All lineup slots are important in MLB, but the leadoff hitter is often the catalyst of a team’s offense.
It’s probably one of the key spots to fill: if the first hitter in the batting order has some thump in his bat and can consistently get on base, things will flow smoothly when it comes to producing runs (which is the objective of the game).
Well, Tuesday was a really productive day for leadoff hitters around the league, at least according to Stats by STATS.
“Today in MLB: 5 leadoff HR; 3 multi-HR games by leadoff hitters; 11 total HR by leadoff hitters. All of those are tied for the most on a single day in MLB history,” they tweeted.
Today in MLB:
5 leadoff HR
3 multi-HR games by leadoff hitters
11 total HR by leadoff hitters
All of those are tied for the most on a single day in MLB history.
— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) June 8, 2022
It was really an amazing day for first hitters in the order, one with historical implications.
There may not be a better way to start a game than a leadoff home run.
The Profile For A Leadoff Hitter Has Changed
It’s only one run, but it has a psychological effect on the other team: it’s not easy to go to the batter’s box for the first time knowing that you are already behind.
The whole profile of the position has changed a lot in recent years.
Twenty or thirty years ago, teams preferred speed and contact from their leadoff hitter: that’s why we saw many players with an average over .300 leading off the offense.
But now, teams prioritize power and on-base ability: contact is not mandatory if the player can get enough walks.
Ideally, teams will just write their best hitter’s name at the top of the lineup: leadoff hitters are the ones who get the most plate appearances over the course of a season.
Tuesday was an incredibly productive day for these unsung heroes.