WHAT IS CONTACT RATE?

Contact rate is simply putting the bat on the baseball. Very simple to figure out it is as well.

(AB-K)/AB

Simple. Eloquent. Sometimes those are the best measures.

WHAT IS THE LEAGUE AVERAGE?

The league average has been dwindling the past few years as more and more “sluggers” take the field, and strike out with reckless abandon.

 

AB

K

Contact Rate

2010

165352

34305

0.79

2011

165705

34488

0.79

2012

165251

36426

0.78

2013

166070

36710

0.78

2014

165616

37441

0.77

2015

165488

37446

0.77

2016

165560

38982

0.76


As you can see, the number is slowing coming down, and last season was the worst mark of the last seven years.

A QUICK KEY

0.85-0.90

Elite skill

0.75-0.84

League average

0.70-0.74

Below League avg.

0.69 or less

Danger zone


It’s not common for a player to consistently hit .300 if they don’t have a mark of at least 0.85.

The two middle columns have a wide dispersal of possible outcomes.

If a player is at 0.69 or worse the odds are low a player will hit even .250 consistently.

WHY DOES IT MATTER?

Doesn’t hitting the ball matter? We poo-poo strikeouts saying things like “everyone does it,” but it’s not a good thing. It ain’t. Nothing positive comes from failing to make contact (other than maybe failing to ground into a double-play). A guy might mash homers – I’m looking at you Chris Carter, Mike Napoli, Chris Davis types – but are they really a “good” hitters? Not really. Putting the bat on the ball gives you massive amounts of positive outcomes (a hit, an error, moving a runner over etc.) whereas there are hardly any when you fail to make contact on a swing.

Ultimately, contact rate is extremely useful when attempting to analyze a batters batting average potential.

2016 NUMBERS

Here are some numbers to know.

*Minimum 502 plate appearances.

Name

AB

BB

SO

Contact Rate

 

Name

AB

BB

SO

Contact Rate

Joe Panik

464

50

47

0.90

 

Francisco Lindor

604

57

88

0.85

Jose Iglesias

467

28

50

0.89

 

Didi Gregorius

562

19

82

0.85

Daniel Murphy

531

35

57

0.89

 

Alcides Escobar

637

27

96

0.85

Jose Altuve

640

60

70

0.89

 

Jacoby Ellsbury

551

54

84

0.85

Jose Ramirez

565

44

62

0.89

 

Robinson Cano

655

47

100

0.85

Adrian Beltre

583

48

66

0.89

 

Yonder Alonso

482

45

74

0.85

Martin Prado

600

49

69

0.89

 

Josh Harrison

487

18

76

0.84

Dustin Pedroia

633

61

73

0.88

 

Ben Zobrist

523

96

82

0.84

Melky Cabrera

591

47

69

0.88

 

Jean Segura

637

39

101

0.84

Yadier Molina

534

39

63

0.88

 

Eduardo Nunez

553

29

88

0.84

Mookie Betts

672

49

80

0.88

 

Jordy Mercer

519

51

83

0.84

Brandon Phillips

550

18

68

0.88

 

David Ortiz

537

80

86

0.84

Buster Posey

539

64

68

0.87

 

Victor Martinez

553

50

90

0.84

Albert Pujols

593

49

75

0.87

 

Wilson Ramos

482

35

79

0.84

Yunel Escobar

517

40

67

0.87

 

Kevin Pillar

548

24

90

0.84

Ender Inciarte

522

45

68

0.87

 

Nolan Arenado

618

68

103

0.83

Alexei Ramirez

478

21

63

0.87

 

Nick Markakis

599

71

101

0.83

Angel Pagan

495

42

66

0.87

 

Stephen Vogt

490

35

83

0.83

Denard Span

572

53

79

0.86

 

Carlos Santana

582

99

99

0.83

Elvis Andrus

506

47

70

0.86

 

Adonis Garcia

532

24

93

0.83

Adeiny Hechavarria

508

33

73

0.86

           

DJ LeMahieu

552

66

80

0.86

           

 

Joe Panik hit over .300 his first two seasons before dealing with injury woes last season. He should rebound.

