The home run ball is part of what makes the game of baseball as great as it is.
The great home run chase of 1998 is what saved baseball following the 1994-95 strike.
However, it is something we’re seeing a little bit less of early on in the 2022 regular season.
Through April 15 in 2021, there were 55,152 pitches thrown, 9,095 balls put into play and 431 home runs hit, according to Codify.
Through yesterday, there have been a total of 55,573 pitches thrown, 9,459 balls put into play, and just 344 home runs hit.
2021 MLB season through April 15:
55,152 pitches, 9,095 balls in play, 431 home runs
2022 MLB season through yesterday:
55,573 pitches, 9,459 balls in play, 344 home runs
— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) April 22, 2022
This is a significant drop from last season.
Even in a shorter period of time, there have been more pitches thrown and more balls put into play than there were through April 15 last year.
Part of it is just the ebb and flow of the season.
The lockout might have played somewhat of a role in this as well.
Perhaps maybe even the fact that teams such as the Baltimore Orioles moved back their fences is a factor.
Nevertheless, baseball is seeing somewhat of a power shortage in 2022.
It’s still early and there is plenty of time left to make up some ground, but the power stats are noticeably down, even with more pitches thrown and balls put in play in a shorter period of time.
Could there be something to the theory that was floating around prior to the lockout that MLB was using two different types of baseballs in 2021?
All that is known now is that power numbers are noticeably down compared to last year.