Stories by Andrew Witherspoon

Baseball's season of extremes

Data: Baseball Reference; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

In the midst of the "Juiced Ball" era, Major League Baseball is on pace for a record number of home runs this season (1.36 per game).

Yes, but: Teams are also striking out more than ever (8.7 per game), which has negatively impacted on-base percentage, the lifeblood of offense.

By the numbers: U.S. incarceration and spending

Data: Prison Policy Initiative, Brookings Institute; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Following decades of a rapidly growing prison population, the percentage of Americans in prison is the lowest it has been in more than 20 years. Still, the U.S. incarcerates people at a higher rate than any other country — 655 people for every 100,000 of the population.

The latest: This comes as many cities and states have enacted various criminal justice reform measures to combat mass incarceration. Even Congress passed a bill that eased certain sentencing guidelines and instituted new rehabilitation programs in federal prisons.

Go deeper:

Trump’s incredibly empty Cabinet

Data: FiveThirtyEight, department websites; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

No president in recent history has started their tenure with as many extended Cabinet vacancies as President Trump.

Why it matters: Trump has been happy to fill many of the positions with "acting" officials, saying it "gives me more flexibility." But it adds instability when so many departments are without permanent leaders — and acting secretaries don't go through the scrutiny and vetting that they'd get with Senate confirmation.