Atlanta Braves young troublemakers will hit your best fastball

Atlanta Braves first baseman Matt Olson is crushing the baseball again, and no one's paying attention. ( Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Braves first baseman Matt Olson is crushing the baseball again, and no one's paying attention. ( Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Atlanta Braves field the third youngest yet one of the most feared lineups in the league. The Braves young stars are a large part of the clubs’ success.

The Atlanta Braves are on a roll again (yes, even counting last night) and crushing the baseball, with the youngest players on the roster as the driving force in this streak. Friday’s game with the Cardinals produced the hardest hit balls of the night (Twitter Link.)

"Last night in Braves/Cardinals, the Braves had each of the top 5 exit velocities and the Cards had the top 5 distances! Per the wizardly @JasonBernard_, it’s the 7th time in the Statcast Era (since 2015) that 1 team had the top 5 EVs & the other had the top 5 distances in a game"

According to Statcast, The Atlanta Braves lead MLB with:

  • 354 barrels,
  • a 7.4% BRLs/PA rate,
  • an 11.1% barrels/BBE rate, and
  • a 94.6 MPH line drive/fly ball velocity.

Austin Riley’s 59 barrels are third in baseball behind Aaron Judge and Kyle Schwarber; his 188 95-mph+ BBEs are fifth, and his 10.8 BRLS/PA is seventh in baseball.

Younger, faster, stronger, and probably better looking.

We expected Riley to crush the ball, but I doubt anyone predicted William Contreras would rank second on the Braves and be in a three-way tie for 11th in MLB among 247 qualified players. Four other players rank in the top 100 for BRLA/PA rate.

I know numbers are boring, but I doubt these will bore you, and it’s easier to show the chart than to write it.

High velocity slugging: Among 254 players with at least 40 PA against all varieties of 95mph+ fastball going into Friday’s games.

  • Michael Harris II’s .459 and .525 wOBA were the best in baseball, and his .730 SLG% ranked third behind Sal Perez and Judge.
  • William Contreras .688 SLG% ranked sixth, and Matt Olson’s .685 ranked seventh.

Among 158 payers with at least 40 PA versus 95MPH or greater four-seam fastballs going into Friday’s games:

  • Matt Olson’s .386 BA and .496 wOBA ranked third in baseball, and his .703 SG% ranked 10th.
  • Dansby Swanson’s .603 SLG% ranked 20st.

Among 369 players with at least 20 PA facing sinkers going at least 90MPH going into Friday’s games:

  • Michael Harris II’s .875 SLG% is tied for best in MLB, his .554 wOBA ranks third, and his .417 BA ranks 12th.
  • William Contreras’ .477 wOBA is 14th. and his .675 SLG% is16th.

Among 158 players with at least 20 PA against sliders of at least 87MPH going into Friday’s games:

  • Austin Riley’s .465 wOBA ranks second, his .738 slug ranks third, and his .357 BA ranks sixth.
  • Ronald Acuna Jr.s .407 wOBA is tenth. .333 BA is fifteenth, and his .500 SLG% is 19th.

Note to self:  never throw Mike Trout a slider; he’s batting .369 with a 1.000 SLG% and a .594 wOBA against sliders.

Among 185 players with at least 30 PA facing all flavors of curve going into Friday’s games:

  • Austin Riley’s .456 BA and .559 wOBA are the best in baseball, and his .826 SLG% is second in MLB.
  • Wilson Contreras’ .483 OBA is fourth in baseball, his .700 SLB% is seventh, and his.333 BA is 19th.

That’s a wrap.

The Atlanta Braves have a group of young players who can crush the ball. I couldn’t include Vaughn Grissom in the searches because he has so few AB. I can say he’s not hitting sliders at all, so expect him to get a lot of them until he figures that out.

Other players had good numbers, but a post must be either one or three pages, and I couldn’t fill three. Olson, d’Arnaud, and Swanson are all slugging over.544 on high-velocity pitches, while  Swanson, d’Arnaud, Olson, and Grossman slug at least .512 on sinkers.

Next. He's your Huckleberry. dark

The lineup’s become long and scary for opposing pitching, and that’s a good thing.