How often are pitchers hit by line drives?
Pitchers in the MLB are used to facing line drives on a regular basis. After all, they stand only a few feet away from the batter and are the last line of defense when it comes to preventing a hit. But the question remains, just how often are pitchers hit by line drives?
How Common are Line Drives?
Line drives can be one of the most dangerous types of batted balls in the MLB. They’re hit with such force that they can reach the pitcher before they can react. This makes them particularly dangerous for pitchers, as they can be hit with the ball before they have a chance to protect themselves.
How common are line drives in the MLB? According to research from Baseball Prospectus, line drives accounted for approximately 18% of all batted balls in the MLB in 2019. This means that, on average, a pitcher can expect to face a line drive about once every five or six times they are on the mound.
Types of Pitches Hit by Line Drives
When it comes to the types of pitches that are most often hit by line drives, fastballs tend to be the most vulnerable. This is because they are the most common type of pitch thrown, and they are also the easiest to hit. According to Baseball Prospectus, fastballs accounted for roughly 58% of all line drives in 2019.
Slider pitches tend to be the second most likely pitch to be hit by line drives. This is because they tend to have less velocity than fastballs, which makes them easier to time and hit. Sliders accounted for approximately 16% of all line drives in 2019.
How Often Are Pitchers Hit By Line Drives?
So, how often are pitchers actually hit by line drives? The answer to this question varies from pitcher to pitcher, as it depends on their individual pitching style and abilities.
That said, research from Baseball Prospectus suggests that, on average, pitchers were hit by line drives 0.8 times per 1000 pitches in 2019. This means that, on average, pitchers were hit by a line drive once every 1250 pitches.
How to Minimize the Risk of Being Hit by Line Drives
Although line drives are a common occurrence in the MLB, there are ways to minimize the risk of being hit by them. The most important way to do this is by being aware of the location of the pitch. Pitchers should always be aware of where their pitch is going and try to pitch away from the batter’s sweet spot.
Pitchers should also focus on throwing different types of pitches. As mentioned earlier, fastballs are the most common type of pitch to be hit by line drives. By mixing up the types of pitches they throw, pitchers can reduce the likelihood of a line drive being hit.
MLB Rule Changes to Reduce Line Drive Hits
In recent years, the MLB has implemented several rule changes that are designed to reduce the number of line drives that hit pitchers. The most significant of these changes is the introduction of the protective pitching screen. This screen was designed to protect pitchers from line drives and has been used since the 2015 season.
The MLB has also implemented a rule that requires pitchers to wear protective headgear when they are on the mound. This headgear is designed to protect pitchers from any line drives that may come their way.
The Impact of Line Drive Hits on Pitchers
Line drive hits can have a serious impact on a pitcher’s performance and even their career. A line drive hit can cause a pitcher to miss a significant amount of time due to injury, which can have a negative impact on their performance. Line drive hits can also cause pitchers to develop a fear of being hit, which can lead to a decrease in their performance.
Historical Examples of Pitchers Hit by Line Drives
There have been several instances of pitchers being hit by line drives throughout MLB history. One of the most notable examples of this happened in 2001 when Baltimore Orioles pitcher Sidney Ponson was hit in the face by a line drive. Ponson suffered a broken jaw and was forced to miss the remainder of the season as a result.
Pitchers in the MLB are used to facing line drives on a regular basis. Line drives accounted for approximately 18% of all batted balls in the MLB in 2019, with fastballs being the most vulnerable to line drives. On average, pitchers were hit by line drives 0.8 times per 1000 pitches in 2019.
The MLB has implemented several rule changes that are designed to reduce the number of line drives that hit pitchers. Line drive hits can have a serious impact on a pitcher’s performance and even their career. There have been several instances of pitchers being hit by line drives throughout MLB history.
By understanding the risks associated with line drives and taking the necessary precautions, pitchers can reduce their chances of being hit by a line drive and protect themselves from injury.