Collette Calls: Power Outage

Collette Calls: Power Outage

This article is part of our Collette Calls series.

There was an excellent article in The Ringer the final day of March showing how the data from spring training pointing to the new baseball may quite possibly be much ado about nothing. The article quoted both Gerrit Cole and Blake Snell commenting on how different the ball feels this year and that the seams were thicker. The article cited the memo that stated the new baseball should reduce ball flight by 1 to 2 feet on balls hit 375 feet or more. The Athletic's concurrent work calculated that the decreased distance would reduce home run rates by about 5 percent. 

The article went on to show how the HR/Contact (HR/(AB-K)) has risen each year and that just once in recent years has the spring data been higher than the regular season data:

The theory goes baseball first used up all of the old baseballs before rolling out the new batch this spring, and the drag coefficient data backs that up. The piece closes quoting the median hit distance for baseballs this spring was 4 feet farther than in the 2020 season and the median fly ball distance was 10 feet longer than the 2020 season.

It is a well-researched article, but I also fear it was a bit premature as five games into the regular season, the data is showing that we may be in for the power outage we all feared once the news broke of the changes to the baseball.

I have written about this topic before,

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jason Collette
Jason has been helping fantasy owners since 1999 at RotoJunkie, Fanball, Baseball Prospectus and now here at RotoWire. He covers the Tampa Bay Rays at theprocessreport.net. You can hear Jason weekly on many of the Sirius/XM Fantasy channel offerings throughout the season as well as on the Sleeper and the Bust podcast on iTunes. An eight-time FSWA finalist, Jason won the FSWA's Fantasy Baseball Writer of the Year award in 2013 and the Baseball Series of the Year award in 2018 for Collette Calls.
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