It’s a good point in the season to examine the quality of contact hitters are producing. One way to do that is through Statcast’s Expected Slugging Percentage (xSLG). They come up with xSLG using a formulation of exit velocity, launch angle, and occasionally sprint speed. By looking at the expected outcome of a ball in play we’re valuing the quality of contact and not just the outcome. Defensive shortcomings are also removed by xSLG. Which is good, since hitters don’t get to choose the centerfielder they play against.

Here are the top 20 batters in SLG-xSLG with a minimum 100 pitches faced. These are the players with the best contact and least good fortune.

  • Kendrys Morales is the poster boy for hard contact with poor results. It just happens every year. His approach emphasizes power but he’s not elite at generating it.

  • Consider Nate Lowe if you’re looking for a prospect to stash. The Rays have already used his option for the season so there’s less barrier...