The Coors Field Effect: Part 3 of A 3 Article Series

Wednesday, September.19/2012

Even with playing teams in the NL West with Parks like Petco, Dodger Stadium and AT &T Park, a Rockies player gets 81 games of AB versus 27 against the other 3 California parks or a 75-25 % split. The Rockies continue to lead the MLB for Home Averages year in and year out-even with the Humidor Room taking effect.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

Both myself (and Lead Baseball Columnist and Founder) Jonathan Hacohen think alike on some points as writers will often do when working for the same website.  Jonathan wrote a brilliant piece on the ballooned numbers that a player in Colorado receives as a byproduct of playing at Coors Field.  My head started spinning and swirling and I knew it to be true from my memory bank.  My Part 2 column, dissected the Coors Field Effect on some previous players, plus what has transpired in the last decade since the Humidor Room has been implemented.  You must read the 1st 2 parts of this series to fully understand what I am going to tell you here.

For Part 1 of the Article Series:  Carlos Gonzalez on the Trade Block? Buyer Beware!  click here

For Part 2 of the Article Series:  The Humidor Effect at Coors Field-One Decade in click here

The numbers don’t lie in either of the first two parts to this series- with the Rockies having led the league in 19 out of the 20 Years for Home Batting Average overall in the MLB and every year in the NL since they have existed.  This includes heavy hitting AL clubs, with hitter friendly parks such as: Yankee Stadium (Old or New), Citizens Bank Ball Park or Fenway Park.  What people also fail to realize is that the Pitchers also account for about 140-150 AB at home per year.  So really there is no way a Colorado team should have a higher BA than a team from the AL if that is the case?  Wrong.  The Batting averages for positional players from 1993-2002 in Colorado ranged from an average of .325-.345 every year.  May I point out they also led the Major Leagues in overall batting average every year for this span in the Pre-Humidor days too!

A Todd Helton Walk-off Shot at Coors:

Dexter Fowler is one of 3 Rockies who sports an OPS over 1.00 at Coors Field in 2012 (Colvin and Gonzalez are the other tow. The Humidor may have reeled in some homers, plus lopping off some offensive production, yet the Rockies always are at the top of almost every offensive category at home.

The numbers have dropped about 10% since the Humidor Room has been used.  The averages for positional players now averages around .308-.320 for the last decade.  To put it bluntly, this is a serious advantage!  Jonathan and I have received our fair share of Rockies fans wrath for even suggesting that this is the case.  Whether it is talking about Carlos Gonzalez and Todd Helton, or previous players like Larry Walker, Ellis Burks, Vinny Castilla, Andres Galarraga and Jeff Cirillo, we have defended our stance with numbers.  The barrage attack in retribution always centers around these guys have all had to play in cavernous hitting parks like Petco, AT &T Park and Dodger Stadium.  Parks that are very hard on hitters.  This is true to an extent, however the weighted AB does not compare to the 81 home dates the players rake at Coors Field. It is a 75%  to 25 % AB breakdown.

So lets use a study of a players with 4 AB in any game.  This year, the Colorado Rockies positional players are batting .308 at home on average.  If he has 324 AB for the year (81 X 4 AB) that would be roughly 100 Hits per guy.  For the Dodgers Stadium,  Petco Park and AT &T Park the Rockies play 27 Road Game (27 X 4 AB) =108 AB out of the year.  The Team averages about .250 on the road for Positional players-so that would be 27 hits.  IF you add these two AT-BATS columns together, you get a player that rakes 127 Hits in 432 AB and that is still a .294 AVG-Which as a team-would still put them ahead of the best team in the MLB besides the Rockies at Home Average in Texas!  Most of the players that we illustrated in the 1st two parts were .330-.380 hitters at home.  Why Larry Walker hit .382 for his lifetime AVG at Coors Field and only .283 for the rest of the parks he played in.  Carlos Gonzales is hitting .371 at home this year.  So lets give him that Average at home and .371 Avg for (98-264) and add his road AB in LAD (2-15 .133 Avg), SD (12-38 .316 Avg) and SF (3-21 .143 Avg) all combined to equal a 17-74 hitter (.229 in those 3  CA parks).  Lets use what he has done at the other those 3 Parks this year with his home average in a combined 115-338 (.340 Avg.)  As you see these AB at the 3 parks only represent 74 of 511 Season AB (about 14.4%)

Only David Ortiz has better overall numbers at home then the flashy Rockies fielder in 2012. Gonzalez was the subject of an article at the Reports back in June and since then- we have done some deep digging on the Coors Field Effect on hitters. Gonzalez is a .353 career hitter in COL with a SLG % of .643 and an OPS of 1.056.

