If asked for one word to describe Matt Duffy‘s plate appearances, “refreshing” would be my choice. I feel as if the utility infielder is going to work a professional at-bat every single time he steps into the box. Duffy is among the league leaders in several plate-discipline outcomes, including chase and contact rates.
If you want a ball in play, Duffy is the guy. Hiss overall contact rate of 90.8% ranks second in the NL and fourth in MLB, behind Nick Madrigal (95%), Willians Astudillo (92.0%), and Jake Cronenworth (90.9%). Duffy’s 3.4% swinging-strike rate tops the NL leaderboard and is second in MLB behind Madriga’s 2.7% clip.
But Duffy separates himself from the other contact-oriented hitters in the league with an elite chase rate. Indeed, he is the only hitter in baseball with a contact rate higher than 90% and a chase rate of 20% or less. Literally no one else has a better combination right now.
When I hear the term “professional at-bat,” the first person who comes to mind has to be Matt Duffy. Who else makes such frequent contact while swinging at so few bad pitches? As of right now, it’s no one.