Ryan O"hearn

2018 Royals Offensive Statcast Leaders

We took a look at this at the break, so let’s dig in to the final numbers now that the season has been put to bed long enough for us to not hate the team quite as much as we once did before the trade deadline.

All numbers come from the insanely awesome Baseball Savant. If you haven’t been there, don’t go there unless you have like seven hours to spare because you’ll get sucked in forever. Darin and the team there does an amazing job.

Exit Velocity

Player MPH
Ryan O’Hearn 91.4 MPH
Salvador Perez 91.2
Jorge Soler 89.6
Hunter Dozier 89.5
Cheslor Cuthbert 89.1
Alex Gordon 88.5
Paulo Orlando 88.3
Brian Goodwin 87.7
Royals Average 87.5
Adalberto Mondesi 87.4
MLB Average 87.3
Rosell Herrera 87.1
Whit Merrifield 86.5
Ramon Torres 85.4
Meibrys Viloria 85.3
Jorge Bonifacio 85.3
Cam Gallagher 85.0
Brett Phillips 84.8
Alcides Escobar 83.1

Obviously, exit velocity isn’t the be all, end all, but if you’re hanging out at the top of the list, you’re probably doing pretty well. And if you’re at the bottom, well, not so much. Cuthbert’s average exit velocity is so interesting to me because he hits the ball hard, but just doesn’t have much success there. I’m not quite as worried about Phillips as some might be because he spent the last month hitting with a bum shoulder, which I can’t figure out why he was playing in the first place.

Hard Hit %

Player %
Salvador Perez 47.4%
Ryan O’Hearn 44.2
Jorge Soler 41.0
Hunter Dozier 40.2
Alex Gordon 39.7
Brian Goodwin 37.5
Meibrys Viloria 36.8
Adalberto Mondesi 36.6
Cheslor Cuthbert 34.6
Royals Average 34.6
MLB Average 34.1
Paulo Orlando 33.8
Rosell Herrera 32.6
Whit Merrifield 30.8
Brett Phillips 29.7
Jorge Bonifacio 28.6
Cam Gallagher 24.0
Ramon Torres 24.0
Alcides Escobar 21.5

The list isn’t that different than the average exit velocity list, but it does explain Cuthbert a little more. Yeah, his average is high, but he isn’t hitting nearly as many at 95 MPH or harder. O’Hearn’s assault on the ball is pretty clear in both these metrics, so it’ll be fun to see if he can keep that up.

Barrel %

Player %
Ryan O’Hearn 12.5%
Salvador Perez 10.8
Hunter Dozier 10.6
Meibrys Viloria 10.5
Adalberto Mondesi 10.4
Jorge Soler 10.3
Brian Goodwin 8.7
Cam Gallagher 8.0
Jorge Bonifacio 7.7
Alex Gordon 6.8
Royals Average 6.6
MLB Average 6.1
Whit Merrifield 4.6
Brett Phillips 4.6
Cheslor Cuthbert 3.7
Rosell Herrera 2.2
Alcides Escobart 2.1
Paulo Orlando 1.5
Ramon Torres 0.0

This list is fun too because it shows the guys who square up the ball the best. How in the hell did Hunter Dozier struggle so much this year? I mean I know he swung and missed too much, but he carried a .296 BABIP and that’s with hitting the ball hard a lot, squaring it up a lot and running pretty well (see below). I don’t get it.

Launch Angle

Player Degrees
Cam Gallagher 20.0°
Jorge Bonifacio 18.6
Salvador Perez 18.0
Ryan O’Hearn 17.7
Whit Merrifield 16.6
Hunter Dozier 13.1
Royals Average 13.1
Cheslor Cuthbert 13.0
Adalberto Mondesi 11.8
Brian Goodwin 11.3
Paulo Orlando 11.2
Jorge Soler 11.0
Alex Gordon 10.9
MLB Average 10.9
Brett Phillips 10.5
Alcides Escobar 9.5
Ramon Torres 6.4
Meibrys Viloria 4.0
Rosell Herrera 2.2

It’s not always good to have a high launch angle, but the guys who sit in the middle are usually pretty successful. A line drive is typically about 10-25° while a ground ball is below 10° and a fly ball is between 25 and 50°. A popup is above 50°. Obviously, the average launch angle doesn’t mean that most of these guys are averaging a line drive, so this doesn’t tell us a ton, but it’s another metric that we might as well look at while we’re here.

Whiff %

Player %
Brett Phillips 36.4%
Jorge Soler 36.2
Adalberto Mondesi 34.4
Meibrys Viloria 33.3
Ryan O’Hearn 31.2
Jorge Bonifacio 29.1
Hunter Dozier 28.4
Paulo Orlando 28.3
Brian Goodwin 27.8
Royals Average 25.1
MLB Average 24.0
Alex Gordon 24.0
Salvador Perez 23.8
Cheslor Cuthbert 23.7
Rosell Herrera 22.3
Alcides Escobar 20.5
Cam Gallagher 20.0
Whit Merrifield 19.1
Ramon Torres 11.1

The Royals did some swinging and missing and if you look at the top of the leaderboard, quite a few will be on the club next season and should play big roles. The Royals want to get back to a contact-oriented team, but it looks like we’ll be seeing some swinging and missing instead.

Sprint Speed

Player Ft/Second (League Rank)
Adalberto Mondesi 29.9 ft/sec (12)
Paulo Orlando 29.1 (45)
Whit Merrifield 29.0 (51)
Brett Phillips 29.0 (61)
Hunter Dozier 28.6 (94)
Rosell Herrera 28.5 (107)
Jorge Soler 28.3 (133)
Jorge Bonifacio 28.1 (152)
Ramon Torres 27.9 (190)
Brian Goodwin 27.6 (245)
Alcides Escobar 27.6 (252)
Ryan O’Hearn 26.9 (332)
Cheslor Cuthbert 26.9 (338)
Alex Gordon 25.5 (518)
Meibrys Viloria 25.4 (529)
Salvador Perez 25.1 (555)
Cam Gallagher 24.2 (604)

The Royals can run a little bit now. Yes, they still have Salvador Perez and Alex Gordon as anchors at the bottom, but adding Adalberto Mondesi and Brett Phillips to Whit Merrifield and somehow Hunter Dozier and Jorge Soler has made this team a pretty fast and fun to watch team. They had eight players who ranked in the top fourth of the league. That seems pretty good to me.

We’ll take a look at how the pitchers ranked in the Statcast numbers later this week (hint, it’s ugly, don’t eat before reading). But for now, we can look at a Royals team that has a shot to at least be fun offensively in 2019, if not downright almost above average. If you want to dream a little, they did hit .255/.313/.425 from August 1 on and scored 4.5 runs per game while pacing for 182 homers over 162 games. That’s, well, not bad. Get pumped.

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