MLB.com’s Mike Petriello published an article explaining a new metric developed by Statcast called “Barrels.” What is a barrel?
A “barrel” is defined as a well-struck ball where the combination of exit velocity and launch angle generally leads to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage, though it will require a bit more explanation than that.
Petriello includes a nifty graphic as well as a heat map to illustrate what the statistic is measuring. According to their metric, the hitter who has “barreled” up the most baseballs is Khris Davis of the Athletics at an average of 18.4 percent of balls put in play. As a percentage of plate appearances, he’s at 10.8 percent, also the best mark.
As for pitchers, Rich Hill has yielded the lowest percentage of barreled-up baseballs at 1.3 percent.
Kudos to Petriello, Willman, and the others at MLB.com involved in devising this statistic. It will be interesting to use, particularly next season as it could potentially help highlight breakout and fluky hitters and pitchers.