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Hays' Hard Hit per Swing

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Came across this tout on Austin Hays' hot finish to 2021.

Link here is every semi-regular from last year sorted by Hard Hit per Swing, where Gutierrez in a smaller sample size outdid even Hays.


A stat I like a lot is hard hit per swing percentage, which has reached front page status on Statcast’s website alongside its cousin, hard hit percentage. The latter measures 95+ mph contact out of total batted balls; the former calculates 95+ mph contact out of total swings. It’s a nice way to find the game’s patient, yet powerful hitters; those who pair plate discipline and contact skills to find better pitches to smoke. As luck would have it, Hays ranked 38th out of 132 qualifiers in that stat, wedged between the likes of Carlos Santana and Teoscar Hernández and higher than Freddie FreemanJ.D. Martinez, and Bryce Harper.

Hays seemed to find his groove on August 25. From then on, he hit .314/.373/.606 with 9 HR and 28 RBI in 150 plate appearances. Particularly intriguing is Hays’ crushing of fastballs in that span; he slugged .694 against them, a top 10 mark in the league. Long term, there’s concern for Hays’ struggles against breaking balls, but keeping up with big league heat is a big step for a young hitter.

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