Lost password?

Don't have an account?
Gain Access Now


Receive free daily analysis


Already have an account? Log In


Forgot Password


Expert Advice
Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Daily Stats & Leaders
All Pitcher Matchups
Compare Any Players
Player Comparisons
Rookies & Call-Ups
24x7 News and Alerts

Barrel Rate and Contact Rate, Who Can Do Both?

Hitting is, at the same time, completely simple and enormously complex. Hitting in the Major Leagues is arguably the most challenging thing to do in all of sports.

I don't think I need to explain myself for saying that hitting is complex. I can't do it, probably neither can you. The reason I say it's simple is that the goal of hitting is very simple.  You want to hit the ball often and hit the ball hard.

We measure how Major League hitters are doing at this task every day. The two main ways of doing this are contact rate and barrel rate. Contact rate is the percent of the time a hitter makes contact (fair or foul) when they swing. Barrel rate is a little harder to define, but it is the percent of total batted balls (in play) that are hit at 97+ mph at an optimal angle range (this angle range widens as the velocity climbs). Due to the nature of it, these two statistics are correlated. You need to swing awful hard to achieve a barrel, and the harder hitters swing, the less frequently they make contact. Here's proof.

Be sure to check all of our fantasy baseball lineup tools and weekly lineup resources:


The Barrel - Contact Correlation

What you see there is every hitter (150+ PA's) plotted by their contact rate (y-axis) and barrel rate (x-axis). The trend line shows the relationship. As hitters make contact more frequently, they also barrel the ball at lower rates. The reason for this is twofold

  1. You have less control of the bat when moving it quickly
  2. A harder swing gets the bat through the strike zone quicker, making it less likely to be timed up with when the ball is arriving

The mark of an elite hitter is to have a high contact rate and barrel rate. Very few hitters can do this. You can hover over the dots above to see which hitter they all represent. The names furthest closet to the very top right of the plot would be the best hitters. In this case, those names are Max Muncy, Yordan Alvarez, Ronald Acuna, Josh Donaldson, and Jose Ramirez, among others. You can download the data yourself and check it out by clicking "Get the data" in the visual.


Finding Capable Hitters

What I wanted to do is to look at each player at a more granular level and see the kind of contact rate and barrel rate duos they've been able to post this year. The way I went about this is as follows.

For each qualified hitter (more than 500 pitches seen, that's around 100 PA's), I looked at each span of 50 plate appearances they've had and retrieved their contact rate and barrel rate for that span of 50 plate appearances, and then converted those stats into percentiles. Note that for a hitter with 300 plate appearances, I did not just look at plate appearance numbers 0-50, 50-100, 100-150, etc. I looked at every single span of 50. That means I looked at PA's 1-50, and then 2-51, and then 3-52, all the way up their most recent plate appearance.

Here's a data visualization of Mookie Betts to help us understand what we're doing here. Remember we're looking at percentiles here, not actual values.


To interpret this, for Betts' first 50 appearances, he had a contact rate of 81.5% (which is 73rd percentile which is where it's plotted) and a barrel rate of 5.6%, which 33rd percentile. Betts' best span of 50 PA's numbered 236-286, where he posted an 87% contact rate and a 12% barrel rate, good for 92nd and 72nd percentiles respectively. This is displayed above 236 on the x-axis on that plot.

Now that we understand the process a bit, we'll move on.


90th Percentile or Better

I wanted to find which hitters (if any) have had stretches where they found themselves in the 90th percentile or better (meaning that 90% or more of the league's hitters were beneath them) in both categories.

Turns out that seven hitters have accomplished this feat. They are, in order of how many 50-PA segments they achieved it in: Max Muncy (25), Jake Cronenworth (24), Kyle Tucker (11), Paul Goldschmidt (6), Ronald Acuna (6), Matt Olson (1), Pete Alonso (1).

The standouts are Muncy and Cronenworth, here are both of their graphs:


Muncy has been barreling the ball at an elite level all season long, but it had come with a putrid contact rate early on in the season. You can see that from about plate appearance number 140 to number 230, he was doing nearly impossible things with a top-of-the-league barrel rate along with a top-of-the-league contact rate.

