PG "Ways to Play"

I think it's kind of interesting. I'm glad they're trying stuff.

Each game will be played under the following rules developed by MLB and will be in effect throughout the entire weekend:

• Each game will be nine innings in length.
• Three balls will result in a walk for the hitter.
• If a batter takes a called strike the batter will be out.
• No straight or delayed steals will be permitted.
• The batter must keep his foot in the batter’s box at all times.
• There is no throwing the ball around between batters.
• If game is tied after the ninth inning a runner will be placed at second base with one out.
• If game is tied after the 10th inning bases will be loaded with one out.

Hit your pitch, not the pitcher's pitch. Wait for the mistake. I had a recent conversation with my son about a double he hit. I asked him about a called strike earlier in the count and asked him what was wrong with that pitch. 

"Wasn't my pitch."

MLB possible changes to improve pace of play:

"...Those changes would include restricting catchers to one trip to the mound per pitcher each inning, the addition of a 20-second pitch clock and changing the strike zone at the bottom from just beneath the kneecap to where it was prior to the 1996 season which was at the top of the knee."

I would like to hear the debate on the above points. The player's union rejected it.  Minors already have a clock.

I'm mostly watching HS aged kids but I see a lot more kids looking for "their pitch," taking hittable fastballs in the zone, falling behind in the count, and swinging at a breaking ball often out of the zone. I think most of them would benefit from being more aggressive in the zone.

The rules for this tournament were set by MLB.  At first I thought it was a bit over board, and so did the coaches and players.  However by the second round things started to get very interesting.  Hitters had to be aggressive strike outs actually went way down and scores were similar to past tournaments with top teams.  Most of the coaches and players prefer the normal rules, but said there were some benefits to the new rules.

The number one thing that stood out was the lower pitch counts.  One pitcher threw 7+ innings with around 50 pitches.  The coach of the team that won the championship said he thought his team's hitters were not aggressive enough this year, but they were forced to get aggressive with the rules and they really started to hit. It is similar to having a two strike approach in one way, but actually different because until you had two strikes you could swing for the fence and miss, you just couldn't take a strike.

The purpose id not necessarily to shorten the length of the games, though that does happen.  The goal is to pack more action into that time.  It certainly did do that.  The one rule most didn't like was the no steal rule.  The stolen base is an action play so most thought it should be added.  Guess the thought was to eliminate an overly amount of pick off moves.

I'm not sure if the new rules would be received as well during the spring or summer, but hoilding pitch counts down during the off season does make sense. 

I think all the teams enjoyed playing and I think MLB got a lot of feedback both good and bad.  Everyone knew it was an experiment of sorts.  The umpiring was outstanding.

At first I thought, basically the hitter will be coming to the plate with 2 strikes (Must protect the plate) because he has to swing at strikes.  However, if they miss the non-good pitch strikes (not in their happy place) on purpose then they will get to see more pitches. It benefits the pitcher to much IMO.  Think I would have my son skip that showcase (he is not a pitcher). 

PGStaff posted:

The rules for this tournament were set by MLB.  At first I thought it was a bit over board, and so did the coaches and players.  However by the second round things started to get very interesting.  Hitters had to be aggressive strike outs actually went way down and scores were similar to past tournaments with top teams.  Most of the coaches and players prefer the normal rules, but said there were some benefits to the new rules.

The number one thing that stood out was the lower pitch counts.  One pitcher threw 7+ innings with around 50 pitches.  The coach of the team that won the championship said he thought his team's hitters were not aggressive enough this year, but they were forced to get aggressive with the rules and they really started to hit. It is similar to having a two strike approach in one way, but actually different because until you had two strikes you could swing for the fence and miss, you just couldn't take a strike.

The purpose id not necessarily to shorten the length of the games, though that does happen.  The goal is to pack more action into that time.  It certainly did do that.  The one rule most didn't like was the no steal rule.  The stolen base is an action play so most thought it should be added.  Guess the thought was to eliminate an overly amount of pick off moves.

I'm not sure if the new rules would be received as well during the spring or summer, but hoilding pitch counts down during the off season does make sense. 

I think all the teams enjoyed playing and I think MLB got a lot of feedback both good and bad.  Everyone knew it was an experiment of sorts.  The umpiring was outstanding.

Thanks PGStaff. So strikeouts went down -- as I would expect with hitters being compelled to swing at strikes -- and scoring was similar. Very interesting.

2019Dad posted:
PGStaff posted:

The rules for this tournament were set by MLB.  At first I thought it was a bit over board, and so did the coaches and players.  However by the second round things started to get very interesting.  Hitters had to be aggressive strike outs actually went way down and scores were similar to past tournaments with top teams.  Most of the coaches and players prefer the normal rules, but said there were some benefits to the new rules.

The number one thing that stood out was the lower pitch counts.  One pitcher threw 7+ innings with around 50 pitches.  The coach of the team that won the championship said he thought his team's hitters were not aggressive enough this year, but they were forced to get aggressive with the rules and they really started to hit. It is similar to having a two strike approach in one way, but actually different because until you had two strikes you could swing for the fence and miss, you just couldn't take a strike.

