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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Cameron: The Early Trend of 2013: Dingers!

Sheeet, so easy…even Brett Wallace almost hit one to the warning track.

There are two numbers that are probably a bit higher than we would have expected, though, and they’re definitely related.

The league average ERA is 4.13 despite the increase in strikeouts for one simple reason; Major League teams have hit a lot of home runs in the first week of the season. Given the time of year we’re talking about, it’s almost an extraordinary amount of home runs.

...It’s too early to call this a continuation of that trend, but I will note that the current MLB HR/CON rate in 2013 is 4.0%, the same as it was during the 1999 and 2001 seasons. Yes, it’s 116 games out of 2,430, and this could end up being nothing more than a blip on the radar, so don’t go overboard with any conclusions just yet.

However, April is supposed to be the month where the ball flies the least. The first week of April is the coldest weak of the month, on average. Because we haven’t even taken two full turns through the rotation yet, the innings totals are skewed towards each team’s best pitchers. And yet, despite all those variables that would theoretically push home run totals down, the ball is flying out of Major League stadiums at about the same rate it did during the absolute peak of the home run boom.

It could very well be nothing. 2,000 innings isn’t enough to draw any real conclusions. Maybe it’s been unseasonably warm the first week. With samples this small, a few gusts of wind and some random variation could be tricking us into seeing something that isn’t there. With that caveat, though, it is still something to keep an eye on. MLB saw an uptick in power last year, and it’s seen a very small sample uptick in power to start 2013. The rising strikeout rates are keeping the scores down enough to where it has gone unnoticed, but dingers might be making an underreported comeback in Major League Baseball right now.

Repoz Posted: April 11, 2013 at 05:53 AM | 33 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, sabermetrics

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   1. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 11, 2013 at 07:17 AM (#4410503)
The A's lead the majors in HRs. That's your WTF stat for the day.
   2. flournoy Posted: April 11, 2013 at 07:41 AM (#4410508)
The Braves currently lead the league in Gattitude.
   3. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: April 11, 2013 at 08:04 AM (#4410510)
Shooty (1): It's also probably your proof that the high HR rates so far are a small sample size fluke.
   4. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: April 11, 2013 at 08:07 AM (#4410512)
And another one for Bryce Harper. Natitude!
   5. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 11, 2013 at 08:09 AM (#4410515)
Shooty (1): It's also probably your proof that the high HR rates so far are a small sample size fluke.

You don't think Crisp will hit 40 HRs? Why you gotta hate?
   6. Walt Davis Posted: April 11, 2013 at 09:15 AM (#4410555)
The A's also lead in r/g

You don't think Crisp will hit 40 HRs?

But Chris Davis is on pace for 360 RBI ... although this is down substantially from his earlier pace of 640.

ML WAR leader? Barry Zito of course with 1.2. If he stops now this will be his best season since 2010.
   7. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: April 11, 2013 at 09:18 AM (#4410557)
You don't think Crisp will hit 40 HRs? Why you gotta hate?


Somewhere Brady Anderson is shaking his fist.
   8. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: April 11, 2013 at 09:26 AM (#4410564)
If only the US government provided information about weather for free to the citizens, so that we could check if temperatures were significantly above average for this time of the year in most MLB cities (hint: they were).
   9. jmurph Posted: April 11, 2013 at 09:33 AM (#4410573)
If only the US government provided information about weather for free to the citizens, so that we could check if temperatures were significantly above average for this time of the year in most MLB cities (hint: they were).


My sweaty, uncomfortable ### can confirm this was the case last night in Nationals Park when Bryce Harper crushed one into the second deck.
   10. Danny Posted: April 11, 2013 at 09:34 AM (#4410575)
FWIW, the A's led the majors in homers in the second half last year.
   11. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 11, 2013 at 09:37 AM (#4410580)
FWIW, the A's led the majors in homers in the second half last year.

Brandon Moss looks for real, if nothing else. I think the A's, because of all the platooning, are going to surprise people with how many HRs they hit because they won't have anyone on the leaderboard.
   12. JE (Jason) Posted: April 11, 2013 at 09:54 AM (#4410594)
ML WAR leader? Barry Zito of course with 1.2. If he stops now this will be his best season since 2010.

According to B-R, Zito is at 0.8. Fangraphs has him at 0.3.
   13. depletion Posted: April 11, 2013 at 09:58 AM (#4410600)
If only the US government provided information about weather for free to the citizens, so that we could check if temperatures were significantly above average for this time of the year in most MLB cities (hint: they were).

OK, RocksForJocks, what about game temperatures vs. HR/9 this year compared to other years?
Baseball fan at all-time high!
   14. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: April 11, 2013 at 10:10 AM (#4410614)
Brandon Moss looks for real, if nothing else

In 2010/2011, the Phillies, who rely on and are proud of the philosophy that they are a scouting/development, not numbers, organization, had Moss, Ryan Voglesong and Jason Grilli in AAA and released all three.
   15. Danny Posted: April 11, 2013 at 11:05 AM (#4410672)
According to B-R, Zito is at 0.8.

