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Batting & Pitching Blogs

Batting & Pitching Blogs

Why Are Major League Hitters Averages And Power Going Down

Posted on July 22, 2016 at 12:00 AM

This blog was originally posted July 1, 2012.  It was updated March 10, 2015


There have been so many more no hitters and perfect games in the last few years than before.  In the last six years 2006-2011 there have been 22 no hitters or perfect games, the previous six years 2000-2005 there were only 7.  On ESPN they say the reason is pitchers are getting better and performance enhancing drugs are out.  Another person say there aren't as many good hitters, very true.  A great statement was from ESPN's Tim kurkjian who said "they swing as hard as they can just in case they make contact".  The last two statements are so true because hitters are swinging more and more mainly with their arms or fast hands.   The ones that swing with their arms aren't hitting the ball as hard as they think they should.  They try to make up for it by swinging hard as they can thinking this will hit the ball harder.  This causes so many problems for hitters.  The reason Major League averages and power are going down is the hitters are getting worse because more and more of them are swinging mainly with their arms.


Since 2006 Major League hitters batting averages and power have gone down significantly.   According to ESPN.go.com below are the averages for a Major League Team from 2006 to 2014:


Year                        AVG                  HITS            XBH           HR            SLG             STRIKE OUTS

2014                      .251                   1387            439           140            .386             1248

2013                      .253                   1403            455           155            .396             1224

2012                      .254                   1402            470           164            .405             1214

2011                      .255                   1409            462            152           .399              1150

2010                      .257                   1418            470            158            .403             1144

2009                      .262                   1451            491            168            .418             1120

2008                      .264                   1466           493             163            .416             1096

2007                      .268                   1499           503             165            .422             1073

2006                      .269                   1502           517             180            .432             1055

DOWN                   .018                     125             78                40            .046             UP 107


These statistics show the average MLB team is down in almost every production category.  Each team was down an average of 40 home runs, 125 less hits, and 107 more strike outs in 2014 than they were in 2006.  Are pitchers getting that much better?  No, it is because most of the things that MLB players and hitting coaches are working on make them swing mostly with their arms.  I have discussed before that when they swing this way it causes the bat to go slower and weaker through the hitting zone than it should.  This is why MLB hitters are seeing their production and power going down.   They are making the pitchers look so much better.


One big problem with swinging mainly with your arms is the hitter has to start their swing earlier, since the bat is going slower to the hitting zone, causing them to swing at or chase more pitches that aren't strikes.  Major league hitters, according to Fangraphs.com, in 2006 were swinging at 23.5% of pitches outside the strike zone as compared to in 2014 they were swinging at 30.6% of pitches outside the strike zone.   From 2002 to 2005 hitters averaged swinging at only 19.3% of pitches that weren't strikes.   The percentage is going up because more hitters have to start their swing earlier.   They aren't able to watch the ball as long and can't be as patient or disciplined at the plate to wait on good pitches that they have a much greater chance of hitting hard.


Another problem is hitters can feel the bat going slower with much less power than they think there should be.  They try to create more speed and power by speeding the bat up with their fast hands.  I hear the former MLB players in the TV booth at games and on ESPN talk about using fast hands, twisting the hips, getting on top of the ball and swinging down almost every game I watch.  This actually will cause the bat to have the opposite result than what they expect.  Instead of the bat going faster it actually decelerates through the ball, moves up and down from rolling the wrists and the bat gets pulled out of the hitting zone way too quickly.  This throws off their timing and causes many more pulled weak ground balls and pop ups to the opposite field.  It also causes tremendous loss of bat speed.


In the future I will talk about other ways that swinging mainly with the arms or fast hands will decrease a hitters power and production. Major League hitters have been doing this more and more the last nine years.  Until someone is able to show them how to use their body the best way and keep working only on that this trend will continue.   Telling them to stay back, use their fast hands and swing down is the main reason for this downward spiral in hitting.  The leaders in home runs and RBI have a much different swing than the average Major leaguer.  They use their bodies and weight in their swing, not their arms..  


Almost 99% of hitters swing with their arms because that is what they are taught.  This significantly lowers their power, production and throws their timing off.  If you would like to learn the correct way to use your body and bat together call Mike Sedberry at 304-722-6393.   You will learn how to use your body a much better way to generate much more force along with bat speed to increase your power and production and reach your full potential.

Categories: Baseball hitting

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