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Thursday, August 29, 2019

Reds’ Aristides Aquino sets MLB record for most home runs in first 100 plate appearances

Reds rookie superdestroyer Aristides Aquino entered Wednesday night’s game against the Marlins (CIN-MIA GameTracker) sitting on 99 career plate appearances. That’s significant because he came in tied for the most home runs in MLB history through a hitter’s first 100 plate appearances, and he had one shot to own the record all by himself. Here’s what he did with that one shot

13 home runs in 100 plate appearances- prorated for a full season, that’s around 90 home runs.

 

QLE Posted: August 29, 2019 at 08:24 AM | 123 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: aristides aquino, home runs

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   1. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: August 29, 2019 at 09:03 AM (#5875255)
The Reds have 7 guys with double-digit HRs and could have 11 by the end of the season. And they're not even a good HR hitting team - just slightly above the league average. This year is nuts.
   2. PreservedFish Posted: August 29, 2019 at 09:14 AM (#5875256)
I enjoy his batting stance. Kinda just stands there, staring at the pitcher, as if he's impatient and can't be bothered with anything fancy. It's like "we both know I'm about to hit a homerun, let's just get this over with please."
   3. . Posted: August 29, 2019 at 09:17 AM (#5875257)
Fake ball renders things like this essentially meaningless. So in a more subtle way does the fact that players today get to get away with swinging from the heels for fly balls on every pitch whereas their predecessors really didn't. That secular break in norms makes time series comparisons pretty much devoid of meaning. It's certainly not 2019 players' "fault" the norms changed, but that's a different question altogether.
   4. Esoteric Posted: August 29, 2019 at 09:25 AM (#5875259)
Yeah I have to agree with SBB on this one. None of these 2019 numbers make sense except in relative comparison to themselves.
   5. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: August 29, 2019 at 09:41 AM (#5875261)
The Phillies are below league average and they have 8 guys with double-digit HRs including Jay Bruce (34 games played) and Andrew McCutchen (season-ending injury on June 3). They're only going to end up with 9 though, unless Logan Morrison or Corey Dickerson goes nuts in September.
   6. Howie Menckel Posted: August 29, 2019 at 09:47 AM (#5875262)
we're reviving 1930 NL baseball headlines, when six of the eight teams hit over .300 - we're just subbing in HR for AVG.

only 5 NL players had more than 26 HR that year, but 33 of the 45 players who qualified for the batting title hit .300. Pinky Whitney hit .342 with a 98 OPS+, and Sparky Adams hit .314 with an 83.
   7. PreservedFish Posted: August 29, 2019 at 10:10 AM (#5875270)
I think everyone agrees that the HR records are cheap this year. Basically every gamechatter has some version of "Freddy Galvis just hit an opposite field homerun, this is just stupid."
   8. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: August 29, 2019 at 10:28 AM (#5875275)
Hey, Freddy Galvis did hit 20 homers in 2016.
   9. Davo Posted: August 29, 2019 at 10:33 AM (#5875277)
234 players have reached double digits in homers this year. This is the second most of all time—the record, of course, was set last year, when 242 players did it. And there’s still a month to play!

There are so many awesome names on the list of guys with 10+ homers this year. Eric Sogard and Tommy La Stella, of course, who’ve each hit more this year than they had in their career entering 2019.

There’s rookie Oscar Mercado, who just 3 years ago in a full season at hi-A hit ZERO. There’s Hanser Alberto, who’d never hit a big league homer before.

Orioles catcher Pedro Severino has 11. In a full season at AAA three years ago, he hit 2.

Ketel Marte has 28. In his first three MLB seasons (1,000 PAs), he hit just 8.

Albert Almora already has 12. In 153 games last year he hit 5.

Roberto Perez has 21, which matches his career total entering 2019.

And that’s not getting into any of the obvious black magic the Yankees are using...
   10. Random Transaction Generator Posted: August 29, 2019 at 10:33 AM (#5875278)
The current record for most 10+ HR hitters on a team is 12:

                                     
Rk   Year                Tm #Matching
1    2018  New York Yankees        12
2    2019   Minnesota Twins        11
3    2019  New York Yankees        11
4    2019 Toronto Blue Jays        11
5    2018 Toronto Blue Jays        11
6    2017    Houston Astros        11
7    2016   Minnesota Twins        11
8    2015    Houston Astros        11
9    2004    Detroit Tigers        11


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/29/2019.

The Blue Jays currently have 11, and they have one guy at 9 and another at 8:

                                    
Name                              HR
Randal Grichuk                    23
Justin Smoak#                     20
Teoscar Hernandez                 20
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (10-day IL)   19
Freddy Galvis#                    18
Vladimir Guerrero Jr.             15
Rowdy Tellez*                     15
Brandon Drury                     14
Danny Jansen                      12
Cavan Biggio*                     10
Eric Sogard*                      10
Billy McKinney*                    9
Bo Bichette                        8


The Yankees have 11 and they have one at 9 (injured) and two at 8:

                                  
Name                            HR
Gleyber Torres                  33
Gary Sanchez                    29
DJ LeMahieu                     22
Luke Voit (10-day IL)           19
Gio Urshela                     18
Brett Gardner*                  18
Aaron Judge                     17
Didi Gregorius*                 13
Mike Tauchman*                  12
Aaron Hicks# (10-day IL)        12
Clint Frazier (40-man)          11
Edwin Encarnacion (10-day IL)    9
Cameron Maybin                   8
Mike Ford*                       8


The Twins have 11, but their next closest is currently at 5, so they are very unlikely to break the record.

No other teams have 11.


   11. Davo Posted: August 29, 2019 at 10:33 AM (#5875279)
Or there’s 34-year-old Jarrod Dyson, whose 7 homers this year for the Diamondbacks matches the number he hit during the seven seasons he spent with the Royals.
   12. Esoteric Posted: August 29, 2019 at 10:34 AM (#5875280)
The Nationals have 9 players with double digit homers (including their entire starting lineup aside from the pitcher's spot) and could end up with 11 if Yan Gomes and Gerardo Parra get lucky. It's sillyball!
   13. Rally Posted: August 29, 2019 at 10:39 AM (#5875283)
Or there’s 34-year-old Jarrod Dyson, whose 7 homers this year for the Diamondbacks matches the number he hit during the seven seasons he spent with the Royals.


How do you top this? Next year Terrence Gore will hit 30 somewhere.

The Twins have 11, but their next closest is currently at 5, so they are very unlikely to break the record.


Won't break that record, but they should have the top HR season for a team within a week. And almost certainly will end up the first team to hit 300 homers.
   14. Davo Posted: August 29, 2019 at 10:49 AM (#5875285)
My actual favorite one is something I discovered last week.

