0.244 batting average since 1968
NEW YORK – The major league batting average has fallen to 0.244 this season, its lowest since the pitcher’s year in 1968, although offense has risen markedly following baseball’s mid-season crackdown on adhesion enhancing substances for launchers.
The MLB’s tighter enforcement had the desired impact, ending a streak of 12 straight full seasons in which strikeouts had set records every year.
From opening day until June 2, the last day before the crackdown, hitters hit 0.236 with a slugging percentage of 0.395, an OPS of 0.707 and an average of 4.36 points per team in each game. From June 3 to the end of the regular season, the average rose to 0.248 with a slugging percentage of 0.419, an OPS of 0.738 and an average of 4.62 runs.
There was a record 2,664 more strikeouts than hits, with the spread dropping from 1,147 in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and from 784 in 2019, when strikeouts exceeded hits for the first time.
While there were 42,145 strikeouts, a slight decrease from 42,823 in 2019, hits fell from 42,039 to 39,481 as computer-aided defensive changes proliferated. The big league batting average was 0.271 in 1999 at the height of the steroid age, when there were 45,327 hits.
The major league batting average fell to a record 0.237 in 1968, prompting the MLB to lower the pitcher’s mound from 15 inches to 10 the following season and reduce the strike zone.
Rapid bullet spin speeds went from an average of 2,319 revolutions per minute before June 3 to 2,251 after, and the speed was virtually unchanged, from 93.6 to 93.7 mph, the report said on Monday. commissioner’s office. Curveball turnover rates went from an average of 2,552 to 2,484 and cursors from an average of 2,462 to 2,393.
The percentage of plaque appearances ending in strikeouts increased from 24.2% before the crackdown to 22.7% after, while marches fell from 8.9% to 8.2%. Home runs fell from 3.1% to 3.4% and hits from the pitches remained stable at 1.16%. These figures exclude all intentional walks.
This year’s batting average of 0.243799 was just below 0.243807 in 1972, down from 0.245 in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and to 0.252 in 2019. The 2001 average was 0.260 in 2001 to 2009 before the rise of defensive changes.
There were 5,944 home runs, up from a record 6,776 in 2019, which broke the 6,105 mark set in 2017.
Baseball officials are concerned about the decrease in action caused by dominance of the so-called three true outcomes: home run, walk and strikeout.
MLB experimented with a greater distance of 12 inches between mound and plate for part of the Atlantic League season, but found that the increase in distance was largely not noticeable compared to 60 feet. and 6 inches, which has been the norm since the NL moved the mound back 5 feet in 1883.
Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani hits in the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners on Sunday, October 3, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo / Ted S. Warren)
Fernando Tatis Jr. of the San Diego Padres reacts as he hits the bat in the ninth inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday, September 21, 2021, in San Diego. (AP Photo / Gregory Bull)
Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds, left, hits with loaded bases in the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals on Thursday, September 23, 2021, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo / Jay LaPrÃ¨te)
Cedric Mullins of the Baltimore Orioles flips his bat after hitting Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi in the first inning of a baseball game on Wednesday, September 29, 2021, in Baltimore. (AP Photo / Julio Cortez)
Philadelphia Phillies’ Bryce Harper drops his helmet after pulling out strikes in the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, in Miami. Miami won 3-1. (AP Photo / Lynne Sladky)
Kansas City Royals Salvador Perez (13) reacts after striking out in the first inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers on Saturday, September 25, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo / Duane Burleson)
Fernando Tatis Jr. of the San Diego Padres reacts after being called up for strikes in the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves on Sunday, September 26, 2021, in San Diego. (AP Photo / Derrick Tuskan)
Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani reacts after hitting sticks to end the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners on Sunday, October 3, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo / Elaine Thompson)
San Diego Padres’ Manny Machado reacts after striking out goals in the fifth inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday, September 22, 2021, in San Diego. (AP Photo / Gregory Bull)