Judge: The need for adjusted exit velocity

From Jonathan Judge, Nick Wheatley-Schaller, and Sean O’Rourke at Baseball Prospectus on May 17, 2016:

Last year, the folks at MLB Advanced Media started publishing what is commonly described as “exit velocity”: the pace at which the baseball is traveling off the bat of the hitter, as measured by the new Statcast system.

As a statistic, exit velocity is attractive for several reasons. For one thing, it is new and fresh, and that’s always exciting. It also makes analysts feel like they are traveling inside the hitting process, and getting a more fundamental look at a hitter or pitcher’s ability to control the results of balls in play.

However, we’ve seen many people take the raw average of a player’s exit velocities and assume it to be a meaningful indication, in and of itself, of pitcher or batter productivity. This is not entirely wrong: Raw exit velocity can correlate reasonably well with a batter’s performance.

But this use of raw averages also creates some problems.

Read the full article here: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=29210

Originally published: May 26, 2016. Last Updated: May 26, 2016.