Lost password?

Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!


Receive free daily analysis


Already have an account? Log In


Forgot Password


Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Daily Stats & Leaders
All Pitcher Matchups
Compare Any Players
Pickups & Streamers
Rookies & Call-Ups
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.

Featured Promo: Get any full-season MLB and DFS Premium Pass for 50% off. Exclusive access to our Team Sync platform, Premium articles, daily Matchup Rating projections, 15 lineup tools, DFS cheat sheets, Research Stations, Lineup Optimizers and much more! Sign Up Now!


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


Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Daily Stats & Leaders
All Pitcher Matchups
Compare Any Players
Pickups & Streamers
Rookies & Call-Ups
News and Alerts


Hunter Renfroe6 mins ago

Getting A Rest Sunday
Kyle Tucker20 mins ago

Not Playing Sunday
Dinelson Lamet26 mins ago

Likely Starting Wednesday
Max Muncy46 mins ago

Left Early With A Hamstring Cramp
Jeff McNeil55 mins ago

Not In The Lineup On Sunday Against Colorado
Jesse Winker60 mins ago

Scratched With Neck Discomfort
Juan Soto1 hour ago

Scratched With Back Tightness On Sunday
Kyle Tucker1 hour ago

Scratched From Sunday's Lineup
Matt Moore1 hour ago

Lands On The 15-Day Injured List
Brenton Doyle1 hour ago

Still Absent From The Lineup On Sunday
Esteury Ruiz2 hours ago

Sitting Out On Sunday
New York Jets2 hours ago

Quinnen Williams, Jets May Be Nearing A Deal
Josh Donaldson2 hours ago

Could See Another Rehab Game On Tuesday
Anthony Santander2 hours ago

Back In The Lineup On Sunday
Jimmy Garoppolo2 hours ago

Contract Has Waiver Included
Max Muncy2 hours ago

Leaves Game Early Sunday
Jose Trevino2 hours ago

Could Return Tuesday
Giancarlo Stanton2 hours ago

Could Begin Rehab Assignment Tuesday
Xander Bogaerts2 hours ago

Back In Sunday's Lineup
Carlos Rodón3 hours ago

Carlos Rodon To Throw Bullpen On Monday
Casey Schmitt3 hours ago

Out Against Brewers
Eloy Jiménez3 hours ago

White Sox Reinstate Eloy Jimenez From Injured List
Josh Fleming3 hours ago

Starting Against Dodgers Sunday
Jonathan Marchessault3 hours ago

Posts Two Assists Saturday Night
Thomas Harley3 hours ago

Tallies Two Assists In Game 6 Win
Ty Dellandrea4 hours ago

Keeps Dallas Alive With Late Goals
Duncan Robinson4 hours ago

Has 13 Points In Game 6 Against Boston
Max Strus4 hours ago

Scores 10 Points In Game 6 Loss
Chase Elliott4 hours ago

Believes He’s Got A Good Shot To Win Coca-Cola 600
Alex Bowman4 hours ago

Facing Uphill Battle In Coca-Cola 600 Return
Ryan Preece4 hours ago

Hopeful To Start Putting Pieces Together For Good Runs
Gabe Vincent4 hours ago

Returns With 15 Points
Bam Adebayo4 hours ago

Posts Sixth Postseason Double-Double
Corey Lajoie4 hours ago

Looking To Continue Career-Best Season At Charlotte
NASCAR4 hours ago

Bubba Wallace Hoping For First-Ever Top 10 Finish At Charlotte
Caleb Martin5 hours ago

Produces Impressive Double-Double In Game 6
AJ Allmendinger5 hours ago

A DFS Sleeper Pick For The Coca-Cola 600
Jimmie Johnson5 hours ago

Doesn't Feel Prepared For Coca-Cola 600
Jimmy Butler5 hours ago

Flirts With Triple-Double Saturday
Zane Smith5 hours ago

Hoping To Learn & Get Better At Charlotte
Todd Gilliland5 hours ago

Facing Significant Equipment Downgrade At Charlotte
John Collins13 hours ago

Still Available
Marcus Smart13 hours ago

Has Solid Showing In Game 6
Jaylen Brown13 hours ago

Has 26 Points In Win Over Miami
Robert Williams13 hours ago

III Finishes With 10 Points Saturday
Derrick White13 hours ago

Forces A Game 7
Jayson Tatum13 hours ago

Scores 31 Points In Game 6
DeAndre Hopkins17 hours ago

Bills, Chiefs Had "Substantive" Talks About Trading For DeAndre Hopkins
Travis Etienne Jr.17 hours ago

