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This is pretty amazing early season results after the NCAA changed to a baseball with lower seams.

Is this fair?

Views: 371

Comment by Doug Ipock on March 5, 2015 at 6:21am
So if I'm hearing this right the flat seams doesn't allow the pitcher to have greater control over what he throws so the batter is able to put more ball's in play. I would be interested to see if this trend holds throughout the entire season.
Comment by Pelle Högström on March 5, 2015 at 7:54am
Overall control doesn't go down but the "bite" does so a breaking ball just isn't that sharp which results in more contactand with less drag from the air the ball will fly further, but sure it's an adaption, more for pitchers than hitters but I like it...
Comment by Michael Richards on March 5, 2015 at 8:47am

Pitchers do not have less control on the ball.  It is a baseball, not a kettle bell.  It doesn't need handles.  I am sure pitchers complain that they can't get the spin on the ball that they used to.  That is because from the time they were in little league, they have been using high seam balls.  Once they get used to a real baseball, and learn the science behind why this ball is actually better for getting more movement, then they will have the confidence to pitch.

The "bite" actually increases with flatter seams.  Breaking balls are sharper than with high seam balls.  High seams are like ice on an airplane wing.  It won't fly.  Google "Bernoulli's Principle + baseball".  The smoother the surface, the more impact the principle will have.  For example: why does a golf ball have dimples?  They reduce drag and therefore reduce curved flight.  You think your slice is bad now?  Try keeping a dimple-less ball in the fairway.  If you did hit it perfectly straight, it would climb rapidly and fly higher.  This is why the new baseballs are flying out of the park.  Hard high line drives that used to settle in the gaps are now riding on air out of the park.

I think the homeruns are up so much as a combination of the new ball's flight ability and the confidence gained by the hitters that they lost from the BBCOR bat.  So now you have more hitters going for it.  That may account for the uptick in strikeouts.

I talked about this almost three years ago:

Comment by Kip Gross on March 6, 2015 at 11:54pm
From my personal experience with raised seams and flatter seams is that the flat seam balls are much better to pitch with because the breaks and the movement is much later and a bit sharper. If the break is later, the hitter can't pick up on it as soon which helps the pitcher. I Also believe that the velocity is a bit higher with flat seams because of less resistance. When I say more velocity, I'm talking about the velocity staying more consistent after it leaves the hand and travels to the plate. On average, a 90 mph fastball out of the pitchers hand is right about 82 mph when it crosses the plate. I'm guessing that the higher seam ball has a lower number when it crosses the plate.

Overall, I believe you'll have more strike outs, more home runs and a very slight increase or decrease in batting average and a higher slugging percentage.

Throwing with different size seams is like putting on very slick greens and hairier greens. The hairy greens make your putt break earlier with less control of the break, while with the slick greens your putt will break later after the speed goes down and with more control over how it breaks.


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