Anthropometric and performance comparisons in professional baseball players

J Strength Cond Res. 2009 Nov;23(8):2173-8. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181bcd5fe.

Abstract

This study compared anthropometric and performance variables in professional baseball players and examined the relationship between these variables and baseball-specific performance (i.e., home runs, total bases, slugging percentage, and stolen bases). During a 2-year period, 343 professional baseball players were assessed for height, weight, body composition, grip strength, vertical jump power, 10-yard sprint speed, and agility. Subject population consisted of players on the rosters of one of the minor league affiliates (Rookie, A, AA, AAA) or major league team (MLB). All testing occurred at the beginning of spring training. Players in Rookie and A were significantly (p < 0.05) leaner than players in MLB and AAA. These same players had significantly lower lean body mass than seen in MLB, AAA, and AA players. Greater grip strength (p < 0.05) was seen in MLB and AAA than in Rookie and A. Players in MLB were also faster (p < 0.05) than players in AA, A, and Rookie. Vertical jump power measures were greater (p < 0.05) in MLB than AA, A, and Rookie. Regression analysis revealed that performance measures accounted for 25-31% of the variance in baseball-specific power performance. Anthropometric measures failed to add any additional explanation to the variance in these baseball-specific performance variables. Results indicated that both anthropometric and performance variables differed between players of different levels of competition in professional baseball. Agility, speed, and lower-body power appeared to provide the greatest predictive power of baseball-specific performance.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anthropometry
  • Athletic Performance / physiology*
  • Baseball / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Regression Analysis
  • Texas