Exit Velocity Readings
Why are exit velocity readings important? It’s a proven fact that the harder a hitter hits the ball the better the outcome. Of course, there is a bit more to it than that, like launch angle, but overall it is an important metric to look at. Max exit velocity is also important to look at because it tends to show the power output a hitter can have. This is why we track both of these stats every day in this article.
Your top max exit velocity readings from yesterday, in order: Willson Contreras, Bryce Harper, Xander Bogaerts, Manny Machado, and Ji-Man Choi.
During the off-season, I discussed how Willson Contreras was starting to sell out for power, something that made him valuable as a catcher since he also gives you speed. His max exit velocity of this season (116.2 MPH), which he hit yesterday, is the highest of his career. I think we might see Contreras hit 25 home runs for the first time in his career.
Yordan Alvarez joined the Astros lineup once again and quickly let his presence be known. He went three for five with two home runs and four RBI, he also had three hard hits all over 104 MPH. Whoof.
C.J. Cron continues to hit as he went two for four at the plate yesterday. He had three hard hits over 97 MPH and currently has a 1.129 OPS on the season. I wish I had more Cron.
I’m not sure anyone is hitting as good as Manny Machado right now. Yesterday he went three for four with a home run, two RBI, and two runs. The dude is being a dude and hitting .354 on the season.
Well, look who it is! Cody freaking Bellinger. Belling went two for four last night with a home run and is now hitting .278 on the season. He also had three hard hits all over 97 MPH. In his last six games, he is hitting .364 with a 220 wRC+ and .364 ISO. Things are looking up!
Swings and Misses:
Why are swings and misses important? For pitchers, this can show their talent since the best pitchers in the world always have a knack for creating whiffs. The higher the whiff rate, the higher the strikeout rate. It’s also important to view this every day so we can spot outliers. If an unusual name pops up on the list it could mean one of two things, either they are evolving as a pitcher or they just had a lucky day. If it is the former this could help you catch emerging pitchers before anyone else does.
- Nick Lodolo (16)
- Sean Manaea (15)
- Zach Thomspon (15)
- Shane McClanahan (13)
- Eric Lauer (13)
Is Bundy a Thing?
Dylan Bundy had his second successful outing yesterday as he pitched 5.1 innings with one earned run and six strikeouts. His velocity only sat at 88.2 MPH, down from 90.7 MPH, but he did finish with 13 whiffs, 10 called strikes, and a 32 CSW%. The slider has always been his bread and butter and as a whole it was successful but he only threw it 21% of the time. Bundy is off to a good start, no doubt, but I just can’t see him succeeding by throwing an 88.2 MPH fastball 39% of the time. Hold for now but proceed with caution.
The Seiya Train Keeps on Rolling
Seiya Suzuki had himself another great game yesterday going two for three with two runs. He is having an incredible start to the season and it is all stemming from his great plate discipline. He is patient at the plate and doesn’t chase very often. Overall on the season, Suzuki is hitting .429 with four home runs, and a 1.493 OPS. If you took Suzuki in drafts, you couldn’t be happier right now. Once again, shout out to Drew Wheeler for putting him on the map before everyone else!
I haven’t really heard anyone talk about Michael Chavis yet and I am a bit surprised! It’s almost like people are afraid to say his name because they think it will jinx him. By the way, I know this is a different kind of jinx but if you say the same word at the same time as someone and they yell “Jinx!” don’t be their friend anymore. Anyway, Chavis so far this season has seen some decent playing time with 22 plate appearances and he currently holds a .450 average with a 248 wRC+. What’s most important here is Chavis’ strikeout rate. He is a career 32.2 K% hitter and so far this season his strikeout rate sits at just 9.1%. He is worth a shot in deep leagues.
A Key Pitch Mix Change
I mentioned earlier in the season that Frankie Montas needs to throw his splitter more often to reach another level. When Montas throws his splitter over 30% of the time he is a different pitcher and he moves from being an above-average to a near-elite starter when he does so. Overall last season Montas threw his splitter 22.4% of the time, he has upped its usage to 34.8% so far this season making it his most thrown pitch. His current 25% strikeout rate and 3.63 ERA don’t seem near-elite but I bet you both of those numbers will be much better a month from now.