If you’ve been around the baseball world for at least a short amount of time, you’ve probably heard the term “5-tool player.” Being considered a 5-tool player is desired by every baseball player especially one trying to make it the next level (whether it be making the high school team, being recruited by colleges or making it to the pro level). The five tools include speed, arm strength, fielding ability, hitting for average and hitting for power (players like Mike Trout and Bryce Harper come to mind when thinking about 5-tool players in the MLB).
At Masterful Mechanics Baseball, we also agree that possessing the five tools is paramount to your success on the field and your chances of making it to the next level. However, we have put together our own list of the five tools, and they slightly diverge from the conventional assets. With the rise of sabermetrics and technology-enhanced training, we’ve created our list based on the importance of player assets coupled with the state-of-the-art technology that we use.
We utilize (5) specific training tools:
1. Hitting for Average and Power – We believe that a hitter should be well-rounded and able to hit for average and power. By using the Blast Baseball Sensor and Mobile App, we can analyze a player’s swing data from a mobile app within seconds. “The industry’s most accurate motion capture sensor, integrated with automatic analysis, insights, player-coach communication and information/player management tools” (Blast Motion 2019). The sensor reads several types of data from the hitter’s swing and sends it directly to our phones, so we can analyze and improve swings on the spot.
Blast Motion Website: https://blastmotion.com/products/baseball/ Driveline Baseball
2. Throwing Accuracy and Arm Strength – Every serious baseball player needs to have arm strength and accuracy when throwing. While this is especially imperative for pitchers, position players should also have a strong and accurate arm. We proudly utilize the Driveline Throwing Program for all of our athletes, but pitchers can profoundly benefit from this training. “We use a data-driven approach to test and retest our training methods to develop pitching velocity and command” (Driveline Baseball 2015). At Masterful Mechanics Baseball we have adopted Driveline’s training methods and utilize tools such as Jager Resistance Bands, Plyocare Ball exercises, warm-up variations for pre-throwing and post-throwing recovery.
Driveline Baseball Website: https://www.drivelinebaseball.com/
3. Fielding Prowess – Masterful Mechanics Baseball sees fielding as an integral part of the game. For this reason, we focus some of our lesson time on different fielding drills. We work on multiple facets of defense such as forehand and backhand ground balls, turning double plays, stretching and receiving at first base, blocking and receiving for catching and proper fly ball catching and crow-hop throwing from the outfield.
4. Speed and Athleticism – For obvious reasons, it is vital to be athletic on the baseball field, but it is not always clear what this means. For us, being athletic means being able to play multiple positions well and having a prowess on the base paths. We tailor workout plans for each athlete to fully maximize their athletic potential. These workouts are incorporated in lessons and can be sent home as weekly/monthly plans. While the VeloPro Baseball harness is not made specifically for working out, we utilize it to help the athlete improve all facets of their game including increasing athleticism. The VeloPro is scientifically proven to “improve mechanical efficiency, unleash power and velocity, optimize movement, balance the core and reduce risk of injury” (VeloPro Baseball).
VeloPro Website: https://www.veloprobaseballtx.com/
5. Mental Approach – While this isn’t included in the traditional five tools of baseball, Masterful Mechanics Baseball believes that having a solid mental approach is clearly in the top five of importance. For this reason, we incorporate mental training and brain games into each lessons. We instill confidence and composure into our athletes and subject them to failure, so they can learn to play through tough times when they are struggling. Information from books such as “The Mental Game of Baseball” and “The Mental ABCs of Pitching” both by H.A. Dorfman and “The Ant and the Elephant: Leadership For the Self” by Vince Poscente are incorporated into lessons and taught to our athletes.