Yankees' Voit: 'I feel like batting average isn't a thing now'
"I feel like batting average isn't a thing now," Voit told Lindsey Adler of The Athletic on Thursday.
So far in spring training, Voit is posting a .286 batting average, mustering four hits in 14 at-bats. However, the first baseman has also authored an impressive 1.126 OPS, thanks to hitting two homers and collecting three walks.
Even further, among hitters with at least 100 batted-ball events, Voit led all of baseball in barrels per plate appearance last year with 12.4 percent, according to Baseball Savant. By barrels per batted-ball event, Voit slips to second, only behind Texas Rangers slugger Joey Gallo.
A barrel - created by Tom Tango and defined by MLB.com - requires a specific exit velocity and launch angle. For instance, a ball hit with a 98-mph exit velocity needs to be hit at a launch angle between 26-to-30 degrees. If the ball is hit harder than 98 mph, the range of exit velocities increase. Considered a sweet spot of hard-hit balls, barrels are a descriptive measure of which hitters should be performing better or worse than their actual numbers suggest. A high barrel rate with a low slugging, and vice versa, are considered unsustainable.
With the proliferation of advanced metrics, some old-school stats have increasingly been deemed antiquated, such as batting average, due to the fact they are neither predictive or descriptive as once believed. For instance, since Coors Field opened in 1995, a Colorado Rockies hitter has won the National League batting title in 10 of the possible 24 seasons. Meanwhile, none won the NL MVP in the same season.