Pitching With Passion.

Mervin Montante
Kris Kapcia
Austin Spaulding
Max Vernier
6th Hour

Game Plan: Our project is analyzing the motion of one pitch. We are focusing in on a very specific section of the motion, in which my (Max) arm bends and releases the ball. We will watch this event in the high speed footage, and use Tracker to calculate the acceleration of the ball, the force on the ball, and the velocity of the ball. We will calculate these values for both a fastball and a changeup. (A fastball is a regular baseball pitch that is used in the sport known as baseball, a change-up is another type of pitch in witch the pitcher uses a different grip applying more friction to the ball thusfore creating a decrease in velocity) We will then compare the values for a fastball to a change-up, and note the differences.

According to popsci.com, The slingshot move of a pro pitcher’s shoulder is the fastest recorded action in sports. A pitch’s power, however, is generated by his entire body. For a right-handed pitcher, the chain of kinetic energy starts as soon as he lifts his left leg and faces third base. The energy of that foot landing transfers into the rotation of the trunk and then finally unleashes in the arm whipping around at the elbow. Glenn Fleisig, the research director of the American Sports Medicine Institute, has found that the hardest throwers rotate their pelvis toward home plate and follow with their trunk less than a tenth of a second later, snapping their bodies like a whip.


-Baseball glove
-Mr.Dickie's high speed camera
-regular speed camera
-1 pitching tent
-1 professional grade radar gun
-1 Divine Child High School Pitcher (aka: Mr. Vernier Number 4.)
-A tape measure


Figure 1.

Sample Change-up Below

Slow Motion professional Pitch.


Trial 1 (Fastball pitch)

Velocity= 39.4 m/s
Acceleration= 904 m/s/s
Force= (.145)(904)= 131.08 N
Distance= 1.061 m
Work= (131.08)(1.061)= 139.08

Trial 2 (Change-up)

Velocity= 43.5 m/s
Acceleration= 870 m/s/s
Force= (.145)(870)= 117.015 N
Distance= 1.061 m
Work= (117.015)(1.061)= 124.15

Steve Dickie,
May 18, 2009, 3:11 PM
Steve Dickie,
May 18, 2009, 3:11 PM