|photo courtesy: CNN
Say what you want about the MLB pitch clock and the new rules this past season. The desired effect--to shorten the game--was achieved.
Time of MLB games dropped
Pace of play (time in between pitches has also dropped)
What about the game itself?
Larger bases and limited throws to first base with a runner on strongly suggested stolen bases success rates would be higher.
Shift elimination helped bring the balls in play batting average (BABIP) for left handed hitters in line with right handed hitters.
All of these changes were expected as a result of the rule changes and the addition of the pitch clock. Yet many aspects of the game such as balls in play and the high strikeout totals -- to name a few --remained pretty much the same.
The 16 charts below illustrate how the core of the game has changed over the last 15 years or so.
Three plate outcomes (walk, strikeout, homerun) rates have been rising since roughly 2010 peaking in 2020 with a small drop in 2021 and 2022 with a jump in 2023 AFTER the rule changes.
Rate of balls in play started a sharp decline in the late 2000s hitting a low of 67.3% in 2020. A small increase in the last 3 years but no where to the 1990s/early 2000s levels.