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Re: Re: Re: Rise in MLB Batting Stats

Posted by: THG () on Sun Jan 13 15:09:59 2008

> >>> With regard to the rise in batting stats, better mechanics as you said are a signicant contributor. But we have to consider that expansion of the number of teams has always produced increase production for hitters. Why? Clearly there are less talented pitchers in MLB. Also they do not pitch inside effectively which is why hitters can dive over the plate and hit the outside pitches more effectively.
> Granted your top of the line pitchers we see in the playoffs can still succeed, the rest of the non elite often have trouble throwing for strikes. The result is 2-0, 3-1 counts and even fat pitches down the middle because the diluted talent cannot close out the hitter. Basically the only time you see clear dominance by the pitcher is in the allstar games. Why? Because those guys can pitch to good hitters. But unfortunately there is a trenmendous gap between a teams number 1 guy and there number 3, 4, and 5 starters.
> Lastly through the evolution of weights regarding the fit athlete and the willingness to accept the strike out, there is no wonder that hitting stats are up. But more than likely the majority of those stats are up against the weaker starters and games that are out of reach. <<<
> Hi THG
> On another board, I read a discussion on the quality of pitching today compared to past decades. Some offered views similar yours while others had different opinions. To the argument that expanding the number of teams diluted pitching talent, some made the point that is not the case because today recruiting of pitchers has also expanded to many more countries than in times past.
> Some said that the percentage of pitchers throwing in the high 90s today is much greater than in Mays or Williams time. They went on point out that in those days, pitchers were expected to pitch all 9 innings and did not have command of as wide a variety of pitches as today’s pitchers have.
> There was another interesting discussion on how Mays and Williams might fair against todays pitching. --Your thoughts would be appreciated.
> Jack Mankin

Hi Jack. With regard the pitching issue in my opinion, the reason why the lack of pitching is a valid argument is that with expansion the primary concern is to put a team on the field. As such the team does not have to be competitive or a complete team. But if you have a few guys on the team that can execute rotational mechanics that is enough to put people in the seats. Classic case is the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. A few very good hitters but everyone else on the team stinks.

More often than not that is case above as the expansion teams (if not containing a lot of trades) dilute the level of play. Also nowadays too maining older pitchers are hanging around who are past their prime. But since the money pays and the younger talent is not ready they are forced to stay so to speak. Thus the need for performance enhancement in an effort to retain skills lost. As far as the foreign plays thats a toss up. Some come over and dominate usually for a short stint. But we have to consider that their useful life is minimal because many have spent significant time in their home conuntry honing their skills. But once MLB hitters figure them out usually their dominance ceases and or injuries come into play as they go into their 30's.

Lastly the EFFECTIVE pitchers have command over more pitches, but the ineffective ones don't which leads to inflated scores as well as stats. Many ineffective pitchers get to far away from the core pitches and end up with arm injuries. As such we have seen an alarming number of starting pitchers on the DL for extended periods of time even with modern advancements in the medical field.

With regard to the great hitters of the past such as Mays and Williams, I can only see them as having a bit of an increase in their level of success. Great hitters learn to make adjustments and would likely have had success in any era. I believe Mays would hit about 5 to 10 more homeruns on average. I would say more but we have to factor in the intentional walk era of today.

With Williams the key would be if he had a good hitter hitting behind him. There is simply no way he would get pitched to. He would well end up with 250+ walks a season. With a good hitter behind him he would make a run if not several runs at 400. And if the shift were in place he might have 4 infielders on the left side of second base. As a result, he would lead the league in bunt singles and avg since he was too stubborn to use the opposite field. He would likely be playing on the Yankees and with that short rightfield, their is no telling what kind of stats he might produce.


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