Balls are leaving Major League ballparks more often than ever before.The 2017 MLB Home Run rate is up 8% from 2016, putting the league well on pace to surpass the all-time single season Home Run record of 5,693 set in 2000.1
The most prominent theory behind this phenomenon is that players are trying to raise their average launch angle and hit the ball higher. Players are doing this because Home Runs cannot be hit on the ground, and they believe that hitting the ball higher will lead to more Home Runs and a higher Slugging Percentage.
Is a similar trend emerging in amateur baseball as well? Have younger teams begun to hit more Fly Balls, and has that led to a positive impact on their offensive output? We crunched the numbers from over 50,000 High School level baseball teams who used GameChanger to score games over the past three years, and found some interesting trends.2
1 Statistics from ESPN.com
2 Data is from teams composed of players age 13 to 18, over the past three years. Calculated through May 22, 2017
3 MLB data from FanGraphs.com
4 FB% less than the median
5 From FanGraphs.com