HIGHEST TEAM ISOLATED POWER%, MLB HISTORY

1. 2019 Twins .230
2. 2019 Yankees .219
3. 2019 Astros .215
4. 2019 Dodgers .214
5. 2010 Blue Jays .206
6. 2019 Red Sox .206
7. 1997 Mariners, .204
8. 2018 Yankees, .202
9. 2003 Red Sox, .202
10. 2005 Rangers, .201
11. 2000 Astros, .199
12. 2019 Mariners, .199
13. 1996 Orioles, .198
14. 2019 Cubs, .198
15. 2019 Athletics, .198
16. 2019 Braves, .197
   15. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: August 29, 2019 at 11:17 AM (#5875292)
No other teams have 11.

Cubs won't break the record, and only have 9 now, but they can tie the current record after it's already been broken by someone else. They'll finish with 11 (Castellanos, who's already there if you count his DET HRs, but he's 1 away from double digits with the Cubs, and Russell with 8), and an outside chance at 12 (Caratini has 7, but might still be a regular for a few more weeks until Contreras gets back). I wonder how many other teams are close to getting to the 12 mark.

Cubs are the first team this year to have 4 guys with 25, I believe. What's the record for that? And what's the most for 30, 35, 40, etc and how many of those will be broken this year?
   16. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: August 29, 2019 at 11:19 AM (#5875294)
None of these 2019 numbers make sense except in relative comparison to themselves.

But I get the sentiment. It's like 1987 but way worse.
   17. Davo Posted: August 29, 2019 at 11:47 AM (#5875305)
15-

* Most players on one team with 20 homers is 7, done by several teams, most recently the Dodgers last year. But the Twins will almost certainly break that record: they already have 6, and 2 more (Polanco and Schoop) have exactly 19 homers. And Marwin Gonzalez has a shot too, with 15.

* Most players on a team with 25 homers is 6, by the 2003 Red Sox. The Twins have a decent shot there, too: 4 players have already hit 25, while Garver has 23 and Cron 21.

* Most with 30 is 4, again done several times, though not since the 2009 Phillies. The Astros might have the best shot at breaking it? Bregman 32, Springer 27, Gurriel 26, Altuve 24, Alvarez 21, and the last two have done it despite missing a ton of games.

* Most with 35+ is 3, by a bunch, including 3 teams who had 3 guys hit 40+. The Braves will likely join one group (Acuna 36, Freeman 35, Donaldson 32), but no one is at risk of *breaking* these records.
   18. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: August 29, 2019 at 12:09 PM (#5875312)
The 2002 White Sox had 5 players with 25 homers and only one other guy in double figures (Joe Crede with 12).
   19. spycake Posted: August 29, 2019 at 12:16 PM (#5875313)
* Most players on one team with 20 homers is 7, done by several teams, most recently the Dodgers last year. But the Twins will almost certainly break that record: they already have 6, and 2 more (Polanco and Schoop) have exactly 19 homers. And Marwin Gonzalez has a shot too, with 15.


Twins tied it last night -- Schoop hit his 20th (and 21st), but B-Ref hasn't updated with yesterday's stats yet.
   20. spycake Posted: August 29, 2019 at 12:17 PM (#5875314)
* Most players on a team with 25 homers is 6, by the 2003 Red Sox. The Twins have a decent shot there, too: 4 players have already hit 25, while Garver has 23 and Cron 21.


Garver hit his 24th last night too. :)
   21. spycake Posted: August 29, 2019 at 12:21 PM (#5875317)
* Most with 30 is 4, again done several times, though not since the 2009 Phillies. The Astros might have the best shot at breaking it? Bregman 32, Springer 27, Gurriel 26, Altuve 24, Alvarez 21, and the last two have done it despite missing a ton of games.


Twins should tie that at 4 -- Kepler 35, Cruz 33, Rosario 27, and Sano 26 should all get there. Garver 24 would be their best shot to break the record, but he's a catcher so he may not get enough playing time to do it -- pretty impressive that he has 24 HR in only 295 PA as it is!
   22. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: August 29, 2019 at 12:26 PM (#5875318)
With the Brewers playing a day game I was checking mlbtv and landed on the Reds game because I think there were like 1000 fans at the game in Miami and that was kind of wild watching. But I was totally amazed when Suarez hit a dinger and the TV guy said that was his 37th. So I checked BBREF on what I was missing and found out that was his 18th(!!) since the ASB

And it gets even crazier. Why are the Reds bad? When your cleanup guy hits 18 dingers and gets 29 rbi that is why you are bad.
   23. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: August 29, 2019 at 12:30 PM (#5875320)
Unrelated to homers but Houston has 5(!!!) guys with an OPS higher than 1.000 since the ASB who play regularly. Bregman, Altuve, Gurriel, Brantley and Alvarez. That's an offense
   24. Itchy Row Posted: August 29, 2019 at 12:34 PM (#5875322)
341 players have hit 5 HR this year, and that's already the record. The Yankees have 15 of them, which ties the record. Seattle has 14, and six teams have 13. 2019 also has the records for most players with 4+, 6+, and 7+ HR.

This year is second or third behind 2017 and/or 2018 for most other totals up to 17 HR.

   25. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: August 29, 2019 at 12:38 PM (#5875323)
Why are the Reds bad? When your cleanup guy hits 18 dingers and gets 29 rbi that is why you are bad.


That reminded me to look up Franmil Reyes. He is finally getting some RBIs with the Indians.

with the Padres, 2017-19:
43 HR, 77 RBI

with the Indians:
6 HR, 17 RBI

That looks more normal

   26. JAHV Posted: August 29, 2019 at 01:19 PM (#5875336)
This season is dumb. These sorts of things are fun when they're relatively rare. When everyone can hit 15 home runs, it stops being remarkable. And it has gone well past that to tedious.

I have to think MLB will tinker with the ball again in the offseason to restore sanity (say, a 15 - 20% reduction in home runs), but what will that do to offense? How many of the homers that stay in the park will become outs and how many will become doubles, triples, and scorn-worthy singles where a guy smugly watches as his no doubter lands on the warning track? I'm cool with runs per game staying in the 4.6 - 4.8 range, but for that to happen, nearly all of those homers will need to become hits, and I anticipate that many of them will become outs. If we could combine this change with another change that reduces strikeouts by 15 - 20% and turns them into balls in play, I'd be very happy.

Someone wave their magic wand and make it happen.
   27. PreservedFish Posted: August 29, 2019 at 01:31 PM (#5875340)
Yes, if homeruns were reduced but strikeouts stayed the same, run-scoring would plummet.
   28. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: August 29, 2019 at 01:45 PM (#5875344)
Run scoring would plummet, but eventually players would adjust. The optimal launch angle would decrease, and hitters would be forced to retool their swings accordingly. Or if they can't adapt, the Joey Gallos of the world would find themselves hitting 150/175/250 or something, and the young kids who haven't cemented their swings yet will replace them. I'd put up with a few years of deadball to get rid of this. I mean, at his current pace Jose Altuve - 5'6", 165lb Jose Altuve - would have hit about 40 home runs over a full year. It's craziness.
   29. PreservedFish Posted: August 29, 2019 at 01:53 PM (#5875346)
I don't know if hitters would adjust. I think that the ball would need to be severely deadened to shift what is (apparently) the optimal hitting strategy.
   30. Booey Posted: August 29, 2019 at 02:17 PM (#5875350)
Fake ball renders things like this essentially meaningless.


