It’s a good point in the season to examine the quality of contact hitters are producing. One way to do that is through Statcast’s Expected Slugging Percentage (xSLG). They come up with xSLG using a formulation of exit velocity, launch angle, and occasionally sprint speed. By looking at the expected outcome of a ball in play we’re valuing the quality of contact and not just the outcome. Defensive shortcomings are also removed by xSLG. Which is good, since hitters don’t get to choose the centerfielder they play against.

Here are the top 20 batters in SLG-xSLG with a minimum 100 pitches faced. These are the players with the best contact and least good fortune.

  • Kendrys Morales is the poster boy for hard contact with poor results. It just happens every year. His approach emphasizes power but he’s not elite at generating it.

  • Consider Nate Lowe if you’re looking for a prospect to stash. The Rays have already used his option for the season so there’s less barrier to his call up. He was rather unlucky in his prior appearances.

  • Another call up in waiting on the list is Luis Urías . It has to be any day now with the mess the Padres are using at second base.

  • I’ve mentioned Justin Smoak in prior posts. I’m still buying if you can find a share.

  • It’s no surprise to see José Martínez here. He tends to punish baseballs whenever they are put in play.

Now for the players that have had more luck with weaker contact.

  • Mitch Garver has had some “luck,” yes, but a .503 SLG is still very healthy for a catcher.

  • There are two Rockies on the list: Daniel Murphy and Nolan Arenado . It may have something to do with the thin air at Coors field increasing production. It could also just be the general plate approach of a team geared to swing for the fences.

  • Another team with multiple players is the Diamondbacks with Eduardo Escobar and David Peralta (and Zack Greinke ). The air is also conducive to hitting in Arizona, despite humidor efforts. That may be what’s at play with these two NL West teams.

  • Fernando Tatis Jr. has been a revelation when on the field. The balls he hits hard are hit very hard. The others may not be, resulting in a lower expected SLG.

  • Dominic Smith has been a nice story. He may come down but a .417 SLG would still be more than anyone who drafted him expected.

As the season winds on fantasy managers need to continue to take stock of their roster and adjust as they sit fit. Using Statcast data is a great way to look below the surface to see what icebergs may be awaiting you. Power production can easily be a product of luck. Address your own roster and determine if you need to sell high or seek out a buy low opportunity elsewhere.