Over the last few years hitting coaches, players and front office personnel have learned a lot about Launch Angles and what they mean. In Major League Baseball, they have enough data to know that if a ball is hit at X amount of Exit Velocity (the speed in which the ball comes off the bat) with the X amount of Launch Angle, they know how far the ball with travel and the likelihood of whether or not it will result in a hit, out or home run.
And because of that, a new statistic has emerged called “Barrels”
Created by Tom Tango, the Barrel classification is assigned to batted-ball events whose comparable hit types (in terms of exit velocity and launch angle) have led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage since Statcast was implemented Major League wide in 2015.
During the 2016 regular season, balls assigned the Barreled classification had a batting average of .822 and a 2.386 slugging percentage.
To be Barreled, a batted ball requires an exit velocity of at least 98 mph. At that speed, balls struck with a launch angle between 26-30 degrees always garner Barreled classification. For every mph over 98, the range of launch angles expands.
For example: A ball traveling 99 mph always earns ‘Barreled’ status when struck between 25-31 degrees. Add one more mph — to reach 100 — and the range grows another three degrees, to 24-33.