I really enjoy golfing, and I’m sure I’m not alone–there’s got to be a lot of Happy Gilmore wannabe’s out there in Razzball Nation. Golf may be the hardest sport to be good at (outside of hitting a baseball from a major league pitcher?), due in part to the dozens of things that have to go *just* right at *just* the right time to send that little white orb in the precise direction and distance that you want. The layperson may think that a golf swing and a baseball swing are similar; they’re both just swinging away at a ball, right? Well, just go up there, grip your golf club like a baseball bat, let ‘er rip and get back to us on how that works out. You’ll quickly realize that proficiency in one doesn’t necessarily mean proficiency in the other; in fact, the things that make one swing good probably would be detrimental to the other. The two swings do have a point of commonality–the importance of generating bat speed/club head speed and its impact on distance.

For example, a cursory look at the PGA distance leaderboards shows Cameron Champ leading the tour in average driving distance, with Kevin Dougherty and Chris Gotterup 5th and 6th. A quick cross-reference to the clubhead speed leaderboard shows Champ, Dougherty, and Gotterup filling the top three spots on the Tour.

Bringing this back to baseball, Statcast unveiled some new data for us baseball dorks to pore over in the form of bat tracking. It shows things like average swing speed, max swing speed, a “squared up” metric, a “blast” metric (simply, a squared-up swing over a certain minimum bat speed), and even measures for swing length (a longer swing is typically a slower swing).

What I try to do for you each installment is to find some guys who have data that says he should be better, so go get him, or worse, so unload him. As this metric is still so new, none of your favorite analysts across any of the sites have a great handle on it, and your least favorite (me) doesn’t yet, either. But let’s not allow this to stunt our enthusiasm for the shiny new measurements and what it may say about the players that can help our fantasy baseball squads. All data was pulled on the afternoon of May 16.


Philadelphia’s Alec Bohm is off to a great start at the plate as far as AVG (.331) and OBP (.400) go, but he’s yet to tap into the kind of power that fantasy owners expect from a corner infield bat. Bohm is top-10 in number of blasts, ahead of vaunted sluggers like Giancarlo Stanton, Adolis Garcia, Yordan Alvarez, and many other big names we would associate with big HR totals (and it’s not like these guys mentioned for comparison are struggling to hit homers). His average bat speed is ahead of Jazz Chisholm, Kyle Tucker, and Corey Seager just to name a few prominent power hitters. He’s pulling the ball more than he ever has and has the second-highest HardHit% of his career. Bohm also has the highest launch angle and the second-highest average exit velocity of his career. He probably won’t keep the average where it is (his xBA is .302) but enough data suggests a power surge is coming.


In less-than-good news, one of the pre-season favorites for AL ROY was Evan Carter. After a spectacular finish to 2023 and the major part he played in the Rangers’ World Series title run, fantasy ‘perts and managers alike couldn’t wait to extol the virtues of Carter and how he could help our teams. It’s always more fun when young, exciting guys are exciting, but Carter’s given everybody bad feels so far this season. In worse news, I can’t help make you feel any better about this going forward, either. Carter’s swing speed is 70.9 mph, good for…188th in the majors. Yuck. He’s 200th in squared-up rate and 162nd in blasts. In dynasty leagues, I’m definitely not trying to sell and in fact would be recommending the opposite, but in redraft leagues, I think he’s a firm sell if not an outright drop.


There’s been some frustration if you’ve owned the Atlanta Braves trio of Ronald Acuna, Jr., Austin Riley, and Matt Olson, but this new data implies that we’ll be rewarded for our patience. Riley and Olson are both top-20 in blasts and have well above-average swing speed, while Acuna possesses elite swing speed and is 23rd in blasts. I know nobody is really trying to sell low on any of these three, but if you find somebody getting frustrated with the production so far, this would be a “buy with confidence” recommendation.


Likewise, Corbin Carroll has many fantasy owners worried about the health of his shoulder (and swing), but Carroll’s 37th in bat speed and has more blasts than Pete Alonso, Catcher God Ryan Jeffers, and, uhh….Elly de la Cruz? Yep, you read that right. There definitely have to be people frustrated with Carroll, and if you find that guy, aggressively pursue acquiring him in redraft, and even more so in dynasty. Fellow top-5 pick Julio Rodriguez is also off to a slow start, but he’s top-10 in both swing speed and blasts, so just like Carroll…pursue aggressively.

One more hitter to douse a little water on is Tyler O’Neill. O’Neill is top-25 in generating bat speed, but he’s decidedly worse in both squared-up rate and blast rate, ranking 208th and 112th. Between that and his injury history, I’d be aggressively looking to trade him in redraft leagues