A Future Technology I’d Like to See for Baseball Hitters: An AI-Generated Musical Timing Trainer
Hitting is timing. Pitching is upsetting timing. -Warren Spahn
One of my curiosities is music, especially the psychological and performance applications for athletes.
Of the many powerful effects of music, synchronization, or matching one’s movement to the beat, is still my favorite because movement patterns are mastered faster, it’s simple to learn and teach, and it’s innately wired into our human hard drives.
Another aspect of music I’ve long wondered about is that of timing for baseball hitters.
Hall of Famer left-hander Warren Spahn talked about the battle between pitcher and hitter as one of timing.
With offensive numbers down across the board in 2022, it might be time to explore a way for hitters to even the playing field against the flamethrowers on the mound.
How about music?
If hitting truly is timing, what might it look like to create an AI-interface that quantifies, mathematically, the exact time it takes a pitcher’s repertoire to reach home plate?
Following that line of thinking, might those same calculations be able transposed into music?
Think about Max Scherzer.
He throws a four-seam fastball, changeup, cutter, curveball and slider.
Each pitch is used in varying amounts, which scouting reports detail based on the hitter and the count.
Calculating Max’s mechanics and time of each pitch into a single, repeatable melody, hitters could train alongside the visual system (for pitch recognition) to get their bodies and minds “synced” to the pitcher they are facing:
- Fastball: “1, 2, 3e&a — SWING!”
- Changeup: “1, 2, 3-&-A — SWING!”
- Slider: “1, 2, 3 & — SWING!”
I will not hopelessly attempt to crunch the numbers and figure out how to AI-generate the beats, but it would be cool regardless.
MLB hitters could sure use some help.
Maybe a musical timing trainer would do the trick.