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In exchange for that increase in home runs, just about every other batting statistic is being sacrificed around the majors.
The league-wide batting average is down for a seventh consecutive season. In 2006, teams finished with an aggregate batting average of .269, but entering play on Thursday, MLB's collective batting average is .253. Evidence from Jonah Keri of Grantland.com seems to indicate that number is likely to decrease even further over the course of the season as second-half fatigue sets in.
Even if teams' batting averages stay exactly where they are, there will be more than 2,700 fewer hits this season than there were in 2006 (if the total at-bats in each season are the same).
That's a little more than one fewer hit per game and more hits total than Ichiro Suzuki has had in his 13-year MLB career.
It certainly doesn't help matters that strikeouts are also on the rise for an eighth straight year. We went from one strikeout for every six plate appearances to one strikeout for every five plate appearances during that span of time.
There were 30,644 strikeouts in 2005, but that's child's play compared to the 36,963 that we're on pace to see this season—an increase of nearly 21 percent. Whether it's due to less-disciplined batters or more-impressive pitchers is up for debate, but it's getting out of hand.
As I mentioned a month ago, triples are at an all-time low as well. We were treated to 927 three-baggers last season, but we're only on pace to see 765 of them in 2013.
Speaking of decreased speed, stolen bases have also been somewhat non-existent. After seven straight seasons of at least 2,760 stolen bases and an impressive 3,229 swiped bags in 2012, we're only on pace for 2,639 of them this year.
For better or worse, baseball is gravitating toward the likes of Adam Dunn and Mark Reynolds and away from Jose Reyes and Michael Bourn.