For pitching. And 0.4 for batting.
   16. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: April 11, 2013 at 11:10 AM (#4410683)
ed

holy cow. I get moss in a way because he has holes in his game. but the other two guys had lively arms

this is surprising
   17. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: April 11, 2013 at 11:13 AM (#4410688)
OK, RocksForJocks, what about game temperatures vs. HR/9 this year compared to other years?
Baseball fan at all-time high!


It is, as they say, complicated to measure that. But the underlying physics is clear - balls fly farther in warmer weather, and it has been very warm throughout the East.
   18. Chicago Joe Posted: April 11, 2013 at 11:22 AM (#4410700)
It is, as they say, complicated to measure that. But the underlying physics is clear - balls fly farther in warmer weather, and it has been very warm throughout the East.


The midwest begs to differ.
   19. Tim Wallach was my Hero Posted: April 11, 2013 at 11:23 AM (#4410705)
it has been very warm throughout the East.

Well, not my East. It's been freezing up here in Quebec City. And we're expecting several inches of f?%$*&? snow tomorrow. Not that anyone cares here but I needed to vent my frustration.
   20. Chicago Joe Posted: April 11, 2013 at 11:24 AM (#4410708)
Harveys, You have a historical perspective I can only one day aspire to-last spring that was so chilly so late in these parts? What are the consequences for the farmers?
   21. depletion Posted: April 11, 2013 at 11:28 AM (#4410713)
The measurements have already been done. Temperature is recorded in box scores, I believe (at least on mlb.com). If one can get at the formatted data it isn't that difficult to use a spreadsheet to see the effect of T on HR. I would do this on a park-by-park basis, also take into account roof open/closed. I understand that the air is less dense at higher T's. I don't doubt that warmth tends to more HR, but is the warmth responsible for all the difference, or just a small part?
   22. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 11, 2013 at 11:33 AM (#4410723)
In 2010/2011, the Phillies, who rely on and are proud of the philosophy that they are a scouting/development, not numbers, organization, had Moss, Ryan Voglesong and Jason Grilli in AAA and released all three.


Hung on to Pete Orr like grim death, though!
   23. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: April 11, 2013 at 11:49 AM (#4410749)
Hung on to Pete Orr like grim death, though!

:(
   24. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 11, 2013 at 11:56 AM (#4410758)
We may finish 20 games behind the Braves and 30 games behind the Nationals, but damn it, we'll prove they were wrong to give up on Pete Orr.

We'll show them all!!!!
   25. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: April 11, 2013 at 11:58 AM (#4410763)
Chicago

right now there is delay but the harvest can still meet usual levels because the moisture is there (obviously) contingent on the sun showing up come june/july. nature has a funny way of balancing htings.

sure some crops may do better/worse but overall it's not crisis mode yet

late springs are not nearly as damaging as drought

it's more aggravating than anything
   26. Chicago Joe Posted: April 11, 2013 at 12:09 PM (#4410781)
Harveys-what would be the dropdead dates for corn/beans?

The wife is an avid gardener, though we don't plant commodity crops. Our soil is pretty fantastic, despite being in the middle of the city.
   27. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: April 11, 2013 at 01:17 PM (#4410843)
green beans or soybeans

corn is a grass. you give it plenty of water and the sun comes out and it will make up for lost time 'fast'
   28. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: April 11, 2013 at 01:34 PM (#4410865)
I don't doubt that warmth tends to more HR, but is the warmth responsible for all the difference, or just a small part?


In addition to higher temperatures, higher temperatures this time of year correlate with SW winds. This also boosts offense.
   29. Dr. Vaux Posted: April 11, 2013 at 01:37 PM (#4410869)
They'd better not have juiced the ball again. Another thing that seems weird is how many lopsided games there have been. There have been tons of 13-0 types of scores this week.
   30. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: April 11, 2013 at 01:38 PM (#4410872)
Moss left Philly as a minor league free agent, but yeah....these were not good days.
   31. DA Baracus Posted: April 11, 2013 at 02:21 PM (#4410923)
In 2010/2011, the Phillies, who rely on and are proud of the philosophy that they are a scouting/development, not numbers, organization, had Moss, Ryan Voglesong and Jason Grilli in AAA and released all three.


Ruben Amaro Jr. was on fire in 2010. A vintage year for him.
   32. cardsfanboy Posted: April 11, 2013 at 04:42 PM (#4411085)
Cardinals are second in scoring... and 18th in homeruns... it's not about the longball. :)
(heck we hit 4 yesterday to get up to that lofty position of 18th...still in single digit homeruns as a team.)
   33. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: April 11, 2013 at 04:55 PM (#4411097)
I thought the Orioles had one of the best offenses in the league through the first week, but I checked and they're just above average. I also thought they had some of the worst pitching, but they're only average.

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