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Banning the shift


Stradling

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I thought this was an interesting read that some others might enjoy. there are many who believe the lack of shift won’t impact batting average because of its lack of impact on the minor leagues. I believe over time it will get the game closer to what we watched 15-20 years ago. 
Here’s the article:
 

https://www.si.com/.amp/mlb/2022/11/21/banning-infield-shifts-impact

 

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2 hours ago, Stradling said:

I thought this was an interesting read that some others might enjoy. there are many who believe the lack of shift won’t impact batting average because of its lack of impact on the minor leagues. I believe over time it will get the game closer to what we watched 15-20 years ago. 
Here’s the article:
 

https://www.si.com/.amp/mlb/2022/11/21/banning-infield-shifts-impact

 

I think it'll be better and closer to what the game was like 15-20 years ago but essentially what they've banned are 'extreme' shifts.  20 years ago (from my remembrance) they would rarely even shade.  So we'll still see guys away from the conventional or standard spots just barely following the rules.  As an example, I don't think the new rules will have a tremendous impact on balls up the middle.  

I also wonder if players are going to stop trying to 'beat the shift' and just go back to being dead pull hitters again.  

But yeah, guys who hit the ball hard and put it in play more often should general benefit.  But I don't think it will have a tremendous impact on just putting the ball in play more.  

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Most likely I suspect strikeouts will go up due to the change. There isn't actually any more benefit to putting the ball in play due to the rule change, the benefit will be in putting the ball in play hard on the ground to the pull side at the expense of general contact. Additionally defenders can still shade up the middle, which is probably where most of the base hits have been taken away by the shift. 

I'm expecting we will see an increase in homeruns and general slugging percentage, and any increases in batting average on contact being washed out by increases in strike outs.

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5 minutes ago, AngelsLakersFan said:

Most likely I suspect strikeouts will go up due to the change. There isn't actually any more benefit to putting the ball in play due to the rule change, the benefit will be in putting the ball in play hard on the ground to the pull side at the expense of general contact. Additionally defenders can still shade up the middle, which is probably where most of the base hits have been taken away by the shift. 

I'm expecting we will see an increase in homeruns and general slugging percentage, and any increases in batting average on contact being washed out by increases in strike outs.

I disagree with most of this.  I think there will be more emphasis on making contact because it is more likely to get hits.   I read that while k rates have gone up since something like 2002 or 2005 it has really gone up a ton since the shift became more prevalent.  

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1 minute ago, Stradling said:

I disagree with most of this.  I think there will be more emphasis on making contact because it is more likely to get hits.   I read that while k rates have gone up since something like 2002 or 2005 it has really gone up a ton since the shift became more prevalent.  

The K rate isnt going up because of the shift, the shift is becoming more prevalent because of the K rate. The shift is a weak response to the pull happy, hit the ball hard in the air offensive approach.

If players started focusing on contact the shift would simply go away. Expecting hitters to go back to the 1980's approach to hitting means giving away everything hitters have learned in the post-Moneyball / statcast era. As Doc mentioned, shading is not eliminated, just the extreme shifts, so in that sense it's the players who see extreme shifts will be the group that benefits.

Essentially the ban on the shift is legislating contact out of the game, the power hitters have won, guys like Joey Gallo are the big winners here while the David Fletcher's of the world are likely to lose their spots.

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Just now, ten ocho recon scout said:

I know that people hate the shift because of what its led to. (I'm not a fan of it either).

But it's crazy that it took so long to be implemented. And the data that went into it. And how it essentially is unbeatable for a majority of players.

I think it shows how cheap and lazy organizations are. lol. Before the internet teams could've paid guys to go out to the games and chart all of the balls in play but they didn't. Imagine the edge that could've given a team that went all in on it 30 years ago.

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8 minutes ago, AngelsLakersFan said:

I think it shows how cheap and lazy organizations are. lol. Before the internet teams could've paid guys to go out to the games and chart all of the balls in play but they didn't. Imagine the edge that could've given a team that went all in on it 30 years ago.

No kidding, eh? If I understand correctly, the whole SABR movement came from rabid fans who were "nerds" so they were ignored.... until finally teams started to....

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18 minutes ago, AngelsLakersFan said:

The K rate isnt going up because of the shift, the shift is becoming more prevalent because of the K rate. The shift is a weak response to the pull happy, hit the ball hard in the air offensive approach.

If players started focusing on contact the shift would simply go away. Expecting hitters to go back to the 1980's approach to hitting means giving away everything hitters have learned in the post-Moneyball / statcast era. As Doc mentioned, shading is not eliminated, just the extreme shifts, so in that sense it's the players who see extreme shifts will be the group that benefits.

Essentially the ban on the shift is legislating contact out of the game, the power hitters have won, guys like Joey Gallo are the big winners here while the David Fletcher's of the world are likely to lose their spots.

David Fletchers hitting has been awful regardless of the shift. I still disagree that the shift means power hitters won. The reason they didn’t focus on making contact is that contact lead to outs based on the shift. Now focusing on contact will result in more hits which means it’s easier to group hits together which means you don’t have to swing for the fences each time up. 

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1 minute ago, ten ocho recon scout said:

No kidding, eh? If I understand correctly, the whole SABR movement came from rabid fans who were "nerds" so they were ignored.... until finally teams started to....

Ya man, I'm sure you remember it going down. Oakland hired a nerd with a laptop and all the old timers wouldn't shut up about 'grit' and 'being a winner.' 

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9 minutes ago, Stradling said:

David Fletchers hitting has been awful regardless of the shift. I still disagree that the shift means power hitters won. The reason they didn’t focus on making contact is that contact lead to outs based on the shift. Now focusing on contact will result in more hits which means it’s easier to group hits together which means you don’t have to swing for the fences each time up. 

I think you are pretty aligned with what MLB is thinking when making the rule change. Unfortunately I see this as treating a symptom at the expense of addressing the root cause.

A quick google search for players most impacted by the shift ban revealed this article: https://www.mlb.com/news/hitters-likely-to-be-affected-by-shift-ban

Just going through most of the names, this is largely a group of pull happy, high strikeout, power hitters. Seager being the most effected is interesting, as he is more of a contact hitter who happens to be fairly pull happy. If they really wanted to promote contact they would put forth a rule where the list of most affected batters was full of contact hitters. 

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