The purpose id not necessarily to shorten the length of the games, though that does happen.  The goal is to pack more action into that time.  It certainly did do that.  The one rule most didn't like was the no steal rule.  The stolen base is an action play so most thought it should be added.  Guess the thought was to eliminate an overly amount of pick off moves.

I'm not sure if the new rules would be received as well during the spring or summer, but hoilding pitch counts down during the off season does make sense. 

I think all the teams enjoyed playing and I think MLB got a lot of feedback both good and bad.  Everyone knew it was an experiment of sorts.  The umpiring was outstanding.

Thanks PGStaff. So strikeouts went down -- as I would expect with hitters being compelled to swing at strikes -- and scoring was similar. Very interesting.

Compelling a batter to swing because he walks to the plate with a two strike count is not a good thing for the batter unless you are using a two strike approach, like actually walking to the plate with two strikes. Otherwise, you gey kids lazily swinging through strikes just to get to the next pitch. A fast ball away might be hittable but is not the preferred pitch to hit. 

For showcase purposes, I could see many scenarios that could work, including the one strike approach. 

TXBALLDAD,

This was not a showcase, it was an actual tournament with 16 of the top travel teams in the country.  That means there were many top draft prospects playing and a lot of scouts watching. I didn't notice any of those top prospects doing anything to change their status.  In fact some increased their value with the bat.  Also didn't notice any top pitchers dominate any more or less than they usually do.  I will admit that kind of surprised me.

The most important thing with these rules was having excellent umpires, which we did.  After watching that event and the first day in Jupiter I am very proud of our umpires.  I think they are the best in all of travel baseball. 

I watched a couple of innings.  Strange to see a kid come of to the plate, take a pitch (called strike), and walk back to the dugout.  Fast pace for sure and and fun to watch for what it was.

PG - I assumed that the reason for the called strikeout rule was that scouts wanted to see hitters hit and more action in general.  Is that correct?

Where exactly is this being implemented? What do they call the tournaments where these rules apply?  Video isn't very clear on this or maybe I missed it.  

This is basically what the parochial / private schools use in our area.  We are public but our JV played a private with similar rules and I thought it did make the kids more aggressive.  We hit really well in those games and those schools (the ones who play with 2 strike 3 ball rule) tend to send the most kids to D1  and pro ball from our area so I don't think it's all bad.   

Elijah posted:
2019Dad posted:

Thanks PGStaff. So strikeouts went down -- as I would expect with hitters being compelled to swing at strikes -- and scoring was similar. Very interesting.

Compelling a batter to swing because he walks to the plate with a two strike count is not a good thing for the batter unless you are using a two strike approach, like actually walking to the plate with two strikes. Otherwise, you gey kids lazily swinging through strikes just to get to the next pitch. A fast ball away might be hittable but is not the preferred pitch to hit. 

For showcase purposes, I could see many scenarios that could work, including the one strike approach. 

The problem is, they need to learn to hit the fastball away. As kids move up, pitchers get better, miss their spot less often, etc., and an inability to hit the fastball away -- or a consistent taking of a fastball on the outer third of the plate -- is a recipe for lots and lots of 0-1 counts, and maybe 0-2 counts if he takes it a second time. I think it would be interesting, at least, to see how kids learn to hit with these rules. And these rules do not encourage swing-at-anything -- three balls are a walk, so don't swing at pitches out of the strike zone.

Attn Manfred: MLB- 4 foul balls = you are out. Just like we did back as kids in the yard. If you can't put it in play & the pitcher is good enough so you have to spoil 4 pitches, go sit down. Nobody really wants to see the 13 pitch at bat where Jayson Werth takes ugly hacks & fouls off 11 pitches.

Improve pace of play. More outs recorded at a quicker pace. Lowers pitch count, which means fewer pitching changes early. Recorded not as a K for stats. 1 Unassisted.

Steve A. posted:

Attn Manfred: MLB- 4 foul balls = you are out. Just like we did back as kids in the yard. If you can't put it in play & the pitcher is good enough so you have to spoil 4 pitches, go sit down. Nobody really wants to see the 13 pitch at bat where Jayson Werth takes ugly hacks & fouls off 11 pitches.

Improve pace of play. More outs recorded at a quicker pace. Lowers pitch count, which means fewer pitching changes early. Recorded not as a K for stats. 1 Unassisted.

I actually don't mind watching Brett Gardner foul off 11 pitches!  But, I understand where you are going.  5 years: Automated strike zone.  10 years: Any called strike is an out.  The new action gradually brings in more folks who would not otherwise watch baseball.  20 years:  The game moves so quickly that 3 innings are added. 

Partly in jest.  But as I said in my post above, this modified game does have more action = more exciting for new fans.

