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TonySoprano

Are Baseballs "Juiced" This Season?

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15 hours ago, Uli2001 said:

Pitchers are throwing harder than ever and hitters are swinging for the fences. When the latter make good contact (getting more and more rare) it's going to have a very good chance of getting out. Look at the ratio of HR/K and it will tell the story, no need to blame the baseballs.

Pitcher and hitter approaches are gradual effects.  The trends you mention have been going on for many years.  But we have one obvious piece of evidence with a definitive start date: AAA began using MLB baseballs this year, and slugging is up 56 points in the IL, 40 points in the PCL.  MLB classifies the Mexican league as AAA (even though it's not that quality, and the teams are unaffiliated), and I don't know what baseballs they're using, but their slugging is up 60 points.

In the majors the only time slugging has gone up even 40 points in a year since 1900 was '76-77, and I think MLB has essentially admitted to juicing the balls that season.  Remember '87 and '93/94 when offenses went off the charts?  Not even close to a 50 point slugging increase.

In AA, with the old minor league balls, slugging is up 20, 20, and two points in the three leagues. In high A ball slugging is down 38, seven, and 13 points in the three leagues.

It's the balls.

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21 hours ago, Enjoy Terror said:

I think Keon Broxton’s first HR with us (first AB maybe) was the second longest in Oriole history behind Frank’s memorial stadium shot. I think that was in Petco maybe.

It was in Colorado, where the ball flies.    So I wouldn’t get too caught up in the distance of that HR.   Trevor Story hit one 505 feet there last year.   

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12 hours ago, DrungoHazewood said:

Pitcher and hitter approaches are gradual effects.  The trends you mention have been going on for many years.  But we have one obvious piece of evidence with a definitive start date: AAA began using MLB baseballs this year, and slugging is up 56 points in the IL, 40 points in the PCL.  MLB classifies the Mexican league as AAA (even though it's not that quality, and the teams are unaffiliated), and I don't know what baseballs they're using, but their slugging is up 60 points.

In the majors the only time slugging has gone up even 40 points in a year since 1900 was '76-77, and I think MLB has essentially admitted to juicing the balls that season.  Remember '87 and '93/94 when offenses went off the charts?  Not even close to a 50 point slugging increase.

In AA, with the old minor league balls, slugging is up 20, 20, and two points in the three leagues. In high A ball slugging is down 38, seven, and 13 points in the three leagues.

It's the balls.

It takes balls, I guess. :disco:

(where's the rimshot emoji when you need it)

Seriously thanks for the analysis. Is the increase calculated over one season of 162 games or just the number so far this season?

 

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I'd love to know how far the Mark Reynolds homer went that went into the Camden Yards club level. That is far

Edited by orpheus100

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11 hours ago, Uli2001 said:

It takes balls, I guess. :disco:

(where's the rimshot emoji when you need it)

Seriously thanks for the analysis. Is the increase calculated over one season of 162 games or just the number so far this season?

 

So far this season.  So SSS caveats could apply.  But historical trends are that the highest slugging/offensive months are almost always in mid-summer.  My guess is AAA slugging will actually be up by 60-70 points with a few months of hot weather. 

Unless someone decides that El Paso's .543 team slugging percentage is obscene and they bring back the old balls.  You know the "other" Boog Powell, who's kind of the Padres' version of Joey Rickard or something?  He's currently hitting .344/.462/.615, and he's the 5th-best hitter on El Paso. Ty France (.646 OPS in limited play with the Padres) has 17 extra base hits in 19 games.

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On 6/3/2019 at 8:07 AM, DrungoHazewood said:

In the majors the only time slugging has gone up even 40 points in a year since 1900 was '76-77, and I think MLB has essentially admitted to juicing the balls that season.  Remember '87 and '93/94 when offenses went off the charts?  Not even close to a 50 point slugging increase.

Year	R/G	SLG	pSLG	dSLGS	SLG/pSLG
1977	4.47	0.401	0.361	+0.040	111%
1911	4.51	0.357	0.326	+0.031	110%
1969	4.07	0.369	0.340	+0.029	109%
1921	4.85	0.403	0.372	+0.031	108%
1953	4.61	0.397	0.370	+0.027	107%
1919	3.88	0.348	0.325	+0.023	107%
1973	4.21	0.379	0.354	+0.025	107%
1993	4.60	0.403	0.377	+0.026	107%
1920	4.36	0.372	0.348	+0.024	107%
1981	4.00	0.369	0.388	-0.019	 95%
1967	3.77	0.357	0.376	-0.019	 95%
1971	3.89	0.365	0.385	-0.020	 95%
1963	3.95	0.372	0.393	-0.021	 95%
1926	4.64	0.389	0.411	-0.022	 95%
1978	4.10	0.379	0.401	-0.022	 95%
1933	4.48	0.376	0.400	-0.024	 94%
1942	4.08	0.350	0.375	-0.025	 93%
1904	3.72	0.321	0.346	-0.025	 93%
1988	4.14	0.378	0.415	-0.037	 91%
1931	4.81	0.391	0.434	-0.043	 90%

Top and bottom 10 changes in slugging since 1900. Interesting that in 77 it went up 11% like you said, and then in 78 plummeted right back down 9%. Power drop in8 8 and power bump in 93.

Also, that 67, right before the "year of the pitcher", slugging dipped 5%, then in '68 itself dipped another 5%(68 just missing the bottom 10 list by 1 spot). It rebounded shortly there after, but I guess the hitting lows at the end 68 we're 2 years in the making.

