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Thread: Rob Neyer's blog: Links interesting article that tracks HR's

  1. #1
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    Rob Neyer's blog: Links interesting article that tracks HR's

    So Rob Neyer linked an article that showed some interesting things about home runs from the previous season. It looked at every HR hit and saw which ones just made it over the fence, which ones were helped by the wind, which ones that were no doubters, etc. Based on this information, you can see if some guys got lucky or not. Which teams got lucky or not. And so on.

    Here's the article that Neyer linked: http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/ar...homer-tracker/

    It is a very interesting read, and also shows that Brandon Phillips (I bring him up because there was an argument here about Phillips vs. Cano) might have had a fluke year. And also shows that David Wright also hit a few more HR's than he should have as 12 of his 30 HR's were "Just Enoughers."

    But do not fear Met fans, Beltran was one of the players with a very small percentage of "Just Enoughers" so you can guess that that will go up a bit. Only 5 of his 33 HR's were in that category.

    A few other ones that may be interesting: 13 of Ortiz's 35 HR's were Just Enoughers, 15 of Thome's 35 HR's were Just Enoughers, 9 of Lowell's 21 HR's were Just Enoughers. On the flip side, only 1 of Sheffield's 24 HR's were in that category. You can see it all in the article.

    The site is a lot of fun to look at over the season, and it also offers important clues as to how players will do in the upcoming season. Rybarczyk classifies all homers into 3 categories: 1) No Doubters: moonshoots that go well over the fence, 2) Just Enoughers: those that eke over the wall by the thinnest of margins, and 3) Plenty: all other homers.

    Personally, I'm especially interested in that second group. Last year, 29 percent of all MLB homers were Just Enoughers—29.1 percent in the NL and 28.9 percent in the AL. A player whose total is heavily dependent on these shorter long balls is not a good bet to maintain his power. Many of those balls could end up on the warning track with just some slight changes in wind, weather, or other factors.

    Alternately, someone with correspondingly few Just Enoughs should be due for a rise in power. If someone can hit his share of obvious homers, a deficiency of shorter ones is probably just the breaks not falling his way.

    It ain't perfect, but it's a handy little tool to use when forecasting how players will do in the upcoming season.

    (...)

    Brandon Phillips is as likely as anyone to fall to earth. He had nearly half of his homers ever so narrowly escape the ballpark. He's young, so he could always see his power go up, but his 30 homers last year nearly doubled his previous best. Making his case extra interesting, the Reds just signed him to a fat new contract, at least partially because of his power numbers. He could be a disappointment.

    David Wright is another good bet to decline. Hit Tracker also tracks "lucky" homers—those which left the yard only because of wind, weather and other factors beyond the batter's control. (Yup, Hit Tracker also notes those factors for all homers.) Wright had 10 and only one other batter in MLB had more than seven.

    (...)

    Team Cheap HR % Expected
    SFG 56 131 42.75% 106
    DCN 51 123 41.46% 101
    OAK 66 171 38.60% 148
    BOX 60 166 36.14% 149
    MIN 41 118 34.75% 108
    MIL 79 231 34.20% 214
    LAA 42 123 34.15% 114
    SEA 48 153 31.37% 148
    BAL 44 142 30.99% 138
    CWS 58 190 30.53% 186
    KCR 31 102 30.39% 100
    HOU 50 167 29.94% 165
    CIN 61 204 29.90% 201
    COL 51 171 29.82% 169
    PIT 44 148 29.73% 146
    LAD 38 129 29.46% 128
    ATL 51 176 28.98% 176
    ARI 49 171 28.65% 172
    CLE 51 178 28.65% 179
    SDP 47 171 27.49% 174
    FLO 54 201 26.87% 207
    TEX 47 179 26.26% 186
    NYY 49 201 24.38% 214
    NYM 43 177 24.29% 189
    TBD 45 187 24.06% 200
    PHI 49 213 23.00% 231
    CHC 34 151 22.52% 165
    STL 30 141 21.28% 156
    DET 37 177 20.90% 197
    TOR 31 165 18.79% 189

    (...)

    Boston's biggest boppers had many just slide over the fence—David Ortiz (13 of 35), Manny Ramirez (8 of 20), Mike Lowell (9 of 21), Jason Varitek (8 of 17), and Kevin Youkilis (7 of 16). Ramirez has the excuse of battling injuries all year, but with that many guys scoring excessive cheapies, the Red Sox could be due for a noticeable power downturn in '08.

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    interesting read. brandon phillips is one of my keepers in a league. kept him more for sb though

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    Do they take into consideration the size of the field? You said they took into account the wind, but what about things like playing at Coors Field in Colorado?

    Interesting read no doubt, but Shea is a big ball park. It says David Wright had 12 of his 30 HRs as “Just Enoughers,” I wonder how many of those were at Shea and would they still have been “Just Enoughers” at HR-friendly parks like Philadelphia and the Chicago White Sox park?

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    So after Wright goes 35/35 this year, he'll be singing the same tune about him hitting 15 lucky HRs

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    Quote Originally Posted by JV51 View Post
    So after Wright goes 35/35 this year, he'll be singing the same tune about him hitting 15 lucky HRs
    Thank you for contributing to the thread.

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    David Wright, when he's on his game, is the type of player who litters the outfield with Warning Track type shots, that he's high in this category is no particuar suprise to me, but I'd argue it's likely because he has a higher then normal percentage of Deep Fly Balls/Deep Line Drives (Im not using stats to back this up, just eyeballing) also so it might not be as much a by-product of luck as much as it is just the type of hitter he is.

    I'm not saying he'll definately maintain it, but it'll be interesting to watch for sure.

