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Tuesday, October 05, 2021

There Were Fewer Homers This Year, but the Long Ball Still Reigns Supreme

MLB’s plan to de-juice the baseball this year seems to have worked. Home runs were down in 2021 compared to the last couple of seasons, though not by so much as to warrant a complete shift in the game’s current offensive paradigm. Instead, run scoring — which remains heavily concentrated around home runs — decreased overall. Non-pitchers hit just .247/.321/.418 this year, representing the second-lowest batting average in the live ball era (1920-present and excluding 2020) but the fourth-highest isolated power.

In slightly de-juicing the baseball, MLB erased some home runs. But as we can see in the sudden drop in batting average, which is down nine points for non-pitchers compared to 2019, shaving off homers didn’t result in other types of hits. As I wrote in my second of two pieces analyzing early 2021 home run trends, these lost homers mostly just became outs. That explains the significant reduction in overall offense, even as the league-wide home run total remained quite high in the context of baseball history.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 05, 2021 at 05:06 PM | 9 comment(s)
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