May 6, 2021

Uptick in home runs attributed to seam heights and batting techniques, not juiced balls (ESPN)


SAN DIEGO — Decreases in air resistance spurred by inconsistent seam height on the baseball and “changes in player behavior” that produced different launch angles and exit velocities led to the dramatic increase in home runs during the 2019 season, a committee of professors tasked by Major League Baseball with studying the record-setting home run spike said in a preliminary report released Wednesday by the league.

The 27-page report, written by Drs. Alan Nathan, Jim Albert, Peko Hosoi and Lloyd Smith, concluded that the surge to 6,776 home runs during the regular season — nearly 11% higher than the previous record set in 2017 — was accompanied by a decrease in postseason home runs due to a greater drag coefficient, which measures the resistance a moving object faces.

MLB faced persistent questions during the 2019 season, including from star pitcher Justin Verlander, about whether the league or ball manufacturer Rawlings had intentionally juiced the baseball to promote increased offense. The committee concluded in the report that “no…

Read “Uptick in home runs attributed to seam heights and batting techniques, not juiced balls” at ESPN