Cronenworth's graph looks much different:


Early on he looked like a slap hitter that makes a ton of contact but doesn't hit for much power. Then in late May and June, he really started barreling the ball, achieving a top 10 percent barrel rate for a good stretch there. Recently his barrel rate has fallen to zero, as his last barrel was on June 25th.

Tucker is third place there, although only being above the 90th percentile in both for a very brief time. It's still quite impressive to even have the skills to do this, however, so I would be investing heavily into all of these players.


85th Percentile or Better

If we open up the criteria a bit, here are all of the names that have had 50 plate appearance samples being in the top 15% of all hitters in both contact rate and barrel rate (alphabetical):

Andrew McCutchen, Andrew Vaughn, Brandon Belt, Carlos Correa, Cedric Mullins II, Chad Pinder, Freddie Freeman, Garrett Cooper, Jake Cronenworth, Jesse Winker, Jorge Polanco, Jose Ramirez, Josh Donaldson, Kyle Tucker, Luis Urias, Manny Machado, Mark Canha, Matt Olson, Max Muncy, Mitch Haniger, Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt, Pavin Smith, Pete Alonso, Ronald Acuna Jr., Travis Shaw, Ty France, Will Smith, Yermin Mercedes, Yordan Alvarez

The names that I think are the best values (in terms of how much I believe in them & how much they cost currently): Vaughn, Belt, Cooper, Donaldson, Urias, France

I think Vaughn is in for a really great second half, and I would be looking to acquire him everywhere. Cooper and Belt are guys that might be available on waivers and should provide a nice floor for you even while I think their ceilings may be a bit limited. Donaldson might be tougher to pull the trigger on given his injury and playing time issues, but he's a good guy to have on your team if you can get him cheap enough. And then we have Urias and France, both of whom are bursting with upside as highly-touted prospects that have shown really great signs this year. Go check your waiver wire!

For these types of post, I like to share my data at the very end. Unfortunately, I can't do that in this case because my resulting dataset was 67,545 rows long. If you have any questions or requests for data reports, as always please reach out to me on Twitter!

Download Our Free News & Alerts Mobile App

Like what you see? Download our updated fantasy baseball app for iPhone and Android with 24x7 player news, injury alerts, sleepers, prospects & more. All free!

More Fantasy Baseball Advice


Expert Advice
Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Daily Stats & Leaders
All Pitcher Matchups
Compare Any Players
Player Comparisons
Rookies & Call-Ups
24x7 News and Alerts


Khris Middleton3 hours ago

Has Surgery On Both Ankles This Offseason
Houston Texans3 hours ago

Laremy Tunsil Fully Healthy After Arthroscopic Surgery
Xavier Worthy3 hours ago

Won't Start Training Camp On PUP List
Deshaun Watson4 hours ago

Hasn't Had Setbacks With His Shoulder
8 hours ago

Usman Garuba Heading Back To Spain
Jarace Walker8 hours ago

Stays Hot From Deep Tuesday
Marcus Sasser8 hours ago

Enjoys Good Two-Way Outing
Jalen Wilson8 hours ago

Leads Nets Past Knicks With 27-Point Effort
Karlo Matkovic8 hours ago

Puts In Big Performance Versus Spurs
Alexandre Sarr9 hours ago

Goes Scoreless On 15 Shots
Mason Miller17 hours ago

Earns All-Star Game Win
Jarren Duran18 hours ago

Wins All-Star Game MVP Award
Nicolai Hojgaard19 hours ago

Continues Playing Well Before The Open Championship
Russell Henley19 hours ago

Eyeing Strong Performance At The Open Championship
PGA19 hours ago

Sungjae Im Playing Some Of His Best Golf In Lead-Up To The Open Championship
Dustin Johnson19 hours ago

