PDP Testing Comes to 2021 10U Futures on Event's Second Day

It was the first time the players at the 10U Futures Invitational got to participate in PDP testing.

CARY, N.C. – Before the players in the 2021 10U Futures Invitational returned to game action on Friday to test themselves against strong competition on-field, the athletes partook in a different type of testing: Major League Baseball/USA Baseball Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) Performance Assessment Evaluations.

After getting professional team and individual photos taken early Friday morning, the players then underwent a series of pro-style PDP tests in order to gain feedback and further develop in their early careers. It was the first time the players at the 10U Futures Invitational got to participate in PDP testing.

The athletes were tested in four different areas, targeting their speed, reaction time, agility, and more. And PDP staff were on-hand to input and analyze the data, as well as offer advice to the young players looking to jumpstart their baseball careers.

Scottsdale Dirtbags head coach ZJ Butler was impressed by the PDP evaluations, and is well-aware of the importance that they hold.

“It sets a benchmark for these guys,” Butler said. “It’s something that years from now they can look back and maybe laugh [about their numbers]. It’s just really cool to see a bunch of ballplayers out here competing and having a good time.”

The first test was a 25-yard dash, including reaction time analysis and split-time speeds. Players lined up and waited for a visual cue before sprinting 25 yards, receiving not only their dash times, but also their reaction time along with their splits. Gate analysis, which shows potential imbalances between a player’s legs, is also part of the assessment.

This information, according to PDP Sport Performance Coordinator Jake Barnes, provides players and scouts with data that can demonstrate potential and show areas of improvement.

After the dash, players stepped inside the Man-in-the-Box for an agility assessment. There are two levels to the test: “capture the green box” and “capture the green three.” Both assessments are similar to the traditional 5-10-5 agility shuttle, adding in the element of unpredictability that’s always present in baseball as an indication of an athlete’s ability to adjust on a moment’s notice.

Finally, the 10U athletes performed Counter Movement Jumps. Consisting of three two-legged vertical jumps, the test evaluates the player’s ability to repeat power and exhibit dynamic stability.

The testing has given the players insight and something to build on as they continue their careers. Along with the immediate benefits like knowing where they stand and how they compare to players their age, getting familiar with the testing equipment at an early age will set the athletes up for success the next time they experience PDP evaluations.

“The more that we can make younger players familiar with the data and get them around the technology, the more open and comfortable they will be with using it,” Barnes said. “If we introduce it to them at this age, they’ll be able to use it a lot faster in their career and it will allow them to develop and use it more effectively.”

Bo Jackson Elite head coach Joe Beyer also felt that the familiarity will benefit his players down the road.

“The testing was unbelievable,” he said. “We tried to explain to the kids that the opportunity to experience the PDP testing will give them a leg up in being familiar with it when it matters down the road.”

With testing and pool play in the books, the athletes will return to Thomas Brooks Park for semifinal and championship rounds, along with consolation games. Looking to learn and grow from the data they received from testing, the 10U players are now focused on competing for a gold medal through the weekend.

Wyatt Gordon – who has two homers for the San Diego Show – is concentrated on continuing to improve and claiming a championship.

“I’m looking forward to getting wins and continuing to compete,” he said.