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January 30, 2022

Why did MLB enforce the rules already in place re applying foreign substances to the baseball by pitchers in the middle of the 2021 season? This talk covers an introduction to baseball spin and how it impacts ball flight, how spin is imparted on the baseball during the pitching motion, and shows how direct measurements of fastball spin have changed since 2015. A closer look at spin data, pitching data, and batting data during the 2021 season helps explain the reason MLB decided to enforce the rules.
Andy Andres is a senior lecturer of natural sciences and mathematics at Boston University's College of General Studies who is an expert in exercise physiology, nutritional biochemistry and the science of baseball. In addition to the work listed above, Andres writes, lectures, and speaks to the media about baseball analytics, the effects of sticky stuff on baseball pitching, and effects of anabolic steroids on baseball players. He also initiated, designed, and taught the highly popular BU MOOC “Sabermetrics 101: Introduction to Baseball Analytics” on the platform to more than 60,000 registered students. His former students occupy front offices in the NBA, MLS, and MLB, where one was recently named General Manager. In addition to consulting with industry and professional sports teams, Andres is also an MLB datacaster at Fenway Park, a Data Analyst for, and former Head Coach/Lead instructor for the MIT Science of Baseball Program. These pursuits allow the lifelong fan and athlete to synthesize his twin loves: baseball and scientific inquiry. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

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