How We Spent Our Summer: DK 2021 Summer Recap
August 23, 2021 | Abbi Nicolella
It’s been a busy summer for Diamond Kinetics. We’ve been in the field, literally, activating with a multitude of premier baseball and softball partners to help players, parents, coaches, and teams improve their game and have more fun playing the sport they love. We’ve been at events including the Perfect Game All-American Classic, USA Baseball Prospect Development Pipeline League, Alliance Fastpitch All-Star Game, Appalachian League, PONY League World Series, and Ripken Baseball tournaments, measuring the metrics of some of the best amateur talent in the country.
Diamond Kinetics attended the Perfect Game All-American Classic on August 22 at Petco Park in San Diego. The East and West rosters were comprised of the top 58 rising high school seniors in the country. Each hitter was outfitted with the Diamond Kinetics SwingTracker for every swing they took in batting practice, in the Home Run Derby, and in the game. Metrics like Barrel Speed, Max Acceleration, and Approach Angle were measured with every swing, helping coaches and scouts see how these prospects’ swings will play at the next level. In the game, the East squad won in historic fashion, beating the West 9-1 and throwing the first no-hitter in Perfect Game All-American Classic history. Luke Heyman was named the game’s MVP on the strength of his two-run home run in the third inning. Diamond Kinetics Offensive Player of the Year Termarr Johnson was the Home Run Derby Champion.
Pitchers learned more about their repertoire of pitches using the Diamond Kinetics PitchTracker. They measured the Velocity, Spin Rate, Spin Direction, and Spin Efficiency of their full arsenal of pitches, showing which of their pitches dominate hitters and which ones they can improve by tinkering with grips, mechanics, and arm slots. Dylan Lesko set the tone on the mound for the East squad, throwing a perfect first inning and displaying his electric 96 MPh fastball.
Diamond Kinetics attended the USA Baseball Prospect Development Pipeline League, the main identification event for the 202118u National Team, which took place July 24-31 in Cary, North Carolina at the USA Baseball National Training Complex. The PDP league included games, practices, and educational seminars to get the players ready to play at the next level. The four teams that participated in the league were made up of the 96 best high school players in the nation and were led by an esteemed group of coaches, including former big leaguers like Michael Cuddyer, Jack Wilson, Billy Butler, Brad Penny, and Luke Gregerson, among others.
Hitters used the Diamond Kinetics SwingTracker to measure the metrics of their swings both in practice and in games. Jim Koerner, the USA Baseball Director of Player Development and PDP League Field Coordinator talked about the Diamond Kinetics SwingTracker; “I think Diamond Kinetics is the premier bat sensor on the market. There are features with Diamond Kinetics, like the Swing Fingerprint, that allow you to do things that other sensors don’t have.” On the benefits the SwingTracker has on hitters, Koerner said, “It’s one thing to take a coach’s word on ‘Hey, this is what I’m seeing’, but to show the hitter in real-time what they are doing with their swing is so valuable that it’s hard to put into words.”
Diamond Kinetics has been a part of the historic Appalachian League all summer. The Appalachian League, which is part of the Major League Baseball and USA Baseball Prospect Development Pipeline, is a premier collegiate wood bat league of 10 teams that plays a 54 game regular season schedule with 320 of the best college underclassmen in the nation. Every team in the league outfitted their hitters with the Diamond Kinetics SwingTracker to measure every BP and game swing every player took, all summer long. Diamond Kinetics Director of Strategic Partnerships J.D. Vidal spoke about the benefits that come from using the sensor for every practice and game swing: “The players have the opportunity to see, from practice into the game, consistency in their swings, and if they are putting themselves in the best position to do damage with every swing. What the SwingTracker does is allow players to see what is their best (swing) in a practice setting, and how it translates to in-game swings.” What’s great for the players who participated in the Appalachian League this summer is that they get to go back to their respective college programs more knowledgeable about their swing armed with actionable insights about how to improve their approach at the plate. Talk about a confidence builder!
This summer, Alliance Fastpitch gathered the best high school softball players in the country in Oklahoma City for a special event! Diamond Kinetics was an integral part of the first-ever Alliance Fastpitch All-Star Weekend powered by Under Armour, held on July 27th at the USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City. Partnering with Alliance Fastpitch, Diamond Kinetics provided every all-star with a SwingTracker which they used in batting practice and during the game. These premier softball players mashed all weekend long in the tournament, capped off by the All-Star Game. The game, which aired on ESPNU, featured the 44 best high school senior players in the country. It was an action-packed game, with the Alliance National team defeating the Alliance American team 10-9. Incoming freshman Auburn Bri Ellis was named player of the game after driving in 5 runs.
Diamond Kinetics has had a presence at Ripken Baseball tournaments at Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, Aberdeen, Maryland, and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. At all Ripken Baseball tournament locations, Diamond Kinetics has set up a Rip Cage, a batting cage set up where players can swing or throw and compare their stats to national stats in key metrics like barrel speed, impact momentum, and max acceleration for hitting, and velocity and spin rate for pitching. The Rip Cages have been a big hit all summer long. Diamond Kinetics had thousands of kids go through the cage, learning more about what makes their swing special. What’s more, dozens coaches recognized the power of DK technology and signed up their teams and organizations to use Diamond Kinetics as the player development tool of choice.
Diamond Kinetics was at the Pony World Series in Washington, PA as teams competed from August 13-18. Diamond Kinetics set up at the Pony World Series Fan Fest on August 12, allowing players to swing and throw their way onto leaderboards, with winners getting SwingTrackers the following day. Home run derby participants swung with Diamond Kinetics SwingTrackers and their metrics were announced to the crowd as they swung. We saw 13-year-olds with barrel speeds in the 70+ MPH category, which will generate exit velocities of 90+ miles per hour. And that’s why they are mashing home runs. It’s great to see elite swings take shape at such an early age.
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