None of these 2019 numbers make sense except in relative comparison to themselves.


This is all true, but of course, so are most the records throughout baseball history for the same reason. Batting averages from the 1910's-1930's are meaningless compared to the rest of baseball history (there were seven .400 seasons in 6 years from 1920-1925). ERA numbers from the deadball era are meaningless. Modern records like Gibson's 1.12 and McClain's 31 wins are meaningless cuz they happened in 1968. RBI and runs scored totals from the 20's and 30's are meaningless; 18 of the top 20 (of the "modern" era) of both stats came in those decades. Manny's 165 rbi in 1999 is the most in the last 80 years...and still didn't crack the top dozen all time (it's 13th).

So yeah. At least the meaningless HR records are in good company and right in line with most the rest of them.

This season is dumb. These sorts of things are fun when they're relatively rare. When everyone can hit 15 home runs, it stops being remarkable. And it has gone well past that to tedious.


This is true, though. There's not too much offense; the TYPE of offense has just become too homogenized. 2014 was a terrible year; probably the worst in my 30+ years of fandom. They needed to do SOMETHING to increase scoring. More homers was the wrong move, though. I'd love it if we could somehow keep the same number of runs per game, but do it through higher batting averages and fewer k's rather than with more dingers.
   31. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: August 29, 2019 at 03:01 PM (#5875367)
I don't know if hitters would adjust. I think that the ball would need to be severely deadened to shift what is (apparently) the optimal hitting strategy.


Yeah, that's right. And the suggestion (in 26) that you and I were both responding to is that they deaden the ball.

How much it needs to be deadened is a question for people who are better at physics than I am. But there's some point at which the expected wOBA of trying to hit line drives is, for most batters (or for whatever really large percentage of batters you want), greater than the expected wOBA of trying to hit fly balls. Whatever that amount is, is what they need to do to it.

(Gallo in my last post may have been a bad example. Maybe the optimal strategy for guys with 90 power is to try to knock the stuffing out of it no matter what they do to the ball.)

The other option is to move the fences way back. Move them far enough and the extra doubles/triples will make up the scoring lost to the home runs. Now, the effect of that would be everybody and their brother hitting 15 triples a year. But that's got to be an improvement over what we've got. I mean, the deal is trading running and sliding for jogging. As a fan, who doesn't make that trade?
   32. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: August 29, 2019 at 03:20 PM (#5875373)
From #9:
There’s rookie Oscar Mercado, who just 3 years ago in a full season at hi-A hit ZERO.
The Florida State League can produce some fun results. Mercado's entire Palm Beach Cardinals team hit 33 home runs in 137 games, one home run every 4.15 games. They were out-homered by the opposition 70-33. The team was led by Orlano Olivera, who slugged six round trippers while batting 220/288/307. How often does a team's leading home run hitter bat 220/288/307? No other Palm Beach player hit more than 3 home runs.
   33. PreservedFish Posted: August 29, 2019 at 03:31 PM (#5875376)
But there's some point at which the expected wOBA of trying to hit line drives is, for most batters (or for whatever really large percentage of batters you want), greater than the expected wOBA of trying to hit fly balls. Whatever that amount is, is what they need to do to it.


Right, I'm just saying that they might need to dramatically change the ball to do this. A subtle deadening, that causes Freddy Galvis to hit 18 homeruns instead of 21, isn't going to change anyone's approach.
   34. TomH Posted: August 29, 2019 at 03:32 PM (#5875378)
Per Davo's list in #14; so the Astros (2000) held the NL team record for highest ISO, and perhaps the Astros (2019) could hold the AL record! And to think they used to play in the worst HR park (Astrodome)!
   35. Itchy Row Posted: August 29, 2019 at 03:55 PM (#5875387)
699 pitchers have given up a home run this year. The record (from last year) is 700.

Until 2000, there hadn't been a season where 600 pitchers even made an appearance. 2015 was the first time 700 pitchers appeared. There have been 792 pitchers this year, three behind last year's record.
   36. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: August 29, 2019 at 03:57 PM (#5875388)
And the extra 92 pitchers are probably all position players.

My team has used 3 (Altherr, Quinn, Sean Rodriguez) and I'm guessing that's typical.
   37. Rally Posted: August 29, 2019 at 04:16 PM (#5875393)
699 pitchers have given up a home run this year. The record (from last year) is 700.

Until 2000, there hadn't been a season where 600 pitchers even made an appearance. 2015 was the first time 700 pitchers appeared. There have been 792 pitchers this year, three behind last year's record.


You piqued my interest. So of 792 pitchers, 93 have not allowed a homer. Several are probably lucky position players who pitched a homerless inning. Who has the most innings avoiding the longball?

Answer is Darwinzon Hernandez, 24.1 innings. He's walked 20 and struck out 44. Guys with great stuff who can't find the plate will be tough to square up a baseball against. Rowan Wick #2 with 22.1 innings, 12 guys have double digit innings.

   38. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 29, 2019 at 04:36 PM (#5875397)
When everyone can hit 15 home runs, it stops being remarkable. And it has gone well past that to tedious.
Why is that different than everyone throwing at 95 MPH? As has been noted in other threads, the top HR hitters aren’t threatening any records this season, even though players are hitting more HRs. That suggests that hitting techniques have changed a bit with the launch angle revolution. So, it may not just be a livelier ball. One thing I like about baseball is that it evolves, and there are counters to various strategies, and I’d like to see that happen without further intervention. I wouldn’t favor deliberately deadening the ball, but if as many contend, changes in “gripability” of the ball has made some pitches less effective, I’d be OK with taking a look at that.
   39. PreservedFish Posted: August 29, 2019 at 04:54 PM (#5875400)
I appreciate your perspective, but in the case of rising HRs and rising Ks, there's no evidence of ebb and flow, it's just flow.
   40. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 29, 2019 at 05:36 PM (#5875408)
Why is that different than everyone throwing at 95 MPH? As has been noted in other threads, the top HR hitters aren’t threatening any records this season, even though players are hitting more HRs. That suggests that hitting techniques have changed a bit with the launch angle revolution. So, it may not just be a livelier ball. One thing I like about baseball is that it evolves, and there are counters to various strategies, and I’d like to see that happen without further intervention. I wouldn’t favor deliberately deadening the ball, but if as many contend, changes in “gripability” of the ball has made some pitches less effective, I’d be OK with taking a look at that.

That sucks too.

As PF says, HR and Ks just go up, and up, and up. I'm sick of the evolution, which is just hitters aim for HRs, so we use more pitchers, and restrict pitcher outing, to get a higher % of pitches thrown at 95+. That's no strategy at all. It's long past time for some serious intervention.

