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Tuesday, August 21, 2012
“Home runs in the (Cape Cod Baseball) league have increased in a stunning manner, with the teams combining for 140 percent more homers this summer. In 2011 Cape Cod Baseball League batters totaled 159 home runs for the season; the year before that the number sat at 158. This year, with the regular season (each team plays 44 games) having concluded on Tuesday (August 7th), CCBL hitters jacked 382 balls over the fences of the 10 league ballparks.”
As Cape Cod Baseball League Commissioner Paul Galop puts it, “I’ve been with the league for a long time, since 1980, and I’ve seen some balls that didn’t go that far with aluminum bats…obviously something’s going on.”
The issue is, apparently, the baseball:
In addition to the harder baseball core, there were some other interesting results coming from these experiments.
“It was also found that the diameter of the pills was slightly different. The diameter of last year’s core was 1.31 inches while the newer model was 1.375 inches.”
With overall baseball diameters outside the leather covers being more rigorously checked, that means there is less yarn between the core and the leather cover to deaden a bat’s impact.
Between the slightly larger core (providing a bigger hitting surface transferred through the leather and yarn) and a harder core material (that doesn’t compress and deaden as much upon impact), it stands to reason (and require further testing) that these newer baseballs will travel further when hit.
I don’t agree with the conclusion that Chad Walters draws, however:
By not receiving viable statistical data for analysis, Major League Baseball will struggle to accurately assess college player performances in the summer wood bat leagues.
because I think that scouts and analysts can, and will, develop appropriate adjustments to account for the effects of the ball change.
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