Jun

7

 The Chair and Collab wrote in Practical Speculation that the frequency of home runs in baseball goes up and down with public sentiment on the economy. Contrary to the upside-down man's persistent gloom, baseballs are flying out of parks at the highest rate ever.

In 2017 to date, 14.2% of all hits in major league baseball have been home runs, a larger percentage than last year's record 13.3%.

Exhaustive statistical analysis has led to a change in technique. The following paragraphs are quoted from The Washington Post, "The statistical revelation that has MLB hitters bombing more home runs than the steroid era", June 1, 2017:

In 2015 the league introduced Statcast, a "state-of-the-art tracking technology capable of measuring previously unquantifiable aspects of the game," giving teams, scouts and players access to detailed data which is used to make the physics of hitting a lot clearer.

The biggest change brought about by the Statcast data is illustrating the importance of an uppercut swing that results more often in fly balls and line drives rather than groundballs. According to MLB's Statcast data, the average launch angle in 2015, the first year data is available, was 10 degrees. That has jumped to 10.8 degrees in 2016 and 10.9 degrees in 2017, causing the frequency of extra-base hits, also known as isolation percentage (ISO), to spike to .165 in 2017, which is closing in on the record mark set in 2000 (.167).


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