These Five MLB Teams Stand Out per the New Bat Speed Metrics

Bat tracking data is finally available on Baseball Savant, and these teams stand out according to the new Statcast metrics.

Juan Soto #22 of the New York Yankees celebrates with Aaron Judge #99 on a solo home run in the eighth inning of their MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.
TORONTO, CANADA - APRIL 17: Juan Soto #22 of the New York Yankees celebrates with Aaron Judge #99 on a solo home run in the eighth inning of their MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on April 17, 2024 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)

If you’re a fan of Baseball Savant, Statcast data, and the incredible capabilities of Hawk-Eye cameras, this is a moment you’ve long been waiting for: Bat-tracking data is live on the web. We can finally say with certainty that Giancarlo Stanton has the fastest bat speed in the game, and Luis Arraez has the slowest. We can also learn a lot that isn’t quite so self-evident.

For instance, Christopher Morel and Jo Adell slot in between some of the biggest stars in the game at the top of the bat speed leaderboards. William Contreras boasts equal parts bat speed and bat control and looks like one of the brightest young hitters in the game. It’s not like we couldn’t have guessed at those things before, but it’s nice to have robust empirical evidence where it didn’t previously exist.

While most of the early writing about the new bat-tracking data is focused on individual players, Baseball Savant also features team-wide leaderboards for metrics like average bat speed, fast swing rate, and all the other new stats. So, with those leaderboards at our disposal, let’s take a look at a handful of teams that immediately stand out from the pack.

You can learn all about the new bat-tracking metrics at, courtesy of Mike Petriello. Definitions of all the new stats and terms are also available in the Statcast glossary.

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Bat Tracking Loves the Yankees

You knew we were going to talk about the New York Yankees. This is the team of Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, and Juan Soto, and nobody needed any fancy bat-tracking data to know those guys swing hard.

Indeed, the data confirms the eye test: The Yankees have three of the top 10 qualified batters by average bat speed. Stanton ranks first (80.6 mph), Judge ranks seventh (76.5 mph), and Soto ranks 10th (76.1 mph). Stanton, Judge, and Soto are also the top three qualified AL batters by fast swing rate and contact blast rate.

What might be more surprising is that the Yankees only rank 11th in MLB in average bat speed (71.7 mph). They still rank among the top four teams in fast swing rate, squared-up rate, and blast rate. Yet, evidently, the Yankees’ slowest swingers are dragging down their overall team bat speed, and their top performers can’t make up the difference all on their own.

Alex Verdugo (67.4 mph), Oswaldo Cabrera (67.9 mph), Anthony Rizzo (68.4 mph), Anthony Volpe (68.6 mph), and Gleyber Torres (69.5 mph) all rank significantly below league average (72 mph). The difference between New York’s top and bottom hitters by fast swing rate is stark, which makes it all the more impressive that the Yankees still lead the AL in fast swings:

PlayerFast Swing Rate[?]
Stanton, Giancarlo98.0%
Judge, Aaron69.0%
Soto, Juan66.0%
Torres, Gleyber6.8%
Rizzo, Anthony6.4%
Verdugo, Alex4.5%
Volpe, Anthony2.3%
Cabrera, Oswaldo1.2%
via Baseball Savant

On the other side of the ball, Yankees pitchers have allowed the lowest contact and swing blast rates in MLB – and not just because they don’t have to face Stanton, Judge, and Soto. Perhaps this is a sign that their 3.10 ERA is more sustainable than it looks.

The Braves Swing Fast

The Atlanta Braves may not be playing like the offensive juggernauts they were in 2023, but all the talent is still there. More than one-third of their swings (36.9%) have clocked in at 75 mph or faster this season; no other team even crosses the 30% threshold. That’s a massive difference.

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Swing speed isn’t everything, and to that end, there’s a reason the Braves only rank eighth in MLB with a 110 wRC+ this season. Still, all else being equal, swinging the bat fast is unquestionably a good idea.

On the flip side, the Braves place within the bottom quartile of teams in both versions of squared-up rate. In other words, this team is prioritizing big hacks over more precise contact – and that’s not a bad thing.

Thanks to their huge lead in fast swing rate, the Braves rank first in the NL in both kinds of blast rate. That means that even though their squared-up rate is low, they still hit more squared-up balls with fast swings than any other team in the Senior Circuit.

The Pirates Can Hit the Ball Hard Without Squaring It Up

Take a look at this graph, courtesy of Baseball Savant:

Square-up rate and bat speed, hard-hit balls only (via Baseball Savant)

Nine out of 30 teams have squared up 100% of their hard-hit balls; 28 out of 30 have squared up at least 99%. Even the Braves are a rounding error away from 99%, having squared up 98.8% of their hard-hit balls so far this season.

The Pittsburgh Pirates stand completely alone. They have been able to record a significant amount of hard contact (95 mph exit velocity or higher) without even squaring up the ball.

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In other words, they have hit several balls at 95 mph or faster without even reaching 80% of the theoretical maximum exit velocity on those batted balls. That means Pirates batters have hit several hard-hit balls with a theoretical maximum exit velocity of 119 mph or faster.

So, is this a good thing or a bad thing? It’s not so simple.

On the one hand, it means the Pirates have a handful of batters so strong they can demolish a baseball even when they don’t barrel it up perfectly. On the other hand, it means the Pirates are squandering potential exit velocity. To that point, the three biggest culprits here are Oneil Cruz, Rowdy Tellez, and Jack Suwinski, three guys who aren’t living up to their power potential at the plate this season.

The Toronto Blue Jays Rank Last in Bat Speed

The Toronto Blue Jays were supposed to be an offensive force. Instead, they rank 11th in the AL in wRC+ and 14th in runs per game. Their saving grace has been a high walk rate (9.2%) and low strikeout rate (20.2%), but when this team puts the ball in play, the results have been poor. Thanks to bat-tracking data, we have a better idea of why.

The Blue Jays rank last in MLB in average bat speed (70.1 mph). They rank a little better in terms of fast swing rate (16.2%), but the only three teams behind them are three of the worst offensive clubs in the sport: the White Sox (72 wRC+), Reds (83 wRC+), and Nationals (94 wRC+).

To make matters worse, it’s not as if the Blue Jays are sacrificing bat speed in an effort to square up the ball. Or, at least, if that’s what they’re doing, it’s not working. The Jays rank 22nd in MLB in contact square-up rate. As a result, they rank dead last in contact blast rate.

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The Rockies Don’t Square Up the Ball

The Colorado Rockies have the lowest squared-up rate in MLB (as a percentage of all swings), and it’s not particularly close. This team squares up the baseball on just 21.8% of swings. That’s 1.4 ticks behind the 29th-ranked Pirates; that’s larger than the difference between the Pirates and the 22nd-ranked Rays.

A big part of the problem is how often the Rockies miss the ball entirely. They lead the league in total whiffs and have the second-highest whiff rate.

At the same time, the Rockies still rank last in squared-up rate even when they make contact. It’s no wonder Colorado ranks among the bottom five teams in runs scored despite playing in the most hitter-friendly home stadium in the game.