New Insights Into Japanese Baseball – Nextbase


High-Speed Finger Tracking Offers New Insights Into Japanese Baseball

Next Base, a Japanese sports research lab and data analytics company, is using its Vicon system to deliver laser-focused insights into the biomechanics of baseball.

Established in 2014, Next Base uses cutting-edge technology to push performance to new heights. The company is led by Mr. Shinichi Nakao, CEO. “Our aim is to empower athletes to maximize their performance, using efficient and effective training methodology with biomechanics research to back it up,” says Mr. Nakao.

Dr. Tsutomu Jinji, Executive Fellow and Principal Researcher for the company, obtained his doctorate by conducting research into the biomechanics of baseball pitching, with a particular emphasis on the mechanism that creates spin on the ball. This granular approach forms part of Next Base’s current program. “We provide a pitching biomechanics service, including finger movement on the ball, by capturing and analyzing full body motion,” explains Dr. Jinji.

As well as being similarly well-versed in the biomechanics of pitching and hitting, many of Next Base’s staff have played baseball at a competitive level. This hands-on experience of the sport gives them an advantage in explaining the scientific data in practical terms to the players they work with.

Next Base caters for athletes from the Nippon Professional Baseball leagues (NPB) right down to school-age players. Many of the players they assess are pitchers, but the number of hitters coming through is increasing, bringing more variety to the company’s practice. “Training requirements vary from player to player,” says Dr. Jinji. “Our goal is to provide safe and effective training protocols tailored to each athlete’s personal technique and needs.”

To read the full case study, download it here.


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