I think we can all agree the rest of the parks(other than SD/LAD/SF) Carlos plays in are fairly balanced with some hitter friendly parks, and some pitcher friendly parks.  The best hitting division for parks in the AL East, however with the heavy pitching brought forth annually by the Rays and Yankees, this affects the rest of the divisional play.  Pitchers can still have success at Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, or heck Skydome for that matter, their chances are a little more remote at Coors.  Like I mentioned in Part 2 of this series, the altitude in Colorado changes the trajectory of all pitches thrown by pitchers, thus affecting the spin and control of all opposing and home pitchers.  The Rockies pitchers have an advantage in that they play in the park way more and have a better comfort zone.  If Yankee Stadium was such a hitters park compared to Coors, how come the club can’t even come close to the Rockies for Home Average with all of that front end talent?  Not even in the dynasty years could the Bronx Bombers compete with the thin air in Denver! Other teams also will take a few days to acclimatize to the altitude when visiting-while the Rockies are used to playing in it.  This is another reason why the home club hits better than the opposition.

Here is a rundown of all of the positions of the club and what they have hit this year at home and Away.  I left Troy Tulowitzki out of this discussion because he has been hurt a great portion of the year.  He has the closest Home and Away averages that I have ever seen for home and away at Coors Field with any past or present player.  The Rockies were smart to have signed him long-term because he can hit anywhere.  He even hits well at Petco Park, Dodger Stadium and At &T Park.  Even with that only representing about 16% of his career AB and Coors is closer to 50 %, it doesn’t effect his numbers all that drastically-just like the rest of the clubs.  If Tulo hit like Gonzalez at Coors, he would be the best player in the MLB today!

Troy Tulowitzki

Tulowitzki has career stats of a .292 Lifetime Average with 130 HRs 470 RBI, an OBP of .364 and an OPS of .868.  At Home his OPS is .921 and he has a .309 Avg- with 71 HRs and 268 RBI. Away he has hit .275, with 59 HRs and 202 RBI. He is one of the more complete all around players, not like some of the Home and Away Splits his teammates have.

2012 Home and Away Numbers.  Right after that is their OBP and OPS.  I have given the 3 CA parks as a barometer test for the players involved.  While all but a couple had lower numbers after adding the California parks, the averages are not weighted enough to bring down their season averages.  There is no other team that has a hitter advantage like Colorado.  It always has to be taken into consideration when looking at a player.

Carlos Gonzalez  CF:  Home: 16 HRs  58 RBI .371 Avg (98-264)   / .440 OBP / 1.053 OPS %  Away:  .239 Avg (59-247) / OBP .307 / OPS .720   SD/LAD/SF  Parks  Combined Avg  .229 AVG (17-74  1 HR 9 RBI) -74 AB/511 AB year (14.48 %).  Combined Home of Coors Field  and 3 other CA teams Parks 115-338 (.340 Avg)  Season Stats:  .307  22 HRs 85 RBI/ OBP .376 / OPS% .893

Tyler Colvin  LF:   Home: 11 HRs  44 RBI  .335 Avg ( 61-200) / .383 OBP/ OPS % 1.058  Away:  7 HRs 21 RBI .242 Avg (45-186)/ OBP .276/ OPS % .689    SD/LAD/SF 3  Parks Combined Avg .238 (14-59 AB  1 HR 4 RBI).  3 CA Parks plus Coors Field  Avg.  75-259  (.290)  Season Stats  .288  18 HRs 65 RBI  .329 OBP/  OPS% .873

Dexter Fowler  RF:  Home: 10 HRs 39 RBI  .338 Avg (79-234)  OBP .439/ OPS% 1.007   Away:  3 HRs 14 RBI  .263 Avg (55-209)/  OBP .332/  OPS% .715.  VS. SF/LAD/SF  3 Parks  Combined Avg  .197 ( 13-66 AB o HRs and 3 RBI.) 66 AB/443 AB this year is  (14.9%).   Coors and 3 combined CA Parks .307 (92-300).  Season Stats:  .302 Avg   13 HRs  53 RBI/  OBP .390/  OPS% .891

Marco Scutaro 2B:  Coors Field both as a Rockies Player and Giant:  3 HRs 27 RBI  Avg. 320 (70-219)/ OBP .379 OPS .812 .  Now all other parks   .288 AVG (103/368)  3 HRs 35 RBI    SD/LAD/SF 3 Combined  Parks Avg .300 (54-180.) Now keep in mind he was at home for SF games since July.31.  3 Parks in California and Coors Combined Avg .311 ( 124-399)  Scutaro Season Avg. 300/ OBP .339/  OPS % .728

 Michael Cuddyer OF/3B/1B: Home:  9 HRs 35 RBI Avg. 268 (52-194)  OBP .343/ OPS % .858  Away:  7 HRs 23 RBI .250 Avg (41-164)  SD/LAD/SF Parks .300 AVG (12-40 1 HR 5 RBI)  40 AB/358 AB for year (11. 1%.)  Coors and 3 California Parks combined avg  .274 (64-234.)   Season Stats:  .260 Avg  16 HRs  58 RBI/  .317 OBP/  OPS % .816

