Dewan: Shifts happen: 2017 defensive projections

From SABR member John Dewan at ACTA Sports on April 18, 2017:

Two weeks of baseball are now in the books. Early-season standings continue to be unpredictable, but one thing that's not is the league's increasing use of shifts. Teams are currently on pace to shift a record number of times for the sixth consecutive season. Note that all shift totals referenced in this article are shifts on balls in play.

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With a combined 2,542 shifts this season, teams have already surpassed the total from 2011, demonstrating the drastic overhaul the league has undertaken in just six short years. Over a 162-game season, teams are on pace to total 31,677 shifts, which would represent a 13 percent increase over last season's number. This pales in comparison to the increase between 2015 and 2016—58 percent—and is actually the smallest percent increase since league-wide shifts began their record-breaking trend between 2011 and 2012. Even though shifts are still increasing, the rate at which they're doing so is slowing down as teams approach optimal shift usage.

Read the full article here: http://www.statoftheweek.com

This page was last updated April 18, 2017 at 3:49 pm MST.