Infield Defense Changes with Three True Outcomes

Title: Infield Defense Changes with Three True Outcomes
Date: February 13, 2014
Original Source: The Hardball Times
Synopsis: I made my debut at The Hardball Times, looking at how infield defense has changed as balls in play have decreased.

The point wasn’t to make Andrelton Simmons’ defensive performance in 2013 seem even more impressive.

It ended up that way, but the idea was actually to show that infield defense has become less important over time. Let’s back up and examine the idea: three true outcomes have increased dramatically throughout baseball history thanks to the proliferation of strikeouts and a steady increase in home runs.

Of course, the inverse would then be true for balls in play—a plate appearance either ends in one of the three true outcomes (walk, strikeout or home run), or it ends with a ball in play. If three true outcomes are on the rise, balls in play must be on the decline.

Continue reading at The Hardball Times.

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