Saturday, November 25th, 2017

The stat I’d like to see

August 27, 2013 by  
Filed under Coaching, Hitting

Baseball has to be a mathematicians dream.  No sport even comes close to the amount of numbers compiled and analyzed by baseball fans and commentators.  Add the new Sabermetrics to the mix and it’s practically nirvana for

The best hitters put the barrel on the ball more often.

The best hitters put the barrel on the ball more often.

number geeks.

However, there is one stat that I haven’t seen yet.  I don’t follow all the new Sabermetric numbers thrown out there so it may already exist.  The stat is On-Barrel Percentage.  By definition the stat would indicate how often the batter puts the barrel of the bat on the ball when they swing.

Batting average is a flawed stat because we all know hits can come from horrible swings.  On the flip side, rocket line drives can be caught.  On-Barrel Percentage gets to the heart of what you want a batter to do – put the barrel on the ball.  Good hitters do this more often.  I think the stat also would provide more encouragement for hitters who are easily disappointed when they don’t get hits.  This is especially true for young kids who are even more likely to focus just on batting average numbers instead of what truly matters.

College and pro scouts essentially look for this already.  When they go see a hitter, they couldn’t care less if the batter gets hits.  They want to see the batter hit the ball with the good part of the bat.  Doing so more often will automatically lead to better hitting no matter what the batting average says.  One batter can go 5-5 and not get any attention from scouts.  Another could go 0-5 and have scouts drooling.  It all comes down to the swing and the ability to put the barrel on the ball.

If you are a hitting coach, On-Barrel Percentage may be a stat you’d like to start accumulating and recognizing.

Tomorrow’s post:  The one hop throw to second base

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