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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Designated Pinch Hitter: 1995-2014.

wikipedia:

After the (1968) season, the rules were changed to lower the mound from 15 to 10 inches and change the upper limit of the strike zone from the top of a batter's shoulders to his armpits. In addition, in 1969 spring training, both the American League and National League agreed to try the designated pinch hitter (DPH), but they did not agree on the implementation.
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Víctor Martínez May 14, 2014
by Keith Allison via Wikimedia Commons
Major Baseball League (MBL) Commissioner Allan Huber "Bud" Selig moved the Houston Astros from the National Conference (NC) to the American Conference (AC) in 2013.  You can do that within a league, move a team between conferences. Selig had done that in 1998, moved the Milwaukee Brewers, which he owned at the time, from the AC to the NC.  What Selig has not done is resolve the designated hitter rule between the two conferences.  AC has it, NC does not.

With the addition of Houston two years ago the number of AC teams increased from 14 to 15.  Consider that in viewing the numbers below for players who are primarily designated hitters (DH).   I looked for players who qualified for league batting title (at least 502 plate appearances after 1995) and played at least these percents of their games at DH:  50%, 75%, 90%, 100%.  Source: baseball-reference.com

Click this link to view individual players by year.

Among the 54 players seasons in the 90% group:
Youngest were only 25:
Brad Fullmer 2000
Billy Butler 2011

Oldest 41:
Paul Molitor 1998
Edgar Martinez 2004

Home Runs:
Most: David Ortiz 2006 54; also led AC in HR, RBI, BB
Fewest: Paul Molitor 1998 4

OPS:
highest: Edgar Martinez 1995 1.107; also led AC in G, R, 2B, BA, OBP, OPS
lowest: Paul Molitor 1998 .718

The only other significant black ink (leading AC):
Travis Hafner 2006 SLG, OPS
David Ortiz:
- 2007 OBP
- 2005 RBI
Edgar Martinez:
- 2000 RBI
- 1999 1998 OBP

11 of 54 seasons OPS > 1.000
11 of 54 seasons OPS < .800.
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year50%75%90%100%
20146410
20135430
20126300
20118731
20107410
20096221
20084211
20077651
20065441
20058320
20044431
20036311
20023220
20015320
20003320
19996541
19988730
19977551
199610742
19958764
tot122855415
max10764
min3210
ave6.224.673.221.00
pct50%75%90%100%

At least 50% as DH in 2013, 2014:

Led AC:
Nelson Cruz 2014 HR
Victor Martinez 2014 OBP, OPS



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