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.
|Ryan O’Hearn||91.4 MPH|
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 %
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.
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.
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.
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.
|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.