2 Quick takeaways from what the new Bat Tracking Data reveals about the Brewers

Statcast unveiled bat tracking data that furthers our understanding of Brewers hitters
St. Louis Cardinals v Milwaukee Brewers
St. Louis Cardinals v Milwaukee Brewers / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

Baseball Savant released new bat tracking data for the 2024 season. This newly available data measures bat speed, how fast the bat moved through the and swing length, which shows the distance traveled by the bat prior to making contact.

This data is available in part thanks to the new camera upgrades across MLB stadiums and is now being released for public consumption. There is a lot of new things that can be learned and further explored from this data.

William Contreras is a Star

William Contreras has the second highest Squared Up/Swing % and highest Average Bat Speed on the Brewers, and well above league average in both metrics. The only other qualified Brewer above average in both metrics is Rhys Hoskins.

When looking at the league wide stats, perhaps the most impressive number is Blasts. A blast is a squared up fast swing, which would be the most valuable swing type. Contreras has 58 blasts, the second highest is Juan Soto with 50. 34.5% of contact he's made has resulted in a blast this season, while the league average is right aroung 14% Contreras is one of the most efficient hitters in baseball by this metric, and the new numbers continue to confirm he is an elite batter, and all around player.

Another metric used to quantify quality is Squared-Up, which is a little difficult to fully grasp. MLB.com succinctly puts it as "how much exit velocity did you get as a share of how much exit velocity was possible based on your swing speed and the speed of the pitch". Contreras has the third highest squared-up rate in baseball of 47.6%, behind Juan Soto (48.3%) and teammate Blake Perkins (50.5%).

Brice Turang lacks bat speed, but not success

While a lot of attention is being drawn to the top end of the average bat speed leaderboard, Brice Turang is proving he can be effective without having elite bat speed. Turang's average bat speed is 67.0 MPH and only 4.5% of his swings count as "fast" (above 75mph). Despite that, Turang is 3rd on the Brewers and 25th in baseball for Squared-Up rate at 40.1%. While Turang does not have fastest swing, he is among some of the best hitters in baseball at maximizing the exit velocity of balls he makes contact.

Turang has the second shortest swing length of 6.0 feet even, second only to batting champion Luis Arraez, who has a swing length of 5.9 feet. Turang has a significantly higher bat speed than Arraez (62.4) however, both show they can be successful hitters without elite bat speed or long swings, with more of a contact first approach.

The new Hawk-Eye data on swing length and bat speed will have some massive impacts on how we understand a players swing. It can show how players like Brice Turang are able to succeed despite his positon lower on the leaderboards. This data will be a very useful tool for fans looking to understand more about baseball and how bat speed can impact the game.