The hitter walks up to the plate and digs into the batter’s box. The freshman pitcher standing 60 feet 6 inches away has no idea what he just got himself into. He has to face a hitter who is way more prepared for this situation than he is.
That hitter is Kaden Frommelt. Kaden is from Marion, Iowa, where he plays for the Marion Indians and the Perfect Game Select 15U team. That pitcher and all of the pitchers to follow should be shaking in their cleats because Kaden has been working vigorously with his dad, Josh, in our online hitting program for the last year and a half.
Where We Started
Let’s look back at that point to see where it all started. In Kaden’s first week using Blast Motion, his numbers were:
Five months after that, we got our first baseline for exit velocity. Kaden’s Peak EV was 75 mph, and his Average EV was 65 mph.
Kaden was and still is at a crucial age to build bat speed and rotational speed. Our primary focus was bat speed and cleaning up some mechanics to make him more efficient with his body. We measure efficiency by dividing bat speed by peak hand speed, which tells us how well an athlete turns hand speed (potential bat speed) into bat speed. At first measurement, Kaden’s efficiency score was 2.87. For reference, our current youth average efficiency score is 3.14.
In our time together, we have worked on a countless number of things, from creating more separation to raising Kaden’s attack angle (as he developed more bat speed), to more recently having better contact quality and direction to the opposite field. Throughout all that, we kept a focus on developing bat speed, as Josh and Kaden both have the mindset of long term development.
They hit multiple times a week, taking video and using their Blast sensor. The data automatically goes to me, and I use it to then create individualized workouts for them. We do that for all of our online hitters, but they want more, so they go to a facility that has a HitTrax, and we use the data gathered there to make them a batted ball profile. Josh also put Kaden through an FMS movement screen, and I created a specific warm-up that targets his movement deficiencies. Josh even throws “short box” to Kaden, which, as you can imagine, creates some great father and son competition!
It may sound like a lot of work, but it is straightforward with TRAQ (our player development software). “TRAQ has been a game-changer for us,” Josh says. “The workouts are easily accessible, [as are] Vimeo videos if you or the trainee needs a refresher on a particular drill. The ability to upload video, HitTrax data, and Pocket Radar are added bonuses.”
TRAQ is also where I communicate with Josh or Kaden nearly every other day. “The messaging back and forth from trainer and athlete has had a huge effect on Kaden. Kaden trusts the trainers and isn’t afraid to ask a question, seek feedback, or ask for help. We really needed a ‘dynamic warm-up,’ and they were able to produce one for us.”
Where Are We Now?
Let’s catch up to where we are now and the results that Kaden has achieved.
- +14.5 mph in Average Bat Speed
- +16.2 in Peak Bat Speed
- +10.3 in Rotational Acceleration
- Efficiency score from 2.87 to 3.15
- +16 mph in Peak Exit Velocity
- +10.89 mph in Average Exit Velocity
If you are that pitcher shaking in his cleats, you might be thinking, “I’ll just throw away from him and get him to go oppo—he can’t hurt me out there.” That might have been true at one time.
But Kaden has even taken that away from you now.
So just let this happen:
Doing It the Right Way
The most rewarding thing for our staff has been the front row seat to watch how Josh and Kaden go about it every day. They are getting significant results, but that is not the most important thing at this age. It’s been impressive because they have done it while having fun and enjoying it. Josh has spent countless hours researching, learning, and communicating with me, to then turn around and apply what he’s learned with Kaden in the cage in a fun environment.
They said one aspect of online training that has stood out to them has been the “staff’s ability to communicate meaningful and HONEST feedback.” We can do this because Josh and Kaden keep an open mind and want honest feedback that will genuinely make them better! To put their mindset in perspective, Kaden has seen the Casey Weathers video so many times that they have lost count. For those that haven’t seen it, the message is that “hard work doesn’t guarantee you results, it guarantees you honesty.”
Kaden, you are a STUD, and the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. We at Driveline can’t wait to see you terrorize a league of pitchers in your next full season! And pitchers, if you somehow discover a way to get him out, let us know, and we will take that from you, too!