Roegele: The 2017 strike zone

From Jon Roegele at The Hardball Times on March 28, 2018:

Spring training is wrapping up, and actual major league games are beginning Thursday for our viewing pleasure. Before the regular season begins, let’s review what happened with respect to the strike zone in 2017.

For many years after the introduction of pitch tracking data in the public sphere, the strike zone was a hot topic. Between 2009 and 2015, the size of the called strike zone increased each season, thanks in large part to the bottom of the zone dropping on the order of three inches—the diameter of a baseball—during that stretch. Armed with a technology-driven feedback loop that was pushing to a more accurately and consistently called strike zone throughout the majors, the zone expanded in the process.

Over the same period, run scoring fell precipitously. At least three analysts independently calculated that the expanded strike zone directly contributed to roughly one third of that reduction in offense.

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Originally published: March 29, 2018. Last Updated: March 29, 2018.