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Not unexpectedly, most Major League Baseball rookies have a lower batting average than veteran players, especially early in the season. We understand they’ll weed themselves out, the survivors will improve and the group average will revert to the mean.

But an untrained observer might conclude that the latest trend in baseball is to hit less often. An irresponsible observer would ascribe cause and motivation to the data and might try to lull opposing pitchers into thinking they are easy outs, only to explode with productivity later in the season. And they’d show the early season batting data to support their position. They’d be wrong.

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