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1 hour ago, SurhoffRules said:

Year	R/G	SLG	pSLG	dSLGS	SLG/pSLG
1977	4.47	0.401	0.361	+0.040	111%
1911	4.51	0.357	0.326	+0.031	110%
1969	4.07	0.369	0.340	+0.029	109%
1921	4.85	0.403	0.372	+0.031	108%
1953	4.61	0.397	0.370	+0.027	107%
1919	3.88	0.348	0.325	+0.023	107%
1973	4.21	0.379	0.354	+0.025	107%
1993	4.60	0.403	0.377	+0.026	107%
1920	4.36	0.372	0.348	+0.024	107%
1981	4.00	0.369	0.388	-0.019	 95%
1967	3.77	0.357	0.376	-0.019	 95%
1971	3.89	0.365	0.385	-0.020	 95%
1963	3.95	0.372	0.393	-0.021	 95%
1926	4.64	0.389	0.411	-0.022	 95%
1978	4.10	0.379	0.401	-0.022	 95%
1933	4.48	0.376	0.400	-0.024	 94%
1942	4.08	0.350	0.375	-0.025	 93%
1904	3.72	0.321	0.346	-0.025	 93%
1988	4.14	0.378	0.415	-0.037	 91%
1931	4.81	0.391	0.434	-0.043	 90%

Top and bottom 10 changes in slugging since 1900. Interesting that in 77 it went up 11% like you said, and then in 78 plummeted right back down 9%. Power drop in8 8 and power bump in 93.

Also, that 67, right before the "year of the pitcher", slugging dipped 5%, then in '68 itself dipped another 5%(68 just missing the bottom 10 list by 1 spot). It rebounded shortly there after, but I guess the hitting lows at the end 68 we're 2 years in the making.

The top four are '77, which we already discussed being a juiced ball year.  '11, where they came out an announced that the ball was going to have a new cushioned-cork center, or something like that.  In other words, the ball was juiced.  '69, when they explicitly lowered the mound and changed the strike zone.  And '21, the year after the Babe's first huge season and directly after the Black Sox scandal broke, the deadball era ended, and everyone accused baseball of introducing what Ty Cobb called the "jackrabbit" ball.

There were also jumps similar to '77 and '11 in the 19th century after major changes to playing conditions.

One the bottom end, obvious causal effects, too.  '31 was the aftershock to '30, the biggest offensive year of the 20th century.  '88 was the same after the '87 home run explosion.  '04 was the foul-strike rule.  '42 was the start of WWII, the good players went to war, were replaced by people who weren't physically able to be drafted, and the ball got filled with fake balata rubber.

That's pretty overwhelming evidence that the ball or other major rules changes are the only reasons slugging radically changes in a single season.

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8 hours ago, orpheus100 said:

I'd love to know how far the Mark Reynolds homer went that went into the Camden Yards club level. That is far

465 Ft to hit the 2nd deck.

Quote

Before tonight, you would have to go back to August 7, 2011 to find an Orioles home run that went so far. Mark Reynolds went deep into the second deck against the Blue Jays on that night - a game where Robert Andino was the leadoff hitter and Alfredo Simon was the Orioles starting pitcher. It has been quite a while... until tonight.

https://www.camdenchat.com/2017/6/2/15733500/orioles-highlights-video-manny-machado-home-run

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55 minutes ago, DrungoHazewood said:

That's pretty overwhelming evidence that the ball or other major rules changes are the only reasons slugging radically changes in a single season.

As much as I like moving numbers around, I like that other folks can put some context around them even more.

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The D'Backs and Phillies set a record with 13 combined HRs last night.  Arizona hit 8 of them by 6 players.  Out of the starting line-up, only Chris Walker, Taylor Clarke (P), and Adam Jones failed to go yard.   Although he went homer-less, Jones has 12 for the season, a mark he didn't reach last year until August 8th, which was the 114th game of the year.

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Just now, TonySoprano said:

The D'Backs and Phillies set a record with 13 combined HRs last night.  Arizona hit 8 of them by 6 players.  Out of the starting line-up, only Chris Walker, Taylor Clarke (P), and Adam Jones failed to go yard.   Although he went homer-less, Jones has 12 for the season, a mark he didn't reach last year until August 8th, which was the 114th game of the year.

Check out the Twins if you want to see some stupid numbers.

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2 minutes ago, Can_of_corn said:

Check out the Twins if you want to see some stupid numbers.

Seattle has 1 more HR, but also in 5 more games.   Minnesota has a team OPS of .856.  Six Twins have an OPS of .851 or better.  On the Orioles, only Mancini (.890) has an OPS above .800.  

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39 minutes ago, Can_of_corn said:

Check out the Twins if you want to see some stupid numbers.

They currently have the highest slugging percentage in major league history by 24 points.  They're as far ahead of the #2 team ('03 Red Sox) as the #2 team is from the #40 team.

The '96 Orioles that hit 257 homers and scored 949 runs, multiple HOFers and multi-year All Stars... 43 points of slugging behind the Twins.

It's the major leagues with super bounce balls.

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There have been many thousands of teams in the 140+ years of major league history.  But seven of the top 100 in slugging are from 2019.  About 125 teams have ever slugged .450, and nine of them are this year.

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2 minutes ago, DrungoHazewood said:

There have been many thousands of teams in the 140+ years of major league history.  But seven of the top 100 in slugging are from 2019.  About 125 teams have ever slugged .450, and nine of them are this year.

And those numbers include the steroid era.

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