Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Saturday, April 20, 2013

BtBS: Home Runs and Horizontal Exit Angles

Introduction - The day I found Hit Tracker (now-named ESPN Home Run Tracker) was a life-changing experience for me. At first I perused the site as normal people are wont to do, looking at the longest homers, finding hitters who are getting a little lucky, and reading about the physics of pokes.

Then I started to, well, do my thing. The first research I did on this data set was to create the Home Run Damage statistic, which I still feature on my personal blog, Steal of Home. Next, I confirmed that hitters who hit a bunch of “Just Enough” home runs actually hit fewer the following year.

But of course, that is not enough. Today I will look at a different part of the data, mainly horizontal exit angle. At which angle do most home runs leave the bat, how does this compare for different handed batters, and which parks are more conducive to different angled home runs?

Method - The first thing I did was remove all inside-the-park home runs. They’re fun to watch, but in the words of Stephen Colbert, people only hit inside-the-park homers because the outfielders fell down… and are children.

The second important thing to talk about is horizontal angle. This is the exit angle off the bat, not the angle at which the ball landed. The best example of this I can give you is that one time Giancarlo Stanton hit a grand slam off Jamie Moyer (I’ll wait for you to watch that video multiple times, get a glass of water, and regroup). The ball lands on the foul side of the right [sic] field line (past 135 degrees, knocking out part of the scoreboard), but it actually left the bat at 124.7 degrees and curved because physics.

Finally, I grouped home runs into nine buckets for two reasons. The first is to better explain the angles in terms of an actual baseball field, as shown in the following chart. The second is because I really like using the term “buckets” when talking about data.

bobm Posted: April 20, 2013 at 11:02 PM | 1 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: home runs

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. cardsfanboy Posted: April 21, 2013 at 03:50 PM (#4421366)
Excellent article. It takes a bit to digest all the information in it, but it does have pretty graphs. :)

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.



<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF


Thanks to
The Piehole of David Wells
for his generous support.


You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogHow Colby Rasmus' big contract played a role in trading Jed Lowrie - Houston Chronicle
(11 - 2:35pm, Nov 26)
Last: Never Give an Inge (Dave)

NewsblogThe 3-man rotation? It's coming ... sometime, says Bill James
(13 - 2:16pm, Nov 26)
Last: cardsfanboy

(798 - 2:07pm, Nov 26)
Last: Orange Julius Is a Synonym for Evil

NewsblogComcast takes shot at Yankees in dispute as cable operator says not many folks watching the games on YES
(11 - 1:46pm, Nov 26)
Last: David Nieporent (now, with children)

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - November 2015
(1224 - 1:42pm, Nov 26)
Last: Tom Cervo, backup catcher

NewsblogJed Lowrie rejoins A’s; Brett Lawrie likely to be traded - San Francisco Chronicle
(2 - 1:28pm, Nov 26)
Last: Ginger Nut

NewsblogOT: Soccer in November 2015
(130 - 12:57pm, Nov 26)
Last: Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play

NewsblogOT - November* 2015 College Football thread
(861 - 11:52am, Nov 26)
Last: Infinite Yost (Voxter)

NewsblogOakland A's acquire Jed Lowrie from Houston Astros for RHP Brendan McCurry
(14 - 11:24am, Nov 26)
Last: A triple short of the cycle

Hall of Merit2016 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion
(109 - 11:10am, Nov 26)
Last: Bleed the Freak

NewsblogReport: MLB in 'advanced negotiations' to play games in London
(44 - 10:57am, Nov 26)
Last: Random Transaction Generator

NewsblogRod Carew opens up about his private life and his near-death experience
(65 - 10:48am, Nov 26)
Last: bobm

Hall of Merit2015 Hall of Merit Ballot
(179 - 9:52am, Nov 26)
Last: Bleed the Freak

NewsblogOT Gaming: October 2015
(185 - 8:43am, Nov 26)
Last: Random Transaction Generator

NewsblogBraves sign veteran starter Bud Norris
(1 - 8:33am, Nov 26)
Last: bfan

Page rendered in 0.1370 seconds
47 querie(s) executed