When a pitcher reaches his release point and lets go of the baseball to embark on its short trajectory to homeplate, the hitter has some important decisions to make:

*Is this pitch a fastball or breaking ball or changeup?*

Hitter is looking to determine how quickly a pitch will “get on him”…whether it is something that may break away…or something that may run in.

*Should I swing?*

Based on what the hitters eyes are telling him, he must determine whether the incoming pitch is valuable enough to swing at with the goal of increasing the chances of the at-bat resulting in a positive outcome.

**With this understanding, the question is: How can a pitcher use what the hitter is “seeing” to a pitchers advantage?**

First we must understand what a hitter is seeing.

*Three types of velocities can co-exist simultaneously:*

**Real Velocity (RV)**

Real Velocity (RV) the number that shows up on a radar gun. It is a measurement of how “fast” (velocity) a baseball is moving towards homeplate once it leaves a pitchers hand.

**Perceived Velocity (PV)**

Perceived Velocity (PV) is how fast (velocity) the incoming pitch appears to a hitter.

**The formula to determine PV is:**

**Real Velocity (RV) + Stride Length/Release Point = Perceived Velocity (PV)**

When a hitter says that a Fastball is “jumping” on them or “getting on them quick” it is because it is…because this is how they are perceiving the pitch.

Every 12 inches of distance that a pitcher can find in their stride and release point equates to a hitter “perceiving” that pitch as being 3 MPH faster.

In simpler terms: the longer the stride and the closer the release point to homeplate, the faster the pitch will appear…how it is perceived (PV).

Two pitchers listed at the exact same height and weight with the same real velocity (MPH) on their Fastball will look different to a hitter (PV) based on their stride length.

How can a pitcher who is not blessed in the height department use their mechanics to increase PV? Find extra distance (inches) in stride length to get the release point closer to homeplate.

**Effective Velocity (EV)**

How fast the pitch is being perceived when effectively compared to the pitch that came before.

**The formula to determine Effective Velocity (EV) is:**

**Previous Pitch Perceived Velocity (PPPV) + Location of Current Pitch = Effective Velocity (EV)**

What was the PV of the previous pitch? I prefer to "use" Perceived Velocity rather than Real Velocity as it gives us a truer sense of what the hitter is actually seeing. An 80 MPH pitch on the radar gun may actually be perceived as 85 MPH and we should use this to our advantage with the upcoming pitch.

What is the location of the current pitch? The location of the pitch will naturally affect the reaction time of the hitter and thus Perceived Velocity.

A pitch that is thrown outside from a RHP to a RHH has to travel further than a pitch thrown inside. Naturally, your stride length will be altered based on the location of the pitch, thus affecting PV.

The ultimate goal is to make your pitches look better than they actually are through effective velocity. **(PPPV + Location of Current Pitch = EV)**

Example:

80 MPH Fastball ** down the middle** is perceived (PV) as 80 MPH

80 MPH Fastball ** outside** is perceived (PV) as 76 MPH

80 MPH Fastball ** inside** is perceived (PV) 84 MPH

*That equates to an 8 MPH “spread” on the same pitch being perceived (PV) as different velocities based on the location of the pitch.*

**How can effective velocity (EV) hurt you as a pitcher?**

If you throw an **0-0 Fastball Outside** (80 MPH RV / 76 MPH PV) and then back it up with either an **0-1 Fastball Outside or an 0-1 Slider Inside** (72 MPH / 76 MPH), it will look to the hitters eyes (PV) as exactly the same, thus increasing better timing…thus increasing the hitter’s chances for a positive result from the at-bat.

**How can effective velocity (EV) help you a pitcher?**

If you throw an **0-0 Fastball Away** (80 MPH RV / 76 MPH PV) and then back it up with a an **0-1 Fastball In** (80 MPH RV / 84 MPH PV) backed up by an **0-2 Slider Away** (70 MPH RV / 66 MPH PV) backed up by a **1-2 Fastball Up and In** (80 MPH / 84 MPH PV), you just showed the hitter an *18 MPH (PV) difference in Effective Velocity (EV)* between two pitches. Your 80 MPH Fastball in that 1-2 Count is “literally” going to “jump” on the hitter.

Use velocity to your advantage…

Make the slow, slower…

Make the fast, faster…

This is winning pitching.

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