Lacking Major Championship Form In 2024
Jordan Spieth19 hours ago

Struggling Ahead Of The Open Championship
Max Homa19 hours ago

Slipping In Form Heading To Royal Troon
Charles Bassey20 hours ago

Returning To The Spurs
Sandro Mamukelashvili20 hours ago

Re-Signs With San Antonio
Kyrie Irving20 hours ago

Undergoes Hand Surgery
Theo Johnson20 hours ago

Giants Place Theo Johnson On PUP List
Daniel Jones20 hours ago

Healthy, Won't Be Placed On PUP List
Ricky Pearsall21 hours ago

Lands On Non-Football Injury List
Denver Broncos21 hours ago

Quinn Meinerz Inks Four-Year Extension With Broncos
Dean Burmester22 hours ago

May Be A Risk Worth Taking
Justin Rose23 hours ago

Making His 22nd Career Open Championship Appearance
Robert MacIntyre24 hours ago

Robert Macintyre Hoping To Take Momentum From Historic Win To Royal Troon
1 day ago

Patrick Beverley Signs With Team In Israel
Christian Watson1 day ago

Health Imperative For Packers WR Corps
Sahith Theegala1 day ago

An Interesting But Risky Option At Royal Troon
Matt Fitzpatrick1 day ago

Looking For Consistent Ball-Striking At Open Championship
Davante Adams1 day ago

Expected To Stay With Raiders
Gary Trent Jr.1 day ago

Signs A One-Year Deal With Bucks
Wyndham Clark1 day ago

Rolling Into Royal Troon After Intriguing Run Of Form
Caleb Williams1 day ago

Bears, Caleb Williams Agree On Rookie Deal
Keegan Bradley1 day ago

Looks To End Cut Streak At 2024 Open Championship
Brian Harman1 day ago

Looks To Defend The Claret Jug
Carlos Correa1 day ago

Won't Play In All-Star Game
Corey Conners1 day ago

Brings Strong Form To Royal Troon Debut
Cameron Young1 day ago

Readies For Third Open Championship
Tony Finau1 day ago

Returns To Royal Troon
Justin Thomas1 day ago

Returns To The Site Of His First Open
Brooks Koepka1 day ago

Debuts At Royal Troon
Daniel Jones1 day ago

Hasn't Had Any Setbacks
Rome Odunze1 day ago

Signs Rookie Deal
Brandon Aiyuk1 day ago

Officially Requests A Trade
Bryson DeChambeau1 day ago

Bryson Dechambeau Looking To Finish Off Historic Major Run At Royal Troon
Ludvig Aberg1 day ago

Debuts At The Open Championship
Kel'el Ware1 day ago

Bags Another Double-Double Versus Thunder
Colby Jones1 day ago

Erupts For 25 Points Monday
GG Jackson II1 day ago

Logs Double-Double Monday
Daniss Jenkins1 day ago

Rocks Houston With 26 Points
Pete Alonso1 day ago

Prefers Not To Be Traded
Dalton Knecht1 day ago

Nets 19 Points Against Boston
Cleveland Guardians1 day ago

Chase Mobley Slides To 10th Round
Neemias Queta1 day ago

Leads Celtics To Victory Over Lakers
San Francisco Giants1 day ago

Dakota Jordan Slips To Fourth Round
Miami Marlins1 day ago

Gage Miller Headed To Marlins
Los Angeles Angels1 day ago

Angels Tab Ryan Prager As Third-Round Selection
Washington Nationals1 day ago

Kevin Bazzell Selected By Nationals In Third Round
Corbin Burnes2 days ago

Named American League Starter For All-Star Game
Bobby Witt Jr.2 days ago

Finishes Second In Home Run Derby
Teoscar Hernández2 days ago

Teoscar Hernandez Wins 2024 Home Run Derby
Seth Curry2 days ago

Returning To Charlotte
Stephon Castle2 days ago

Done For Summer League
Brice Sensabaugh2 days ago

Out At Least Six Weeks
Kyle Busch2 days ago

Hopes For Playoffs Take Another Hit At Pocono
Ross Chastain2 days ago

Struggles Continue At Pocono
James Conner2 days ago

Hopes To Build On 2023 Campaign
AJ Dillon2 days ago

Enters Training Camp On Roster Bubble
Dustin Hopkins2 days ago

Browns, Dustin Hopkins Agree To Three-Year Extension
NASCAR2 days ago

Martin Truex Jr Won Stage 1 at Pocono, but Foiled by Strategy Yet Again
Ryan Blaney2 days ago

