Jason Stark and Eno Sarris combined for a pretty revealing article in The Athletic yesterday about the true benefit the Astros got from stealing signs.
It’s staggering, really.
From 2016 to the year they cheated in 2017, the Astros had the biggest drop in strikeout percentage in the history of baseball.
That’s ever. As in all time.
Yes, their road strikeouts dropped. But their home strikeouts actually dropped twice as much as their road strikeouts.
No team had every come close to such a dramatic split, or dramatic reduction from one year to the next.
They had a dramatic drop in chased pitches. And a historic decline in not swinging at low curve balls.
When you know what pitch is coming, it’s so much easier of a game.
A couple players of note. George Springer’s strikeout rate plummeted from 33 percent to 17.7 percent in 2017. That year was also the first time he ever stuck out less at home than on the road.
Carlos Correa had a dramatic turnaround in his home strikeout numbers.
Evan Gattis went from a 25.5 percent career strikeout rate to 15.4 in 2017. An amazing decrease that, now, is understood.
Jake Marisnick had a “stunning” difference in his home strikeouts compared to his road strikeouts.
Without risking any copyright infringements, I won’t go much more into the findings. Just know they were dramatic and they were real and they gave the Astros a real advantage.
The more you look into it, the more you realize how embarrassing what they did was.
They are going to hear it all year in every park they visit.