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Fantasy Baseball 2011: Another Reason to Draft Power Early

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I wrote this article a few months ago trying to prove that fantasy owners should draft power early in their 2011 drafts. Last night, I was reading Baseball Think Factory and came across this article from Royal Authority.

The article talked about the reason why 2010 was the "Year of the Pitcher" and goes on to ask why pitchers were so dominant last year. Here are some stats that prove 2010 was a solid year for pitchers:

There are other statistics which point towards dominance of pitchers in 2010 beyond the mere no-hitter count.  The Major League earned run average (ERA) was 4.08, which is the lowest it has been since 1992.  There were an average of 7.1 strikeouts every nine innings, the highest that number has ever been, although it’s just a tick higher than the 7.0 number posted in 2009.

But these stats don't explain why pitchers were so much more dominating last year, so the writer of the article, Nick Scott, took a look at the Official Rules of Major League Baseball, and here is what he found:

More after the jump:

 

I was recently looking at the Official Rules of Major League Baseball and on page number four they have a section titled "Changes for the 2010 Major League Season".  I hadn’t recalled reading anywhere about notable changes to the rule book in 2010, so I reviewed the items to see if any major changes had been made.  The first few changes were about how to draw the lines of the field and the coach’s box, again nothing of real importance.  However, the fourth bullet point read:

"Reduced maximum bat diameter to 2.61 inches.  (Rule 1.10(a))"

 

Wow. It is interesting that we have no heard this explanation anywhere else last year, or at least I have not heard/read it. The writer goes on to say that this rule change was the first time it changed since 1895. 1895!!

We don't know if the change in the diameter of the bat is the sole reason for the drop in power and increase in strikeouts, or if it will continue in 2011, but I think fantasy owners should draft power early and often.