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Baseball fans, let's talk statistics


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Just saw this and found it interesting:


Tim Kurkjian on ESPN just said the following:


Batting average this year in MLB is .249

It was .262 five years ago.

The month of April had the most 1-0 games than any month of April in Major League history.

One day last week, 10 starting pitchers worked at least 7 innings and gave up 3 hits or less, again, never been a day like that in MLB history.

Most MLB pitchers are throwing 95 MPH with two secondary pitches that are really good; not just out of starters, but relievers as well.

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I find this quite interesting, especially with what's happened in College Baseball in recent years.  A large portion of college baseball hitting declines can be attributed to the change in bats. 

In today's MLB, the bullpen is often better than the starting rotation.

My question to you baseball guys is this; if the batting averages are going down, are the hitters getting worse, or are today's pitchers in MLB just progressing at a faster rate than the hitters? 
What has happened in the last five years that has caused the entire league average to drop 13 points?  They didn't have a bat change like the NCAA.  What is the reasoning for this? 

One would assume that most of these MLB players could hit in college and in the minors.  Why are they now in a declining state?  Are they being coached differently?  Are they not as strong?  Has the clamp down on performance-enhancing drugs and supplements caused a decline in hitting prowess? 

Just food for thought.

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What was the average last year? We aren't far at all into the season, so it could be attributed to early season slumps, etc.

 

.253; I think this was an apples:apples comparison that he was doing.  The league avg has declined in each of the past 5 years. 

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joey, if you haven't seen it there's a good writeup in the current SI (the one with johnny d-bag on the cover) called the 'whiff of crisis'.

t bemoans the increase of strikeouts (up from 13% of ABs 30-some years ago to 20% now). it lays part of the blame on umps calling a strike-zone shorter and wider than the rule book. and also the number of pitchers averaging 93 mph+ has almost tripled in the last dozen years. 

whatever it is, baseball is suffering in their estimation. hard to disagree.

 

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I think Pitchers are better. When I graduated I was an 83-85 guy in 1993. This weekend I saw 14 year olds throwing that hard with a hard slider that they threw fearlessly no matter the count. Also I think there is no longer a stigma attached to the strike out. If you watch an MLB game today watch how many people change their approaches with 2 strikes, the answer is not many. Just a couple of thoughts.

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I think Pitchers are better. When I graduated I was an 83-85 guy in 1993. This weekend I saw 14 year olds throwing that hard with a hard slider that they threw fearlessly no matter the count. Also I think there is no longer a stigma attached to the strike out. If you watch an MLB game today watch how many people change their approaches with 2 strikes, the answer is not many. Just a couple of thoughts.

 

So, in essence, hitters are encouraged to go ahead and try to have a quality AB, (which may be defined by solid contact, albeit somewhat subjective,) and strikeouts are just a part of it?  Is that a safe assumption? 

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I think you are right in that assumption Joeywa. The focus as a hitter used to be put the ball in play and with two strikes we are going to move up on the plate choke up and try to make contact any kind of contact. With this way of thinking a ground ball to the second baseman was considered a good at bat even from a three or four hole hitter. Now the approach even with two strikes is to drive the ball. This leads to longer swings that coupled with the increased velocity means that hitters are more susceptible to off speed pitches. That now everyone has.

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