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The University Star




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The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

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Texas State baseball adapts to the modern era with new technology

Texas+State+sophomore+pitcher+Cameron+OBanan+%2815%29+pitches+the+ball+against+Houston+Christian%2C+Wednesday%2C+March+13%2C+2024%2C+at+Bobcat+Ballpark.+
Meg Boles
Texas State sophomore pitcher Cameron O’Banan (15) pitches the ball against Houston Christian, Wednesday, March 13, 2024, at Bobcat Ballpark.

The baseball world has adapted to a society that is technologically advancing at an unprecedented rate. Underlying baseball statistics, such as exit velocity, launch angle and more, are becoming increasingly valued, and teams can be seen as behind the curve if they don’t utilize newer forms of technology.

Texas State ensures it utilizes an optical ball tracking system called Yakkertech. Various collegiate, independent and MLB teams use this system, and it’s more cost-effective compared to commonly used ball-tracking systems like Hawkeye and Trackman.

Yakkertech includes features that are beneficial to both pitchers and hitters. The Bobcats use the system to collect various forms of data such as spin rate, velocity, location and movement.

Texas State Head Coach Steven Trout welcomes technology and underlying statistics but doesn’t want to put all his eggs in one basket, he said.

“I think it’s important that there’s information out there, but you can also have information overload,” Trout said. “We kind of tell ourselves that we’re 50/50, new school/old school.”

Texas State redshirt senior catcher August Ramirez said he uses Yakkertech to get a feel for different strike zone tendencies by umpires and to improve his timing at the plate.

“Some of these umpires, their zones are different,” Ramirez said. “[Tracking velocity] as well… puts in perspective when to get going.”

While Yakkertech can be helpful for hitters trying to improve their approach at the plate, Trout said pitchers especially benefit from the ball-tracking system.

“You can use the technology to make your pitches that much better,” Trout said. “[It can] help develop pitches, help throw them in the right area [and] help with your sequencing or pitch dialogue.”

Redshirt senior pitcher Peyton Zabel views Yakkertech as a valuable tool to improve his performance on the mound, he said.

“It’s a tool you use to get better in the offseason and kind of shape pitches and kind of find out what your strengths are as far as pitch profile and stuff like that,” Zabel said. “[It helps] figuring out what our strengths are and where we need to be pitching in the zone.”

Essentially, pitchers like Zabel use the technology provided by Yakkertech to polish their pitch selection and work on accurately hitting spots in the strike zone.

Technology and new age statistics are fundamental to the game of baseball in 2024, and whether someone is old school or new school, it can’t be denied that the best programs utilize these tools to a certain extent.

“We use [technology and underlying statistics] in different stints,” Trout said. “But we don’t use it all the time in every avenue.”

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