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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Hitters show change in laying off non-strikes |

You’ll notice that in recent years, swings out of the zone peaked in 2015 and have fallen since. As you surely know, baseball’s recent home run surge began in mid-2015 as well. While work continues to understand why exactly home runs have increased—theories, with varying amounts of validity, range from players trying to hit home runs to changes in the ball to hitters hunting fastballs—it’s hard not to notice that fewer swings that are unlikely to lead to home runs follow the same timeline.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 18, 2017 at 08:46 AM | 3 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: statcast

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   1. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: June 18, 2017 at 12:01 PM (#5478255)
If they were at a historic high in 2015, then a downward trend since then shouldn't be a surprise.
   2. Bote Man Posted: June 18, 2017 at 12:33 PM (#5478264)
   3. Walt Davis Posted: June 18, 2017 at 08:51 PM (#5478415)
If they were at a historic high in 2015, then a downward trend since then shouldn't be a surprise.

Not a surprise but not necessarily expected. We hit historic highs in strikeouts each year from 2009-2014 and have basically held steady since then (and on that same pace this year). We are well on pace for the 3rd straight season breaking (pretty much demolishing) the record for PAs not resulting in a BIP. There are other long-running trends like IP/start and number of relievers per game and number of pitchers used in a season, etc. that we certainly shouldn't be surprised when a season breaks the record. For example, K/9 (b-r only gives to one decimal so there may be some slight dips on the way):

2007 6.7 (tied 1997)
2008 6.8
2009 7.0
2010 7.1
2011 7.1
2012 7.6
2013 7.6
2014 7.7
2015 7.8
2016 8.1
2017 8.3

Should we expect 2018 to come down from what is probably this year's record? (Barring rule/zone changes) Probably still yes, the regression to the mean probably still outweighs the trend, but I doubt it is by much.

Since we seem to be at least matching historically high K-rates, it is counter-intuitive that we are seeing fewer swings at pitches outside of the zone. Walks and Ks are both up this year, K/BB is lower.

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