I'd deaden the crap out of the ball, or increase drag or whatever will cut HR in half, and then squeeze the strike-zone until we get back to 4.5 R/G.
   41. caspian88 Posted: August 29, 2019 at 06:18 PM (#5875410)
I like deadening the ball, pushing the fences back, and a hard pitch clock.
   42. AndrewJ Posted: August 29, 2019 at 07:22 PM (#5875415)
Per Davo's list in #14; so the Astros (2000) held the NL team record for highest ISO, and perhaps the Astros (2019) could hold the AL record! And to think they used to play in the worst HR park (Astrodome)!

Maybe I'm just middle aged, but I still think of the Astros as this inherently low-scoring team. Seeing their 2019 hitting stats is a culture shock.
   43. Booey Posted: August 29, 2019 at 07:47 PM (#5875423)
#38 - I actually view it as a negative that the top HR hitters aren't threatening the records. If we're going to have this many homers, I'd much rather see some epic McGwire/Sosa type duels. Those were at least exciting. But setting overall HR records just cuz every rando hits 15-30 is boring. It's just bringing the stars down closer to the average players.

Edit: And yeah, I think the simple fact that everyone TRIES to hit homers now due to analytics and launch angles and such has as much to do with the current state of the game as the ball (it's a factor though too, of course).
   44. Howie Menckel Posted: August 29, 2019 at 07:48 PM (#5875424)
how about the Mets?
not only Alonso already owning the Mets' single-season HR record and it's August, but 6 of their 9 double-digit HR guys are age 27 or younger. this is a franchise where 120 HR gets you a slot in their all-time top 10.

not only is Alonso headed there, but seemingly also Conforto, Rosario, and McNeil, too - by the time they're 30, in the first 3 cases (I don't know what to make of J.D. Davis - 17 HR, 133 OPS+ this year)
   45. JAHV Posted: August 29, 2019 at 07:59 PM (#5875427)
Why is that different than everyone throwing at 95 MPH?


It's only different in that it wasn't the thrust of this article's "fun fact." For the sake of the broader point, I also hate that every relief pitcher (and many starters) throw 95+ MPH. I have stopped finding strikeouts, and strikeout-related trivia, at all interesting.

I certainly hope that there's some counter-strategy in the works, but I don't see it without some outside intervention. Strikeouts are the best things for pitchers and the rules currently allow for 16-man pitching staffs (including the minor league reliever shuttle) comprising five starters and a bunch of guys who throw 98 with devastating sliders that they often can't locate. Home runs are the best things for batters and so batters will continue to swing for the fences and not care all that much about striking out. Where's the incentive for either side to change without something else being introduced?
   46. JAHV Posted: August 29, 2019 at 08:07 PM (#5875429)
#38 - I actually view it as a negative that the top HR hitters aren't threatening the records. If we're going to have this many homers, I'd much rather see some epic McGwire/Sosa type duels. Those were at least exciting. But setting overall HR records just cuz every rando hits 15-30 is boring. It's just bringing the stars down closer to the average players.


I was thinking about this today, too. Posnanski has mentioned it recently in some of his writing. MLB is going to set a record this season for most players to hit X number of home runs where X < ~30. But there were more pure sluggers in the early 2000s duking it out for home run titles at a 40-, 50-, or 60-home run pace, so those records will stay intact. That would certainly be more fun than this barrage of random dudes hitting 22 homeruns and every decent or better prospect coming up and setting a home run record for most home runs in Y at bats to start a career.

Home run trots just aren't that much fun to watch over and over again.
   47. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 29, 2019 at 08:35 PM (#5875433)
Aquino just hit another HR, his 14th in 104 PA. At that pace, he would break Bonds record in just over 9 seasons of 625 PA per year. Or maybe a little quicker if he picks up his pace after becoming more acclimated to the Major Leagues.
   48. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: August 29, 2019 at 08:40 PM (#5875435)
the TYPE of offense has just become too homogenized.

Not just the offense. The pitching staffs have also become homogenized, killing the concept of the marquee pitching matchup. Nobody's going to buy tickets to a game because two perennial 14-win/200-strikeout pitchers are going to do battle for 6 innings or 100 pitches -- whichever comes first -- before the game becomes a parade of anonymous guys on both sides who throw 98 for no more than one inning.
   49. Howie Menckel Posted: August 29, 2019 at 08:59 PM (#5875439)
Aquino just hit a ridiculous rocket at Starlin Castro at 3B that seemed to have Castro wishing he had full football pads. he fought it off into foul territory for a single. best he could do.

per Post 2, Aquino practically stands directly facing the pitcher rather than perpindicular (is that what it is? school was a long time ago).

per Post 48, deGrom and Lester were locked in a 1-1 battle in the 7th before Caratini hit a crushing 3-run HR into the upper deck.
   50. DanG Posted: August 29, 2019 at 09:33 PM (#5875453)
Players active in 2019 with fewest career HR, minimum 1250 PA

Player           HR  ISO OPS+   PA   Age  SB   BA  OBP  SLG
JB Shuck          8 .071   72 1289 24
-32  25 .243 .296 .314
Ruben Tejada     10 .067   81 2396 20
-29  16 .250 .324 .317
Donovan Solano   13 .082   82 1362 24
-31  11 .268 .314 .350
Mallex Smith     13 .112   93 1524 23
-26 108 .262 .331 .374
Delino DeShields 17 .096   77 1852 22
-26 102 .246 .329 .342
Dee Gordon       18 .076   91 3944 23
-31 326 .288 .320 .364
Miguel Rojas     19 .085   84 1786 25
-30  16 .263 .316 .348
Drew Butera      19 .098   53 1364 26
-35   0 .201 .258 .299
Jace Peterson    20 .102   76 1629 24
-29  39 .227 .314 .329
Billy Hamilton   21 .084   68 3055 22
-28 298 .242 .296 .326
Jarrod Dyson     21 .093   80 2550 25
-34 247 .250 .320 .343
Matt Duffy       21 .097   97 1710 23
-28  32 .282 .335 .379
Leury Garcia     22 .103   76 1459 22
-28  56 .255 .291 .358
Ryan Goins       22 .106   67 1654 25
-31   6 .231 .280 .337
Juan Lagares     22 .104   83 2074 24
-30  43 .255 .298 .359 
   51. SoSH U at work Posted: August 29, 2019 at 10:38 PM (#5875465)
I'd deaden the crap out of the ball, or increase drag or whatever will cut HR in half, and then squeeze the strike-zone until we get back to 4.5 R/G


I still suspect that 87 feet has to be part of the equation, though deeper fences are right there as well. You need things that don't just make homers harder to hit, but also make offensive strikeouts (and the swings that produce them) more costly. You need a combination that reduces HR/PA and increases OBABIP*.


*Real OBA, which counts ROE in the numerator.
   52. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: August 30, 2019 at 05:57 AM (#5875496)
This is as good of a place as any to put this nugget:

Christopher Kamka @ckamka

Cody Bellinger has 42 home runs this season.

Off 42 different pitchers.

