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Giancarlo Stanton of the Yankees has MLB's fastest bat speed in the new metric


Giancarlo Stanton has smashed 410 homers in his big-league career, and although the New York Yankees slugger has slowed in recent seasons, the 6-foot-6, 245-pounder still looks like he can take some of the most ferocious cuts in baseball.

Now there are numbers that prove it.

Major League Baseball The new metrics debuted on its Baseball Savant website On Monday, categories are being unveiled that measure some of the reasons the game's best hitters are so good.

Stanton is the king of the swing as far as bat speed is concerned. The sweet spot on the slugger's bat barrel travels through the strike zone at an average of 80.6 mph, well ahead of Pittsburgh's O'Neil Cruz, who ranks second at 77.7 mph.

Stanton leads the league with a 98.4% fast swing percentage, which measures how often he swings over 75 mph. The average major league swing is 72 mph.

In all, there are six new categories and five of them focus on hitters, including average bat speed, fast swing rate, squared up rate, explosion and swing length. For the statistically inclined, this is a baseball dork's paradise.

Some categories – such as bat speed – are fairly straightforward. Others explain a little more. and mathematics.

For example, squared-up rate takes into account a hitter's bat speed and a pitcher's velocity. MLB Using an example that includes a homer Hit by Minnesota Twins outfielder Trevor Larnach, who took a 75.6 mph swing at 98.8 mph.

After a little more calculus, MLB says it adds up to a possible 113.4 mph exit velocity, and the ball left Larnach's bat at 110 mph. That means it was 97% squared up. Anything over 80% is considered a squared-up swing.

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It's no surprise that communications expert Luis Arez leads that category. The two-time batting champion hit the ball square 43.5% of the time, far ahead of No. 2 Angels first baseman Nolan Shawnell.

The only new category for pitchers is 'swords'. MLB called section “More playful than analytical,” but it's a way of showing how often a pitcher makes a hitter look silly with an awkward swing. Atlanta Braves lefty Chris Sale and New York Mets right-hander Luis Severino lead the division with nine.

Reporting by the Associated Press.


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