Friday, January 4, 2013

Royals Ding Dongs Home And Away

Chili Davis
The fantastic new batting splits function of the Baseball Reference Play Index continues to amuse. Here now is a look at how Royals players have fared when it comes to homering home and away from Royals/Kauffman Stadium. Ignoring the years spent at Municipal Stadium ('69-'72), I found the 40 players to hit at least 20 homers either at home or on the road during their time spent with the Royals. Those 40 players hit 45% of their dingers at home, 55% on the road. Here are the players with the biggest raw difference between home and away dongs (all of whom hit more on the road):

Away Home diff
George Brett 181 136 -45
Steve Balboni 73 46 -27
Hal McRae 95 74 -21
Darrell Porter 41 20 -21
Wally Joyner 31 13 -18

Perhaps more interesting is a look at the extremes of percentage of homers home and away. Here are those that were much more likely to homer on the road on a rate basis:

Away Home Home%
UL Washington 20 6 0.23
Wally Joyner 31 13 0.30
Darrell Porter 41 20 0.33
Eric Hosmer 22 11 0.33
Matt Stairs 25 14 0.36

Hosmer has twice as many road dongs compared to home in his young career. That is not a trend that carries over into his overall hitting however. He has a career wOBA of .321 at Kauffman compared to .313 on the road. Hos could be due for quite a few round-trippers at home this year.

Now here are the real freaks, the guys who somehow have hit more dongs at huge Kauffman Stadium than on the road. First on a counting basis:

Away Home diff
Chili Davis 9 21 12
Dean Palmer 18 25 7
Mark Quinn 19 26 7
Billy Butler 49 54 5
Jermaine Dye 41 44 3
Alex Gordon 40 42 2

Second, on a rate basis, which actually follows the above list exactly:

Away Home Home%
Chili Davis 9 21 0.70
Dean Palmer 18 25 0.58
Mark Quinn 19 26 0.58
Billy Butler 49 54 0.52
Jermaine Dye 41 44 0.52
Alex Gordon 40 42 0.51

I extended both of those lists to six players to include Alex. Interesting that both Billy and Alex have hit more at home than on the road, though I have no idea what it means, if anything.

Chili Davis played only one year in Kansas City as the 37 year old DH in 1997. In a career that featured 350 long balls, 1997 was the only single season he hit 30. Perhaps even stranger, an incredible 21 of those came at Kauffman, which is a tie for the most home dingers in a season by a Royals player:

Rk Player Year HR
1 Chili Davis 1997 21
1 Dean Palmer 1998 21
3 Carlos Beltran 2002 19
4 Steve Balboni 1985 17
4 Mike Sweeney 2000 17
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 1/4/2013.

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