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How do Nolan Arenado's home and road splits compare to other good hitters'?

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Arenado is a better hitter at home, but... isn't everyone?

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the 24th Purple Row edition (and 129th overall) of Tuesdays With Mitch, where we always sprint up the line on lazy pop flies. Let's get into it...

Nolan Arenado is having a spectacular, breakout season. Transcendent defense. Explosive offense. It's been a treat to watch all year long. However, I've grown frustrated with what has often been the national response to Arenado's year, in which we are implored to LOOK AT HIS HOME AND ROAD SPLITS, BRO! HE PLAYS AT COORS FIELD!

Yes, he does. And yes, Coors Field is a great hitter's park. I'm not here to dispute either of those facts. How much better are Arenado's home numbers compared to his numbers on the road? Let's look. Here are Arenado's splits:

NOLAN ARENADO


AB

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

2B

HR

TB

HOME

310

.316

.350

.610

.960

23

20

189

AWAY

284

.250

.285

.525

.810

15

21

149

So yeah, he definitely has better numbers at home than on the road. No doubt about it. Batting average is 66 points higher. Slugging percentage is 85 points higher. Nolan Arenado is a better hitter in his home ball park than he is on the road. This should diminish the quality of his season, right? Well, on Sunday afternoon Rockies' broadcaster Drew Goodman brought up some interesting numbers regarding how some of baseball's other great players perform in their home parks, and I want to dive into that further.

Surely, the other great players in baseball will have much more even, perhaps almost identical numbers hitting at home as they do on the road. After all, they don't play half of their games at Coors Field. At least this seems to be the theory of those who are quick to discount the accomplishments of successful Rockies hitters.

So I pulled the numbers for the best hitters in baseball this year, all players who will surely receive some MVP votes. Now, keep in mind I'm not attempting to compare these players' seasons to Arenado's, nor am I attempting to prove that Coors Field isn't a great hitter's park. Just checking out some home/road numbers for a bunch of really good hitters.

BRYCE HARPER


AB

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

2B

HR

TB

HOME

255

.345

.488

.682

1.170

17

23

174

AWAY

248

.327

.444

.633

1.078

20

18

157

So, it would appear that Bryce Harper is another player who enjoys hitting at his home ball park more than he does on the road. His slugging percentage is 50 points higher. The OPS is 92 points higher. He's got five more homers in his familiar digs. (Related:  Holy crap, what a year he's having. Those numbers are unbelievable. Nothing new, but wow.) Let's check out the other MVP...

JOSH DONALDSON


AB

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

2B

HR

TB

HOME

312

.330

.398

.647

1.046

25

24

202

AWAY

291

.265

.344

.498

.843

15

17

145

Well that's interesting. It would appear that Josh Donaldson is another player who enjoys hitting at his home ball park more than he does on the road. Dramatically. Across the board, every statistic for Josh Donaldson is greatly enhanced when he's playing at home. His OPS is 203 points higher in the Rogers Center (or Centre).

ANDREW McCUTCHEN


AB

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

2B

HR

TB

HOME

265

.332

.430

.543

.974

20

12

144

AWAY

282

.255

.381

.440

.821

16

10

124

Would you look at that! It would appear that Andrew McCutchen is another player who enjoys hitting at his home ball park more than he does on the road. McCutchen's splits are also dramatic and across the board. Perhaps most notable is the 77 point difference in batting average.

MIGUEL CABRERA


AB

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

2B

HR

TB

HOME

269

.357

.457

.540

.997

18

7

121

AWAY

234

.313

.419

.515

.934

10

10

102


You're not going to believe this, but it would appear that Miguel Cabrera is another player who enjoys hitting at his home ball park more than he does on the road. Cabrera's missed quite a bit of time this year, so his power numbers are down, but he's still logged over 500 at-bats. He's got a few more dingers on the road, but like Arenado, every other category looks better at home.

PAUL GOLDSCHMIDT


AB

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

2B

HR

TB

HOME

245

.331

.475

.567

1.042

21

11

139

AWAY

303

.304

.391

.551

.943

15

20

167

We'll I'll be danged! It would appear that Paul Goldschmidt is another player who enjoys hitting at his home ball park more than he does on the road. Outside of hitting two-thirds of his homers on the road, Goldschmidt's average, on-base, and slugging (somehow) are all notably higher at Chase Field than elsewhere.

