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Opening Data! All clubs' Statcast storylines

March 28, 2017

As the 2017 season begins, so does the third season of Statcast™, the state-of-the-art technology that has tracked every play in every Major League ballpark since Opening Day 2015. And with two full seasons of data now collected, plus advances in applying that data, Statcast™ is better than ever. New

As the 2017 season begins, so does the third season of Statcast™, the state-of-the-art technology that has tracked every play in every Major League ballpark since Opening Day 2015. And with two full seasons of data now collected, plus advances in applying that data, Statcast™ is better than ever. New metrics, such as Catch Probability and Hit Probability, will provide a deeper layer of analysis and further our understanding of the game.
With that in mind, has presented five Statcast™ facts to know about each team heading into Opening Day. Here is a sample, but click through on each club for five Statcast™ storylines per team, a total of 150 across all baseball to get you prepped for the season.
Angels: Since the Statcast™ Era began in 2015, no hitter in baseball has been as prolific in generating hard contact as Michael Trout. Over the past two seasons he leads the Majors with 125 barrels -- batted balls whose combination of exit velocity and launch angle give them at least a .500 expected batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage. More >
Astros: Last season, Houston's back-end bullpen duo of Ken Giles and Luke Gregerson ranked second and third, respectively, in swinging-strike rate on sliders. When those sliders dove out of the strike zone, both got whiffs more than 40 percent of the time to lead all pitchers with at least 250 sliders thrown. More >
Athletics: On his way to walloping 42 home runs last season, Khris Davis connected for a barrel on 18.1 percent of his batted balls. That was the highest rate among all hitters who put at least 200 balls in play. More >
Blue Jays: Free-agent acquisition Kendrys Morales could prove to be a bargain for Toronto. His .795 OPS for the Royals last season was 147 points below his estimated OPS of .941, based on Hit Probability, which factors in exit velocity and launch angle. That was the largest negative gap among all hitters with at least 400 plate appearances. More >
Braves:Ender Inciarte showed off his defensive chops last season, tying for the MLB lead with 10 catches that Statcast™ classified as 5-star plays -- those made 25 percent of the time or less based on Catch Probability. More >

Brewers: Though he may spend most of his time at second base this season, Jonathan Villar had one of the game's strongest shortstop arms in 2016. His average "competitive" throw from that spot -- those above his 90th percentile -- averaged 88.2 mph, which ranked third among 31 shortstops with at least 150 tracked throws. More >
Cardinals: In the Statcast™ Era, Matt Carpenter has excelled at hitting the ball in the air, with an average launch angle (17.7 degrees) that is fifth-highest in that span among players who have put 600 balls in play. More >
Cubs: Some might think Kyle Hendricks' spectacular 2016 was fluky, but Statcast™ suggests otherwise. Based on Hit Probability, his opponents' estimated OPS was only .595, barely above his actual mark of .581 and lower than any starter except Noah Syndergaard. More >
D-backs: New closer Fernando Rodney, signed this winter, certainly has been up and down over the past two seasons. Yet during that time, his average exit velocity allowed of just 85.8 mph actually is fourth lowest in MLB among pitchers who have give up at least 100 batted balls in both years. More >
Dodgers:Corey Seager was only a 22-year-old rookie last year, but the left-handed batter already showed an ability to make solid contact against southpaws. His average exit velocity of 91.5 mph in those matchups trailed only David Ortiz among lefty hitters. More >
Giants: San Francisco is hoping Mark Melancon is the answer in the closer role, and the righty comes armed with a vicious cutter. Opponents managed a lowly 83.8-mph average exit velocity against it last season. More >
Indians: Over the past two seasons with Toronto, free-agent acquisition Edwin Encarnacion launched 52 home runs that Statcast™ has projected at 400 feet or further, the third-most in the Majors. More >

