Trajectory Calculator

This page describes a "trajectory calculator", a tool for calculating your own trajectories of pitched or batted baseballs. This is the new 3D version. Click here for the old version or here for the new 2D version.

Baseball Trajectory Calculator--new 3D version (updated, May 23, 2021) Click on the link to download an Excel spreadsheet that can be used to calculate baseball trajectories. Unlike the old version, this one can only be used for batted balls, not for pitched balls. Moreover, options regarding the drag and Magnus forces have been removed. Instead, the parameters associated with these forces are fixed, having been adjusted to best fit the 2016 Statcast data for batted balls, as discussed in my August 24, 2017 article in The Hardball Times entitled Fly Ball Carry and the Home Run Surge. As with the previous version, it is still possible to adjust atmospheric conditions, such as the temperature, elevation, relative humidity, and wind. The present version is a fully 3-dimensional calculation, and includes the direction (or "spray angle"). This version is my best attempt at reproducing average batted ball distances for given initial conditions and atmospheric conditions, but be aware that there will be considerable variance of actual distances about those average values. Some of the variance is due to small differences in the drag coefficient of the baseball and some is due to unknown wind conditions. There is an extensive README page that I suggest you read before using the spreadsheet. In particular, note that there are two versions: one in which the spin of the batted ball is fixed at average Statcast values and another in which you are free to adjust the spin.

In the May 2021 update, a new tab has been added, PitchedBallTrajectory, with independent adjustments on the backspin, sidespin, and gyrospin. Read the README for instructions.

There are lots of possibilities, especially if you want to investigate some of the effects of overriding the specified values of the drag coefficient, backspin, etc. My suggestion is that you download a clean copy of the spreadsheet and save it; then make your own "working copy" that you can use to play around. If you get in trouble, you can always go back to your clean copy.