The only batter to finish a season with at least 40 HR off all different pitchers is Albert Pujols with 40 in 2015.
   53. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 30, 2019 at 06:50 AM (#5875498)
699 pitchers have given up a home run this year.
And that's just on the Orioles!
   54. . Posted: August 30, 2019 at 07:06 AM (#5875499)
I don't know if hitters would adjust. I think that the ball would need to be severely deadened to shift what is (apparently) the optimal hitting strategy.


Every time I think about this one, it ends up at the optimal hitting strategy/launch angle being almost entirely a function of fence distance. Just as with happened with golf courses in big league golf, current fence distances are too short for the equipment the players are using. The golf courses all got lengthened (*) in response to the equipment changes.

(*) Or became obsolete for tournament golf.
   55. Sunday silence Posted: August 30, 2019 at 07:59 AM (#5875508)
I'd deaden the crap out of the ball, or increase drag or whatever will cut HR in half, and then squeeze the strike-zone until we get back to 4.5 R/G.


. You need things that don't just make homers harder to hit, but also make offensive strikeouts (and the swings that produce them) more costly. You need a combination that reduces HR/PA and increases OBABIP*.


why isnt the obvious solution to deaden the ball and lower the mound? I keep mentioning this in every thread and no one seems to explain why that wont work..

the TYPE of offense has just become too homogenized...

Not just the offense. The pitching staffs have also become homogenized...


Right, I dont know if there a scientific description of what is happening but you see both sides of the equation evolving in the same direction toward TTOs.

Perhaps the best example of this phenomenon is in the playoffs. During regular season runs scored on HR was like 39%; but in the playoffs it seemed to be heading even higher (I lost track by the third week of playoffs).

Its like you take the best offense and the best defense and match them up against each other and they will continue to do what theyve done to get there, so the trends that we see are even more exaggerated in the playoffs. I dont know what to call it..
   56. Sunday silence Posted: August 30, 2019 at 08:02 AM (#5875509)
As has been noted in other threads, the top HR hitters aren’t threatening any records this season, even though players are hitting more HRs. That suggests that hitting techniques have changed a bit with the launch angle revolution.


I get that hitting techniques have changed, but how do you glean this from looking at individual HR records?

Like when Ruth hit 59 HRs in 1921 I get that hitting techniques hadnt changed in the league. When Ruth broke his own record in 1927 clearly hitting techniques were changings. I just dont get how one looks at individual HR records and makes a broad based conclusion on what the league is doing.
   57. Sunday silence Posted: August 30, 2019 at 08:08 AM (#5875510)

I still suspect that 87 feet has to be part of the equation, though deeper fences are right there as well.


why wouldnt lowering the pitching mound accomplish the same thing w/o having to redesign stadiums? I dont get it.
   58. Sunday silence Posted: August 30, 2019 at 08:16 AM (#5875513)
Modern records like Gibson's 1.12 and McClain's 31 wins are meaningless cuz they happened in 1968.


I was agreeing with you up to this part. Why would McClains record be meaning less? Wins are based on his performance relative to the other pitcher, its not the same as ERA or those other records you mention.

I get that the Win stat is silly and I get that his record was something of a fluke. But he didnt win 31 games because of a raised pitchers mound and/or a dead ball. Maybe it had something do with the fact that they played in an era when starting pitcher workloads were at or near all time high?
   59. Sunday silence Posted: August 30, 2019 at 08:21 AM (#5875514)
I'd deaden the crap out of the ball, or increase drag or whatever will cut HR in half, and then squeeze the strike-zone until we get back to 4.5 R/G.


Because if you dont like hitters jogging around the bases, you're gonna LOVE hitters strolling to first on a walk!
   60. SoSH U at work Posted: August 30, 2019 at 08:41 AM (#5875517)
why isnt the obvious solution to deaden the ball and lower the mound? I keep mentioning this in every thread and no one seems to explain why that wont work..


I don't know that it won't work, but I'm just not sure it will. Deadening the ball won't make hitting singles easier; it just makes hitting harder. Lowering the mound will make strikeouts harder for the pitcher to get, but it won't change the equation for the batter. It's possible, and I suspect likely, that neither of these changes forces the batter to meaningfully change his approach at the plate (not necessarily on launch angle, which is just the part of the K onslaught, but simply trying to swing his hardest and not giving a fig about BIP).

My guess is the only way to get at this issue (if MLB is so inclined) is to actually address things that incentivize contact (making failing to put the ball in play in an at bat more punitive). Neither of your ideas does that.

Now, I would try all of the potential solutions, including yours, before I gave mine a whirl, because the rest are mostly tinkering and mine is a more fundamental switch. But I just don't the rest of them will deliver the desired results.
   61. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: August 30, 2019 at 08:59 AM (#5875519)
My guess is the only way to get at this issue (if MLB is so inclined) is to actually address things that incentivize contact (making failing to put the ball in play in an at bat more punitive)


The other thing that you could do is decrease the advantage that strikeout pitchers have over their peers. If the ball is deader, then letting batters hit the ball isn't as costly for the pitcher, so pitchers with good control but who don't get tons of Ks will gain relative to flamethrowers with iffy control.
   62. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 30, 2019 at 09:43 AM (#5875523)
Because if you dont like hitters jogging around the bases, you're gonna LOVE hitters strolling to first on a walk!

In the interim that's OK if it causes pitchers to throw strikes, which then forces batters to swing.

The other thing that you could do is decrease the advantage that strikeout pitchers have over their peers. If the ball is deader, then letting batters hit the ball isn't as costly for the pitcher, so pitchers with good control but who don't get tons of Ks will gain relative to flamethrowers with iffy control.

Right. You want to make the 6 K/9, 1.5 BB/9 pitcher a better bet than the 10 K/9, 5 BB/9 flamethrower.

Edit: I also think there has to be some way to increase drag on the baseball (the current issue) without deadening them so ground balls and liners are easier to field.

Perhaps a rougher surface, and higher laces, combined with a slightly bouncier core.
   63. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: August 30, 2019 at 10:12 AM (#5875532)
Wouldn't a rougher surface/higher laces make breaking balls move more? I'd love it if it favored guys who throw 88 with a repertoire of ridiculous breaking pitches.

I suspect that the effects of tweaks to the ball are so unknowable that MLB would need a lot of experimental time to work out the ramifications. The home run derby that is the 2019 AAA season with the MLB ball was functionally an experiment to see if the MLB ball is juiced. (It is.) They should be working out a bunch of alternate balls, and distributing them to as many winter leagues as they can cajole into getting involved, and maybe divide some among the 5 AA and AAA leagues next season if they have to.
   64. PreservedFish Posted: August 30, 2019 at 10:14 AM (#5875533)
I used to be in favor of limiting the number of pitchers on a roster, but I now realize that the practical result of that would be to enshrine the role of the position-player-pitcher in any game where one team leads another by 4-5 runs. It would take more rulemaking to sort out, and the more complex the new rules are, the stupider unintended consequences and loopholes we'll get.

