Baseball and the Boston Red Sox have a firm foundation in statistics. With metrics, there is now an abundance of informative and puzzling statistics for 2019.
Boredom has set in when I spend more than ten minutes examining Boston Red Sox metrics. That said, Statcast and Fangraphs do have some interesting items that do capture my attention. Some – such as spin rates – would drive me to a snack of glass chips washed down with Drano. Nevertheless a few are hereby noted.
Just who is the fastest Red Sox player? The results were quite surprising in that Marco Hernandez (29.4 ft/sec) and 3.98 from home to first wins the honors for 2019. In second place was we hardly knew ye Gorkys Hernandez (28.9). It must be a Hernandez thing?
Michael Chavis (28.0) was faster than Mookie Betts (27.9). Lumbering along at 23.9 is Sandy Leon with Mitch Moreland just a tad ahead at 25.0. The league average was 27 ft/sec with 30.0 considered the elite speedsters. The number one in the speedster category was the Diamondbacks Tim Locastro at 30.8 with Trea Turner (30.4) in second place. For Locastro, it also translates well to steals as he has bagged 22 in his MLB career without being nabbed.
Baseball now measures the exit velocity so when you perceive a ball as being crushed it is a nice way of knowing if your senses were correct. The statistic is represented in Miles per hour (MPH) and the average yields no surprises. Rafael Devers (92.10), J.D. Martinez (91.3), Mookie Betts (91.0), and Xander Bogaerts (90.6) are the top four in average. Aaron Judge (95.9) topped all of baseball. The Red Sox (89.5) finished just behind the Yankees (89.7) for best in the team category.
The long ball is sometimes not so long – think Pesky Pole – and other times a blast is placed in low earth orbit. Nomar Mazara (505’) topped all of MLB in 2019. Jackie Bradley jr at 478’ led the Red Sox in distance. For average distance, a Red Sox name pops up with Chavis who was second in MLB at 419’ and tied with Mike Trout. The leader at 425’ was Ian Desmond of the Rockies – probably an asterisk on that one.
The Red Sox hit the ball hard – very hard – if you examine the hard-hit percentage where Boston led MLB at 40.7% just ahead of the Yankees at 39.9%. The usual suspects surface with Devers (47.5), Martinez (46.7), Betts (46.6), and Bogaerts (43.7). Chavis may have distance but is 34.5% in this category. If Chavis puts on 10% you may see a home run king.
More from Red Sox News
- Bizarre trade deadline comes back to haunt Red Sox after Nathan Eovaldi departure
- Red Sox’ Moneyball-style offseason continues with Corey Kluber contract
- Rich Hill’s Red Sox departure puts him within striking distance of unique MLB record
- Red Sox offseason takes another nasty hit with Nathan Eovaldi departure
- Why Red Sox fans should be rooting for Carlos Correa’s Mets deal to go through
Jordan Hicks throws hard and led the majors in velocity with an average fastball of 101.2 MPH. But that often comes with that course of action is Tommy John Surgery and Hicks went out at mid-season. Nathan Eovaldi (97.5) led the Red Sox followed by Matt Barnes (96.7), and Ryan Brasier (96.1). As a team, the Red Sox at 93 MPH was 17th with the Mets 94.7 tops.
Brasier was also second in the swinging strike leader (SwStr%) at 15.6%. The leader was Mike Shawaryn ( 15.6%) with Josh Taylor (15.2%) and Barnes (15.0%) close behind. Injured Chris Sale came in at (14.2%). Boston as a team were ninth in MLB at 11.6%.
A thrilling metric is ARM which measures what an outfielder does when a hit or flyball goes out into the garden. The Red Sox were 15.0 in ARM and that was an MLB best. Otherwise, they defensively were a good but not great team and a -28 in Defensive Runs Saved placed them at 23rd. Their 3.3 UZR/150 was seventh – no bad.
Boston is usually among the best teams in baseball at collecting doubles – Fenway Park is a doubles machine. The 2019 season was no exception as Boston led baseball with 345 doubles, but converting them to triples is a different story as the Red Sox had just 27.
The Red Sox also carried the flag in the American League on intentional base on balls (IBB) with 36 and outpacing the Indians 30. Martinez (9) and Devers (7) led the team and Trout (14) led the AL.
Hit By Pitch (HBP) is another less gentle way of reaching first base rather than an IBB. Boston was adept at avoiding errant pitches and the nicked count was just 49 – well behind the A’s 87. The top victim at 12 was JBJ followed by Andrew Benintendi at seven. Looking at their averages I doubt any headhunting was taking place.