MLB is not letting pitchers use foreign substances on the ball, as it can lead to increased spin rates and more swings and misses.
The league also implemented the universal designated hitter rule starting in 2022, so no more pitchers taking an at-bat, barring a weird scenario.
Yet, pitching still seems to have the upper hand in the early part of the 2022 campaign, or at least that’s what the numbers say.
“MLB slugging percentage in April: 𝟸0𝟷𝟷: 0.𝟹𝟿𝟷, 𝟸0𝟷𝟸: 0.𝟹𝟿𝟻, 𝟸0𝟷𝟹: 0.𝟺0𝟷, 𝟸0𝟷𝟺: 0.𝟹𝟾𝟿, 𝟸0𝟷𝟻: 0.𝟹𝟿0, 𝟸0𝟷𝟼: 0.𝟺0𝟻, 𝟸0𝟷𝟽: 0.𝟺0𝟽, 𝟸0𝟷𝟾: 0.𝟺00, 𝟸0𝟷𝟿: 0.𝟺𝟸𝟷, 𝟸0𝟸𝟷: 0.𝟹𝟿0, 𝟸0𝟸𝟸: 0.𝟹𝟼𝟿 (so far),” Codify baseball tweeted.
MLB slugging percentage in April:
𝟸0𝟸𝟸: 0.𝟹𝟼𝟿 (so far)
— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) April 22, 2022
The 2019 season was known as the year in which MLB used the “bouncy ball”: it traveled further and faster, and MLB hitters sure took advantage of it at the time.
Gleyber Torres, who can’t seem to hit for power in the last two years, had 38 home runs that year, for example.
Chicks Dig The Long Ball
But ever since that season, MLB seems to be eager to level the playing field and go back to power and home runs not representing the name of the game.
However, a .369 slugging percentage, which is 2022’s mark to this point, is certainly not as attractive to watch.
Of course, everybody has their opinion: some like to see strikeouts, others prefer homers, and others want to see the ball in play more often.
But there may not be a more exciting play in baseball than the home run, and so far, the power rate in the league has been considerably diminished.
There is still a lot of baseball to be played, so the number could go up.
After the end of the season, we will get a better idea of how the league-wide slugging percentage compares to other years.