Rupp leads Majors in highest exit velocity

Rupp leads Majors in highest exit velocity

MIAMI -- Cameron Rupp is the hardest hitter in the Major Leagues. That's according to Statcast™, which revealed that the Phillies' catcher had the highest average exit velocity (97.5 mph) on batted balls in play among all big leaguers this season, entering Friday's 6-4 loss to the Marlins.

For reference, Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton led the Majors with a 98.5 mph average in 2015. Stanton also launched one off his bat at 120.1 mph against Washington's Joe Ross for a single in a game on April 10 this season.

Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said he isn't a bit surprised: "He hits the ball hard."

Despite Stanton's prowess, velocity doesn't always translate into long balls. Rupp hit just one homer in his first 64 at-bats this season. Mackanin explained why.

"Exit speed off the bat just means you can hit the ball hard," Mackanin said. "Trajectory off the bat is more important [in hitting homers]."

Either way, Rupp has been making solid contact.

"That's pretty cool, I guess," Rupp said of the stat. "I wish it gave me more hits. I'm just trying to make good contact. It seems like I've been pretty consistent with it."

Rupp's RBI double

Rupp's approach is simple: See ball, hit ball.

"I'm just looking for a pitch I can drive, something I can handle in the zone, and when it's there, I don't miss it," Rupp said. "It's just one of those things where if it's a pitch I can handle and I recognize it, I just let it go, and it finds the barrel."

Rupp said he's seeing the ball well right now.

"When I'm making contact, it seems like good, solid contact," Rupp said.

Rupp doesn't concern himself with having just one homer. Besides, Rupp slugged eight long balls in his final 38 games of last season, his first full year in the big leagues, after hitting just one dinger through the first 65 games of his Major League career.

Seven doubles in his first 17 games is perhaps a more telling stat than his current home run production.

"I'm hitting the ball well," Rupp said. "Home runs will come when they come. I'm just going up there trying to drive the ball in the gap [and] drive some runs in when I have the opportunity."

Glenn Sattell is a contributor for covering the Phillies on Friday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.