I suppose you could just place an outright ban on position-player pitching - after all, for the first time in history, you've required the league or teams themselves to define what a pitcher is vs a position player - but I suspect there'd be a lot of caterwauling about how you're causing injuries to the poor mopup men.
   65. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 30, 2019 at 10:18 AM (#5875537)
Wouldn't a rougher surface/higher laces make breaking balls move more? I'd love it if it favored guys who throw 88 with a repertoire of ridiculous breaking pitches.


That would be an awesome potential side effect.

I suspect that the effects of tweaks to the ball are so unknowable that MLB would need a lot of experimental time to work out the ramifications. The home run derby that is the 2019 AAA season with the MLB ball was functionally an experiment to see if the MLB ball is juiced. (It is.) They should be working out a bunch of alternate balls, and distributing them to as many winter leagues as they can cajole into getting involved, and maybe divide some among the 5 AA and AAA leagues next season if they have to.

Agree completely.
   66. PreservedFish Posted: August 30, 2019 at 10:20 AM (#5875540)
I still think that the 87 foot basepath is too subtle a change to make any difference, and it's a nonstarter anyway because it will be seen as a radical change.

Deadening the ball or changing roster rules are essentially invisible changes. They alter how the FO and the manager make decisions, but don't alter the game on the field. I prefer such solutions, at least as the first measure to try.
   67. PreservedFish Posted: August 30, 2019 at 10:21 AM (#5875543)
Wouldn't a rougher surface/higher laces make breaking balls move more? I'd love it if it favored guys who throw 88 with a repertoire of ridiculous breaking pitches.


That would be an awesome potential side effect.


Unfortunately, we all know that it would mostly just make the 92 mph slider even more effective.
   68. Blastin Posted: August 30, 2019 at 10:27 AM (#5875547)

I'd deaden the crap out of the ball, or increase drag or whatever will cut HR in half, and then squeeze the strike-zone until we get back to 4.5 R/G.


See, this is way too far. I want a lot of offense just not this specific type.

I'd prefer to have the 1930s to this.

4.5 R/G is awful. Awful awful awful. I really hate when teams can't hit. And cutting HR in half is too far.

That brief period half a decade ago where having a .750 OPS was good was awful to me. Just, awful.
   69. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: August 30, 2019 at 10:28 AM (#5875548)
1. Deaden the ball.
2. Increase base stealing through changing the rule on pickoff throws.
The Atlantic League has seen a huge increase in steals from doing this in the second half. It should be mitigated as pitchers work on slide steps and whatever but still.
2a. Doing this will incentivize teams to have power fast guys / less power guys. That plus increased pitcher velocity / improved training for hitters should lead to more doubles and triples.
I think you can make this roughly run neutral, on balance, and could result in a diverse set of offensive types going forward, which I regard as a plus.
   70. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: August 30, 2019 at 10:30 AM (#5875550)
Now, I would try all of the potential solutions, including yours, before I gave mine [shortening the distance between bases] a whirl, because the rest are mostly tinkering and mine is a more fundamental switch. But I just don't the rest of them will deliver the desired results.

I agree that improving the situation for baserunners is a worthy goal -- stolen bases are way down from even a few years ago -- and I don't think it requires a massive alteration of the field or how the game is played to do it. I'd start with these two incremental changes and go from there:

1. Increase the size of the bases (excluding home plate) from 15x15 to 21x21.

2. Rule that a baserunner occupies a base from the time he touches it until he goes completely past it (i.e. the base extends directly up into the air).

I have no clue how significant an effect this would have, but these are really easy changes to implement to prioritize speed on the basepaths. You'd incentivize stealing bases both by decreasing the distance (89' rather than 90') and by eliminating the most asinine replay reviews (whether a baserunner briefly lost contact with the base while sliding over it). Roughly doubling the surface area of the base should also cut down on collisions, so there's a side benefit of improving player health and safety.
   71. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 30, 2019 at 10:35 AM (#5875552)
See, this is way too far. I want a lot of offense just not this specific type.

I'd prefer to have the 1930s to this.

4.5 R/G is awful. Awful awful awful. I really hate when teams can't hit. And cutting HR in half is too far.

That brief period half a decade ago where having a .750 OPS was good was awful to me. Just, awful.


That's basically where we are now (~4.8), and were in the 1970's and 1980's. 1975 was 4.2, 1985 was 4.3.

Scoring is usually expressed per team.
   72. SoSH U at work Posted: August 30, 2019 at 10:36 AM (#5875553)
I still think that the 87 foot basepath is too subtle a change to make any difference, and it's a nonstarter anyway because it will be seen as a radical change.


I know you've expressed this, but I obviously disagree. It would absolutely require infielders to move in closer to the plate. Otherwise too many infield grounders would result in hits. This would allow more groundballs/line drives to get through the infield, allow more pop-ups, flares to get between the infield and outfield, and likely lead to more ROEs, given less time to overcome a miscue. Also, the reduced distance would mean the guy on first is more likely to score than he previously would have been, as SB rates would go up and first to third and second to home on singles would have higher success rates/DPs would become more difficult to turn. Reaching first would become more valuable relative to the dinger than it currently is.

By itself, that might not be enough. But couple it with some of the other proposed changes that will dampen homers/reduce Ks, and we may get where we want to be.

And if the Atlantic League can introduce the any ball that gets past the catcher can result in a runner stealing first rule, then 87 sure as hell isn't too radical for that circuit.
   73. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: August 30, 2019 at 10:58 AM (#5875566)
why isnt the obvious solution to deaden the ball and lower the mound? I keep mentioning this in every thread and no one seems to explain why that wont work..


It should be the first choice, since it's definitely the least intrusive option.
   74. PreservedFish Posted: August 30, 2019 at 11:08 AM (#5875571)
I think people perceive 90 feet as sacrosanct. Maybe I'm wrong.
   75. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 30, 2019 at 11:12 AM (#5875572)
I think people perceive 90 feet as sacrosanct. Maybe I'm wrong.

I would not be pleased with that change. I mean, we could reduce Ks by going to 4 balls, 4 strikes, but, ugh.
   76. Booey Posted: August 30, 2019 at 11:14 AM (#5875573)
I was agreeing with you up to this part. Why would McClains record be meaning less? Wins are based on his performance relative to the other pitcher, its not the same as ERA or those other records you mention.


I don't know. That might have been a bad example; I haven't really given the logistics behind it much thought. It just seemed like too big a coincidence that the only 30 win season in the last - what, 85 years? - happened to come in the year of the pitcher.

See, this is way too far. I want a lot of offense just not this specific type.

I'd prefer to have the 1930s to this.

4.5 R/G is awful. Awful awful awful. I really hate when teams can't hit. And cutting HR in half is too far.

That brief period half a decade ago where having a .750 OPS was good was awful to me. Just, awful.


