Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Yikes! Even a money train stops once in a while!
A couple of things to recognize about Hamilton. First, he played in one of the most hitter-friendly ballparks for lefty hitters. The Ballpark at Arlington ranked 3rd in terms of the park factor for left-handed hitter home runs, while Angels Stadium in Anaheim ranks 23rd. Considering the 2013 schedules for both the Rangers and the Angels and the parks in which they play, Hamilton will play to a park factor that suggests about 20% less homeruns, than if he remained a Ranger. Another issue, which is perhaps more concerning, is Josh Hamilton’s track record against top-flight pitching. In a recent study, I segmented all starting pitchers into different levels of “quality”, based on the OPS they yielded over a season. I defined “top” pitching as the top 1/3 and “bottom” pitching as the bottom 1/3 of starting pitchers. (I controlled for the lefty-righty factor and I rated pitchers for each season in the study—2009, 2010, and 2011.) The average left-handed hitter has a spread of 182 OPS points in his stats against “top” vs. “bottom” pitching. In other words, a .732 OPS guy (MLB-wide average against starting pitchers) is expected to hit .641 against top pitching and .823 against the bottom third of starters. Josh Hamilton’s spread is far more dramatic. Instead of a spread of 182 points, his is 433 points. Hamilton hit .721 against top pitchers, while banging out an OPS of 1.154 against the weakest pitchers. He performed only 12% above the MLB average against top pitchers, but a bone-crushing 40% above league average against the weakest third of the rotation. This suggests that Hamilton, who was a .909 OPS guy over these three seasons, feasts on weak pitching, but is neutralized by top pitching. Incidentally, this is a consistent pattern over the three years in our sample. Even in Hamilton’s MVP season of 2010, when he batted .359 with a 1.014 OPS, he exhibited the same pattern of hitting. In his MVP year he hit under .800 vs. top pitchers and over 1.200 against weak pitchers for another 400+ point spread. This has serious implications for the postseason, since the mix of pitching in the postseason closely resembles what we call the “top” pitchers. These pitchers represent one-third of regular season innings, but over 60% of postseason innings. Hitters who do not fare well against top pitchers are not as likely to get it done in October. Given the quality of the Angels’ roster, we may have a chance to see how this movie ends over the next several Octobers.
for his generous support.
You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.
: 2014 WORLD SERIES GAME 2 OMNICHATTER
(491 - 11:24pm, Oct 22)Last:
Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose TacosNewsblog
: OT: Politics, October 2014: Sunshine, Baseball, and Etch A Sketch: How Politicians Use Analogies
(3189 - 11:22pm, Oct 22)Last:
: McSweeneys: NEW BASEBALL STATISTICS.
(8 - 11:22pm, Oct 22)
Last: Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose TacosNewsblog
: How Wall Street Strangled the Life out of Sabermetrics | VICE Sports
(8 - 11:11pm, Oct 22)
: OT: Monthly NBA Thread - October 2014
(343 - 11:01pm, Oct 22)Last:
: Royals are not the future of baseball | FOX Sports
(29 - 11:00pm, Oct 22)
: Sielski: A friend fights for ex-Phillie Dick Allen's Hall of Fame induction
(181 - 10:59pm, Oct 22)Last:
: Cardinals proud of fourth straight NLCS appearance | cardinals.com
(65 - 10:38pm, Oct 22)
: Jerome Williams re-signs with Phils
(9 - 10:21pm, Oct 22)
: Statcast: Posey out at the plate
(13 - 10:21pm, Oct 22)
Last: Walt DavisNewsblog
: Jay set for surgery — and for CF in 2015 : Sports
(5 - 9:58pm, Oct 22)
: Ad Week: What Is Madeleine Albright Doing on the Wheaties Box?
(1 - 9:54pm, Oct 22)
Last: Howie MenckelNewsblog
: Hunter Pence responds to Royals fan signs with monster Game 1 | MLB.com
(54 - 7:50pm, Oct 22)
Last: JE (Jason)Newsblog
: Mike Scioscia, Matt Williams voted top managers
(43 - 7:45pm, Oct 22)
: Dealing or dueling – what’s a manager to do? | MGL on Baseball
(39 - 7:10pm, Oct 22)