    Beltran on the other hand, has his fair share of tape-measure shots so again, im not buying the idea that he's suddenly due to improve in this area, but again, we'll see.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffWeaverFan View Post
    So Rob Neyer linked an article that showed some interesting things about home runs from the previous season. It looked at every HR hit and saw which ones just made it over the fence, which ones were helped by the wind, which ones that were no doubters, etc. Based on this information, you can see if some guys got lucky or not. Which teams got lucky or not. And so on.

    Here's the article that Neyer linked: http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/ar...homer-tracker/

    It is a very interesting read, and also shows that Brandon Phillips (I bring him up because there was an argument here about Phillips vs. Cano) might have had a fluke year. And also shows that David Wright also hit a few more HR's than he should have as 12 of his 30 HR's were "Just Enoughers."

    But do not fear Met fans, Beltran was one of the players with a very small percentage of "Just Enoughers" so you can guess that that will go up a bit. Only 5 of his 33 HR's were in that category.

    A few other ones that may be interesting: 13 of Ortiz's 35 HR's were Just Enoughers, 15 of Thome's 35 HR's were Just Enoughers, 9 of Lowell's 21 HR's were Just Enoughers. On the flip side, only 1 of Sheffield's 24 HR's were in that category. You can see it all in the article.
    This study is only meaningful to me if it does a good job or quantifying park effects and measures “Just missed”

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ven0m View Post
    David Wright, when he's on his game, is the type of player who litters the outfield with Warning Track type shots, that he's high in this category is no particuar suprise to me, but I'd argue it's likely because he has a higher then normal percentage of Deep Fly Balls/Deep Line Drives (Im not using stats to back this up, just eyeballing) also so it might not be as much a by-product of luck as much as it is just the type of hitter he is.

    I'm not saying he'll definately maintain it, but it'll be interesting to watch for sure.

    Beltran on the other hand, has his fair share of tape-measure shots so again, im not buying the idea that he's suddenly due to improve in this area, but again, we'll see.
    The thing is that Wright has averaged what 28 HR's his first 3 full seasons.
    The author or thread starter implying that all 3 seasons were wind aided or whatever is complete nonsense.

    Yep David is a good bet to decline.
    Last edited by chad101; 02-25-2008 at 07:08 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chad101 View Post
    The thing is that Wright has averaged what 28 HR's his first 3 full seasons.
    The author or thread starter implying that all 3 seasons were wind aided or whatever is complete nonsense.

    Yep David is a good bet to decline.
    Well, being fair, it was like 26 in 05 and 06 and 30 in 07. I think he's arguing is that those extra 4 home runs could have been the result of being lucky, I don't agree with that take though.

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    Does this take into account doubles that just missed being HR's? Or warning track flyouts? What about balls that would have been HR but the wind caught it?

    It's a good read, but the thing about baseball is over 600 AB's these things tend to even themselves out. Wright should get a bit more power, he's still young.

    Baseball is such a funny sport, the difference between a great average hitter and a poor hitter is 1 single a week. That's all it takes. 1 extra flukey single in 20 at bats, and you go from 260 to 310. But, over a season, these things all even out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JMJ View Post
    Do they take into consideration the size of the field? You said they took into account the wind, but what about things like playing at Coors Field in Colorado?

    Interesting read no doubt, but Shea is a big ball park. It says David Wright had 12 of his 30 HRs as “Just Enoughers,” I wonder how many of those were at Shea and would they still have been “Just Enoughers” at HR-friendly parks like Philadelphia and the Chicago White Sox park?
    They do not. The point is, if Wright plays another season in Shea, he won't hit as many HR's unless he gets a bit lucky again. If he played half his games at Coors, he would be even better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ven0m View Post
    Well, being fair, it was like 26 in 05 and 06 and 30 in 07. I think he's arguing is that those extra 4 home runs could have been the result of being lucky, I don't agree with that take though.
    That is exactly what he is arguing. That he hit about 4 extra HR's than he should have based on wind. I don't think that is that big of a deal, and I don't think it makes Wright not as great as he was last year, but it is still interesting nonetheless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffWeaverFan View Post
    That is exactly what he is arguing. That he hit about 4 extra HR's than he should have based on wind. I don't think that is that big of a deal, and I don't think it makes Wright not as great as he was last year, but it is still interesting nonetheless.
    And what about the warning track fly balls that "Just missed" -- he's got to throw that into the equation. If he had a lot of those, it balances out

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    I don't put much credence in this. Just look at Sheffield. The way he swings and makes contact, he hits rocket line drives. When he gets any elevation, they are always "no douubters". Anything lower is just a line drive somewhere. I'd be willing to bet over Frank Thomas' career, he had similar numbers.

    Other guys are more fly ball types. Their home runs are going to have a broader distribution of distances.

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    You can't put a lot of stock in articles like this.

    Shouldn't they also examine fly ball that were caught at the fence, and determine which hitters were "unfortunate"?

    Just because a hitter hits a homerun when conditions are "favorable", does not mean that conditions won't even be MORE favorable the following year. You cant just assume conditions will be less favorable.

    And, as we all know, it is less conditions that lead to homeruns, than squaring that bat on teh ball. And you can't predict the probability of hitting the sweet spot, nor just missing it.

    As well, a batter is not going to see an exact same assortment of pitches and sequence, as he saw last year.

    Homeruns are more determined by game conditions (count, sequence, situation), than they are atmospheric conditions or luck.

    Just fodder for stat geeks, without much real value

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrooklynBound View Post
    And what about the warning track fly balls that "Just missed" -- he's got to throw that into the equation. If he had a lot of those, it balances out
    Very true. I would be interested in that.

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