Booming Baseballs

Photo by U.S. Air Force

Photo by U.S. Air Force

Dan Johnstone, Reporter

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If you’re a baseball fan surely you enjoy seeing home runs, and if you’ve been paying attention to MLB lately you’ve noticed the surplus of baseballs soaring over the outfield wall. There must be a reason for this dramatic increase in home runs. Is it the bats? Is it the players? Is it the balls? It’s not the bats because they are checked to make sure they are regulation for MLB and the players are randomly test for PEDs. So it has to be the balls. Are the laces wound tighter? Are they a different size? Is MLB juicing the baseballs to increase home runs?

At the All-Star break in this 2019 baseball season there were 3,691 home runs- drastically higher than previous years. It averages out to 1.37 home runs per game. At this rate the record of 6,105 home runs in a season is about to be hit out of the park. 

Dan Syzmborski believes that this year the record will be broken by at least 400 home runs. His projections say there will be around 6,463 home runs this season. In 2010 4,613 home runs were hit in a season. This year they could hit almost 2,000 more home runs. In 2010 nobody thought 6,000 plus home runs could be hit in a single season. 

The New York Yankees and the Minnesota Twins have already passed the record for home runs by a team in a season. This record was set by the Yankees in 2017 with 267 home runs. The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Houston Astros are on pace to beat the record as well. In 2017 when the Yankees set that record it was unbelievable feet that was thought to not be broken for many years to come. Now two teams have passed it and two others are on pace to beat it.

 As of September 20, eight  players have 40 home runs or more. There are eight more players who are on pace to finish with forty plus home runs. In 2017, which is the season with the record for the most home runs in a single season, only had 5 players with 40 home runs or more. This season there is projected to be 15 players with 40 or more home runs.

The Washington Nationals hit back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs against the San Diego Padres, in June. The Nats are the first team to do this more than once in MLB history. The Arizona Diamondbacks and the Philadelphia Phillies had an astonishing slugging fest with a combined 13 home runs in one game. Besides the amount of home runs, balls are being hit harder as well. In 2017 the average home run was hit at 102.8 miles per hour, in 2019 the average is 103.7 miles per hour. 

They’re always drug testing the players but they should testing those baseballs. Whether the laces are tighter, or there is less drag on the baseballs or there being “juiced,” we may never know but you decide for yourself what you think.

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