How uHIT Works
In Minor League Baseball
We Look at Three Players Five Years Later
To see how uHIT works in Minor League Baseball, we look at three players who used it. We look at Evan Mendoza (Player A), Andy Young (Player B) and Irving Lopez (Player C). In this post, we look at three players’ journey with uHIT in Minor League Baseball. Firstly, where they are now? Secondly, where they have yet to go?
How uHIT Works for Player A (Evan Mendoza) in Minor League Baseball
We will review the before and after effects of uHIT first to see how uHIT works in Minor League Baseball. In this paragraph, you will find a summary of what’s included in our original case study on these players here. Additionally, all on-field data for Evan is taken from here. Finally, we look at what Evan has done since then.
2017 Season before using uHIT in A-Ball: BA/OBP/SLG: .270/.286/.419; OPS: .705
2018 Season while using uHIT at High-A-Ball: BA/OPB/SLG: .349/.394/.456; OPS: .850
Evan saw a Triple-Slash Line increase of +79/+108/+37 points and an OPS increase of +145 points while using an early version of uHIT Custom’s Zone Recognition Training. He saw this gain despite moving up from A-Ball to High-A-Ball, where the pitching is harder to hit.
What Has Evan Done Since 2018?
Evan Chose the uHIT Partnership Program
At the end of a successful 2018 implementation, Evan’s organization decided to pause its use of uHIT (no one ever said baseball was rational, despite what Moneyball may say!). So Evan connected with uHIT through the its Partnership Program for Professional Hitters (contact info@deCervo.com to learn more about this program) and he used uHIT Plus for the start of the 2019 season.
Again, we could compare two seasons of Evan’s on-field stats. But now, we were comparing two years in which he had used uHIT. Evan did 54 innings of uHIT Plus in 2019 vs. 251 innings of mostly uHIT Custom in 2018. Clearly, he did about -80% fewer innings in 2019, but would that affect his on-field performance? And why did Evan do fewer innings?
On-Field Hitting and uHIT Gameday Prep
We’ll get to those answers in a moment. But what about his on-field output? Are we going to be able to compare 2019 vs. 2018 stats in the way we did for 2018 vs. 2017? Let’s look here:
- 2018 Season while Using uHIT Custom at AA-Ball: .254/.315/.339; OPS: .654
- 2019 Season while Using uHIT Plus at AA-Ball: .248/.293/.311; OPS: .604
At first glance, it’s clear Evan’s stats at the same level of pitching competition (AA-Ball) went down! But let’s take a closer look at his usage of uHIT and consider also his 2019 stats at AAA-Ball, one level higher:
- 2019 Season – After Using uHIT Plus at AAA-Ball: Triple-Slash Line: .313/.421/.375; OPS: .796
Evan only used uHIT Plus to practice on Major League level pitching. He was doing something like the product planned for 2024, called uHIT Gameday (email@example.com for more details about this gameday prep of hitter vision). He abandoned his focus on uHIT Custom’s Zone Recognition, which gradually improved his abilities to recognize the zone. He jumped right to the harder pitching because he believed he was ready. Clearly, the AA-Ball comparison shows a -50-point drop in OPS. But when he bumped up to AAA-Ball, where the pitching is way tougher, he landed a +142-point boost in his OPS in 19 plate appearances. As a result, we had a respectable sample size in AAA-Ball to get a sense of his ability to hit at this level.
Where Can Evan Go From Here?
First Steps Away From uHIT
The first glimpse of Evan’s impact at AAA-Ball seemed promising, a +142-point boost in OPS from his AA-Ball numbers the year prior, and a +192-point OPS increase from his AA-Ball output that same year. But what’s Evan done since then and what’s his uHIT usage been like?
We all know that 2020 was a wash because of the Pandemic. 2021 and 2022 both would have been great seasons to see what lessons in Zone and Pitch Recognition stuck for Evan, and which ones needed refreshers. We’ve seen with other pro hitters that these lessons gained in uHIT Custom stick from year-to-year and don’t require continued practice to the same degree as when initially learning (see here for more details).
On-Field Hitting Without uHIT
Unfortunately, we don’t have any record of Evan using either uHIT Plus or uHIT Custom during this time period. Let’s look at his Triple-Slash Line and OPS to get a sense of what lessons stuck and which ones, if any, may need a refresher:
- 2021 Season – While NOT Using uHIT Custom or uHIT Plus at AAA-Ball: Triple-Slash Line: .242/.305/.290; OPS: .596
- 2022 Season – While NOT Using uHIT Custom or uHIT Plus at AAA-Ball: Triple-Slash Line: .247/.348/.325; OPS: .673
As the on-field stats show, 2021 was a rough return for Evan to the field. He was in the neighborhood of his 2019 AA-Ball numbers. But he was far from where he left off in 2019 at AAA-Ball. Fortunately, in 2022, he turned things around. Specifically, he returned to an OPS that’s more like the middle of where he left off in the 2019 season (between AA-Ball and AAA-Ball stats).
uHIT was certainly NOT a factor in what Evan did between 2021 and 2022. But we can see from his on-field data that in 2021, his K/BB rate was almost 3 (yikes!). And in 2022, he got that way down to about 1. Still though, in 2021 and 2022, he grounded into double-digits numbers of double-plays (11 and 10), which is more than he ever did while playing any level of pro ball. This along with some other hints from his on-field tell us a return to uHIT Custom would make a huge impact. So we hope to return to helping his journey to The Show soon.