KBO’s sluggers aren’t hitting as many home runs this year

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KBO’s sluggers aren’t hitting as many home runs this year

The number of home runs hit in Korean pro baseball has fallen drastically from a year ago, with the new official ball likely being the main reason behind the trend.

After 100 games played through Tuesday in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), there have been 159 home runs. But following the first 102 games a year ago, there were 244 home runs.

The 10 clubs combined for an all-time record of 1,756 long balls in 2018, shattering the previous record of 1,547 set in 2017.

To keep a lid on the offensive explosion, the KBO adopted a new official ball for 2019, slightly larger with a lower coefficient of restitution (COR), or less bounce off the bat.

This year, Jeon Jun-woo of the Lotte Giants leads the league with six home runs.

At this point a year ago, Jamie Romak of the SK Wyverns was leading the pack with 10 home runs.

The league-wide batting average was at .276 last year, but it’s sitting at just .259 this year.

Naturally, the ERA across the league has gone down from 4.87 to 4.06.

Though a recent test of the new official ball showed that the COR figure was in the similar range as the previous ball, players have said fly balls that they thought would have cleared the walls last year have been caught at the warning track this year.

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