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Monday, May 13, 2019

Triple-A batters smashing it since MLB ball is put into play

Balls are flying out of Triple-A ballparks like never before, coinciding with a switch in baseballs to the major league model.

The El Paso Chihuahuas have hit 89 home runs in their first 37 games — the most in professional baseball and more than half the 142 they slugged in 139 games last season. The Rochester Red Wings and Lehigh Valley IronPigs combined for 15 homers in a game last month. Overall, 26 of the 30 teams in the Pacific Coast League and International League are on pace to exceed their 2018 totals, most by a wide margin.

Not coincidentally, this is the first year Triple-A has played with the same ball used in the majors. The big league ball is said to be harder, more tightly wound at its core and with slightly lower seams, all of which make it more aerodynamic than the ball used at the Double-A level and lower and previously in Triple-A.

Bigger offensive numbers were expected when Major League Baseball requested the highest level of the minor leagues switch to balls to more closely align with conditions in the big leagues.

So, how long before we get a revival of Home Run Derby?

QLE Posted: May 13, 2019 at 04:19 AM | 16 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: home run spike, juiced baseballs, triple a

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   1. escabeche Posted: May 13, 2019 at 08:21 AM (#5841419)
This puts Tim Tebow's struggles at the plate in even sharper relief!
   2. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: May 13, 2019 at 10:06 AM (#5841436)
This story should be talked about a heck of a lot more.
   3. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: May 13, 2019 at 11:19 AM (#5841468)
I don't think MLB had any nefarious intentions when they changed the manufacturing, but it's past time to acknowledge and address this. I'm tired of seeing balls go out that look like they are simply not struck well enough to get out.
   4. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: May 13, 2019 at 12:48 PM (#5841518)
I've dumped a handful of comments on this into the dugouts and omnichatters - the difference is enormous. From TFA:
The season-to-date increase was 52% in the PCL (804 vs. 528), which has always been hitter-friendly because of high-elevation ballparks in the West, and 87 percent (555 vs. 297) in the IL.

This increase is not present below AAA - scoring and homeruns are down slightly at lower levels (could be seasonality).
   5. . Posted: May 13, 2019 at 12:53 PM (#5841521)
MLB probably wanted to just gin up offense a smidgen, and understandably so, but they overshot tremendously badly.
   6. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: May 13, 2019 at 12:57 PM (#5841523)
This increase is not present below AAA - scoring and homeruns are down slightly at lower levels (could be seasonality).


AAA is the only level that switched over to the MLB balls.
   7. The_Ex Posted: May 13, 2019 at 01:10 PM (#5841532)
On Buster Olney's podcast last week he mentioned that Rawlings had under development three new baseballs that they hoped to trial at the Atlantic League this year. The conversation was around a ball with better grip so pitchers wouldn't need to use pine tar or other substances. It could have an impact on offense too.
   8. PreservedFish Posted: May 13, 2019 at 01:21 PM (#5841542)
Seems like a solution in search of a problem.
   9. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: May 13, 2019 at 01:34 PM (#5841558)
6 - I posted that to help rule out other differences.
   10. A triple short of the cycle Posted: May 13, 2019 at 09:45 PM (#5841751)
Cue Manfred to say there is no difference in the balls.
   11. Cooper Nielson Posted: May 13, 2019 at 10:29 PM (#5841762)
Cue Manfred to say there is no difference in the balls.

I though his go-to response was "This is something we're willing to take a look at."
   12. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 13, 2019 at 10:37 PM (#5841763)
I though his go-to response was "This is something we're willing to take a look at."
No, it's "We definitely need to do something about this!*"

* We're not actually going to do anything about this.
   13. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: May 14, 2019 at 10:57 AM (#5841840)
I’m curious to see if this influences how players promoted from AAA to MLB perform. I feel like there might be some benefits and some costs but I can’t for a second guess how it would break out.
   14. Greg Pope Posted: May 14, 2019 at 11:40 AM (#5841860)
I’m curious to see if this influences how players promoted from AAA to MLB perform.

The Brewers just promoted their 2B prospect Keston Huira who's hit 333/408/698 including 11 homers in AAA. The Astros have Yordan Alvarez who is hitting 402/490/869. Not sure when he's coming up. Those are eye popping AAA numbers, and it's only a couple of players, but it will be interesting to see if they need more than the normal adjustment.
   15. formerly dp Posted: May 14, 2019 at 11:57 AM (#5841864)
So basically, all the numbers for AAA need to be PCL'd.
   16. Sunday silence Posted: May 14, 2019 at 12:55 PM (#5841886)
Last year when we were talking about lowering the mound, shortening the distance between bases, etc. Walt was insistent that there was only one change in the ball in the history of MLB. Isnt it obvious that there's been quite a few?

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