DVS Analysis: 2014 Little League Baseball World Series

2014 marks the inaugural year we performed a full analysis of every pitcher in the 2014 Little League Baseball World Series.  We specifically targeted the event because of the enormous range of possible delivery patterns throughout several countries.  Our goal was not to see how at risk every Little League pitcher was, but more to determine how closely their patterns and DVS Scores matched the current MLB Current Era pitcher.  We already know the Major League Current Era is at extreme risk. If we can conclude cross sections of the United States and International countries showcase similar DVS Scores and patterns, we can foreseeably predict a continual trend of injurious patterns across the globe for an extended period of time.

Group Comparison

To provide a realistic portrait how well or bad the 2014 LLBWS pitchers fair, we compared each region to current and former professional pitchers. The results are found below. 

DVS Group Comparison Chart.jpg

Two interesting pieces of information surface when looking at the bar graph above. First, LLWS USA's (All 8 regions combined) DVS Scores are almost identical to the MLB Current Era. Second, LLWS Asia (South Korea and Japan) is the clear leader compared to the rest of the countries.  

The asian culture are often criticized for throwing too much and abusing their pitchers.  We have not studied the injury history among their youth or professional pitchers but we know their DVS Scores are considerably higher; making them less at risk of injury compared to the United States. 

2014 LLbWS HIGHLIGHTS

  • 2014 served as the 75th anniversary of the Little League Baseball World Series.
  • South Korea won the championship, going undefeated (5-0) with the second highest average DVS Score (14.6).
  • Japan had the pitcher with the highest DVS Score (19) and also the highest average DVS Score (16.6) amongst all teams in the LLWS.
  • Japan had the highest amount of strikeouts per nine innings (19) and lowest amount of hits per nine innings (5.4)
  • With South Korea's win, Asian teams have now won 56% of the LLWS championships since first entering the competition in 1962.
  • The average DVS Score of all 92 pitchers in the LLWS was 11.6; The exact average of our entire youth database!
  • 88% of all pitchers used the Full Windup but only 2.2% used the Overhead Windup.
  • Two females participated in the LLWS, Emma March from Canada and Mo'ne Davis from Mid-Atlantic.  
  • Mo'ne Davis had one of the highest DVS Scores in the LLWS with an 18.

2014 LLbWS TEAM STATS 

(sorted by dvs score)

PERFORMANCE DATA

  • Japan and Asia-Pacific dominated in categories such as ERA, WHIP, H/9 and K/9
  • Latin America, DVS Score of 12, had the second lowest ERA (2.76) behind Asia-Pacific and the lowest amount of BB/9
  • The Caribbean, despite the lowest DVS Score (9.5) performed well in statistical categories except H/9
  • Europe-Africa gave up over 2 hits/IP
  • Canada had the highest ERA with a 9.62
  As DVS Score increases, Hits Per 9 IP decrease and Strikeouts Per 9 IP increase

As DVS Score increases, Hits Per 9 IP decrease and Strikeouts Per 9 IP increase

 

TEAM BY TEAM BREAKDOWN (ALPHABETICAL)

In our study of the 2014 LLWS pitchers, we tracked how many pitchers utilized the full windup and if they did, how many of the windups were overhead. The overhead delivery/windup was common practice for both youth pitchers and professional pitchers born before 1975.  A steady decline in the use of this windup has occurred in pitchers born after 1975.  We wanted to assess, from a broad cross section of countries, if youth players are being taught or displaying this overhead delivery style.


ASIA PACIFIC

ASIA-PACIFIC DVS Score Distribution

Team: Seoul, LL

Location: Seoul, South Korea

Overall Finish: 1st Place

DVS Highlights:

  • Number of pitchers: 5
  • Highest DVS Score: 18
  • Lowest DVS Score: 9
  • Number of pitchers using Full Windup: 5
  • Number of pitchers using Overhead Delivery: 0

AUSTRALIA

Australia DVS Score Distribution

Team: Perth Metro North LL

Location: Perth, Australia

Overall Finish: 13th Place

DVS Highlights:

  • Number of pitchers: 4
  • Highest DVS Score: 16
  • Lowest DVS Score: 5
  • Number of pitchers using Full Windup: 2
  • Number of pitchers using Overhead Delivery: 0

CANADA

Canada DVS Score Distribution

Team: South Vancouver LL

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

Overall Finish: 15th Place

DVS Highlights:

  • Number of pitchers: 7
  • Highest DVS Score: 16
  • Lowest DVS Score: 8
  • Number of pitchers using Full Windup: 7
  • Number of pitchers using Overhead Delivery: 0

CARIBBEAN

Caribbean DVS Score Distribution

Team: Miguel Luzanaris LL

Location: Humacao, Puerto Rico

Overall Finish: 10th Place

DVS Highlights:

  • Number of pitchers: 6
  • Highest DVS Score: 12
  • Lowest DVS Score: 8
  • Number of pitchers using Full Windup: 6
  • Number of pitchers using Overhead Delivery: 0

EUROPE-AFRICA

Europe-Africa DVS Score Distribution

Team: South Moravia LL          

Location: Brno, Czech Republic

Overall Finish: 16th Place

DVS Highlights:

  • Number of pitchers: 4
  • Highest DVS Score: 14
  • Lowest DVS Score: 8
  • Number of pitchers using Full Windup: 0
  • Number of pitchers using Overhead Delivery: 0

