MLB: The 2020 leaders in “True Exit Velocity”

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 26: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) DJ LeMahieu #26 of the New York Yankees follows through on a seventh inning run scoring base hit against the Miami Marlins at Yankee Stadium on September 26, 2020 in New York City. The Yankees defeated the Marlins 11-4. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 26: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) DJ LeMahieu #26 of the New York Yankees follows through on a seventh inning run scoring base hit against the Miami Marlins at Yankee Stadium on September 26, 2020 in New York City. The Yankees defeated the Marlins 11-4. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta first baseman Freddie Freeman homers against the Dodgers. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Atlanta first baseman Freddie Freeman homers against the Dodgers. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Nos.  3 and 4

4. Those who only tune in to MLB for the post-season are learning what real fans have known for some time: Freddie Freeman can hit.

The Atlanta Braves first baseman was credited with a 92.4 mph exit velocity in 2020, ranking him 14th overall. But even that number did Freeman an injustice. Considering that Freeman only struck out 37 times in 262 official at bats – a 14 percent whiff rate – Freeman’s “True Exit Velocity” is even higher. He ranks fourth in all of MLB at 79.35 mph.

3. This was a miserable season for the Arizona Diamondbacks, whose revamped pitching staff collapsed, causing a retreat into last place in the NL West.

One of Arizona’s few bright spots was probably infielder Ketel Marte. His .287 average did not especially stand out, but his 89.2 mph exit velocity suggests that Marte at least hit the ball relatively hard. He ranked 64th overall in exit velocity.

But when Marte’s contact rate is factored in, he looks even better still. In 195 official at bats, he fanned only 21 times, a 10.7 percent strikeout rate that was well below current norms. That helped elevate Marte’s “True Exit Velocity” to 79.5 mph. In all of MLB in 2020, only six players saw less than a 10 mph difference between their exit velocities and their True Exit Velocities. Marte was one of them.