Exit Velocity And The 2017 Twins
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins DailyWhen I was growing up, we were taught to hit hard line drives and vicious ground balls. Today’s philosophy is more about getting lift trying not to hit it on the ground. Either way, if you hit the ball hard, you give yourself a better chance of being productive. Even if it is at a fielder, it is more difficult to catch.
So, I was very curious. Despite the fact that they are just 21 games into the Twins season, how hard have the Twins hitters hit the ball? I’m pretty certain that there will be no surprise who is at the top of the list. After that, however, there may be several surprises. At least there were for me.
Before continuing… take a few minutes to jot down what you would think the rankings would be for Twins hitters in terms of exit velocities…
Go ahead… write them down…
Here are the names of those in alphabetical order: Byron Buxton, Jason Castro, Brian Dozier, Eduardo Escobar, Chris Gimenez, Robbie Grossman, Max Kepler, Joe Mauer, Jorge Polanco, Eddie Rosario, Miguel Sano, Danny Santana, Kennys Vargas.
There are the names…
Grab a piece of paper…
Try to rank them in order according to their average exit velocity so far this season.
Alright, I’ll give you the current Twins rankings by Average Exit Velocity:
- Miguel Sano - 100.09
- Joe Mauer - 91.25
- Eduardo Escobar - 91.22
- Max Kepler - 91.09
- Kennys Vargas - 89.96
- Brian Dozier - 87.78
- Chris Gimenez - 87.35
- Danny Santana - 87.01
- Byron Buxton - 85.98
- Jason Castro - 84.53
- Robbie Grossman - 84.23
- Eddie Rosario - 83.95
- Jorge Polanco - 82.15
After that, there are surprises. For those of you who did take a minute to try to rank the hitters by exit velocity, I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that you didn’t have Joe Mauer at #2. Did you? While his batting average remains low and he hasn’t had many extra base hits, he has hit the ball hard often.
Max Kepler started slow, but he was very strong through the second week. He has hit a lot of real hard balls.
Brian Dozier is just above the MLB average of 87.63. Chris Gimenez falls just below the average.
Byron Buxton has hit the ball well the last three games. Before that not so much. Also, there are a lot of at-bats that ended in strikeouts.
Robbie Grossman has arguably been the Twins second best hitter, so it was surprising to see him this far down on the list.
Rosario has had a slow start. He had a couple of opposite field home runs last week that were obviously well struck, but he’s also continued to take pitches off the plate and tap out weekly in the infield.
Of course, 21 games is not a meaningful sample, especially when only Miguel Sano has actually played in all 21 games. Brian Dozier leads the team at 81 at-bats. We are 1/8th of the way through the season, so it’ll be interesting to see how these numbers change (or stay similar).
- Mike Frasier Law, brvama, Oldgoat_MN and 5 others like this