Individualised Ball Speed Prediction in Baseball Pitching Based on IMU Data

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Ball velocity is considered an important performance measure in baseball pitching. Proper pitching mechanics play an important role in both maximising ball velocity and injury-free participation of baseball pitchers. However, an individual pitcher’s characteristics display individuality and may contribute to velocity imparted to the ball. The aim of this study is to predict ball velocity in baseball pitching, such that prediction is tailored to the individual pitcher, and to investigate the added value of the individuality to predictive performance. Twenty-five youth baseball pitchers, members of a national youth baseball team and six baseball academies in The Netherlands, performed ten baseball pitches with maximal effort. The angular velocity of pelvis and trunk were measured with IMU sensors placed on pelvis and sternum, while the ball velocity was measured with a radar gun. We develop three Bayesian regression models with different predictors which were subsequently evaluated based on predictive performance. We found that pitcher’s height adds value to ball velocity prediction based on body segment rotation. The developed method provides a feasible and affordable method for ball velocity prediction in baseball pitching
Original languageEnglish
Article number7442
Number of pages10
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • ball velocity
  • inertial measurement unit
  • multilevel modeling
  • pitching
  • baseball


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