In-Game Statistics for Pitchers: Understanding the Game Through Numbers with Coach Jason Immekus

Baseball, often hailed as a game of numbers, offers a rich field for statistical analysis. Tracking these metrics isn't just about understanding past performance; it's about shaping future successes. 

As a coach for Premier Pitching & Performance (PPP), Jason Immekus emphasizes the importance of in-game statistics for pitchers, noting that "success leaves clues." We interviewed coach Immekus to learn more about in-game statistics pitchers should be tracking next season and how tracking stats can improve their game.


Essential Statistics for Pitchers

When it comes to the statistics that matter most, Immekus highlights his top three:

1. Winning Two out of Three Pitches

The goal here is to be ahead in the count after three pitches. With 2 out of 3, pitcher’s can significantly affect the opponent's batting average and on-base percentage. 

“It's about striving for 1 ball and 2 strikes rather than 2 balls and 1 strike each at bat,” Immekus commented.

This strategy not only improves the pitcher's command over the game but also puts batters in a defensive position, reducing their chances of hitting aggressively.

2. Getting the Lead Hitter Out

This is a pivotal strategy in pitching. Securing that first out can set the tone for the inning. It shifts the momentum in favor of the defensive team and significantly reduces the offensive team's chances of scoring in that inning. 

Additionally, getting the lead hitter out often puts additional psychological pressure on the subsequent batters, as they face an increased burden to initiate a rally or build an offensive threat. Essentially, this early success on the mound can have a cascading positive effect on the team's overall performance.

3. Putting Hitters Away

“Another statistic I really like is to see how we are closing out hitters,” Immekus explained. “So how many guys do we strike out when we reach two strikes from inning to inning.”

By tracking how pitchers perform when they have two strikes against a batter, it can demonstrate a pitcher's ability to effectively finish off hitters, especially under pressure. With two strikes, pitchers have to be able to utilize their best pitches in critical moments. Additionally, consistently closing out hitters with two strikes can have a significant impact on the pitcher’s confidence and continue to build the teams momentum throughout a game.

How Coaches & Players Can Utilize In-Game Statistics

Real-time statistics are more than just numbers; they're actionable insights. Tracking these stats inning by inning helps coaches like Immekus assess whether a pitcher is struggling due to mental or physical fatigue or other factors. This analysis allows for more constructive post-game discussions and more focused bullpens.

Data-Driven, Personalized Feedback

Post-game analysis of in-game statistics provides coaches with concrete data to offer personalized feedback.  Instead of relying on memory or subjective assessments, coaches can use these stats to provide objective feedback, helping players understand their performance in a clear and constructive manner. This approach helps in pinpointing specific areas for improvement and motivating players with clear, achievable goals.

Crafting a More Focused Bullpen

Utilizing in-game statistics, coaches can build a more focused bullpen routine. This information is crucial for setting goals, refining strategies and making roster decisions. As Immekus notes, 

“Sometimes by that third or fourth bullpen, you catch guys just going through the motions instead of really getting dialed into the season.”

However, by utilizing trends and information gathered during games, Immekus is able to build a more focused and goal-oriented bullpen environment to keep players motivated.

Building Player Confidence

When players see tangible improvements in their in-game statistics, it builds confidence. Coaches can use these improvements as evidence of a player's progress, reinforcing positive behaviors and techniques.

Injury Prevention and Management

In-game statistics can also inform injury prevention strategies. Tracking a pitcher's velocity and fatigue levels over the course of a game or a season can help in identifying potential risk factors for injuries. This proactive approach can extend a pitcher's career and optimize their performance over time.

Focusing on the Right Statistics

Immekus points out a shift in focus regarding statistical communication with players,

“The more I’ve been involved in the game, the more our focus on stats has changed. It always used to be first pitch strikes, which obviously is important, but when a player throws a first pitch ball, he can easily enter a defensive mindset.”

Instead, Immekus recommends pitchers focus on winning two of three pitches. This offers pitchers more mental freedom and avoids the negativity associated with falling behind early in the count.

Harnessing In-Game Statistics to Improve Your Performance with PPP

Through the insights of Coach Immekus at Premier Pitching & Performance, it's clear that in-game statistics are not just numbers on a page. They are tools for growth, strategies for success and a language through which players and coaches communicate and evolve. 

This upcoming season, these insights will not only guide pitchers at PPP but also offer valuable lessons for pitchers and coaches everywhere who aim to master the art of pitching through the nuanced understanding of baseball statistics.

To learn more about PPP’s high-tech pitching assessments and remote performance programs, fill out this online form or schedule a call with coach Immekus here.


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