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Authors
Laby, Daniel M. MD1*; Kirschen, David G. OD, PhD2,3; Govindarajulu, Usha PhD1,4; DeLand, Paul PhD5

The Hand-eye Coordination of Professional Baseball Players: The Relationship to Batting

publication date
July 2018
Category
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Abstract/Introduction

SIGNIFICANCE 

A visuomotor skill (eye-hand visual-motor reaction time [EH-VMRT]) important for baseball performance is described. Eye-hand visual-motor reaction time represents the integration of visual information, perceptually based decisions, and motor movements to accomplish a specific task. The speed at which this occurs depends on many factors, some visual, some perceptual, and some motor related.

 

PURPOSE 

The purpose of this study was to describe the EH-VMRT ability and evaluate its relationship to the baseball batting performance of professional baseball players.

 

METHODS 

A commercially available EH-VMRT system was used on 450 professional baseball players. Results were retrospectively compared with standard, career, plate discipline metrics.


Conclusion/Results

RESULTS 

Statistically significant correlations were found between the EH-VMRT metrics and plate discipline batting metrics. Better EH-VMRT ability also correlated with longer service in, and likelihood to achieve, the major-league level. The better (top 20%) EH-VMRT group had three fewer at bats before gaining a walk (22% decrease), as well as swinging 10 to 12% less often at pitches outside the strike zone and 6 to 7% less often at pitches in the strike zone as compared with the bottom 20% group. In addition, EH-VMRT displays a threshold-like relationship with the ability to gain a walk.

 

CONCLUSIONS 

These results describe the EH-VMRT ability of professional baseball players and show a significant relationship between the EH-VMRT ability and batting performance. These results may suggest a possible role in player selection, indicating that batters with better EH-VMRT may be more likely to reach the major-league level and be more productive for their team. Further studies will be needed to demonstrate whether training better EH-VMRT results in improved batting performance.


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