Arthur: MLB admits the baseball caused another home-run surge

From SABR member Rob Arthur at Baseball Prospectus on June 28, 2019, with mention of SABR member Meredith Wills:

We’ve been witnessing a deluge of dingers that threatens to break the all-time record. Among other alarming signs, we just saw the most home runs hit in a month in major-league history and Tommy La Stella has already hit more home runs (and totaled more WARP) this season than he had in the previous five seasons, combined.

It was clear from the opening weekend that a new home run surge was unfolding. Thanks to years spent researching the actual baseball’s contribution to home runs, I was able to focus in on the likely explanation for the increase in homers this season by early April: once again, the air resistance on the baseball was down, this time to levels even below what we saw in 2017.

As a result of that decreased air resistance, batted balls are flying further and more are going over the fence than ever before. We are on track this season to not only surpass but shatter the all-time homer record (set in 2017) … by some 400 extra dingers. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred recently told us why: “We think one of the things that may be happening is they’re getting better at centering the pill, [which] creates less drag.”


Read the full article here:

Originally published: June 28, 2019. Last Updated: June 28, 2019.