Gaincarlo Stanton Crowned MLB's King of Swing

MLB Unveils Advanced Stats to Decode Hitter Mastery

by Zain ul Abedin
Gaincarlo Stanton Crowned MLB's King of Swing
© Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Major League Baseball has taken a significant leap forward in its analytical journey, introducing a suite of innovative statistical metrics on its Baseball Savant website this Monday. The new categories aim to dissect and understand the mechanics behind the success of the game's top hitters.

Among the stars benefiting from this advanced statistical analysis is Giancarlo Stanton, the formidable New York Yankees slugger. Despite a perceived dip in his overall performance in recent seasons, the towering 6-foot-6, 245-pound athlete continues to demonstrate some of the most forceful swings in the league.

The new metrics now provide concrete data to support what fans have long observed from the stands. According to the newly released data, Stanton reigns supreme in bat speed, with his bat's sweet spot slicing through the strike zone at an astonishing average speed of 80.6 mph.

This not only places him at the top of the leaderboard but also significantly ahead of Pittsburgh's Oneil Cruz, who trails at 77.7 mph.

Stanton's Swing Dominance

Moreover, Stanton leads with a fast swing percentage of 98.4%, which tracks swings exceeding 75 mph.

To put it into perspective, the average swing speed for MLB players is around 72 mph. This new set of metrics includes other categories focused primarily on hitters, such as average bat speed, fast swing rate, squared up rate, blast potential, and swing length, offering a treasure trove of data for baseball enthusiasts and analysts alike.

Some of these metrics are intuitive, like bat speed, while others require more detailed explanation and mathematical insight. For instance, the squared-up rate considers both the hitter's bat speed and the pitcher's velocity.

This was illustrated using a hit by Minnesota Twins outfielder Trevor Larnach, who achieved a near-perfect swing with a calculated potential exit velocity that closely matched the actual speed at which the ball left his bat.

In another category, contact specialist Luis Arraez leads with a squared-up rate of 43.5%, significantly outpacing other hitters and showcasing his precision at the plate. Pitchers haven't been left out, though their new category, dubbed 'Swords', adds a lighter, more playful element to the metrics.

It measures how often a pitcher induces awkward swings, making hitters look off-balance or fooled. Notable leaders in this category include Atlanta Braves' lefty Chris Sale and New York Mets' right-hander Luis Severino. With these advancements, MLB continues to enrich the way fans and professionals appreciate the subtleties and complexities of baseball, enhancing the viewing experience with deep, data-driven insights.