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Bat Speed, Batted Ball Speed (Exit Speed) in MPH by Age Group

Related Updates
  • 1/06/2011 clarified bat speed and exit speed differences, added Pujols bat speed myth, added bat speeds from 2 studies
  • 2/13/2010 added high school exit speeds
  • 2/14/2010 clarified exit speed chart - wood vs. non-wood
  • 2/16/2010 added COR definition
Ball Bat Collision
Dr. Alan Nathan
Exit speed (aka, batted ball speed, speed off the bat) is the ultimate goal in hitting. This is a measurement of the speed of the ball as it comes off the bat. This is the result of at least five factors: bat speed (at contact - may not be max) + pitch speed (at plate - not max), adjusted by impact point on the bat ("sweet spot"), bat composition (ex. BESR rating), and ball composition (ex. COR rating).

Bat speed is only one indicator of performance that may result in increased exit speed.

The terms "Bat Speed" and "Exit Speed" are almost always confused

Bat speed is not the same as exit speed. The two terms are usually confused.

Bat speed is the speed the bat is moving. Exit speed is the speed the ball is moving as it comes off the bat.

Warning When Comparing Bat Speeds and Exit Speeds

Be careful, when comparing bat speeds and exit speeds from various sources. Let's rank the potential speeds in decreasing order using various factors:
  • Pitched ball, non-wood bat (highest exit speed)
  • Pitched ball, wood bat
  • Ball off tee, non-wood bat
  • Ball off tee, wood bat (slowest exit speed)

  • Bat only, non-wood bat (bat speed, light bat)
  • Bat only, wood bat (bat speed)
You cannot mix and match these speeds.

Exit speed is generally faster than bat speed. A 20% variance would be a very rough rule of thumb. The formula is exit speed=q*(pitch speed) + (1+q)*(bat speed) where q is roughly 0.2 for a wood bat. Average MLB fastball speed is 91 mph out of the hand, and 83 mph at the plate.

Example: MLB average exit speed is 103 mph, bat speed ranges roughly from 70-85 mph.

Wood bats generate a lower exit speed than a non-wood bat. According to a Daniel Russell, Kettering University, Physics Study, non-wood bats may be 8mph faster, because of lighter weight (can be swung faster for more bat speed), and more "trampoline effect".

My Bat Speed is the same as my teammate, but his Exit Speed is higher/lower

Three factors could create a different exit speed with a given bat speed.
    Different bats with different sweet spots and/or performance
  • Hitting the sweet spot... or not
  • Max bat speed is achieved at a point in the swing other than contact with the ball

Batted Ball Speed (Exit Speed) - 2009 MLB Players Hitting Home Runs - Wood Bats

According to Hit Tracker Online "Speed off Bat" list, Wladimir Balentien had the highest exit speed in the majors in 2009 at 122.3, with Albert Pujols 2nd at 119.6 mph. The minimum exit speed required to hit a home run over a short fence appears to be roughly 94 mph.

Warning: Be aware that these speeds could be roughly 8 mph higher if they used non-wood bats. Their exit speed would also be approximately 17 mph slower using a tee.

Player Max Exit Speed Avg Exit Speed Avg HR Distance
Wladimir Balentin122.3107.3423
Albert Pujols119.6106.9414
Carlos Pena119.4104.4395
Mark Reynolds118.6107.1421
Nelson Cruz118.3106.6417
Michael Cuddyer118.1108.2416
Prince Fielder117.6105.0406
Ian Stewart117.5106.0419
Pablo Sandoval117.3105.5410
Juan Miranda117.2117.2469

Exit speed required for a given distance

Using the Baseball Home Run Simulator here are the required exit speeds to hit a baseball each distance:

Warning: These distances may vary depending on angle, elevation, etc.
  • 90 mph, 300 feet
  • 93 mph, 315 feet
  • 95 mph, 326 feet
  • 100 mph, 350 feet
  • 102 mph, 360 feet
  • 105 mph, 375 feet
  • 110 mph, 400 feet
  • 115 mph, 420 feet
  • 120 mph, 443 feet
Note: Based on the above, 1 mph of additional exit speed makes the ball go 5 more feet. This would be roughly 4 feet for 1mph bat speed - which is less than the 7-8 feet we have heard from other studies. Will investigate this further.

Charts showing reported bat speeds and exit speeds

We gathered all the 3rd party reports of bat speeds and exit speeds that we could find and presented them here by age group. Contact us if you know of additional reports.

Warning: In some of these reports, it is unclear whether they used non-wood or wood bats, and whether they used a pitched ball, or a tee. Further, we have no way of verifying these speeds. But, we thought they were of some value, so here they are.


Batted Ball Speed (Exit Speed) - Speed of the Ball

10U 11-12 13-14 15-16 17-18
High School
College Pro/ Olympic
Baseball (a)
non-wood, pitched ball


87 JC(d)
(95 JC)(d)
95 MILB (wood?)
wood, pitched ball


103.6 exactly MLB(c)
Baseball (f)
non-wood, tee
  • 70s,low 80s 9th
  • 80s JV
  • mid 80s Varsity
  • (90-95)
  • (104 max drafted player)
Baseball (b)
wood, tee/softoss


(91-96)(b) 93-96 MILB(b)
Fastpitch (a)
non-wood, pitched?



Bat Speed - Speed of the Bat

10U 11-12 13-14 15-16 17-18
High School
College Pro/ Olympic
Baseball (e)


55-60 (h)

(85-95) (I doubt 90+)

(81-92)???(b) (84-86 MILB)(b)

86.99 Pujols (g)

(69 MILB) but only 65 at impact (j) [seems low to us]
Fastpitch (b)





43-50 (h)


Myth - Albert Pujols' bat speed is slower than MLB average

I suspect this myth started with a September 2006 GQ article where the author tried to compare Pujols' measured bat speed of 86.99 mph (using a 31.5 ounce wood bat on a tee) with Kevin Reese's (former minor leaguer) speed of 98 mph. I suspect this was Kevin's exit speed. There are many links to this GQ article which perpetuate the myth, but I can find no links to the source of Kevin's speed.

It's clear from measured MLB exit speeds for every single at-bat in 2009 and 2010, that no MLB player could possibly have a bat speed anywhere near 100 mph.

As you can see from the chart at the top, Pujols had above average exit speed of 106.9 mph in 2009, so his bat speed must be higher than average.

What is COR?

COR (aka coefficient of restitution) is a standard way of determining compression performance of a ball.

The function is (Exit speed) / (pitched ball speed)

The COR rating for a baseball is 0.555. This means that a ball will return 55.5% as fast as it came in.

The COR ratings for softballs are 0.44 and 0.47.

The higher the COR rating, the "hotter" the ball.

How Should I Measure My Swing Performance?

The best way to measure individual hitting performance is by measuring exit speed (not bat speed), using a wood bat (to prevent bat rating variances), and a tee (to prevent pitch speed variables) that allows for a slight uppercut (optimum is 9 degree to match the pitch plane).

Then go outside to work on adjusting your swing plane using the same exit speed, in order to generate increased backspin/ distance.