Eye on the ball

The visual prowess of professional baseball players has been linked to their batting performance in a new study

Man using a touch screen machine

A US study of 252 professional baseball players published in Scientific Reports has found that athletes with higher scores on a series of visual and motor tasks had better on-base percentages, more walks and fewer strikeouts compared to peers.

The research involved observing the performance of major and minor league baseball players as they performed tasks on large touch screen machines.

The exercises involved tracking or touching objects as they moved across the screen and tested a variety of aptitudes, including visual clarity, contrast sensitivity and perception span.

Duke University statistician and lead author, Kyle Burris, said that a strong performance on these tasks correlated with superior batting ability, although the same relationship was not found for pitchers.

“This information could be useful in scouting, as well as providing possible training targets to improve on-field performance,” he emphasised.

Image credit: Shawn Rocco, Duke Health