Project Description

Project OPS Strike Zone Awareness

THE CHALLENGE

Being a successful batter in baseball requires great vision. A batter must quickly recognize all the little details of an opposing pitcher’s motion, release, and throw while at bat and instinctively react. Great “plate discipline” and “strike zone awareness” can only come from game like repetitions. This is nearly impossible to recreate through traditional means outside of during games. Mechanical aides do not recreate the same pitches batters will see in a game and focus more on a batter’s swing. Film also doesn’t fully capture the data needed to judge pitches as cameras are typically from the back or side of the pitcher.

  • Knuckleball and Sidearm Pitchers
    Pitchers with unique throwing motions and pitching styles are difficult to prepare for and batters may only see these pitchers once or twice throughout the season. This results in a significant hurdle for batters to overcome and leads to poorer performance versus these unique pitchers.
  • Impossible To Recreate
    It’s incredibly difficult to simulate real game speed at bats in MLB’s current practice routine. Watching pitchers throw in the bullpen takes away from critical practice time and isn’t the same as standing in the batter’s box. Also, any swings that batters take in batting practice are not going to be 100% game speed pitches.
  • Film Study Not Realistic
    The pitching film teams capture does not replicate the experience of standing in the batter’s box facing a pitcher. The film is either from behind the pitcher, from the press box, or from the dugouts. All of these, while useful, do not lend themselves to improving the hitting of the team’s batters.

THE SOLUTION

EON Reality and EON Sports have developed a Virtual Reality batting simulator designed to improve a batter’s pitch recognition and improve their performance at the plate. By blending several media types, Project OPS delivers a stunningly realistic view of a Major League at bat. Real pitch data collected from real professional games are injected into the Virtual Environment and combined with 360 degree views of stadiums and video of the actual pitcher teams face. Players can now better prepare for the pitcher they will face in the next game, or review how they performed following a game.

VR Sports Training Application

Proper Preparation

Batters are now able to experience real game speed pitches with the exact same speed, spin, and flight path. High resolution projection allows the batter to see the ball as it leaves the pitcher’s hand and even pick out the seams.

Mental At Bats

Batters can take mental at bats versus the pitcher they are going to face. This way when they get to the plate they are more effective. It’s been shown that batters have a higher batting average the more pitches they see in a game, with EON Reality’s technology a batter can conceivably see hundreds of these pitches before they take their first swing.

Baseball VR Sports Training
VR Sports Training Menu
VR Sports Training for Baseball

THE RESULTS

The Tampa Bay Rays are using this technology to train their players currently. In the 2016 season, their slugging percentage (home runs) and runs per game have improved over the previous year.

Via the Tampa Bay Times:

It’s pretty awesome,…I think anytime you can see a pitcher before you actually get in there, it’s unbelievable. It’s like standing in the bullpen. And how many times do you honestly get to do that for the opposing team?
Outfielder Steven Souza Jr., Early Adopter

The LA Times also did a great piece on Project OPS and the Tampa Bay Rays.

VR Sports Training