Selected Boston Red Sox metric leaders and losers

BOSTON, MA - MAY 30: A general view of Fenway Park before a game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Boston Red Sox on May 30, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - MAY 30: A general view of Fenway Park before a game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Boston Red Sox on May 30, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /

Boston Red Sox metric leaders and followers

The Boston Red Sox are like their comrades in MLB, which is the extensive (or excessive) use of metrics. The broadcasts are in hyper drive mode when a shot is a moon shot, or a line drive is smoked off the bat. Pitchers are also into the more complicated aspects than just the traditional speed: spin rates, active movement, and the glories of extension. Where do the Red Sox players sit among themselves?

One metric I can relate to is Sweet Spot Percentage (SwSp%). Going back to my distant days as a youth attempting to learn the fundamentals of baseball, a coach had a “thing” for the sweet spot, and he would draw chalk lines and dust the area with powder. Rarely did I have any powder drifting in the air, but J.D. Martinez would today.

Martinez is second in baseball with a 47% or a few good at-bats behind leader Trey Mancini (48.5%), per Baseball Savant. Lorenzo Cain (19.6%) is at the bottom, but Cain does it with his glove more than his bat. Christian Vazquez (40.2%), Trevor Story (39.7%), and Alex Verdugo (35.4%) trail behind Martinez. Rafael Devers (35.3%) and Xander Bogaerts (30.6%) are at least ahead of Bobby Dalbec (28.1%).

Exit velocity is expressed in MPH and no surprise that Devers, at an average of 94 MPH, tops the Red Sox. Devers’ 113.7 is also the best max velocity on the club. Martinez follows Devers at 90.5, and Dalbec proves that once he occasionally hits something, he really hits it at 90.3 MPH. Giancarlo Stanton (97.5) and Aaron Judge (96.1) top MLB. Stanton also captures the top slot (for now) with a 119.8 max, and the Yankees as a team lead with a collective 90.6 exit velocity.

Hard Hit is defined as a ball with an exit velocity more significant than 95 MPH. Yordan Álvarez of Houston just inked a new six-year deal, and the Cuban Slugger leads MLB with a 64.2% for hard hits. Devers (53.2), Dalbec (47.9), and Martinez (46.3) top the Red Sox. Enrique Hernández (31.1) is the last among the qualified.

Launch Angle gives you a chance to finally use degrees as a measurement tool. How high in degrees (or low) is a ball hit? Story (21.6), Hernández (21.4) and Dalbec (18.2) lead Boston. I wonder what Ted Williams would have for this stat?

Jackie Bradley Jr. (8.6) and Verdugo (8.4) are at the bottom of the all-important launch angle for the Boston qualifiers. Adam Duvall (25.5) and Mike Trout (24.0) are tops in MLB. The worm killer is Yadiel Hernández at (-0.5).

Sprint Speed is defined as how many feet per second a player runs or, in some cases, waddles. Naturally, the metrics guru never lets a good thing go without concentrating on more “information.” In this case, it is “Bolt” or anything that surpasses 30 feet per second.

The Boston leader is the resurgent Franchy Cordero (28.5 ft/sec), followed by Story (28.2) and Christian Arroyo (28.1). Our catching corp of Christian Vázquez (25.6) and Kevin Plawecki (24.0) hold up the bottom. Vázquez led the team in steals in 2021, which shows that it is not necessarily speed but how you use what you got that counts. Just think Herb Washington. The MLB leader is currently Bobby Witt Jr. (34.2).

Examining the plethora of pitching, I will break it down into something I can easily relate to. The idea is not to put the ball in play: a swing and a miss, or as it is defined, SwStr%. Jovani Moran has a 23.9 SwStr% that is the best (for now) in MLB.

The Red Sox leader is John Schreiber (14.4%), who has been dynamite out of the bullpen. Nathan Eovaldi (13.4%) and Hirokazu Sawamura (13.4%) are next. Phillips Valdéz (6.1), Rich Hill (7.4%), and Michael Wacha (9.2%) are easier to touch. Conversely, Valdéz, Hill, and Wacha have the highest contact percentage.

I’m not too fond of walks, and Boston has some that seem to take particular delight in torturing those of us who despise the free pass. Step right up Jake Diekman and your 7.1 BB/9, along with Kutter Crawford (6.75 BB/9) and Matt Barnes (6.35 BB/9). Tyler Danish (1.31 BB/9), Ryan Brasier (1.40 BB/9), and Eovaldi (1.42 BB/9) are less generous.

Speed is the thing, and Eovaldi (96.8 MPH) and Hill (88.2 MPH) are the bookends in the speed department. Garrett Whitlock tosses the heater the most (60.1%), Austin Davis loves his slider (44.1%) tossed, Barnes his curve (51.1%), Valdéz the change (45.5%), and naturally Crawford the cutter (26.5%).

Brasier (60.0%) is the hard-hit leader. Hansel Robles (94.5) is the exit velocity champ. Schreiber’s 2.35 SIERA (Skill-Inetractive ERA), 1.17 ERA, 2.73 xFIP all are team best. If you hit Wacha, it isn’t going to kill him with a .188 BABIP.

Next. Three players that have eraned contract extensions. dark

Then there are the defensive metrics that I will avoid since your eyes are glossed over if you got this far. All can be found at Baseball Savant and FanGraphs. Also, I will skip over WAR, be it fWAR or bWAR.