Wilin Rosario C:  Home:  16 HRs 40 RBI  .263 Avg (47-179) /.313 OBP  .883 OPS  Away:  9 HRs 26 RBI  .248 Avg/.280 OBP /.747 OPS.  SF/LAD/SD Parks  10-43 (.233   2 HRs  7 RBI )  43 AB/362 AB for year (11.88%)  California 3 and Coors Combined Park stats  .246 (57-232)  Season Stats:  .256 Avg  25 HRs 66 RBI/  OBP .297/ OPS % .818

Josh Rutledge SS:  Home: 5 HRs  18 RBI  .296 Avg (34-115)  OBP .322/OPS % .853  Away:  3 HRs  15 RBI  Avg .292 (28-99)/  OBP .313/ OPS% .834.   Vs SD/LAD/SF Parks Avg .302 (16-53  1 HR  8 RBI)  AB 53/214 for year (24.7 %)  Total Coors Field and 3 California Parks combined Avg .298 (50-168)  Season Stats:  .294 Avg/ 8 HRs 33 RBI/  OBP .318/  OPS% .844

Jordan Pacheco 3B:  Home:  3 HRs  32 RBI  .337 Avg (70-208)  OBP .379/  OPS .865  Away:  1 HR  13 RBI  Avg.270 (57-211)  OBP  .296/  OPS% .637  Vs  SD/LAD/SF Parks Combined Avg .237 (18-76 o HRs 9 RBI)   Coors Field and 3 California teams combined avg .310 (88-284) Season Stats:  .303 Avg 4 HRs  45 RBI/ OBP .338/ OPS % .751

Chris Nelson  3B/2B:  Home:  4 HRs  28 RBI  .338 Avg (50-148)/ OBP .400/  OPS% .914  Away:  5 HRs  19 RBI  .248 Avg. (36-145)  .290 OBP/  OPS% .714  SD/LAD/SF Parks  .327 (16-47  1 HR 7 RBI)   47 AB/293 AB is  (16.0%).  Coors Field and California 3 combined  Avg.338 (66-195)  Season Stats:  .294 Avg 9 HRs 47 RBI/  OBP .347/  OPS% .811

Todd Helton 1B/PH:  Home:  4 HRs 28 RBI  .257 Avg (37-144)/  OBP .353 / OPS % .783  Away:  3 HRs 9 RBI .208 Avg (20-96) / OBP.327/ OPS% .682.  SD/LAD/SF Parks  .150 AVG (3-20  0 HRs 0 RBI) 20 AB/240 AB for year  (8.3%.)  Coors and California 3 Parks Combined avg .244  (40-164.)  Season Stats:  .238   7 HRs 37 RBI / OBP .343/  OPS% .743

I love Todd Helton as one of the most prolific hitters of this generation.  He is a .290 Career  Hitter on the road, along with hitting .340 at Coors.  He used to be able to hit anywhere.  I really hope he retires after this year.  The current Active ALL-Time Doubles leader struggles to hit away from Coors Field as his .208 Avg indicates.  Much like Walker and Galarraga, Helton will be penalized by the BBHOF when it comes to Cooperstown because of his home numbers.  While I have to agree with this based on the numbers I have researched, I am not sure Helton is not a Hall Of Famer.  He was one of the most dominant players for over a decade and had a smooth glove out at first base.  Him hitting 100 XBH in 2001 and 2002 should not be taken lightly.  Bonds, Sosa and he are the only ones to do this in a long time in the NL.

For Part 1 of the Article Series:  Carlos Gonzalez on the Trade Block? Buyer Beware!  click here

For Part 2 of the Article Series:  The Humidor Effect at Coors Field-One Decade in click here

Tyler Colvin is the latest player to show favorable numbers by playing half of his games at Coors Field. The Man features an OPS of over 1.00 for his career there. Is he the heir apparent to the ToddFather at 1B?

 *** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com ***

 ***Thank you to our Lead Baseball Writer- Chuck Booth for preparing today’s feature on MLB reports.  To learn more about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames” and Chuck Booth, you can follow Chuck on Twitter (@ChuckBooth3024) and you can also follow Chuck’s website for his Guinness Book of World Record Bid to see all 30 MLB Park in 23 days click here  or on the 30 MLB Parks in 23 days GWR tracker at the Reports click here. To Purchase or read about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames Book, ” please click here ***

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About chuckbooth3023

I played competitive baseball until 18 years old and had offers to play NCAA Division 1 University Baseball at Liberty University. Post-concussion symptoms from previous football and baseball head injuries forced me to retire by age 19. After two nearly made World Record Attempts in 2008, I set a New World Record by visiting all 30 MLB Parks (from 1st to last pitch) in only 24 Calendar Days in the summer 0f 2009. In April of 2012, I established yet another new GWR by visiting all 30 Parks in only 23 Calendar Days! You can see the full schedule at the page of the www.mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker

Posted on September 19, 2012, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

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