One stat myworld never liked but is constantly referenced by analysts in the baseball statistical world is the BABIP, or batting average on balls in play. It takes away homeruns, strikeouts, walks and any other result by a hitter that does not put the ball in play and then figures out their batting average. The philosophy is that a hitter’s average is random or produced by chance and there is a general overall average that they will settle at over time, since balls missing fielders gloves is relatively equal. The problem I have with this stat is that some hitters just hit the ball so much harder than others and those balls have less chance of being caught. So myworld does not take too much stock in BABIP, unless you are looking at the historical numbers of the player in question and determining whether they are up or down.
The interesting stat that measures those players who hit the ball hard is the exit velocities of balls that travel off the bat. Those players should have higher BABIP in general because harder hit balls are less likely to be caught. According to an article in Sports Illustrated that was just a little dated (August 22) the top 12 players in the major leagues in exit velocity based on the average of all their balls hit off the bat are:
Nelson Cruz (Mariners) 95.6
Giancarlo Stanton (Marlins) 95.2
Matt Holiday (Cardinals) 94.8
Mark Trumbo (Orioles) 94.7
Christian Yelich (Marlins) 94
Eric Hosmer (Royals) 93.8
David Ortiz (Red Sox) 93.8
Kendrys Morales (Royals) 93.7
Ryan Zimmerman (Nationals) 93.7
Jose Bautista (Blue Jays) 93.6
Miguel Cabrera (Tigers) 93.4
Jake Lamb (Diamondbacks) 93.4
What is interesting about this list is that many of the players are older. You don’t see some of the young superstar hitters such as Bryce Harper, Mike Trout or Manny Machado on this list. As you get older you tend to gain more weight so perhaps the ball travels off your bat faster when the bat makes contact with the ball. The amount of homeruns you hit is a measure of the average launch angle of the ball as it leaves the bat. Ryan Zimmerman may average 93.7 miles per hour off the bat, but too many of his balls leaving the bat are ground balls hit to infielders.