Though the pandemic limited our national reach in 2020, our partnership with PBR allowed for us to safely test the players at the Super 60 again in 2021. For those unfamiliar, the Super 60 (2021 was the 19th annual edition) is an elite-level showcase featuring top draft-eligible players from across the country. For many scouts covering northern climates, the Super 60 is something of a baseball kick-off before the college season starts in earnest in the coming days.
This year’s class brought a new perspective for me: I’ve attended the Super 60 many times in the past, but always as a scout and usually at a distance from the players. This year, I wandered around the field among the players, and I was struck by the physicality of these kids at ages 17 and 18. I attended similar events as a prep player and I was always pretty strong for my class...but I’d have looked puny in comparison to modern prospects. It’s amazing to see the work they’re already putting into their bodies to prepare themselves for the rigors of college and pro baseball, and it’s not a shock that we’re seeing players throw and hit the ball harder than we were even 10 years ago!
Just as we did in 2020, Vizual Edge had Super 60 participants go through our visual skills assessment, the same one MLB scouts have potential prospects take, and we saw players with better Edge Scores tended to also have better exit velocities. Given what we already know about our scores and MLB performance (and intuitively, we’d expect players with better hand-eye coordination components to be better in a hand-eye coordination exercise), that’s generally what we’d expect.
Similar to last year, we saw a familiar pattern with the 2021 participants where the top quartile of exit velocities generally had better scores than the rest of the Super 60 population. Those familiar with this blog (or current Vizual Edge subscribers) will see that the top exit velocity group didn’t just have better Edge Scores, but they also scored 18% better in Convergence, 11% better in Divergence, 11% better in Recognition and 6% better in Tracking.
And these numbers should also serve as encouragement for players with lower scores: your visual components improve with training. Even if you aren’t where you want to be as a hitter yet, putting in the time by training your vision can pay dividends along with the work you are doing in the cage and weight room.
As we continue to dive into the data, be on the lookout for Vizual Edge’s official recap of the 2021 Super 60 Pro Showcase!