Major League Baseball’s current drug testing program was first implemented in 2006. Since then, the rate of home runs has dropped from 2.87% of all plate appearances, to just 2.46% last year.
But that trend has been reversed this season.
So far this season, home runs are leaving ballparks during 2.63% of all plate appearances. And while the season is obviously still very young, home runs tend to become more frequent as the weather gets warmer, so it is more likely that this number will increase as the season moves along.
Is this a sign of Performance Enhancing Drug use? Not necessarily. Fans love the home run, and there are other artificial ways for baseball to increase the number of long balls (e.g. tighter stitching in the baseballs). Either way, we could be entering a new home run era in baseball…
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