If you’ve ever filmed yourself during batting practice or swung a bat in front of the mirror to examine your swing and try to improve it (it’s okay to admit it, we’ve all done it), then prepare to feel as primitive as starting fire by rubbing two sticks together because the Zepp Baseball Swing Analyzer just brought hitting instruction into the future.
With a number of different features and ways to analyze your swing (some you may have not even considered before), you’ll have more information than ever before to improve your success and consistency at the plate.
What is the Zepp Baseball Swing Analyzer?
The Zepp Baseball Swing Analyzer is a small, electronic device that attaches to the knob of your bat.
It combines the technology of a gyroscope and accelerometer.
The gyroscopic technology allows the sensor to calculate the bat’s distance and angle to the ground, which allows you, the hitter, to know the exact angle of your swing.
The accelerometer reads the speed of the bat/swing.
All of these data points are stored and analyzed through a mobile app offered through Zepp.
As long as you have a mobile smartphone or tablet handy, you can get a real-time analysis of every detail of your swing, especially at the moment of contact.
Even if you don’t have a device immediately on hand, the sensor stores up to 2,000 swings and the data can be transferred to a mobile gadget later.
What can the Zepp Baseball Swing Analyzer tell a hitter?
Thanks to the readings recorded by Zepp’s Baseball Swing sensor, the accompanying app can allow a player to look at a number of different metrics, graphs and other data-born insights into their swing.
With just the two sensors, the device measures a wide range of speeds, angles and other key data points, such as:
- Speed of barrel throughout swing, at contact and after
- Speed of batter’s hands throughout swing, at contact and after
- How the bat speed of the last swing relates to the average bat speeds of previous swings
- Angle of “attack,” or swing angle at time of impact
- Vertical angle of the barrel of the bat
- Path of the batter’s hands
- Path of the bat
- Time of swing, or how long it took from the start of the swing to contact point
- Point of contact in relation to the batter’s body
While this list is extensive, it only scratches the surface of the potential data-rich possibilities of the Zepp Baseball Swing Analyzer.
Not to mention, this technology is still rather new, which means there’s still plenty of time for Zepp to develop it further and allow hitter’s to get even deeper insights than they can already obtain with the device.
It’s also worth mentioning that the more a player uses the device, the more they can learn because the data becomes more accurate.
One swing, even an entire batting practice worth of swings, is just a small blip on the data spectrum.
But, the more you use the sensor, the more data there is to analyze and the stronger and more accurate of conclusions can be drawn.
This eliminates any anomalies in the data, like an off-day at the plate or a muscle strain causing a hitch in your swing.
As the hitter uses the sensor more and more, they’ll even begin to see trends and tendencies in their batting strategies that even they didn’t know existed.
Because the Zepp Baseball Swing Analyzer lets the hitter input the weight and length of their bat (the app even has pre-loaded profiles for some of the major bat makes and models), it can use other data points to determine where in the strike-zone the hitter made contact.
This makes it possible for a hitter at any level to begin to see where in the zone they are hot and where they are cold.
Thus, at any age, a hitter can begin to develop a sense of which pitches they should wait for.
Who can use the Zepp Baseball Swing Analyzer?
Because this device fits on the knob of the bat and the mobile app has a library of most major makes and models of baseball and softball bats, nearly any hitter can use the device.
While a youth player can still effectively use the 3-D swing mapping and other features, they may need a parent’s mobile device to utilize all these benefits, if they don’t have a smartphone or tablet of their own.
Additionally, a younger player may need some help understanding the different measurements and stats.
That said, really anyone can use this device and begin gaining insights into how to improve their swing.
Because the Zepp mobile app allows the user to set multiple hitter profiles, more than one batter could use the same device.
Alternatively, if a player was a switch hitter, they could have both a left-handed and right-handed profile and compare the differences.
Similarly, you could use different batting profiles to test out two or more bats, in order to figure out which one is truly better for you.
This allows for data-informed buying decisions to be made when a player is in between bats or looking for a change.
Do all those expensive, performance-enhancing features really help a batter improve or is it all just clever marketing?
You can definitively find out with the Zepp Baseball Swing Analyzer.
What else can the Zepp Baseball Swing Analyzer do?
