Chris Carter One of the Hardest Hitting Milwaukee Brewers Ever
Chris Carter may have more power in his bat than any Milwaukee Brewers player in the history of the franchise.
I know recency bias is a thing. I also know that we have more advanced statistics now than we did in 1970 when the Milwaukee Brewers played their first game.
Still, there is significant evidence to prove that Chris Carter hits the ball harder than nearly every Brewer to come before him. Not all, of course, because the necessary stats fall well short of 1970, but Carter is certainly among the best.
I grappled with the naming of this article. You may notice it isn’t calling Carter one of the best power hitters in Brewers history. That is simply because he has just 30 homers as a Brewer, fewer than Scooter Gennett. Many see “power hitter” and think total home runs. Carter may be one of the best single-season power hitters in Brewers history, but come on, I can’t fit that in a headline.
Anyway, Carter has 500 plate appearances on the year, so the minimum for these rankings will be 500 PA.
First and foremost, Carter leads the franchise in hard hit percentage according to FanGraphs. He’s well ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers’ next best hard hitters, Khris Davis, Russell Branyan, and Prince Fielder.
But FanGraph’s batted ball stats only go back to 2002, so it’s not really fair to the excellent power hitters of yesteryear to use the stat exclusively. Let’s look at some numbers that can cover a time when Richie Sexson was still knocking dingers.
Home run per fly ball (HR/FB) shows us how often a ball hit in the air is a dinger. Go figure. In Brewers franchise history, Carter ranks third, with 22.6% of his flyballs going for home runs. Ahead of him are Jose Hernandez (25.3%) and Sexson (24.5%).
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Carter is also one of the franchise’s top hitters in terms of isolate power, or ISO, which measures a hitter’s pure extra-base abilities by subtracting batting average from slugging percentage. As a low-contact power hitter, Carter is an ISO warrior, putting up a .272 ISO in his time with the Brewers. That mark is good for second in the team’s history behind Branyan (.278).
And while neither HR/FB nor ISO are true measures of how hard a ball has been struck, the FanGraphs article linked above at least found a relationship between hard-hit% and those stats.
Thus, I am comfortable saying that Carter would fare well among hard-hit percentages from the likes of Sexson and Hernandez, without knowing for sure who comes out on top.
All statistics courtesy of FanGraphs.