Working On "Fine-Tuning" Skills
Arizona Cardinals17 hours ago

Budda Baker Will Be At Training Camp
Austin Dillon18 hours ago

Could Be Place Differential King At Charlotte
Erik Jones18 hours ago

Could Be Good Early At Charlotte
Daniel Suarez18 hours ago

Has Upside At Coca-Cola 600
Aric Almirola18 hours ago

Stuck In Middle Of The Pack For Charlotte
Chase Briscoe18 hours ago

Tries To Turn Back Clock At Charlotte
Ty Gibbs19 hours ago

Could Provide DFS Value At Charlotte
Joey Logano19 hours ago

Tries To Bounce Back From Charlotte Mishap
Martin Truex Jr19 hours ago

. Wants To Turn Back Clock At Charlotte
Justin Haley19 hours ago

Might Have Challenge At Charlotte
Tyler Reddick19 hours ago

Aims To Move Up At Charlotte
Ross Chastain21 hours ago

Looking For A Win At Charlotte
Harrison Burton21 hours ago

On The Hot Seat For Results
Jerome Kapp1 day ago

Jets Sign Jerome Kapp
San Francisco 49ers1 day ago

Dre Greenlaw Recovering From Finger Surgery
Chris Moore1 day ago

Willing To Play Any Role
Gary Brightwell1 day ago

Could Be Buried On Depth Chart
Dallas Cowboys1 day ago

Terence Steele Limited At OTAs
Marquise Brown1 day ago

Becomes Cardinals' No. 1 Receiver
Deshaun Watson1 day ago

Jordan Akins Eager To Work With Deshaun Watson Again
Deshaun Watson1 day ago

Elijah Moore Building Chemistry With Deshaun Watson
Gabe Vincent2 days ago

Questionable On Saturday
Tyler Herro2 days ago

Remains Out For Game 6
Bam Adebayo2 days ago

Good To Go For Game 6
Malcolm Brogdon2 days ago

Questionable For Game 6
DeAndre Hopkins2 days ago

Bills "Lurking" As A Favorite To Land DeAndre Hopkins
Davante Adams2 days ago

Josh McDaniels Has No Issues With Davante Adams Venting
Tampa Bay Buccaneers2 days ago

Bucs Expect Devin White At Minicamp
Darren Waller2 days ago

Enjoying Time In New York
Dalvin Cook2 days ago

Now Considering A Pay Cut?
DeAndre Hopkins2 days ago

Chiefs A Potential Landing Spot For DeAndre Hopkins?
Detroit Pistons2 days ago

Detroit Brings Kevin Ollie And Charles Lee In For Second Interviews
Atlanta Hawks2 days ago

Hawks Hire Igor Kokoskov As Lead Assistant Coach
Joel Embiid2 days ago

Still Considered Untouchable
D'Angelo Russell2 days ago

Lakers Won't Pursue The Max For D'Angelo Russell
Fred VanVleet2 days ago

Raptors Unsure If They Want To Re-Sign Fred VanVleet
Tyler Allgeier2 days ago

Not Concerned About Usage
Hendon Hooker2 days ago

Preparing Himself Mentally
Jack Eichel2 days ago

Keeps The Assists Coming
William Karlsson2 days ago

Matches Vegas Record With Eighth Postseason Goal
Miro Heiskanen2 days ago

Delivers Two Power-Play Assists
Jason Robertson3 days ago

Scores Two Goals In Game 4 Victory
Joe Pavelski3 days ago

Scores Overtime Winner In Game 4
Jake Oettinger3 days ago

The Confirmed Starter For Game 4
Evgenii Dadonov3 days ago

Will Be Out Of The Lineup For Dallas
Adin Hill3 days ago

Will Mind The Vegas Crease In Game 4
Jamie Benn3 days ago

Suspended For Two Games
Sergei Bobrovsky3 days ago

Remains Sharp In Series-Clincher
Aleksander Barkov3 days ago

Hands Out Two Assists In Game 4 Victory
Matthew Tkachuk4 days ago

Late Goal Sends Panthers To Stanley Cup Final
Michael Block4 days ago

A Fade At Charles Schwab
Emiliano Grillo4 days ago

Looks To Regain Form
Viktor Hovland4 days ago

Teeing It Up After Close Call At PGA Championship
PGA4 days ago

J.T. Poston Tough To Include In Fantasy Lineups
Beau Hossler4 days ago

Worth Fantasy Consideration Heading To Colonial
Billy Horschel4 days ago

Inconsistency Makes Him A Tough Choice
Ryan Fox4 days ago

An Intriguing Pick For Fantasy Lineups
Alex Smalley4 days ago

A Risky Option For Fantasy Lineups
Christiaan Bezuidenhout4 days ago

To Bounce Back After Missed Cut
Brendon Todd4 days ago

A Risky Fantasy Play At Colonial
PGA4 days ago

Byeong Hun An's Impressive Play Makes Him Strong Fantasy Option
PGA4 days ago

K.H. Lee Looks To Continue Playing Well
Tom Hoge4 days ago

A Viable Fantasy Option At Colonial
PGA4 days ago

Cameron Davis Playing Well Heading To Colonial
Max Homa4 days ago

A Reliable Fantasy Option At Colonial
Will Gordon4 days ago

A Solid Option In Texas
Cameron Champ4 days ago

Worth A Look At Colonial
Stephan Jaeger4 days ago

A Solid Sleeper At Colonial
Sam Stevens4 days ago

Worth A Shot At Charles Schwab
Ryan Palmer4 days ago

Is It Safe To Start Ryan Palmer In Texas?
Maverick McNealy4 days ago

In A Major Slump
Aleksander Barkov5 days ago

Expected To Play In Game 4
Mark Stone5 days ago

Jamie Benn Ejected For Cross-Checking Mark Stone In Game 3
Ivan Barbashev5 days ago

Collects Three Points In Game 3 Victory
Adin Hill5 days ago

Posts First Career Playoff Shutout In Game 3
Sergei Bobrovsky6 days ago

Posts First Career Playoff Shutout In Game 3
Aleksander Barkov6 days ago

Suffers Lower-Body Injury In Game 3