If you didn’t get a great grade in math and the thought of data scares you, or you are simply a visual learner that needs to see their swing in action for any insight to be valuable, you’re in luck.
The Zepp app allows you to record your swing through your mobile device’s camera.
What’s even better, is that the sensor tells the app when you begin your swing, so it only capture the swing.
No more running back and forth to the camera or having to skip through the footage to get to each swing.
The app only captures what matters: the swings.
And, did we mention you can play those videos back in super-slow-motion? That’s not even the best part.
The Zepp Baseball Swing Analyzer’s app also has a number of professional player profiles pre-loaded, which not only let the hitter see and study a pro swing, but they can be layered over the player’s own footage.
Thus, they can make a direct comparison between their swing and a favorite all-star’s.
This is the dream of every kid who’s ever pretended to be Derek Jeter, Mike Trout, Ken Griffey Jr or David Ortiz in their backyard or Little League game.
The app also gives the user access to a ton of content, in the form of drills, tips and video tutorials.
All of this content is catered to the hitter’s unique profile created by the data gathered through the swing analyzer.
If the player has trouble getting their hands around on inside pitches or have a bad habit of dropping the barrel of the bat too much, the Zepp app will recommend drills to break these bad tendencies.
Thus, the hitter can improve any aspect of their swing that they want.
The Pros of the Zepp Baseball Swing Analyzer
To sum up what we’ve discussed with the Zepp Baseball Swing Analyzer, here is an extensive list of the many pros of this device:
- Weighing less than half an ounce, the sensor doesn’t throw off the bat’s swing weight
- Combines an accelerometer with a gyroscope in the same sensor, which lets the sensor calculate a wide number of angles and speeds to break down every part of the swing
- Through bluetooth connectivity, swings can be immediately reviewed on a connected mobile device, such as a tablet or smartphone
- Even without such a device, the Zepp Baseball Swing Analyzer saves 2,000 swings worth of data to be transferred later
- Attaches to the knob of the bat, which means it fits almost every make and model
- Can help a hitter of any age improve their swing and learn about themselves as a batter
- The accompanying mobile app lets a player record video of their swing without creating huge video files or having to fast-forward past long pauses between pitches
- The app has pre-loaded bat profiles to fit most major makes and models
- It also has profiles of some of the game’s best hitters and allows a user to directly compare their swing to that of a pro
- Zepp produces content, in the form of drills and tutorials, that cater to the player’s unique needs to improve at the plate
The Cons of the Zepp Baseball Swing Analyzer
We’ve drooled over all of the many benefits of this device, but what about its drawbacks?
- As a new piece of technology, it is uncertain if any leagues will disallow players to use it on their bats during games
- If you are using every feature of the app (video capture, bluetooth connectivity, etc.), it really drains the battery fast
- Not every bat brand is represented in the pre-loaded options when creating a profile; this will probably change over time as those companies give Zepp their permission
- If you use an AXE bat, the untraditional knob may cause the Zepp Baseball Swing Analyzer to not fit securely
The last con of the Zepp Baseball Swing Analyzer isn’t so much a downside as it a potential risk.
The sensor is a great learning tool, but there’s something to be said about too much of a good thing becoming bad.
With all of this data and analysis, it’d be easy for a hitter to become a little obsessed and start over thinking every at-bat.
Sure, hitting a baseball is a major lesson in physics, and all this data presents areas where those physics can be improved, but there’s something to be said about also sticking to what works.
In other words, all of these numbers and measurements are important, but the numbers that matter most are things like batting average, runs and the number of wins the team has.
If, in the quest for a “better” swing, these numbers start to fall, it may be better to stick to what you know works.
Despite this (brief) list of drawbacks, it is really hard to find any fault in the Zepp Baseball Swing Analyzer.
Some people scoff at the price tag of around $150 (depending on where you buy), but it’s actually surprising that it doesn’t cost more.
When you consider what the cost of lessons with a hitting coach are, the Zepp is like having a lifetime batting instructor for a one time fee. We’d pay that price any day.
It doesn’t matter if you are a Little Leaguer, a professional, a company softballer or anywhere in between and beyond, this device has a gold mine of insights and tips to help you improve your swing and become a better ball player.