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Statcast spotlight: 5 players to watch today

April 7, 2017

Using revolutionary Statcast™ data, here are five players to keep an eye on in today's games. Watch it all on MLB.TV.Albertin Chapman7:05 p.m. ET -- Yankees at Orioles Chapman has made just one appearance so far in this young season, but unsurprisingly, he already sits atop the velocity charts. In

Using revolutionary Statcast™ data, here are five players to keep an eye on in today's games. Watch it all on MLB.TV.
Albertin Chapman
7:05 p.m. ET -- Yankees at Orioles
Chapman has made just one appearance so far in this young season, but unsurprisingly, he already sits atop the velocity charts. In his inning of work on Tuesday, Chapman topped 100 mph four times -- the four fastest pitches by anyone so far in 2017.
Fastest pitches in 2017
1. 101.2 mph -- Chapman, 4/4/17

  1. 100.2 mph -- Chapman, 4/4/17
  2. 100.2 mph -- Chapman, 4/4/17
  3. 100.1 mph -- Chapman, 4/4/17
  4. 99.9 mph -- Joe Kelly, 4/5/17
    Mark Trumbo
    7:05 p.m. ET -- Yankees at Orioles
    Through the Orioles' first two games, Trumbo already has a memorable walk-off homer to his credit, which he struck with a 105.5 mph exit velocity. But his two hardest-hit balls -- also the two hardest by any Oriole -- were both outs despite exit velocities of 112.4 and 112.3 mph. That's because both were ground balls, which have a much lower chance of doing damage than liners or fly balls. In 2016, Trumbo only had three harder-hit outs all season
    Trumbo's hardest-hit outs since 2016
  5. 115.3 mph -- 8/10/16
  6. 113.5 mph -- 6/29/16
  7. 112.9 mph -- 9/21/16
    4. 112.4 mph -- 4/5/17
  8. 112.3 mph -- 4/3/17
    Video: TOR@BAL: Trumbo smashes a walk-off homer in the 11th
    Francisco Liriano
    7:10 p.m. ET -- Blue Jays at Rays
    When Liriano is on the mound, don't look for a lot of pitches over the plate. Even when the left-hander is going well, he can be all over the place, thriving on getting hitters to chase. From 2015-16, Statcast™ tracked only 32.5 percent of Liriano's pitches as being within the strike zone, the second-lowest rate among pitchers with at least 3,000 total pitches. However, Liriano did raise his zone rate from 33.1 percent to 37.0 percent after being traded from Pittsburgh to Toronto at last year's Trade Deadline.
    Lowest zone rate in 2015-16 (minimum 3,000 total pitches)
  9. Kyle Gibson: 31.5 percent
    2. Liriano: 32.5 percent
  10. Dallas Keuchel: 32.6 percent
  11. James Shields: 32.8 percent
  12. Tommy Milone: 34.1 percent
    Most out-of-zone swings and misses in 2015-16
  13. Max Scherzer: 646
  14. Cole Hamels: 626
  15. Chris Archer: 618
  16. Corey Kluber: 602
    5. Liriano: 599
    Video: TOR@PHI: Liriano fans five over three hitless frames
    Adam Duvall
    8:15 p.m. ET -- Reds at Cardinals
    In Cincinnati's 7-4 win over Philadelphia on Thursday, Duvall dug out a down-and-in slider from lefty Adam Morgan and deposited it over the left-field wall for a two-run homer. That was nothing new for Duvall, who last year homered 11 times against sliders -- his most off any pitch type. In fact, that total led the Majors, and Duvall also finished first among players who had at least 100 at-bats end with sliders by slugging .594 against them.
    Most home runs off sliders in 2016
    1. Duvall: 11
  17. Trevor Story: 10
    3 (tie). Chris Carter: 9
    3 (tie). Carlos Gonzalez: 9
    3 (tie). Yasmany Tomas: 9
    Highest slugging percentage vs. sliders in 2016 (minimum 100 at-bats ending with a slider)
    1. Duvall: .594
  18. Corey Seager: .561
  19. Anthony Rizzo: .558
  20. Nolan Arenado: .531
  21. Starlin Castro: .511

Kole Calhoun
10:07 p.m. ET -- Mariners at Angels
Calhoun has averaged an exit velocity of 93.3 mph on his 11 batted balls so far in 2017. While that's a very small sample size, it does show that Calhoun is picking up where he left off last season. In '16, Calhoun raised his average exit velocity by 3.4 mph, from 86.2 mph to 89.6 mph. That signified the largest increase in average exit velocity of any player who had a minimum of 250 batted balls in both '15 and '16.
Largest increase in average exit velocity in 2015-16 (minimum 250 batted balls in both years)

  1. Calhoun: 3.4 mph (86.2 to 89.6)
  2. J.J. Hardy: 2.9 mph (87.2 to 90.1)
  3. Victor Martinez: 2.4 mph (87.6 to 90.0)
  4. Nick Markakis: 2.3 mph (88.3 to 90.6)
  5. Castro: 2.2 mph (86.3 to 88.5)