clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

These MLB hitters squared the ball up most often in 2015

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Last season, ESPN stat guru Mark Simon popularized a statistic called hard hit rate, which is the % of a player's at bats that end in a hard hit ball. Hard hit balls are subjectively classified by video trackers as batted balls that appear to have high exit velocities, strong trajectory and contact on the sweet spot of the barrel. This is a different stat than the new FanGraphs hard%, which uses a percentage of balls in play rather than a percentage of at bats. It is also classified by different video trackers.

The more often a hitter records a hard hit ball, the more likely strong offensive production occurs. The batting average on hard hit balls is over .700. Approximately 100% of home runs, 80% of triples and 70% of doubles are hard hit, while only 30% of singles are hard hit. For hitters, generating hard contact is a way to make run scoring more likely.

League average on this stat is about 15%.

These 50 hitters squared the ball up most often in 2015 (min. 400 ABs):

1. Bryce Harper, 22.1%

2. Andrew McCutchen, 21.4%

3. Mike Trout, 20.9%

4. Paul Goldschmidt, 20.8%

5. David Ortiz, 20.7%

6. Nolan Arenado, 20.1%

7. Edwin Encarnacion, 20.1%

8. Yoenis Cespedes, 19.7%

9. Freddie Freeman, 19.7%

10. Miguel Cabrera, 19.6%

11. Jose Bautista, 19.5%

12. Lucas Duda, 19.3%

13. Adrian Beltre, 19.2%

14. JD Martinez, 19.1%

15. Luis Valbuena, 19.1%

16. Adrian Gonzalez, 18.9%

17. Anthony Rizzo, 18.9%

18. Robinson Cano, 18.6%

19. Prince Fielder, 18.6%

20. Ryan Howard, 18.6%

21. David Peralta, 18.4%

22. Carlos Santana, 18.4%

23. Brandon Crawford, 18.3%

24. Buster Posey, 18.3%

25. Josh Donaldson, 18.1%

26. Nelson Cruz, 18%

27. Daniel Murphy, 17.9%

28. AJ Pollock, 17.9%

29. Joey Votto, 17.8%

30. Chris Davis, 17.6%

31. Brandon Belt, 17.3%

32. Aramis Ramirez, 17.3%

33. Michael Brantley, 17.2%

34. Kyle Seager, 17.2%

35. Curtis Granderson, 17.1%

36. Evan Gattis, 17%

37. Mitch Moreland, 17%

38. Pedro Alvarez, 16.9%

39. Kendrys Morales, 16.9%

40. Gregory Polanco, 16.9%

41. Ryan Braun, 16.8%

42. Jason Kipnis, 16.8%

43. Brandon Moss, 16.8%

44. Carlos Beltran, 16.7%

45. Justin Bour, 16.6%

46. Brian Dozier, 16.6%

47. Jose Abreu, 16.5%

48. Troy Tulowitzki, 16.5%

49. Mookie Betts, 16.5%

50. Todd Frazier, 16.3%