4.5 R/G isn't bad, but I agree 100% with the rest of this post. I understand that many (most?) posters here grew up in the 70's and 80's so that level of offense tends to be what they prefer, but guys leading the league with 35 homers, 109 rbi, and a .550 slg isn't historically "normal". That's way too low, and we shouldn't have to rely on stats like OPS+ to tell who's having a great season. It should be obvious. Now, we don't need to go back to the 20's and 30's where the top players were hitting .375-.400 with a .700 slg and 160 rbi (although that would be cool), but the BEST players should be able to at least hit around .320 with 40-45 homers and 120-130 rbi. Basically, the numbers the 1950's NL stars were putting up year after year (Aaron, Mays, F.Robinson, Mathews, Banks, Snider, etc).

Off the top of my head, a few years that always stood out as being a perfect level of offense to me are 2008-2009 (4.65 and 4.61 R/G), 2002 (4.62), 1993 (4.60), 1977 (4.47), 1961 (4.53), and most the years between 1948-1956 (avg of 4.52). So I'd say that 4.4 - 4.7 R/G seems just about right. The 70's and 80's had a bunch of years in the 4.0 - 4.2 range that were clearly too low. Much of the 60's - and a few years in the early 70's (1971 and 1972 were 3.89 and 3.69) - were WAY too low. The recent mini-deadball eras of 1988-1992 (avg of 4.19) and 2010-2015 (avg of 4.24, including 4.17 in 2013 and 4.07 in 2014) were boring.
   77. Blastin Posted: August 30, 2019 at 11:18 AM (#5875576)
I was wrong about the average, but agree entirely with the post above me.

2012-2015 was awful, and led directly to this nonsense. Also, I think it's a huge part of why Trout was underappreciated, his explosion came at a time when his numbers out of context didn't seem as exceptional. Context matters but it shouldn't matter as much as it did.

   78. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 30, 2019 at 11:19 AM (#5875578)
Off the top of my head, a few years that always stood out as being a perfect level of offense to me are 2008-2009 (4.65 and 4.61 R/G), 2002 (4.62), 1993 (4.60), 1977 (4.47), 1961 (4.53), and most the years between 1948-1956 (avg of 4.52). So I'd say that 4.4 - 4.7 R/G seems just about right.

So, exactly what I said?

but the BEST players should be able to at least hit around .320 with 40-45 homers and 120-130 rbi. Basically, the numbers the 1950's NL stars were putting up year after year (Aaron, Mays, F.Robinson, Mathews, Banks, Snider, etc).

Scoring in the 1950s NL ranged from 4.2 to 4.8 R/G.
   79. SoSH U at work Posted: August 30, 2019 at 11:23 AM (#5875582)

I think people perceive 90 feet as sacrosanct. Maybe I'm wrong.


I don't think you're wrong. I believe that, and honestly I'd like nothing more than for Red Smith to be correct. But I think we have to recognize that getting the game into the balance we want (if, in fact, that desire is shared by MLB) may require fundamental change.

Ultimately, I think it's going to require a host of changes, some small, some more structural. But I don't think we get there without involving change that reduces defensive efficiency on balls in play. It doesn't necessarily have to be a reduction in the distance between the paths, but I do believe our options are somewhat limited and will mostly likely require some kind of major change. For example, going to a volleyball style rotational defensive system, where every position player must rotate each inning to a spot on the defensive spectrum (save the pitcher's mound) would also make BIP more valuable. That type of change would seem to be equally monumental.

To me, whatever the sport do is most likely going to require this kind of major change, in conjunction with smaller ones (it's worth noting that my idea, in a vacuum, would only serve to boost offense*). It would have to be accompanied by some other change (say ball deadening) that also took some steam out of run scoring.

* It seems most of us are OK with the run environment in today's game. We just don't like the balance of events producing that RE.

   80. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 30, 2019 at 11:27 AM (#5875585)
2012-2015 was awful, and led directly to this nonsense. Also, I think it's a huge part of why Trout was underappreciated, his explosion came at a time when his numbers out of context didn't seem as exceptional. Context matters but it shouldn't matter as much as it did.

I see no improvement in today's product vs, 2010-15. I think it's worse. I'd give up some scoring to get rid of the extra HR and K.

Why does it matter if the league leader has 40 HRs or 50? Hank Aaron never hit 50 HRs in his life.
   81. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 30, 2019 at 11:27 AM (#5875587)
But I don't think we get there without involving change that reduces defensive efficiency on balls in play.

How about reducing maximum glove size? That would be a very subtle change.
   82. Booey Posted: August 30, 2019 at 11:36 AM (#5875590)
So, exactly what I said?


Yes, my post was agreeing with you about 4.5 R/G being fine.

Scoring in the 1950s NL ranged from 4.2 to 4.8 R/G.


Also yes, which is why I said most the years in the 1950's. Some years were a bit high and others were a bit low, but the average was right around where it should be.
   83. SoSH U at work Posted: August 30, 2019 at 11:39 AM (#5875592)
How about reducing maximum glove size? That would be a very subtle change.


I think that should absolutely be part of the package. It's easy and unobtrusive, and attacks the issue directly. But my feeling about that is akin to PF's feeling about the distance between the bases. That's just going to help on the edges (in this case, literally). It's not enough, even with other changes.
   84. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 30, 2019 at 11:41 AM (#5875593)
Yes, my post was agreeing with you about 4.5 R/G being fine.

OK. Misread you.

Also yes, which is why I said most the years in the 1950's. Some years were a bit high and others were a bit low, but the average was right around where it should be.

Right, you're going to get variation around the mean. My point was the big stars were able to put up the numbers you want in a 4.5 R/G environment. We don't need to juice offense to get Mays/Aaron/Mantle/Robinson stat lines, if those kind of historical talents are in the league.
   85. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 30, 2019 at 11:44 AM (#5875595)
I think that should absolutely be part of the package. It's easy and unobtrusive, and attacks the issue directly. But my feeling about that is akin to PF's feeling about the distance between the bases. That's just going to help on the edges (in this case, literally). It's not enough, even with other changes.

Yeah, but taking say two or three feet off every fielder's range on every play (because of the need to use two-hands more often) is going to do a lot to improve BABIP.

You're definitely going to need a whole portfolio of changes, but this is an easy one that can be introduced without worrying too much about unintended consequences. Smaller glove has to lead to fewer outs on BIP.
   86. . Posted: August 30, 2019 at 11:56 AM (#5875602)
the TYPE of offense has just become too homogenized...

Not just the offense. The pitching staffs have also become homogenized...


This isn't surprising, as in a competitive capitalist system everything tends to become more homogenized over time. Labor becomes more and more specialized within the competitive environment and the best specialty wins out. It's essentially the same reason pitcher hitting gets comparatively worse over time. Generalists become less and less proficient relative to specialists over time in pretty much everything.
   87. SoSH U at work Posted: August 30, 2019 at 11:57 AM (#5875603)
because of the need to use two-hands more often) is going to do a lot to improve BABIP.


Unless you're talking deadball-era mitts, I don't think players are going to have to use two hands.

And if you are talking deadball-era mitts, I fear you're going to lose a lot of young players before they get to the big leagues who don't want to play a sport that uses deadball-era mitts.

