and have fun.
You genuinely have to say, "I don't care if I get a hit hard line drive after hard line drive, I'm just going to compete, play and have fun."
Next, you gotta make playing baseball about building up and helping your teammates. When the focus is on contribution and not on "what's in it for me?" - your natural abilities will surface.
selflessness = peak performance.
selfishness = performance anxiety.
Control your breathing.
Redefine your definition of success.
Be a great teammate.
That's it! So simple it's stupid.
Good bat speed, strength, and flexibility is common.
Good bat control is common.
Loving adversity is uncommon.
Good exit velocity off the tee is common.
Being the same hitter whether you’re 0-4 or 4-4 is uncommon.
On a field full of common players, choose to be uncommon.
Once you're uncommon, you'll find new reservoirs of ability that will contribute to your latent ability.
Mechanics & Exit Velocity
Mechanics are the most important thing to know about when it comes to exit velocity. The best hitters in baseball have what I like to call a "quiet head." They minimize wasted movement, with minimal head movement and fast hands.
They keep their hands back and load up on their front foot before transferring their weight forward into the pitch, allowing them time for a longer swing.
In order to hit fly balls, you'll want your bat speed higher than normal while simultaneously minimizing your contact point as much as possible.
Mindset, Approach & Exit Velocity
The right approach will fix most mechanical issues as well as slow hands. When we have a plan that consisted of driving the ball hard up the middle, attacking the inner half of the ball, while swinging with intent to do serious damage, we will maximize our exit-velo potential.
Swing with intent while under control and your exit velocity will be maximized.
One of the most underestimated qualities of a sound swing that produces consistent max exit velo is the ability to swing with the intent to do damage.
This is not a physical capacity, but rather an emotional one, and it requires you not only to believe in yourself but also to have faith in your ability to control what happens on impact.
As such, this mindset is contingent on our intrinsic understanding of how we function with any given club—and believing that we can do so consistently enough to hit balls farther than ever before!
Strength & Exit Velocity
Loose muscles are quick muscles. Tense muscles are slow muscles. The bottom line, as we adjust to higher levels of baseball, in order to maximize our exit-velo, we need to get in the gym.
Getting bigger, faster, and stronger is just as important as refined hitting mechanics achieved during the off-season.
A stronger body helps implement what you learn in practice, into the game.
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