The 19th edition of Prep Baseball Report's Super 60 Pro Showcase on February 7th, 2021 was Vizual Edge's second year in attendance as the Official Vision Evaluation and Training Technology of PBR. Vision plays a critical role in baseball, and with 80% of sensory information being visual, it is important to assess where an athlete's visual skills stand, which is done by measuring the core-six visual skills.
Vizual Edge had Super 60 participants go through the same visual skills assessment that MLB teams have potential draft prospects go through. In the 2020 Draft, 92% of hitters selected completed at least one Vizual Edge assessment via MLB scouts. Knowing the importance of vision and tracking with hitting and fielding, MLB teams use Vizual Edge scores as a point of data in draft models and decision making processes - which is why it is important for Super 60 and other PBR event participants to be tested in the same manner.
As we dive deeper into the Vizual Edge metrics, we take a look at the top 5 position-players in each of the core-six visual skill categories and where each measurement impacts a player’s on-field performance.
|1||Braden Montgomery||84.3||MS||Madison Central||OF|
|2||Will Rogers||83.7||MN||Mounds View||C|
|3||Ian Moller||83.2||IA||Dubuque Wahlert||C|
|4||Cameron Butler||81.8||CA||Big Valley Christian||OF|
|5||Anthony Migliaccio||81.4||MI||Detroit Country Day||C|
The Edge Score is a comprehensive score out of 100 that takes the core-six visual skills into account, providing athletes, parents, coaches and scouts with a benchmark number for assessing an athlete’s overall visual ability. In general the higher the Edge Score, the higher chance of athletic success. Think of the Edge Score as the 'Sixth Metric' in the standard Five-Tools that make up a ball player.
The average Edge Score for the 2020 MLB Draft Class was 79.3 (of hitters who completed a Vizual Edge test). MLB players we've worked typically show stronger scores, with elite hitters scoring consistently above 87.0 on their Edge Score.
|1||Will Rogers||73||MN||Mounds View||C|
|2||Elijah Lambros||71||VA||Fredericksburg Christian||OF|
|3||Kendall Diggs||66||KS||St. Thomas Aquinas||3B|
|4||Braden Montgomery||63||MS||Madison Central||OF|
Arguably the most important visual skill in baseball, Convergence relates to a player's ability to focus on a pitch as it approaches the final 15-20 feet to the plate. Many top hitters in the MLB have elite Convergence scores, another attribute that helps separate them from average hitters.
Convergence has also been a skill that is linked to exit velocity. The maximum Convergence score on the assessment is 77, and Super 60 position players who scored 57 or above had an average exit velocity of 98.6, compared to 96.4 below that mark.
|1||Anthony Migliaccio||36||MI||Detroit Country Day||C|
|3||Elijah Lambros||34||VA||Fredericksburg Christian||OF|
|4||Will Rogers||33||MN||Mounds View||C|
|5||Chase Valentine||31||AZ||Sandra Day O'Connor||INF|
Similar to the scoring of Convergence, Divergence is also scored out of 77. Generally a more difficult skill compared to Convergence for baseball players, mainly due to the nature of the sport, Divergence focuses on the ability to locate objects from a distance.
Divergence plays a key role in early pitch and spin detection, as well as locating the ball out of the pitcher's hand.
Convergence and Divergence work in tandem to ensure a hitter can smoothly first identify/locate the ball from the pitcher's hand (Divergence) and be ready and track the ball all the way in as it approaches the plate (Convergence). The use of both of these skills simultaneously is called Alternating Flexibility.
|1||Braden Montgomery||0.52s (86%)||MS||Madison Central||OF|
|2||Cameron Butler||0.56s (96%)||CA||Big Valley Christian||OF|
|3||Carlos Pena||0.57s (93%)||CT||Salisbury||OF|
|4||Ty Hodge||0.58s (96%)||TX||A&M Consolidated||INF|
|5||Julian Stevens||0.58s (86%)||CT||Amity||OF|
The Recognition test measures a players ability to view a sequence of three arrows that briefly flash across the screen and then quickly recite and enter the sequence they just viewed. This exercise is scored based on both accuracy and response time.
At every level, especially with MLB hitters, players who have better Recognition scores generally have better plate discipline, as they are better at first accurately identifying a pitch type, but then also quicker to swing or lay off a pitch.
|1||Braden Montgomery||0.46s (89%)||MS||Madison Central||OF|
|2||Ty Hodge||0.47s (99%)||TX||A&M Consolidated||INF|
|3||Julian Stevens||0.47s (96%)||CT||Amity||OF|
|4||Cameron Butler||0.47s (93%)||CA||Big Valley Christian||OF|
|5||Cameron Clayton||0.48s (95%)||OR||Lakeridge||INF|
Tracking is another vital skill in baseball for hitting AND fielding. The Tracking exercise is scored based on response time and accuracy (just like the Recognition test) and tests a player's saccadic eye movements to locate a quick moving arrow and enter the correct response.
Players with better Tracking skills generally have a better ability to see a ball approach the plate, as well as react quick enough to identify the speed and distance of the ball as soon as it leaves an opponent's bat.
|2||Anthony Migliaccio||100%||MI||Detroit Country Day||C|
|3||Max Soliz||100%||AL||Bob Jones||C|
|4||Will Rogers||88%||MN||Mounds View||C|
|5||Grant Hussey||88%||WV||Parkersburg South||1B|
Depth Perception measures a player's ability to identify differences with 3D objects. Depth Perception plays an important role in hand-eye coordination and especially in baseball.
Often, players with better Depth Perception skills have a better ability to pick up the spin, speed and trajectory of a pitch, which can help them in swing/don't swing situations.
|1||Anthony Migliaccio||0||MI||Detroit Country Day||C|
|2||Grant Hussey||0||WV||Parkersburg South||1B|
|3||Max Soliz||0||AL||Bob Jones||C|
|4||Chase Valentine||0||AZ||Sandra Day O'Connor||INF|
|5||Joey Spence||0||WI||West Bend East||C|
Alignment is another important skill that relates to how well a player can accurately perceive the true location of an object, in this case a baseball. The Alignment test is scored out of 14, with 0 being a perfect score. 13 players had perfect Alignment scores, with the top 5 shown above being the best Edge Scores of those 13.
Alignment can impact a hitter's timing at the plate. Often when a hitter has timing issues at the plate, it is due to their alignment being poor and they are unable to accurately judge the true location of the ball. Player may have a score with an A or B next to it, which stands for "After" or "Before" Alignment. Generally, players with an A after their Alignment score are late on their swing, while B is early.
At the end of the day, vision alone isn't going to make you become an MLB player, but it does play a critical role in performance. There are many variables that make the entire profile of an athlete, and Vizual Edge believes visual skills are one of them. Regardless of what your scores are now, the good news is that visual skills are trainable and something you can do right at home!
Vizual Edge trains each of these visual skills in a simple, online platform called the Edge Trainer. It is designed to improve each of these skills in just 15 minutes, 3x a week. Vision training is the easiest way to improve performance, and knowing how important vision is in baseball, what are you waiting for?
To learn more about the Vizual Edge online vision training and evaluation program, please visit VizualEdge.com/PBR.