   88. Booey Posted: August 30, 2019 at 11:58 AM (#5875604)
I see no improvement in today's product vs, 2010-15. I think it's worse.


2014 was terrible. Probably the worst season I've seen (I've been following MLB since 1987). The fewest runs since 1981, the lowest BA and OBP since 1972 (although 2018 surpassed it in BA), the fewest HR's and the lowest OPS since 1992, etc. What we have now is slightly better, although 2016-2017 were better than 2019.

We just need higher batting averages (and to do that we have to reduce K's, which would put more balls in play). Again, we don't need to go back to the 1920's and 30's where the league average was in the .280's-.290's (and that's without a DH), but the .265-.270 range of the 90's and 2000's was perfect. Even the .260-ish range of the late 40's to mid 50's would be fine. But this .250-.255 nonsense of the past decade (last year was .248) is just crap.

   89. Booey Posted: August 30, 2019 at 12:02 PM (#5875605)
Why does it matter if the league leader has 40 HRs or 50? Hank Aaron never hit 50 HRs in his life.


It doesn't. But he shouldn't have 35-39, which was common in the 70's and 80's. And there were several 50 HR seasons during Aaron's career. He broke the record cuz of his unbelievable consistency and longevity, not because he ever put up "HOLY CRAP!" seasonal HR totals, even relative to his own era.

Edit: There were five 50 HR seasons during Aaron's career. That sounds about right over a two decade span. Compare that to the best sluggers of the 70's and 80's: there was ONE 50 HR season during Reggie and Schmidt's careers. That's too few.
   90. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: August 30, 2019 at 12:03 PM (#5875608)
One thing to keep in mind is that any change has to be obvious enough (to the players) to get them to change their approach. Smaller gloves makes balls in play more valuable, but will this sink in to players to the point that they stop their uppercutting ways?

Now, it could also make a difference if front offices stop selecting for guys with upper cuts, but in that case the change is going to have to be pretty big, because it's going to need to show up statistically - through all the random noise that baseball is filled with - in order for front offices to act on it.
   91. . Posted: August 30, 2019 at 12:05 PM (#5875610)
I think people perceive 90 feet as sacrosanct. Maybe I'm wrong.


They're effectively around 89 in the Atlantic League. I think they've expanded the bases by six inches both ways. That's a guess, but the bases are effectively less than 90 feet apart in this year's Atlantic League.
   92. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 30, 2019 at 12:08 PM (#5875613)
Unless you're talking deadball-era mitts, I don't think players are going to have to use two hands.

And if you are talking deadball-era mitts, I fear you're going to lose a lot of young players before they get to the big leagues who don't want to play a sport that uses deadball-era mitts.


Not dead-ball era, but 1950's maybe. Willie Mays used two hands on "The Catch".

And the rule wouldn't apply to Little League/HS/College, so I don't get your point. You think a kid is going to avoid playing baseball because in the 1 in 25,000 chance he gets drafted he'll have to learn to use a smaller glove?
   93. . Posted: August 30, 2019 at 12:09 PM (#5875614)
We just need higher batting averages (and to do that we have to reduce K's, which would put more balls in play). Again, we don't need to go back to the 1920's and 30's where the league average was in the .280's-.290's (and that's without a DH), but the .265-.270 range of the 90's and 2000's was perfect. Even the .260-ish range of the late 40's to mid 50's would be fine. But this .250-.255 nonsense of the past decade (last year was .248) is just crap.


And it's not just the .248 being crap, which it is, but also the incompetent swings at so many garbage pitches. It's like if all of a sudden NBA players started shooting .350 on free throws and one out of every three free throw misses was an airball.
   94. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 30, 2019 at 12:12 PM (#5875616)
They're effectively around 89 in the Atlantic League. I think they've expanded the bases by six inches both ways. That's a guess, but the bases are effectively less than 90 feet apart in this year's Atlantic League.

They've always been less than 90'. 90 feet is measured from the outside points of the bases, and the center of home plate. All of 1b, and 2b, and 3b are within the 90'.

With 15 inch bases, the distance is already at 88'.
   95. SoSH U at work Posted: August 30, 2019 at 12:20 PM (#5875617)
Willie Mays used two hands on "The Catch".


And Al Gionfriddo used one hand seven years earlier. Players weren't required to catch the ball with one hand then, and they won't be now if the gloves are reduced to 50s sizes. Any ball that can only be caught at the end of a player's range will be caught with one hand, as it's been since the 1920s, at least. For the most part, I believe reducing glove sizes will only reduce player range by the size of the glove reduction (plus maybe a few more errors scattered around, particularly during the transition phase). Worth doing, for sure. I just don't see how it leads to major change.

And the rule wouldn't apply to Little League/HS/College, so I don't get your point.


If MLB players are all wearing tiny gloves (which is the only way you're going to get to that two-hand requirement to meaningfully affect player range), that would filter down to lower leagues. You wouldn't teach a generation of kids to play with today's sized mitts if they can't use anything like them at the highest level.

   96. Blastin Posted: August 30, 2019 at 12:28 PM (#5875620)
I see no improvement in today's product vs, 2010-15. I think it's worse. I'd give up some scoring to get rid of the extra HR and K.


I just think it's a different kind of bad. I agree it is not better; they tried to fix it and they just broke it differently.
   97. Booey Posted: August 30, 2019 at 12:39 PM (#5875629)
I just think it's a different kind of bad. I agree it is not better; they tried to fix it and they just broke it differently.


Yep. Reminds me of that great exchange in the second Jurassic Park movie:

John Hammond: "I'm not making the same mistakes twice!"

Ian Malcolm: "No, you're making all new ones..."
   98. PreservedFish Posted: August 30, 2019 at 01:02 PM (#5875635)
The effect of smaller gloves would be infinitesimally small, impossible even for the most brilliant statisticians to perceive. The idea that it would change hitter philosophy is insane.

We already have damn good evidence of how much inducement a hitter needs to change his approach. Just imagine if I told you that in some situations, the shortstop and the thirdbaseman actually cede the left side of the infield to the hitter, allowing him an extraordinary opportunity to bunt or chop the ball that way and make a sure base hit. Would you believe that the hitters just don't care?
   99. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 30, 2019 at 01:15 PM (#5875641)
The effect of smaller gloves would be infinitesimally small, impossible even for the most brilliant statisticians to perceive. The idea that it would change hitter philosophy is insane.

We already have damn good evidence of how much inducement a hitter needs to change his approach. Just imagine if I told you that in some situations, the shortstop and the thirdbaseman actually cede the left side of the infield to the hitter, allowing him an extraordinary opportunity to bunt or chop the ball that way and make a sure base hit. Would you believe that the hitters just don't care?


It only helps in combination. The starting premise is we make other change to make the "sell out for HRs all the time" approach impracticable for 80-90% of players.

If all their fly balls were dying in outfielders' gloves, the hitters would start caring, or they'll wash out of the league. Either way, I'm good.
   100. PreservedFish Posted: August 30, 2019 at 01:24 PM (#5875643)
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