GREAT LAKES

Great Lakes DVS Score Distribution

Team: Jackie Robinson West LL

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Overall Finish: 2nd Place

DVS Highlights:

  • Number of pitchers: 6
  • Highest DVS Score: 14
  • Lowest DVS Score: 9
  • Number of pitchers using Full Windup: 6
  • Number of pitchers using Overhead Delivery: 0

JAPAN

Japan DVS Score Distribution

Team: Tokyo Kitasuna LL

Location: Tokyo, Japan

Overall Finish: 4th Place

DVS Highlights:

  • Number of pitchers: 5
  • Highest DVS Score: 19
  • Lowest DVS Score: 12
  • Number of pitchers using Full Windup: 5
  • Number of pitchers using Overhead Delivery: 1

LATIN AMERICA

Team: Coquivacao LL Location: Maricabo, Venezuela

Overall Finish: 7th Place

DVS Highlights:

  • Number of pitchers: 6
  • Highest DVS Score: 16
  • Lowest DVS Score: 8
  • Number of pitchers using Full Windup:6
  • Number of pitchers using Overhead Delivery: 0

MEXICO 

Mexico DVS Score Distribution

Team: Guadalupe Linda Vista LL

Location: Guadalupe, Nuevo Leon

Overall Finish: 5th Place

DVS Highlights:

  • Number of pitchers: 7
  • Highest DVS Score: 14
  • Lowest DVS Score: 4
  • Number of pitchers using Full Windup: 7
  • Number of pitchers using Overhead Delivery: 0

MID-ATLANTIC

Mid-Atlantic DVS Score Distribution

Team: Taney Youth Baseball Association LL

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Overall Finish: 6th Place

DVS Highlights:

  • Number of pitchers: 6
  • Highest DVS Score: 18
  • Lowest DVS Score: 8
  • Number of pitchers using Full Windup: 4
  • Number of pitchers using Overhead Delivery: 0

MIDWEST

Midwest DVS Score Distribution

Team: Canyon Lake LL

Location: Rapid City, South Dakota

Overall Finish: 1st Place

DVS Highlights:

  • Number of pitchers: 4
  • Highest DVS Score: 12
  • Lowest DVS Score: 10
  • Number of pitchers using Full Windup: 4
  • Number of pitchers using Overhead Delivery: 0

NEW ENGLAND

New England DVS Score Distribution

Team: Cumberland American LL

Location: Cumberland, Rhode Island

Overall Finish: 11th Place

DVS Highlights:

  • Number of pitchers: 5
  • Highest DVS Score: 17
  • Lowest DVS Score: 8
  • Number of pitchers using Full Windup: 5
  • Number of pitchers using Overhead Delivery: 0

NORTHWEST

Northwest DVS Score Distribution

Team: Lynwood Pacific LL

Location: Lynwood,Washington

Overall Finish: 9th Place

DVS Highlights:

  • Number of pitchers: 6
  • Highest DVS Score: 15
  • Lowest DVS Score: 8
  • Number of pitchers using Full Windup: 5
  • Number of pitchers using Overhead Delivery: 0

SOUTHEAST

Southeast DVS Score Distribution

Team: South Nashville LL

Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Overall Finish: 12th Place

DVS Highlights:

  • Number of pitchers: 7
  • Highest DVS Score:16
  • Lowest DVS Score: 7
  • Number of pitchers using Full Windup: 7
  • Number of pitchers using Overhead Delivery: 1

SOUTHWEST

Team: Pearland East LL

Location: Pearland, Texas

Overall Finish: 8th Place

DVS Highlights:

  • Number of pitchers: 7
  • Highest DVS Score: 17
  • Lowest DVS Score: 9
  • Number of pitchers using Full Windup: 6
  • Number of pitchers using Overhead Delivery: 0

WEST

West DVS Score Distribution

Team: Mountain Ridge Little League

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Overall Finish: 3rd Place

DVS Highlights:

  • Number of pitchers: 7
  • Highest DVS Score: 15
  • Lowest DVS Score: 9 
  • Number of pitchers using Full Windup: 6
  • Number of pitchers using Overhead Delivery: 0

CONCLUSION

The 2014 LLBWS provided valuable insight into the current culture surrounding youth pitching mechanics and quantified trends that continue to emerge within the game of baseball.  Japan was the clear winner producing a more elite level mechanical pattern within their pitchers.  South Korea was not far behind Japan but both Asian Teams proved to be on another level mechanically compared to the rest of the countries.  For instance, Japan scored very highly on how well they moved their lower body towards the target (Mass and Momentum) in contrast to Puerto Rico who moved very poorly.  The difference in movements are directly attributed to how the pitchers in each country initially are taught how to pitch.  The training methodology and information relayed to each pitcher from a young age directly show up in their mechanical patterns.  For instance, both Puerto Rico and South Dakota, who finished in the bottom tier of the tournament had the lowest "highest" DVS Score for any country with a 12.  All other countries, had at least one player with a DVS Score of 14 or higher; moving them into lower category of risk.

Throughout the history of the tournament, Asian teams have consistently outperformed other countries in the LLBWS. With the addition of monitoring pitching mechanics through our DVS Model, we can see a strong correlation between the success of the Asian teams and their DVS Score compared to other countries.  We only have DVS Scores for 2014 but will continue to monitor the mechanical patterns of pitchers in the LLBWS in future years.

-Justin Orenduff