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Arkansas 2024 Captain Hagen Smith Talks Impact of Newtforce in Exclusive Q&A

College baseball is on the horizon, and one name that's been making waves is Hagen Smith, the left-handed pitcher from the University of Arkansas. With a recent All-American accolade under his belt, Hagen is catching the eye of both the collegiate and professional baseball worlds. But before we dive into our exclusive Q&A with him on our mound, let's take a closer look at Hagen Smith's journey through the 2023 season.

Hagen Smith leads a formidable Arkansas pitching staff heading into the 2024 season; he's considered one of the top left-handed pitching prospects heading into the 2024 MLB draft. The stats from his 2023 season speak volumes: a 3.64 ERA and an impressive strikeout rate of over 35% of the batters he faced. What's even more remarkable is that these numbers held strong during the rigorous SEC play, with a 3.07 ERA and a strikeout rate of 35.1%.

Hagen Smith - Newtforce Q&A
Hagen Smith LHP Arkansas

Smith possesses all the physical attributes of a starting pitcher. Add to that a unique release trait and a top-end fastball, and it's no surprise that he's racking up strikeouts. The lefty’s fastball has also seen an uptick in velocity this fall heading into the 2024 season. What sets him apart, though, is his willingness to harness the tools at his disposal to reach his full potential. With talent, a competitive drive, and a hunger for growth, Hagen Smith is a name to remember.

Check out a recent post from D1’s fall report on Hagen Smith: D1 Baseball Tweet - "@RazorbackBSB lefthander @hagensmith32 has all the ingredients to be a first-team All-America ace and a high first-round pick in 2024. "... the fastball command is significantly better. I’ve never seen him this good."

Let's get to the Q&A with Hagen Smith:

Q: How has using the mound's insights impacted your pitching performance and development?

A: It has allowed me to gain knowledge about my body and pitching mechanics that no one else has been able to. We’re so fortunate to have a mound that can read things that no other mound can.

Q: Can you share a specific instance where the mound's data helped you make improvements in your pitching mechanics or performance?

A: It showed me that when increasing my stride a little bit longer, it has helped force into the mound, and my speed going down the mound has shot up.

Q: How has the real-time or near-real-time feedback from the mound influenced your training sessions and practice routines?

A: When throwing bullpens on the mound, it helps me see how fast I am moving on each pitch to try to keep my player velocity the same on each pitch. Also, it has helped me realize the elbow torque on my pitches.

Q: In what ways do you customize your training based on the data and insights provided by the mound?

A: I know what my player velocity and force into the mound should be throughout my season, knowing that if it drops, we can change something faster rather than trying to figure out what I’m doing wrong; we can see it on the mound and data.

Q: Have you noticed any long-term improvements or changes in your pitching mechanics since using the mound?

A: I think just overall pitchers' health has helped all of us pitchers.

Q: Can you describe how the real-time or near-real-time feedback from the mound has influenced your discussions and adjustments with your coach during training sessions?

A: Like I said before, it has helped us identify my stride length needed to be longer to help knee flexion and helped me apply more force into the mound.

Q: In what ways has the mound's data allowed you and your coach to collaborate more effectively on your training and development plan?

A: It has given us insight on what drills/pre-throw need to be done to get my body ready for the mound.

Q: Can you describe your typical training routine and how the mound's insights fit into it?

A: The mound fits into my bullpen routine really well; I sometimes throw the last four pitches on the mound to always have data from different bullpens.

Hagen Smith
Hagen Smith

The Newtforce Sensor Mound is ushering in a new era of player development and customized lower-half training for pitchers like Hagen Smith. It offers unique insights and near real-time feedback, providing a deeper understanding of pitching mechanics that were once out of reach. This technology has not only empowered Hagen but has also positively impacted the overall pitching staff. The collaboration between Hagen, Coach Hobbs, and the rest of the staff has become more effective, leading to individualized training routines and drills that enhance his performance.

Baseball is at the forefront of applying science to impact athlete development, and the Newtforce Sensor Mound stands as a testament to how technology is reshaping the future of pitching development. It empowers coaches and pitchers like Hagen to take ownership and better understand how they can unlock their potential. Hagen Smith is a rising star, and his journey is one to watch as he continues to make waves in the world of college baseball.


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