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

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:

NFL    NBA    MLB

Already have an account? Log in here.

[X]

Forgot Password


[X]

Barrel and Exit Velocity Batting Leaders: Statcast 2019 Review


The 2019 season saw more home runs hit than ever before in Major League history as 6,776 balls left ballparks across the league. The top-hitting club of them all was the Minnesota Twins with 307 big flies. Chief among them was none other than 39-year-old Nelson Cruz, who finished in a tie for seventh in all of baseball with 41 HR. If you pay attention to Statcast, this should come as no surprise. Cruz led the majors in Barrel rate with a barreled ball in 12.5% of his plate appearances and was third in average exit velocity. Rookie Peter Alonso, who led the majors with 53 homers, was tied for 14th in Barrel rate. Studs like Mike Trout, Aaron Judge, and Christian Yelich all appear in the top 10 as well.

This comes as common sense to even the most casual baseball fan, since hitting the ball harder will typically result in more home runs and great players tend to do just that. Those who followed our Statcast Hitter Analysis series all season will know that not all names atop the leaderboard are expected. Some players have less fortunate luck on balls in play or have less-than-ideal ballpark factors or lineup support.

The purpose of our year-end review will be the same as during the season - to identify surprising names across the leaderboard for both barrels and exit velocity in order to identify possible sleepers for 2020. For full explanations of each term, refer to the official Statcast glossary definitions for exit velocity, and barrels by clicking the links.

Editor's Note: Get our 2020 MLB Premium Pass for 50% off, with exclusive access to our draft kit, premium rankings, player projections and outlooks, our top sleepers, dynasty and prospect rankings, 20 preseason and in-season lineup tools, and over 200 days of expert DFS research and tools. Sign Up Now!

 

Exit Velocity Leaders

Stats taken from BaseballSavant.com and represent hitters with a minimum of 50 batted ball events in 2019.

 

Mike Ford (1B, NYY) - 91.9 MPH AVG (19th)

This former Rule 5 pick, who was sent back to the Yankees just three months after being selected by Seattle in 2017, made the most of his late-season playing time in place of an injured Edwin Encarnacion. He hit 12 bombs in 143 at-bats before ultimately being left off the postseason roster. He showed good plate discipline too, with a 6.8 K-BB% and an 8.1% SwStr%. Given the way Luke Voit hit much of the year and the fact that the Yankees can and likely will do better in the free-agent market, Ford's path to success lies with another team if he finds a favorable spot.

 

Yandy Diaz (3B, TB) - 91.7 MPH AVG EV (23rd)

It was all of two weeks into the 2019 season when Yandy Diaz began his offensive breakout at the age of 27. He batted .308 with three homers in the first 10 games of the year and would go on to hit 14 HR in 307 at-bats before a move to the 60-day IL cut his season short. He made quite a return with two solo homers in the Rays' first playoff game before experiencing foot soreness again. If Diaz can come back fully healthy and picks up where he left off, who's to say 30 homers are out of reach? That's probably overly optimistic but Diaz is a nice discount CI who is currently going outside the top 200 in early NFBC drafts (below Jon Berti!).

 

Jason Castro (C, FA) - 91.5 MPH AVG EV (28th)

I love when catchers make these lists because it always gives us a shred of hope that they could actually bring value to fantasy rosters beyond two-catchers leagues, which really ought to be outlawed. So often their plate appearances are too limited to be meaningful anyway. In this case, Castro only played 79 games for the Twins because he took a backseat to breakout player Mitch Garver who also ranks in the top-50 on the exit velocity leaderboard. Castro is now a free agent and could find a home where he gets semi-regular ABs. He's only a career .231 hitter but Castro should still have double-digit homers and 20+ doubles left in his bat, which isn't too shabby for a backstop these days.

 

Barrel Leaders

Stats taken from BaseballSavant.com and reflect hitters with a minimum of 50 batted ball events.

 

C.J. Cron (1B, FA) - 10.6% Brls/PA (7th)

Just when he'd found the perfect home, Cron now has to search for another through free agency. Despite being on a record-setting Twins lineup, Cron didn't match his career-high of 30 HR. He settled for 25 but did barrel the ball at a rate of 15 Barrels per BBE, or the same as Ronald Acuna and slightly higher than Bryce Harper. Cron saw a sudden three-point jump in exit velocity last season which could be seen as an outlier. His barrel rate had been increasing for three straight years though, thanks to a reduced launch angle. He also has brought his walk rate closer to respectable levels while whiffing less, so it could be a matter of experience setting in. He'll be a valuable slugger if he lands a regular DH gig somewhere.

 

Adam Duvall (OF, ATL) - 10.0% Brls/PA (11th)

There aren't many better comeback stories than Duvall last year, statistically speaking at least. After toiling at Triple-A nearly through the end of July, Duvall was brought up by the Braves and immediately began raking. He hit five homers in his first six games and provided an instant spark to the Braves offense. His admittedly small sample size of 120 at-bats last season could be dismissed as a hot streak except that Duvall is a former All-Star with back-to-back seasons of 30+ HR and 99+ RBI. Of course, he's on the wrong side of 30 now and not guaranteed to start for the contending Braves, although he was recently tendered a contract. He should serve a utility role at the very least and is worth owning in NL-only and deep leagues requiring five OF based on his power ceiling.

