The 2023 MLB season is set to feature a number of rule changes aimed at improving the game’s pace of play and increasing offensive output. One of the most notable changes will be the ban on extreme defensive shifts, which could have a significant impact on the performance of certain hitters.
One player who could benefit from the shift ban is Corey Seager of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Seager is a left-handed hitter with a tendency to pull the ball to the right side of the field. In recent years, opposing teams have employed extreme shifts against Seager, positioning three or even four infielders on the right side of the field.
With the shift ban in place, Seager will have more room to hit the ball to the left side of the field, where fewer defenders will be positioned. This could lead to an increase in Seager’s batting average and extra-base hits, as well as a decrease in his ground ball and strikeout rates.
Seager is not the only hitter who could benefit from the shift ban. Left-handed sluggers such as Joey Gallo of the Texas Rangers, Bryce Harper of the Philadelphia Phillies, and Kyle Schwarber of the Washington Nationals are all known for their tendency to pull the ball to the right side of the field. With fewer defenders in their way, these hitters could see an increase in their power numbers and overall offensive production.
Of course, not all hitters will benefit equally from the shift ban. Some players, such as right-handed hitters who primarily hit to the opposite field, may not see much of a change in their defensive positioning. Others may find that the ban on shifts actually works against them, as defenders are able to play more traditional alignments that better match the hitter’s tendencies.
It will be interesting to see how teams adjust to the new rule changes in 2023, and which hitters are able to take advantage of the ban on extreme shifts. As always, baseball is a game of constant evolution, and the introduction of new rules and strategies is sure to keep things interesting for players and fans alike.
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