This article is part of our The Z Files series.
Recently, RotoWire's Jeff Erickson looked at a few Statcast metrics, including batter's average exit velocity and pitcher's spin rate. Today, I'm going to delve into average exit velocity on a more granular level. Next week, it will be spin rate's turn.
The impetus for this analysis is "average". That is, like many metrics including spin rate, exit velocity is presented as the average over all batted ball types. The problem is different batted ball types have their own average exit velocity, so an individual player's mark needs to be considered in context with their hit distribution. This doesn't mean every player's ground ball, fly ball and line drive velocity is the same, just their batted ball distribution influences their average.
For the purpose of this study, batted balls will be broken into grounders, fly balls and outfield line drives. Data for each will be presented, followed by a look at some of the more intriguing batters to this point of the season.
Infield line drives and pop ups are excluded. They're obviously relevant on an individual basis and could come into play when dissecting specific batters.
Big picture, it's fair to wonder if the decrease in BABIP this season is shift-related, or just noise. The three percent drop in frequency of