Mains: The coming pop-up plague in baseball

From SABR member Rob Mains at Baseball Prospectus on July 24, 2017:

Sometimes, when you set out to find out something, you discover something else that’s more interesting. This is one of those cases. Let me walk you through it.

Last week, I noted that the Padres’ ratio of very boring plate outcomes—strikeouts and popups—compared to exciting plate outcomes—total bases—is running at an all-time high. That got me thinking. We all know that strikeouts are going to set yet another record this year. What about popups?

You might think that with batters seeking to hit balls in the air more, we’d be seeing more popups. Well, you’d be wrong. Here are popups as a percentage of all batted balls since 1989.

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Originally published: July 24, 2017. Last Updated: July 24, 2017.