Iglesias hit over .300 the previous two season before dealing with injury woes last season.

Daniel Murphy, Jose Altuve, Jose Ramirez, Adrian Beltre, Martin Prado, Dustin Pedroia, Melky Cabrera (.296), Yadier Molina, Brandon Phillips (.291), Buster Posey (.288), Albert Pujols (.268), Yunel Escobar and Ender Inciarte (.292) make up the top-16 men in contact rate last season. Every man listed without a number next to his name hit .300. Of the 16 only one hit two hit less than .290 and only one hit less than .287. Again, a high contact rate portends an impressive batting average.

Batters under the 0.76 league average mark last season.

0.75 – Mike Trout, Matt Kemp

0.74 – Kris Bryant, Ian Desmond, Paul Goldschmidt

0.73 – Wil Myers, Dexter Fowler

0.72 – George Springer, Mark Trumbo, J.D. Martinez

0.71 – Freddie Freeman, Jake Lamb

0.70 – Jonathan Villar, Khris Davis, Justin Upton

 

Now the batters that didn’t qualify for the batting title.

*Less than 400 at-bats.  

Name

AB

BB

SO

Contact Rate

 

Name

AB

BB

SO

Contact Rate

Ben Revere

350

18

34

0.90

 

Matt Holliday

382

35

71

0.81

James Loney

343

16

37

0.89

 

Brandon Guyer

293

19

55

0.81

Johnny Giavotella

346

13

39

0.89

 

Trevor Plouffe

319

19

60

0.81

Billy Burns

311

10

37

0.88

 

Tucker Barnhart

377

36

72

0.81

Ichiro Suzuki

327

30

42

0.87

 

Trea Turner

307

14

59

0.81

Jarrod Dyson

299

26

39

0.87

 

Jed Lowrie

338

26

65

0.81

Kurt Suzuki

345

18

48

0.86

 

Prince Fielder

326

32

63

0.81

Josh Reddick

398

39

56

0.86

 

Jhonny Peralta

289

20

56

0.81

Jake Smolinski

290

19

44

0.85

 

John Jaso

380

45

74

0.81

Aaron Hill

378

41

59

0.84

 

Jace Peterson

350

52

69

0.80

Wilmer Flores

307

23

48

0.84

 

Cameron Maybin

349

36

69

0.80

Matt Duffy

333

23

53

0.84

 

Gerardo Parra

368

9

73

0.80

Kolten Wong

313

34

52

0.83

 

Brock Holt

290

27

58

0.80

Hyun Soo Kim

305

36

51

0.83

 

Justin Bour

280

38

56

0.80

Dee Gordon

325

18

55

0.83

 

Kevin Kiermaier

366

40

74

0.80

Darwin Barney

279

22

48

0.83

 

Nick Ahmed

284

15

58

0.80

Lonnie Chisenhall

385

23

70

0.82

 

Eduardo Escobar

352

21

72

0.80

           

Steve Pearce

264

34

54

0.80

 

The first thing you notice if you scan this list is that it’s pretty much devoid of power. The top-17 men in this grouping... nary one hit 15 homers.

Ben Revere had a disappointing season, but he still made contact at an elite rate.

Matt Holliday wasn’t his normal self last season, and will never be again. Still, he’s far from someone to completely ignore on draft day. There are still skills present if he can stay healthy.

Trea Turner’s 0.81 mark was solid indeed, but it’s yet another reason to believe his batting average will be closer to .290 this season than the batting mark he posted last season (.342).

Justin Bour had a much higher mark than one would think given his apparent approach/swing. Something to keep in mind with the Marlins’ first sacker.

0.71 – Michael Conforto’s star is on the fall.

0.70 – Yasmani Grandal better keep hitting homers.

0.65 – Tyler Naquin isn’t going to repeat what he did last season. See his Player Profile.

0.65 – Trevor Story... oh hell you know my position by now.

0.60 – Byron Buxton simply must make better contact to take advantage of his elite base running skills.