Now, there are exceptions to most rules, and not every player fits the mold. I was able to find a couple elite players who have put up better numbers on the road this year.

JOEY VOTTO


AB

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

2B

HR

TB

HOME

338

.301

.479

.518

.997

10

14

129

AWAY

276

.333

.449

.587

1.036

23

15

162

Votto's numbers really surprised me, considering Great American Ball Park is essentially a Little League field that grown men play in. But over the course of his odd, tremendous year (an astounding .553 OBP in the second half), Votto has consistently put up better numbers away from home.

MIKE TROUT


AB

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

2B

HR

TB

HOME

271

.273

.394

.539

.933

11

19

146

AWAY

284

.317

.399

.623

1.023

18

21

177

These numbers make more sense than Votto's, as Angel Stadium of Anaheim has been the 2nd-worst hitters park in the majors this year. Also, Mike Trout is probably a robot/alien and his numbers aren't to be trusted.

But overall, the trend is clear: Good hitters like Bryce Harper, Josh Donaldson, Andrew McCutchen, Miguel Cabrera, Paul Goldschmidt, and Nolan Arenado ALL hit better at home than on the road.

It is 100 percent natural and normal for a player to have greater success in his own yard than he would elsewhere. He gets to sleep in his own bed and see his family. He's familiar with the batter's eye and the dimensions of the park. He gets to hear the same awful song of his choosing before stepping into the box. Maybe the crowd gives him a boost. Maybe he gets an extra call or two from the umpires. It all makes plenty of sense.

So again, the reason I wanted to point out these numbers is not to take anything away from any of these players. They are all having absolutely tremendous seasons. I'm a fan of all of 'em.

But it would probably be wise for people to pump the brakes on bashing the statistics of a player such as Arenado, simply because he hits better in Coors Field. Coors Field is his home park, and just about everybody hits better in their home park.

Now we head to the weekly departments...

Ass of the week:

Freaking Papelbon, man.

I doubt there's much need for me to provide you with the set-up, but just in case... here's the video of the events in question (for those who have been living under a rock with your fingers in your ears and your eyes held tightly shut.)

The takes have been rolling in on this for a couple days now, so I'll go ahead and throw in my thoughts on the matter. (Update: I don't have the time to dive into this the way I had hoped, so...) I'll just say this: If you somehow think what Papelbon did was okay, you:

  1. Are wrong.
  2. Simply do not like Bryce Harper. That's what this boils down to. You don't care about how much hustle he showed on that play. (A player has done what Harper did there in every game I've ever seen.) You don't care about "the code". No, if you're defending Papelbon, it probably means you've wanted to do to Harper what that douchey old meat head did. You don't like Harper's hair, you don't like his eye black, you don't like the way he runs, you don't like the way he talks to the media, you don't like how violent his swing is, you don't like his magazine covers, you don't like his gold cleats in the All-Star Game, you don't like the hype, and you don't like that he's better than everyone else in baseball. Why any of those things would cause such a strong sense of resentment is beyond me, but it does. It's common to hate Bryce Harper. I sure don't get it, but whatever gets you through the day.

Honorable mention to Joe West for this #umpshow.

Stud of the week:

Yogi Berra lived one hell of an awesome life. It's not easy to be universally beloved after winning ten World Series with the Yankees.

Johnny Bench tweeted out the telegram he received from Yogi after Bench passed him in career home runs. It's great. ("I always knew the record would stand until it was broken".)

Other Yogi links I liked this week hereherehere and here.

Tweet of the week:

Solid joke here.

Speaking of Fan Duel, I really enjoyed/agreed with SVP's take on the whole weird thing they (and Draft Kings) have going.

Some other stuff from around the internet:

Check out Ben Revere fail at the water-dump after Josh Donaldson's walk-off. Pretty great.

And from that same moment, I love this bench reaction:

Not much cooler than watching the league MVP hit a huge walk-off in a pennant race.

Trout good:

Turns out, if you bounce an extra point off the referee's face, it counts if it still goes in!

Greatest punt ever? Probably.

I've never seen artificial turf catch on fire before. It's neat!

Apparently this GIF is old, but I saw it for the first time this weekend. It's incredible.

And finally, this is my favorite video in a long, long time. Listen to this "Extremely Boston Man" discover a very odd creature. (It's littered with foul language, so be careful.)

Happy Tuesday, everybody. Thanks for readin'. Enjoy the final week of Rockies baseball if ya can. See ya next week.

***

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