Individualised ball speed prediction in baseball pitching based on imu data

Larisa Gomaz*, Dirkjan Veeger, Erik van der Graaff, Bart van Trigt, Frank van der Meulen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


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 partici-pation 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
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This work is part of the research program Perspectief CAS with project number P16-28 project 2, which is (partly) financed by the Dutch Research Council (NWO).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Ball velocity
  • Baseball
  • Inertial measurement unit
  • Multilevel modeling
  • Pitching


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