February 27, 2015
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Home runs are up 31 percent over last season according to the NCAA’s latest NCAA Division I statistics.
The increased jolt in offense undoubtedly can be attributed to the new flat seam balls that are being used for the first time in 155 years of college baseball.
The NCAA Division I Statistics’ Trends have been kept from 1970-2014.
At the end of the 2014 season, a record low 0.39 home runs per game for each team were hit.
In the latest NCAA statistics, that figure has jumped to 0.51 — a 31 percent increase.
The raw data shows that 869 home runs were hit over the first 1,708 Division I games of the season, according to the NCAA’s baseball statistics’ guru Jeff Williams.
The top two conferences in home runs are the Southeastern with 74 home runs over 92 games and the Pac-12 Conference with 52 home runs over 85 games.
Sixteen conferences have seen 30 or more home runs hit over the first two weeks of the season.
If the 0.51 figure for home runs holds through the remainder of the season, it will be the highest total in NCAA Division I baseball since BBCOR bats were introduced in 2011. That year, the home runs per game total was 0.52. Each year since then, the figure has gone down from 0.48 in 2012 to 0.42 in 2013 and 0.39 in 2014.
Home run numbers are not the end of the story.
To be fair, you must look at the other key categories in the Division I Baseball Statistics Trends.
Batting averages are down 0.37 percent (.270 in 2014 and .269 so far in 2015) and scoring is up 8.27 percent (5.08 runs per team per game in 2014 with 5.50 this season).
Stolen bases are up 5.9 percent (1.02 stolen bases per game per team in 2014 and 1.08 in 2015) while sacrifice bunts are down 20 percent (0.76 sacrifices per game per team in 2014 and 0.61 in 2015).
Key pitching indicators have gone up as well with ERAs of NCAA Division I teams going up 7.8 percent (4.22 ERA in 2014 and 4.55 ERA in 2015) and strikeouts per nine innings by pitchers up 18 percent (6.48 strikeouts per 9 innings in 2014 and 7.64 in 2015).
To read more of this story, purchase the March 6, 2015 edition of Collegiate Baseball by CLICKING HERE.