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Home Runs Newsbeat

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Best hitting season ever? Here’s the case for Judge

Judge’s OPS+ is 213. It makes him more than twice as good as a league average 2022 batter. It is one of the 25 best seasons in Major League history;...

But it’s more than that, too. Just look at the 22 seasons superior to Judge’s on the OPS+ list. Realize there’s a “yeah-but” attached to almost all of them, a reason to raise at least an eyebrow or two. ...

ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 20, 2022 at 07:31 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: aaron judge, home runs

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Why are home runs down? Is Vladimir Guerrero Jr. the best hitter in the world? Answering 20 early MLB questions

ESPN Insider

It feels like my team isn’t scoring very much. Am I wrong?

Nope. Scoring has dropped, and it’s almost entirely attributable to one big change from last year. This year’s batting average (.234) is identical to last year’s through 10 team games. On-base percentage is up .001. But the leaguewide slugging percentage is down from .392 each of the past two years to .380 this season. Accordingly, runs per game have dipped from 4.44 last season to 4.22 this year—nearly a 5% decrease.

And that’s because home runs are down. Like, way down, as the numbers from ESPN Stats & Information’s Mike Bonzagni show. And while the rates certainly grow as the weather warms, numbers since MLB introduced Statcast starting in 2015 indicate the difference between those exhibited through 10 games aren’t altogether different from a full 162-game season….

A specific area is where the change is really happening, though. It’s on balls hit between 100 and 102 mph at those same launch angles. Only 16.42% of such batted balls are going for home runs. Over the past seven years, that number has been 33.1%. That is not just an outlier. It means something is happening.

The likeliest culprit: the ball itself. This is not a new story. A book could be written on the controversies surrounding the MLB ball and its inconsistencies. Such is life with a handmade product, sure, but when home runs are collapsing at similar rates to which they grew in 2019, the ball will face rightful scrutiny. Unlike any fear of nefarious juiced balls or using multiple specs in one season, this might have a less sinister answer: For the first time this season, all 30 teams are using humidors to store their balls. Humidors don’t necessarily dampen the flight of balls; their benefit comes more from making the ball as uniform as possible.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 20, 2022 at 10:09 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: home runs, juiced ball



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