 

Brandon Lowe (2B, TB) - 9.2% Brls/PA (21st)

Another Ray who missed a chunk of time due to injury, Lowe earned an All-Star berth in his rookie season thanks to his power output. Lowe hit .276 with 16 HR, 49 RBI, and 40 runs in the first half. He placed 33rd on the Sweet Spot leaderboard with a 40.2% SwSp% and a solid .506 xSLG supports the idea that he can carry on as a top-10 option at the keystone for fantasy owners in roto leagues. He'll need to work on his strikeout rate, which was 2.8 percentage points above the league average, and play solid defense to stay in the Rays' infield long-term but there's no reason to think he won't do so.

More 2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice




More Recent Articles

 

The King's Keeper Corner: NFL Postseason Impacts on Player Outlooks

With a break in the postseason NFL action, it is time to reflect on what we have seen in the playoffs so far and how certain performances will affect fantasy football outlooks in keeper and dynasty formats. How players respond and what they deliver at the most intense and critical times of the season can... Read More


Introducing Value Over Starter Football Metrics

When it comes to fantasy sports, we're always looking for the highest possible Return On Investment or ROI. This concept is easy to understand: in both Daily Fantasy and re-draft/fantasy leagues, ROI would come down to how many points a player returns relative to his salary, or the price you paid (given his ADP on... Read More


Biggest Breakouts of 2019: Quarterback

2019 was a very interesting season of fantasy football, to say the least. It's safe to say no one was banking on the season that we saw from Lamar Jackson but he wasn't the only one to stand out. At the quarterback position, we saw some really exciting players start to shine and some older... Read More


Goodbye Runners, Hello Pass-Catching RBs: 2019 Season Trends

As the 2019 summer kept going we all had two things in our minds with regard to September's fantasy drafts and both of them were related to running backs: Where in the world are Ezekiel Elliott and Melvin Gordon and when will they be back? It made sense back then (and it still does now,... Read More


Where Does 2019 Rank Historically Among ADP Movers?

I have worked on a season-review series of articles in which I have analyzed the biggest winners and losers in terms of ADP entering draft season compared to the end of the year final results. It was plenty of fun looking back at the gambles most of us took which ultimately paid off, but also... Read More


Biggest Busts of 2019: Tight End

2019 was not the record-breaking season for tight ends 2018 was. San Francisco’s George Kittle (most receiving yards for a TE in a season) and Philadelphia’s Zach Ertz (most receptions for a TE in a season) did not break the records they set last season, although both were fine for fantasy players. Kansas City’s Travis... Read More


Rushing Quarterbacks Are Becoming Necessary

The 2019 fantasy season is over. We are all thinking about what to do come 2020 draft day. So let me ask you something. What if I offer you the chance of drafting a quarterback who is a lock to finish the season with 270 fantasy points? Would you take him and make him your... Read More


Biggest Breakouts Of 2019: Wide Receivers

As we enter the initial phase of offseason activities you have recently completed a painstaking process of creating and managing rosters, with the goal of winning fantasy championships in 2019. Now, many of you have already shifted your focus toward planning your drafts in Best Ball and redraft leagues, while others are contemplating how you... Read More


Tight End ADP Winners and Losers: 2019 Season Review

I've always believed that it is easier to lose a fantasy championship than to win it on draft day. It makes sense, as sure-fire players are expected to reward their owners with a lower risk-factor than the other way around and thus they're always drafter earlier. If they put up a season-long dud, though, you'll... Read More


Running Back ADP Winners and Losers: 2019 Season Review

I've always believed that it is easier to lose a fantasy championship than to win it on draft day. It makes sense, a sure-fire player is expected to reward his owners with a lower risk-factor than the other way around and thus they're always drafter earlier. If they end up as a season-long dud, though,... Read More


Biggest Surprises of 2019: Tight End

The 2019 NFL season was anything but predictable. I mean, the Tennessee Titans made the AFC title game! Andrew Luck retired right before the season! [Insert one of many, many other things here, because all lists need three items but I couldn't decide between all the possible third options.] One position where things at the... Read More


Wide Receiver Risers and Fallers: 2019 Season Review

We continue our series covering the biggest risers and fallers of 2019 with the wide receiver position. I'll look at both 2018 and 2019 statistical outcomes from every player, contrast their performances, calculate differences in each category and come up with the most prominent names going forward. This past season, receivers didn't dominate in fantasy,... Read More


Wide Receiver ADP Winners and Losers: 2019 Season Review

I've always believed that it is easier to lose a fantasy championship than to win it on draft day. It makes sense, as sure-fire players are expected to reward his owners with a lower risk-factor than the other way around and thus they're always drafter earlier. If they put up a season-long dud, though, you'll... Read More


XFL Fantasy Football Rankings (Preseason)

As of this writing, there is exactly one month until XFL regular-season action begins. On February 8, the latest upstart professional league will kickoff (again) with spring football. It goes without saying that we hope it goes better than the first time, back in 2001, and lasts longer than the AAF. Before you settle in... Read More


Biggest Busts of 2019: Quarterback

The 2019 NFL season is over, and it's time to look back on what happened. 2019 was a year where some quarterbacks -- Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen -- leaped up to the top of the fantasy charts, while other guys faded from where they were expected to perform. Today, I want to talk about three... Read More