2010 projected leaders: batting average

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Over the next several days, I’ll be dipping into my 2010 projections and presenting some leaderboards.
1. Joe Mauer -.331
2. Albert Pujols – .325
3. Ichiro Suzuki – .323
4. Hanley Ramirez – .321
5. Pablo Sandoval – .316
6. Miguel Cabrera – .315
7. Dustin Pedroia – .313
8. Robinson Cano – .311
9. Howie Kendrick – .311
10. Carl Crawford – .310
11. David Wright – .310
12. Ryan Braun – .309
13. Vladimir Guerrero – .309
14. Matt Holliday – .308
15. Kendry Morales – .307
16. Nick Markakis – .307
17. Todd Helton – .304
18. Billy Butler – .304
19. Yunel Escobar – .304
20. James Loney – .303
Nowhere to be found are Derek Jeter (.334), Joey Votto (.322) and Michael Young (.322), all of whom finished in the top 10 in the majors last season.
I have Jeter at .298. It’d be the first time since 2004 that he’s hit under .300 and just the fourth time in his career, but it seems reasonable, given that he finished at .300 in 2008 and he’s 35 now. Votto struck out significantly more frequently than any of the other average leaders last year, with 106 Ks in 469 at-bats. I pushed him down to .290 for this year. The 33-year-old Young comes in at .296, six points below his career average.

MLB crowds jump from ’21, still below pre-pandemic levels

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PHOENIX — Even with the homer heroics of sluggers like Aaron Judge and Albert Pujols, Major League Baseball wasn’t able to coax fans to ballparks at pre-pandemic levels this season, though attendance did jump substantially from the COVID-19 affected campaign in 2021.

The 30 MLB teams drew nearly 64.6 million fans for the regular season that ended Wednesday, which is up from the 45.3 million who attended games in 2021, according to baseball-reference.com. This year’s numbers are still down from the 68.5 million who attended games in 2019, which was the last season that wasn’t affected by the pandemic.

The 111-win Los Angeles Dodgers led baseball with 3.86 million fans flocking to Dodger Stadium for an average of 47,672 per contest. The Oakland Athletics – who lost 102 games, play in an aging stadium and are the constant subject of relocation rumors – finished last, drawing just 787,902 fans for an average of less than 10,000 per game.

The St. Louis Cardinals finished second, drawing 3.32 million fans. They were followed by the Yankees (3.14 million), defending World Series champion Braves (3.13 million) and Padres (2.99 million).

The Toronto Blue Jays saw the biggest jump in attendance, rising from 805,901 fans to about 2.65 million. They were followed by the Cardinals, Yankees, Mariners, Dodgers, and Mets, which all drew more than a million fans more than in 2021.

The Rangers and Reds were the only teams to draw fewer fans than in 2021.

Only the Rangers started the 2021 season at full capacity and all 30 teams weren’t at 100% until July. No fans were allowed to attend regular season games in 2020.

MLB attendance had been declining slowly for years – even before the pandemic – after hitting its high mark of 79.4 million in 2007. This year’s 64.6 million fans is the fewest in a non-COVID-19 season since the sport expanded to 30 teams in 1998.

The lost attendance has been balanced in some ways by higher viewership on the sport’s MLB.TV streaming service. Viewers watched 11.5 billion minutes of content in 2022, which was a record high and up nearly 10% from 2021.