Made It by Thaaat Much: How Mookie and Cano Home Runs are Just Lucky Enough
Let’s start with the wonderful ESPN Home Run Tracker. The website breaks down every home run into 4 categories- No Doubter’s, Plenty’s, Just Enough’s and Lucky – for each player as well as a calculation of the number of ballparks out of 30 that a batted ball would become a home run when normalized to calm conditions (70 degrees and no wind). ‘0’ means that the park the ball was hit in was the only one it would have made it out of, ’30’ means it would be a dinger anywhere. In 2011, the average jack cleared the walls in 23 of 30 stadiums.
After playing around with the site for a while, I decided to take a look at the impact that ball parks have on Just Enough or Lucky home runs. Is a player more likely to have a Just Enough homer when playing in certain parks? Would that homer be a no doubter elsewhere or just a fly out?
If a JE/L home run occurred in conjunction with an above average to high park number (23-30, meaning that the homer in question would be gone in 23-30 of the other MLB stadiums), I would deem the park in which it was hit to have a detrimental impact on the hit- the park configuration and the location of the hit ball in that particular setting effectively makes a ball that would normally be a home run anywhere else a very close call. The opposite holds true if JE/L homers have a below average to low park number (0-23). This means that the home-field advantage perhaps aided the batter, as it would otherwise not have the distance or height in other parks. And again the park number controls for weather effects too, so I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.
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