 

3and2Fastball posted:

This set up sounds like a huge advantage for pitchers, and absolutely terrible for hitters... I think if such rules are kept in place, some of the best position players in the future will look for other/better opportunities to showcase their talents

It sounds like that, but it's not what happened. Per PGStaff, strikeouts went down and scoring was about the same. If anything it sounds like what played out was neutral to positive to hitters.

It sounds to me like something that would be wise to avoid taking part in, if you are a Position player.  It isn't real Baseball.

edit to add:  I guess it is a tournament, so the individual player might not have much choice in whether they take part, if their team schedules it...

I hope we don't see more of this.  Baseball is a great game with 4 balls and 3 strikes... 

Dominik85 posted:

I don't really like it. I know amateur scouts don't really value patience at the plate ("you don't  walk off the island") and generally the advice is to swing the  bat in showcases but I would let baseball be baseball.

Strongly agree.  Missed the part about "no stealing bases" the first time around.

Cannot say it more plainly:  this is not Real Baseball!

I told the rules to my son. His response, "That's buns." (Translation: he doesn't like it). Specifically the 1 looking strike--he's almost always a see-a-strike-first kind of hitter. I've tried to get him to be more aggressive, but he's just very comfortable hitting with strikes on him. That said, on those rare occasions that the pitcher misses over the heart on the first pitch, he will attack it...usually to the opposite field, though, because he waited too long. I suppose that if many leagues/tournaments went to this format, kids would adapt, but I thought I'd share the $0.02 from a 2020.

-42

3and2Fastball posted:
Dominik85 posted:

I don't really like it. I know amateur scouts don't really value patience at the plate ("you don't  walk off the island") and generally the advice is to swing the  bat in showcases but I would let baseball be baseball.

Strongly agree.  Missed the part about "no stealing bases" the first time around.

Cannot say it more plainly:  this is not Real Baseball!

And futsal is not real soccer, but it's awfully good training for it. I'm not saying I'd like MLB to go to this, but I think it's interesting and might be good training.

2019Dad posted:
3and2Fastball posted:
Dominik85 posted:

I don't really like it. I know amateur scouts don't really value patience at the plate ("you don't  walk off the island") and generally the advice is to swing the  bat in showcases but I would let baseball be baseball.

Strongly agree.  Missed the part about "no stealing bases" the first time around.

Cannot say it more plainly:  this is not Real Baseball!

And futsal is not real soccer, but it's awfully good training for it. I'm not saying I'd like MLB to go to this, but I think it's interesting and might be good training.

I could see a version of it for one day formats, but this talk of changing the game to bring in new, younger viewers or to keep people's attention is nonsense to me. Ratings for the playoffs are up. People are interested. Perhaps the MLB should put a little more thought into marketing their talent if they are concerned with the younger audience. That department seems to be asleep. 

When I operated the Area Code games, we played on one field, 5 games per day for 5 days.

Scouts, Scouting Directors provided their input for "fine turning" the event. I listened and constantly made small changes. The objective to allow the players to exhibit their tools.

It was like a "stage play". The players are the "actors", the 450 pro scouts and college coaches, the audience. If I did not have quality, I was told "work harder", "dig deeper", no excuses.

Bob

Consultant posted:

When I operated the Area Code games, we played on one field, 5 games per day for 5 days.

Scouts, Scouting Directors provided their input for "fine turning" the event. I listened and constantly made small changes. The objective to allow the players to exhibit their tools.

It was like a "stage play". The players are the "actors", the 450 pro scouts and college coaches, the audience. If I did not have quality, I was told "work harder", "dig deeper", no excuses.

Bob

Did you modify the game for the format? Did scouts ask you to? 

If the strike zone were automated, sure. Called by an ump, no way.

My kid has played a lot of ball at a lot of different levels. And up to this point 70%+ of the umps are varying degrees of bad. PG events were no exception. If I'm going to be called out on one strike I want to know it's right.

I had this picture once. Somehow I've lost it and I'm sure will never find it online. I got it off of a photography forum. It was of a catcher and umpire as the ball was passing over the plate just before hitting the catchers mitt. A beautiful picture. Both the catcher's and umpire's eyes were closed.

Since the 1st games in 1987, we played five 7 inning games, WOOD bats, 2 hour time limit. Pre-game 10 minute infield/outfield, umpires were tuned in. No arguement from the coaches [pro scouts].

The key was our "field manager" who acted like a "drill sarge" keep everyone moving. Played the 9-5 rule. Hustle. The 1st 1/2 day was for BP, infield outfield, 60 yard dash. We did not modify in the 17 years. Only fine turned. Personally I was at the field 7 am to 11 PM. The clinic I added, because of all the talent like Eric Davis, Dusty Baker, Dave LaRoche, Tom Lasorda who offered to help.

Bob

My 2019 had an opportunity to pitch against the champions of the "Ways to Play" tournament while they played in the World Championship and they were not shy about swinging at his fastballs. 

Were the Champions always that aggressive at the plate or did they benefit from the Ways to Play environment.....would be interesting to know. 

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