MLB's universal DH, two weeks in
You'll never believe it, but it turns out professional hitters are a lot better at hitting than professional pitchers.
By the numbers: We're two weeks into the universal designated hitter era, and National League DHs are batting .248 with 33 HR and 141 RBI.
- Compare that to last year, when MLB pitchers, in their last hurrah at the plate, hit an anemic .108 with 14 HR and 166 RBI.
- Since 1973, when the AL first implemented the DH, pitchers have never batted above .165. Last year's .108 average was the lowest.
- Of note: We got to preview these results when the universal DH was temporarily installed during 2020's pandemic-shortened season. NL DH's that year batted .236.
Batting average by position: NL DH's aren't just outperforming their pitching predecessors — they're hitting better than any position besides first base, and are significantly out-hitting their AL counterparts:
- 1B: .250
- NL DH: .248
- 3B: .245
- LF: .237
- SS: .234
- 2B: .222
- CF: .220
- AL DH: .217
- RF: .212
- C: .209