It’s always fun when an advanced baseball statistic definitively backs up what you see on the field. For example, if you were to watch a few clips of hulking outfielder Giancarlo Stanton mashing taters out of the ballparks of America, you might come away from the experience thinking that nobody else in baseball can hit the ball harder. Turns out, you’d be absolutely right!
There is a really cool website called BaseballSavant.com that tracks all kinds of statistics on a level that is almost intimidatingly granular—I have already wasted hours of my life tooling around with its various databases—and one of the things it tracks is the exit velocity of batted balls. So far this year, Stanton has had his exit velocity tracked during 98 at-bats, and the average velocity at which the ball leaves his bat sits at a sizzling 98.73 mph. Out of players with at least 50 at-bats in which exit velocity has been tracked, only Joc Pederson’s mark of 95.10 mph comes close to matching Stanton.
There’s also this: so far this season, Stanton has hit 13 balls that left his bat with an exit velocity of at least 115 mph, the most of anybody in baseball. The guy right behind him on that leader board, Carlos Gonzalez, has hit just three balls that came off the bat at 115 mph or harder. According to Baseball Savant, the hardest hit ball of 2015 came off the bat at 120 mph, and I’m sure you’ve already guessed by now that Giancarlo Stanton was the one holding that bat. Here’s the rocket in question:
And just for kicks, here is his line-drive homer from last night’s game, which left the bat at 115 mph:
Every Giancarlo Stanton at-bat is a treasure. Don’t ever forget that.