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Sunday, May 29, 2016

SO to BB ratio steadily climbing and higher than ever.

National League (Conference) data is used so that years prior to the American League using the designated hitter (DH) can be compared to recent years. 1920 is when Babe Ruth started modern home run hitting by becoming the first batter to hit 30, 40, 50 in a season. Ruth broke his own season record of 29 set the previous year by hitting 54.

Click this link to view the data.

It was below one, meaning that there were more BB than SO, in 1922, 1923, 1925, 1926, 1928, 1929. Remember Ruth was on the Yankees in the AL and did not directly impact these numbers. There were more BB tha SO also in 1944 and 1945, the final two years of World War II. The ratio reached two (twice as many SO as BB) in 1963. Sandy Koufax probably caused the initial increase but he retired after 1966.
Photo of Sandy Koufax

19632.09
19642.11
19652.04
19662.11
19672.03
19682.22

Touch your body at the top of the strike zone. Tuesday, October 20, 2015

1963 - "The Strike Zone is that space over home plate which is between the top of the batter's shoulders and his knees
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Obviously, Koufax had favorable conditions for SO.

That post includes changes to the strike zone in 1963, 1969, 1988, 1996. The height of the mound was reduced following 1968 when the AL had only one batter with a batting average of at least .300: Carl Yastrzemski. SO/BB dropped below two through 1994 when use of performance enhancing drugs (PED) probably became prevalent. It bottomed out from 1969 through 1994 in 1974 and 1975 at 1.46.


19952.00
19962.03
19971.99
19982.00
19991.79
20001.78
20012.09
20021.92
20031.96
20041.98
20052.01
20062.03
20072.04
20082.05
20092.05
20102.27
20112.35
20122.54
20132.59
20142.77
20152.73

The season home run record was broken in 1998 and 2001, both times in the NL, which is the data for this post. The SO to BB ratio increased substantially starting in 2010 when testing for PED increased. Pitches are faster than ever and apparently pitchers are not afraid to throw strikes

The graph below shows uses BB+AB, which closely approximates plate appearances. It shows the percent of "PA" that result in SO and BB. The BB percent is fairly constant, actually drifting down in recent seasons. But the SO percent is increasing, especially in recent years, to am alarming amount. Both SO and BB are boring but BB at least result in a base runner and the possibility of some action.



BB% has never reached 10%. SO% reached 10% in 1948, dipped below in 1949 but never again. milestones:
16% in 1963
18% in 1997


201119.66%8.35%
201220.71%8.17%
201320.46%7.91%
201421.47%7.75%
201521.37%7.83%

Balls and Strikes still vary by umpire ... more than 2 to 1. Monday, February 8, 2016

Personal strike zones makes this pretty silly.

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