Wilson: Explaining the 2019 MLB home run record with Quality of Pitch

From SABR members Jason Wilson and Wayne Greiner and Joseph Lane at The Hardball Times on October 21, 2019:

Most media explain the 2019 home run “explosion” with ball manufacturing changes, and some with batter technique. Baseball is not just bats and balls, but also the art of pitching. As in the art of painting, where a small change in brush or stroke can make an entirely different result, a pitching technique’s location and pitch type can greatly affect batted ball results. Indeed, Jim Albert, the lead statistician on the MLB Commissioner’s scientific panel that studied the home run surge of 2019, recently blogged, “[D]on’t get so preoccupied with tearing up or measuring baseballs without looking at the whole story.”

In this article, we will discuss the role of pitching in the home run record of 2019. In particular, we will focus on the following three questions: (1) How do pitching changes relate to home runs? (2) Has pitching changed in 2019? (3) How has pitching changed in 2019?

Read the full article here: https://tht.fangraphs.com/explaining-the-2019-mlb-home-run-record-with-quality-of-pitch/

Originally published: October 25, 2019. Last Updated: October 25, 2019.