Yanks expand staff with new pitching simulator

The New York Yankees and a number of other big league ball clubs hope a new pitching simulator from ProBatter Sports will help its lineup find a more solid groove in the 2006 season. The simulator was delivered to the Yankee facility in Tampa for spring training and will be installed at Yankee Stadium for the regular season.

The Boston Red Sox, New York Mets and Cleveland Indians organizations
have ProBatter simulators installed at their spring training sites and
the Chicago White Sox have also purchased the system.

The ProBatter Professional Baseball system combines the latest proprietary computer and video technology to almost perfectly duplicate the experience of facing live pitching.

Yankee hitters have already lined up to take their cuts on the simulator. In a February 26 New York Post article, Alex Rodriguez was quoted as saying, “I love it. It’s competitive and you have to compete against it to hit.” In the same story, teammate, Jason Giambi said, “I have it in my hitting cages in Vegas … (Brian) Cashman called to ask me about it and I said it was great. It gives you a look at everything and at every speed.”

The system allows a hitter to face the life-sized image of a real pitcher winding up (or throwing from a stretch) and delivering a pitch on a video screen. An actual ball is thrown through the screen by a computer controlled pitching module, which is capable of delivering any pitch that a human pitcher can. The batter is thus challenged by an endless variety of real pitches — fastballs, sinkers, cutters, curves, sliders, change-ups, etc. — at speeds up to 100 mph. Pitch velocity can be varied in increments of two mph and thrown to predetermined locations inside and outside the strike zone with pinpoint accuracy.

In addition, last year’s Japan Series champion Chiba Lotte Marines, under the leadership of former big league player and manager, Bobby Valentine, also use ProBatter in their training regiment, as do Division I college programs, Connecticut, Maine, Old Dominion and Nevada.

“We are thrilled to be working with the New York Yankees, one of the most storied franchises in sports,” said Jim Cummings, President of ProBatter Sports. “We consider their acquisition of the ProBatter system to be a testament to its value as the ultimate training tool for hitters.”

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