Oneil Cruz keeps cruising to the top of MLB’s leaderboards.
During the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 14-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday, Cruz recorded the hardest-hit ball in Statcast history, measuring at 122.4 mph.
The single that nearly left PNC Park as a homer marked a day in history for the 23-year-old. He holds the fastest exit velocity since the MLB started tracking these numbers in 2015. Oh, and history doesn’t stop there. Cruz is also the tallest shortstop in MLB history, standing at 6-foot-7.
But Cruz isn’t the only one who hits fast balls. Let’s take a look at what exit velocity is and who ranks highest among MLB players:
What is exit velocity?
Exit velocity, or EV, is the speed of the baseball as it leaves the bat, right after a batter makes contact with the ball. It is calculated in miles per hour.
Attaining high exit velocities are the priorities of hitters.
Why? Well because even though not every fast-hit ball results in a great play, when the baseball is launched quicker, the defense has less time to react, therefore chances of reaching a base are higher.
What is average exit velocity?
Average exit velocity, or aEV, is measured by dividing the sum of all exit velocities by all batted ball events.
What does “exit velocity against” mean?
The pitchers throwing the best quality pitches are evaluated by this phrase. Typically, these pitchers rank highest in being able to limit hard contact.
What is Statcast and when did the MLB start using it?
The MLB started tracking exit velocity data in 2015 with the use of Statcast.
Statcast is a high-speed, highly accurate automated tool used to track player movements and athletic abilities in Major League Baseball.
What are the top 10 Statcast hits in the 2022 MLB season?
Since the league starting tracking exit velocity in 2015, here are the top 10 hits in the 2022 MLB season thus far:
1. Oneil Cruz, Pittsburgh Pirates – 122.4 mph
2. Giancarlo Stanton, New York Yankees – 119.8 mph
3. Shoehei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels – 119.1 mph
4. Aaron Judge, New York Yankees – 118.4 mph
5. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays – 117.9 mph
6. Luis Robert, Chicago White Sox – 117.8 mph
7. Jorge Soler, Miami Marlins – 117.6 mph
8. Yordan Alvarez, Houston Astros – 117.4 mph
9. Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers – 117.2 mph
10. Rowdy Tellez, Milwaukee Brewers – 116.9 mph