It Ain't Coming Back

Home runs and Coors Field go together like peanut butter and jelly. During the 2012 season, Rox fans were reminded of the high probability of seeing a homer at every home game! The figure below, from a nifty web site that plots the balls in play taken from the MLB Gameday site, shows all home run landing spots in 2012 at Coors Field. The web site has data back to 2008. Interesting to see where the balls go from year to year. Just for fun I counted the dots for left field homers (347 - 420), centerfield homers (420 - 424), and right field homers (424-350). For the last five years the average homers to left field is 71.2, center 28.6, and right 72.0.


Change from average for each year is shown in the table below. As you can see, 2012 was a banner pre-humidor type year for home runs at Coors Field. Articles (one such found here) were done in an effort to describe why 2012 was an outlier. My take is that it was a combination of bad pitching and some hotter than normal temperatures (but that is another post...).






























In addition, perhaps visiting hitters have changed their approach to Coors Field. To expand on this theory of home run hitting analysis, an interesting article on Lookout Landing - SB's Mariners blog, had a post on The Direction of Home Runs. As with most baseball statistics, there is some "gut" feel to what the numbers should look like. At Lookout Landing, they suggest in their article, it is sometimes even more eye-opening when you see the numbers and one such analysis is the disparity in "pulled" homers. I believe the data shown on their post was just with Safeco Field. Using the charts from the MLB Gameday (see below) I did a quick and dirty evaluation of what "type" of homer flies well at Coors. The chart below shows home runs and fly balls by right hitting batters in 2012. Just visually one can see that if a batter can pull the ball the more chances of it leaving the ballpark exists.


Below is just a bar graph showing the HR/FB ratio based on the dots above (sorry not a SQL pro, this was more of a back of the envelope type calculation). In my case I just graphed pulled, centerfield, and opposite field homers.


Amazing for every two flyballs pulled at Coors almost half end up in the seats. One has to wonder if a pitcher can prevent batter's from pulling baseballs? And on the opposite effect, is it any wonder Rox hitters get messed up at Coors when they become "pull" happy because of the easy ability to homer. So what will 2013 bring for Coors Field? Can Walt Weiss use his knowledge of Coors Field and try to find that something that has eluded his predecessors? One can only hope and in the same vein what will Dante tell the hitters?

Eat. Drink. Be Merry. But the above FanPost does not necessarily reflect the attitudes, opinions, or views of Purple Row's staff (unless, of course, it's written by the staff [and even then, it still might not]).

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