With baseball clearly a power game with baseballs flying out of stadiums at record pace, the league is worried about the baseballs being used. So much, in fact, that the league sent a memo to every MLB team about how baseballs will be made this season.
In efforts to slow down the upward trend in home runs in the past few seasons, the balls made for 2021 traveled one to two feet shorter on hits longer than 375 feet. The difference appears to be insignificant, only turning balls that would barely go over the fence and perhaps robbed, into balls caught right at the wall.
Veteran slugger Nelson Cruz isn’t worried about the league’s attempt to deaden the baseball, noting that it’s going to be the same for everyone. There were 1.39 home runs hit per game in 2019, which was down to 1.28 last year during the pandemic. The 2019 season was the year that Cruz hit 41 of the Twins record 307 home runs.
The Twins President of Baseball Operations Derek Falvey noted that he believes the information from the league and the memo focuses a lot on the consistency of the balls. He doesn’t believe the deadening of the balls has anything to do, per se, with his Twins team setting the new single season home run standard in 2019. Another thing that may affect the ball is that 10 teams will be storing baseballs ion a humidor this season. It will be interesting to see whether or not any of these measures plays a significant role in the home run totals this season. My instincts tell me that this will all be a moot point in the end.