Mariners: Among those with at least 200 balls in play, no hitter in the Majors made harder contact last season than Nelson Cruz, who averaged a 95.9-mph exit velocity. More >
Marlins:Giancarlo Stanton stands alone at the top of the exit-velocity spectrum. He has reached a 115-mph exit velocity 42 times in the Statcast™ Era, nearly quadrupling the total of his closest challenger. More >
Mets: Syndergaard's velocity is comparable to even the game's hardest-throwing relievers. Compared only with fellow starters, he led the way in average velocity for four-seam fastballs, two-seam fastballs and sliders last season. More >
Nationals: Washington gave up a lot to acquire outfielder Adam Eaton this season, in part because of his defense. Eaton led the Majors in 2016 by making 30 catches of 4 or 5 stars -- those with a Catch Probability of 50 percent or less -- and finished second with 12 outfield assists thrown at 90 mph or harder. More >

Orioles:Zach Britton dominated last season while throwing his two-seam fastball more than 90 percent of the time. How? Opponents slugged an MLB-low .196 on at-bats ending against that pitch. More >
Padres: Speedy center fielder Travis Jankowski had 14 opportunities last season to make a 5-star catch -- one with a Catch Probability of less than 25 percent -- and converted five of them. That 35.7-percent success rate trailed only Billy Hamilton. More >
Phillies: A big key for Jeremy Hellickson's resurgence last season was a curveball that averaged a spin rate of 2,970 rpm, which was the highest of any pitcher who threw at least 200 of them. More >
Pirates:Starling Marte's arm is a weapon for Pittsburgh's defense. Twice last season he threw out runners at the plate with triple-digit strikes, and his average of 97 mph on "competitive" throws -- those harder than his 90th percentile -- ranked second in the Majors. More >
Rangers: The two longest home runs of 2016 were hit by Stanton and Cruz. No surprise there. But the third, a 491-foot blast, was hit by 21-year-old Nomar Mazara. That helped the rookie to the fourth-longest average homer distance (417) among those with at least 15 big flies. More >
Rays: Gold Glove Award-winning center fielder Kevin Kiermaier converted an MLB-high 65 percent of his catches on plays rated as 4 or 5 stars -- those with a Catch Probability of 50 percent or less. More >

Red Sox: On his way to the American League Cy Young Award, Rick Porcello was among the best starting pitchers in the Majors at generating a high spin rate on both his four-seam fastball and curveball. More >
Reds: Pick any Statcast™ baserunning metric, and speedster Billy Hamilton probably owns the record. The list includes getting down the line to first base in a blazing 3.61 seconds on a non-bunt. More >
Rockies: The team does play half of its games at Coors Field, so perhaps it's no surprise that Carlos Gonzalez (427 feet) and Trevor Story (422) accounted for two of the three longest average home run distances in 2016. More >
Royals: Thanks in part to his strong arm, Salvador Perez recorded the fourth-fastest average pop time to second base (1.93 seconds) among catchers who made at least 20 throws on steal attempts. More >

Tigers:Jose Cabrera led the Majors in barrels last season, and while he batted .316/.393/.563, his performance could have been even better. Based on the exit velocities and launch angles of his batted balls, Statcast™ projected his estimated weighted on-base average (wOBA) at 50 points higher than his actual .409 mark -- the widest margin in MLB. More >
Twins: Only Hamilton recorded a faster home-to-third time on a triple than Byron Buxton, who accounted for three of MLB's top five in that category last season, all at 10.8 seconds or better. More >
White Sox: Now the undisputed ace of the Chicago starting rotation, Jose Quintana had success with both his four-seam and two-seam fastballs in 2016. Opponents slugged only .335 on at-bats ending with the latter pitch, fifth-lowest among pitchers who threw at least 500 of them. More >
Yankees: There's a reason installed the "Chapman filter" on its Statcast™ pitch velocity leaderboard. In the Statcast™ era, Chapman has thrown more than twice as many 100-plus mph pitches as anyone else, accounting for 42.5 percent of the MLB total. More >

Andrew Simon is a research analyst for Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB.