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Zero Plateau Gauged by the Visual Memory Index.

Posted: 2022-09-20 14:09:31 (ET)    [ 124 views ]

The Psychological Profile of MLB hitters when the team reaches the extremes of extra ball movement, very little ball movement and the "Zero Plateau" as gauged by the Visual Memory Index.

This is too large a study to handle in one article, so I’ve split the articles into three.  The Zero Plateau is unique because many of the day-to-day games land in this spectrum of the VMI.  Zero, is where the VMI, which gauges how familiar are the hitters to the movement the pitchers will have in today’s ballpark given the weather conditions, has reduced to near “zero.” Zero means the hitters are well adjusted to the amount of late movement on each of the pitches they’ve been seeing for the past week.  One would think that in this condition, the hitters would be at their best, and many times they are.  However, the opposite is true about as often and that is the most interesting aspect of MLB.  Why would the hitters just as often, perform so poorly, when they are extremely familiar with the conditions and even with the opposing pitcher?  


The Zero Plateau

A study like this could not be done without the Visual Memory Index.  The VMI gauges the “physical differences” between that late pitch-movement which the hitters are used to seeing vs what they will see in today’s game.  Without VMI, there would be no way in which to divide the reaction of the hitter to the physical difference of the pitch from the mental side.  So, it would be impossible to study the mental effect/focus of such a change to the hitter in typical pitch movement versus the physical effect of the pitch against his hand-eye coordination.  This is especially true when considering the amount of data generated daily in MLB across 600+ hitters, in various temperatures, against over 600 pitchers who are all armed with a bevy of pitch-types within varied pitchers’ parks and hitters’ parks across the entirety of the United States.   


The psychological impact of the above-mentioned variables could never be studied by using only the comments of hitters, pitchers, catchers and coaches without the aid of both the VMI and the Air Density Index (ADI).  By categorizing both the daily changes in pitchers’ parks using the ADI and the daily changes in hitter exposure to greater or lesser late movement on pitches utilizing the VMI, we can study a multitude of cases.  Then utilizing the actual production within those segments of pitchers parks and hitters parks we can make reasonable conclusions based on voluminous performance examples within similar conditions.  


The “zero plateau,” is one of the phenomena that comes from this study.  We have observed that all the teams experience a trend that would appear to be opposed to logic.  That is; when a team remains in familiar late pitch-movement for a long enough stretch of games for the VMI to drop toward zero (either plus or minus) then, there exists a huge tendency to either ‘zero out’ in terms of hits and runs scored, or for the team to ‘break out’ in large numbers of scoring and hits with fewer teams producing in between that high and low.


There does not seem to be a dividing point, or an identified marker whereby one could predict such an occurrence, other than the VMI being at zero “something” decimal strength in familiarity.  So, as of this time, I cannot identify which team’s hitting and scoring will hit the “zero plateau”, or are going to break out, but it will be one or the other with a fewer number of teams remaining unaffected by the “zero plateau.”   I am still trying to find that point between physical performance and mental performance that will help to identify “when” a team will wash out and when will they break out.


Another aspect of the “zero plateau” that is identifiable on the baseballvmi.com website via the “View Game” is that the specific pitch that is the primary one the teams tend to wash out against is the four-seam fastball.  Yes, the one the players have been hitting since Little League.   That pitch, “safe hits per strikes seen” production by the team is often at a rate of less than half the normal rate of 9%.  Other types of pitches cause struggle, as well in this plateau, but the upward lifting four-seamer is the most prominent, as it is the toughest pitch to be successful against in all of MLB yet is also the pitch most used by the pitchers.  

Teams that begin a new series in a slight pitcher’s park directly from a slight hitter’s park will be in a higher minus VMI until they get 2 or 3 games of exposure.  By about the third game, the visiting team, and sometimes the home team, will land in that minus “zero plateau” range of VMI.   At that point they will either wash out against the 4-seamer or break out against it.  

In a plus VMI series, the team that arrives at a hitter’s park directly from a pitcher’s park will sport a higher plus VMI to begin, but during the series the VMI will reduce closer to the plus “zero plateau.”  It appears that the plus zero plateau is prone to the wash out and the minus zero plateau is prone to the breakout.  However, that is not determined at this time.

The mental aspect is likely to cause the wash-out, because the hitter begins to lose focus on the little things of which unique pitch movement causes him to maintain a keen focus.  When the movement of the pitch becomes too familiar, it is easy to allow the focus to wander somewhat. 

So, at this time, I would recommend that you watch for two team losses in the small minus VMI range and then expect a breakout game when the VMI hits minus zero-something. 
I would also recommend that you watch for two team wins in the small plus VMI range and then expect a washout game when the VMI hits plus zero-something.  


 

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