Regan's Rumblings: Examining Barrel Rate

Last week, we dived into a handful of pitchers with solid swinging strike rates but not necessarily a correspondingly solid ERA. This week, we'll tackle an even newer metric on the hitting side. You've probably heard of the term "barrels" or "barrel rate." MLB.com defines a barrel as a batted ball with each of the following characteristics:

Exit velocity = 98 mph

Launch angle = between 26 and 30 degrees

Then for each mph in velocity above 98 mph, the launch angle range extends a degree or more, so:

Velocity = 99 mph launch angle = between 25 and 31 degrees

Velocity = 100 mph launch angle = between 24 and 33

Velocity = 116 and above, launch angle = between 8 and 50 degrees

Simple, right?

Essentially if a hitter is credited with a barrel, it's because he crushed the ball. This week we will look at the metric barrels per plate appearance percentage. It's a simple calculation, but to illustrate, a hitter with 10 barrels in 100 plate appearances would be credited with a 10 Brls/PA percentage.

Listed below are 10 hitters among the league leaders in Brls/PA percentage from whom maybe we didn't necessarily expect to see this much power:

Matt Olson, 1B, OAK (12.8% Brls/PA %, .208/.303/.458)

After missing about six weeks with a hand injury, Olson has quickly made up for lost time, particularly in the power department with seven homers in 109 PA. He's also walked a respectable 10.1 percent of the time,