Denny Hamlin Finished Second at Pocono but Matched Ryan Blaney in Performance
Ty Gibbs2 days ago

Had Speed at Pocono, but Hindered by Strategy, Speeding Penalty, and Sour Engine
Ryan Blaney2 days ago

Scores Penske's First Pocono Win Since 2011
Keaton Mitchell2 days ago

Placed On PUP List
Mike Trout2 days ago

Targeting Late-July Return
Tracy Cortez2 days ago

Suffers Her First UFC Loss
Rose Namajunas2 days ago

Dominates Tracy Cortez
Tyler Reddick2 days ago

Incredible Consistency Continues At Pocono
Alex Bowman2 days ago

Captures Third Place At Pocono
Muslim Salikhov2 days ago

Edges Out Split Decision At UFC Denver
Santiago Ponzinibbio2 days ago

Loses Second Fight In A Row
Ange Loosa2 days ago

Drops Decision Matchup
Gabriel Bonfim2 days ago

Gets Decision Win At UFC Denver
Brad Keselowski2 days ago

Finishes Seventh At The Great American Getaway 400
Chris Buescher2 days ago

Earns Spot In DraftKings Winning Lineup At Pocono
Nick Chubb2 days ago

Making Good Progress After Knee Surgery
Joey Logano2 days ago

Finishes Fifth At Pocono On Sunday
William Byron2 days ago

Still Ends Up In Top Five At Pocono
Miami Marlins2 days ago

Marlins Tab Carter Johnson With Pick No. 56
Minnesota Twins2 days ago

Billy Amick Slips To Twins At Pick No. 60
Seattle Mariners2 days ago

Ryan Sloan Slips To Mariners With 55th Pick
Oakland Athletics2 days ago

Tommy White Lands With Athletics At Pick No. 40
Michael Toglia3 days ago

Belts Three Homers On Sunday
Lawrence Butler3 days ago

Hits Three Homers, Drives In Six
Texas Rangers3 days ago

Malcolm Moore Selected By Texas Rangers At Pick 30
Arizona Diamondbacks3 days ago

Diamondbacks Select Slade Caldwell At Pick 29
Abdul Razak Alhassan3 days ago

Gets a NC At UFC Denver
Cody Brundage3 days ago

Fight Ends Early Due To Illegal Shots
Christian Rodriguez3 days ago

Gets Submitted At UFC Denver
Julian Erosa3 days ago

Pulls Off Upset At UFC Denver
Drew Dober3 days ago

Suffers Stoppage Loss At UFC Denver
Drew Dober3 days ago

Jean Silva Dominates Drew Dober At UFC Denver
Jordan Addison3 days ago

Arrested On Friday Night
Caleb Williams3 days ago

Not Involved In Contract Discussions
Tyreek Hill3 days ago

Still Not Concerned About A New Deal
NASCAR3 days ago

Bubba Wallace Is One Of The Top DFS Options For Pocono
Martin Truex Jr3 days ago

. Is A Top Favorite To Win At Pocono
Joey Logano3 days ago

Will Start 10th At Pocono This Week
Brad Keselowski3 days ago

Should Fantasy Players Roster Brad Keselowski At Pocono?
Chase Elliott3 days ago

Will Start 11th At Pocono This Week
Austin Cindric3 days ago

Is A Capable Value Pick For Pocono
William Byron3 days ago

Expect William Byron To Compete For The Win At Pocono
Denny Hamlin3 days ago

The Favorite To Win At Pocono
Tyler Reddick3 days ago

Should Be Strong At Pocono
Tracy Cortez5 days ago

Looks For 12th Victory In A Row
Rose Namajunas5 days ago

Headlines UFC Denver
Santiago Ponzinibbio6 days ago

A Favorite At UFC Denver
Muslim Salikhov6 days ago

Set To Face Santiago Ponzinibbio At UFC Denver
Gabriel Bonfim6 days ago

Looks To Get Back In Win Column
Ange Loosa6 days ago

An Underdog At UFC Denver
Cody Brundage6 days ago

An Underdog Again At UFC Denver
Abdul Razak Alhassan6 days ago

Looks To Return To Win Column At UFC Denver
Julian Erosa6 days ago

A Big Underdog At UFC Denver