Gawlowski: When every park is a bandbox: how teams are adapting to the new ball

From Brendan Gawlowski at FanGraphs on August 7, 2019:

Baseballs are flying in the major leagues this season. Due to a few irregularities on the outer surface of the ball, everything hit in the air is carrying much farther, all else being equal, than at any point in the game’s history. Home runs are up 15% from 2018 and hitters are on pace to shatter the league’s record for dingers in a season.

As many of you also know, Triple-A teams are playing with the same ball. Previously, all minor league teams used a different, less expensive model, one with a flight pattern that more closely resembles the pre-2015 major league pelota. This year, while all other levels still play with the cheaper model, Triple-A teams are using the big league ball. As you’d expect, the home run rates from Double-A on down look very similar to how they did last year. As you’d also expect, the Triple-A home run rate has exploded.

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Originally published: August 7, 2019. Last Updated: August 7, 2019.