Statcast spotlight: Who can stop Zim?

May 8th, 2017

Using revolutionary Statcast™ data, here are five players to keep an eye on tonight. Watch it all on MLB.TV.

7:05 p.m. ET -- Nationals at Orioles

Who can stop Zimmerman? The Nationals first baseman crushed two more balls on Saturday night against the Phillies: a 105.1-mph, 411-foot home run off Vince Velasquez, and a 110.7-mph double that lost in the lights at Citizens Bank Park but was still the hardest-hit ball of the game. Both of those hits were barrels -- the most dangerous types of batted ball, which produce an expected batting average of at least .500 and an expected slugging of at least 1.500 -- bringing Zimmerman's season total to 18, most in the Majors.

Most barreled balls in 2017

1. Zimmerman: 19

2. : 18

3 (tie). : 17

3 (tie). Freddie Freeman: 17

5 (tie). Manny Machado: 15

5 (tie). : 15

7:10 p.m. ET -- Cardinals at Marlins

Martinez has worked through an up-and-down start to 2017, but one area in which he has consistently excelled is putting away hitters when he gets the chance. Opponents have gone just 7-for-73 (.096) against Martinez when he gets two strikes in the count -- the fourth-best two-strike opponents' average of any big league starter. Part of Martinez's success in those situations stems from the contact he induces -- 46.7 percent of the balls put in play against him with two strikes have been hit on the ground.

Lowest batting average allowed on two-strike counts in 2017 (minimum 50 two-strike at-bats)

  1. : .081 (6-for-75)

  2. Max Scherzer: .089 (8-for-90)

  3. Chris Sale: .096 (11 for 114)

    4. Martinez: .096 (7-for-73)

    Matt Moore

    7:10 p.m. ET -- Giants at Mets

    Moore entered his start against the Dodgers last Wednesday already sporting the league's highest average exit velocity allowed at 91.3 mph, and things only got worse. Six of the 10 tracked batted balls Moore allowed to Los Angeles were hit with exit velocities of at least 95 mph (a baseline for "hard-hit" contact), including three barrels. The overall average exit velocity of the Dodgers' 10 batted balls against Moore was 94.1 mph, which included the two hardest-hit balls the lefty has allowed this year.

    Highest average exit velocity allowed in 2017 (minimum 50 batted balls)

    1. Moore: 91.6 mph

  4. : 90.9 mph

  5. : 90.7 mph

  6. Ricky Nolasco: 90.4 mph

  7. Phil Hughes: 90.3 mph

    Highest percentage of batted balls allowed with at least 95 mph exit velocity in 2017 (minimum 50 batted balls)

  8. Robbie Ray: 50.6 percent

    2. Moore: 49.5 percent

  9. Matt Garza: 46.3 percent

  10. : 46.2 percent

  11. Velasquez: 45.7 percent

    10:05 p.m. ET -- Angels at Athletics

    Angels fans might not have known that they were getting one of the Majors' strongest backstop arms when the team traded fellow catcher to the Brewers for Maldonado this past December. But those who have watched the Halos regularly in 2017 certainly know about Maldonado's arm now. In his first season as a starting catcher, the 30-year old Maldonado has posted the second-highest average arm strength on "max-effort" throws (or throws at or above his 90th percentile of effort) among big league backstops.

Highest average arm strength for catchers on "max-effort" throws in 2017 (minimum five max-effort throws)

  1. : 87.8 mph

    2. Maldonado: 87.2 mph

  2. J.T. Realmuto: 86.1 mph

    4 (tie). : 85.7 mph

    4 (tie). : 84.1 mph

    10:10 p.m. ET -- Pirates at Dodgers

    Bellinger is arguably the hottest hitter in baseball after clubbing five homers and driving in 14 runs through his first 11 games in the Majors. Adjusting to big league fastballs has been no problem for Bellinger, who's swung at 57 percent of the four-seamers, two-seamers and sinkers he's seen so far. All those reps for Bellinger's swing against opposing heat is paying off nicely, as his 1.095 slugging percentage against those three types of fastballs ranks as the best in the Majors since April 25 (Bellinger's debut).

Highest slugging percentage vs. fastballs since April 25 (minimum 20 at-bats vs. fastballs)

1. Bellinger: 1.095

2.. : 1.050

3. : 1.1545

4 (tie). : 1.000

4 (tie). : 1.000