Rapsodo Hitting SuperScores for 2020 Draft Picks and What It Means
A few weeks ago we broke down Rapsodo Pitching SuperScores for 5 2020 MLB Draft Picks. As promised, here is our Rapsodo Hitting SuperScores breakdown, including 1st overall pick Spencer Torkelson.
To refresh your memory on what a Rapsodo SuperScore is: take the best measurements of each hit made by a player and stitch them together to provide a glimpse into the overall “stuff” that players possesses. It's important to remember that a SuperScore is an average score of their top performances.
Before the college season even began, it was a foregone conclusion that Torkelson would be a first round pick. Obviously, he can hit the ball extremely hard, but what is perhaps more impressive is that he can maintain this peak exit velocity range while launching the ball between 20-30 degrees, getting pure backspin and enough spin to carry the ball well over any fence put in front of him.
When looking strictly at what he’s capable of doing to a baseball, Kjerstad’s profile is extremely similar to Torkelson. Generally, a player’s peak exit velocity range correlates more to line drive hits, as the ball is squared up and takes the most punishment from the bat. When elevating launch angle and creating more backspin, it is more difficult to truly square the ball up at that peak EV range simply because the increased backspin means the barrel was under the ball rather than flush with it.
Kjerstad and Torkelson have been able to showcase the unique ability to maintain peak velocity at higher launch angles and spin rates, so their early selections in the draft should come as no surprise.
Martin falls much more in line with the traditional thinking of exit velocity and ball flight. Obviously, he has the ability to absolutely crush baseballs and send them into orbit, as evidenced by his SuperScore.
Diving a little deeper into his data reveals that he does lose some exit velocity when elevating the ball, but that decrease doesn’t affect him much, as he generates great backspin and spin rate that allows the ball to carry into the stands.
An uber-talented prep outfielder, Hendrick missed all of his high school senior season to the COVID-19 shutdown, though the incredible bat speed of the former 18U Team USA player was well-known before seasons were cancelled altogether.
That bat speed is on display in all of Hendrick’s reports, as he easily reaches triple-digit exit velocities. He also shows a remarkable ability to square balls up even at launch angles above 20 degrees, which only amplifies his pure home run-hitting potential.
A three-year starter at Mississippi State, Foscue established himself as one of the more consistent hitters in the SEC and country. Before the abrupt cancellation of the 2020 college baseball season, Foscue led the Bulldogs in OPS and was tied for the home run lead; he also had a ridiculous 21.7% walk rate and 4.4% strikeout rate over his 69 plate appearances. While his SuperScore numbers aren’t as high as the hitters above, it is Foscue’s ability to routinely hit the ball hard that draws high praise.