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A long time ago, I asked myself if the Skydome favours a certain type of hitter. It didn't take me a long time to gather all the necessary data, but I wasn't sure what to do with it.

I decided to define two archetypical batters: one being a slow-footed power hitter and the other a speedy line-drive type hitter. The players were sorted in slow/medium/fast and power/medium/line-drive categories. The slow/power combination would be defined as a type 1 hitter and a fast/line-drive hitter would be a type 9. Other hitters would fall in between and would be rated a 3, 5, or 7 depending on which archetype they were closest to.

I wasn't able to obtain separate Exhibition Stadium and Skydome home/road splits for 1989, so that season was not included. All batters who have had at least 1500 AB in a Blue Jays uniform from 1990-2002 were included in the study. Here are their home and road OBP/SLG/OPS stats:

player speed/power type OBP/SLG/OPS ROAD OPS Ratio
Molitor P med/med 5 .412/.523/.935 (.370/.446/.815) 1.146
Fernandez T med/line 7 .400/.470/.870 (.366/.394/.761) 1.144
White D fast/line 9 .344/.466/.811 (.315/.399/.714) 1.136
Carter J med/power 3 .313/.503/.816 (.313/.442/.755) 1.081
Alomar R fast/line 9 .395/.472/.867 (.374/.432/.807) 1.074
Delgado C slow/power 1 .400/.573/.973 (.387/.535/.921) 1.056
Sprague E slow/power 1 .322/.419/.741 (.314/.406/.720) 1.030
Borders P slow/line 5 .290/.401/.691 (.294/.377/.671) 1.029
Stewart, S fast/line 9 .381/.448/.829 (.361/.445/.806) 1.028
Cruz, J fast/power 5 .343/.458/.802 (.323/.466/.789) 1.016
Fletcher, D slow/med 3 .321/.410/.731 (.323/.409/.732) 0.999
Gonzalez, A med/med 5 .306/.381/.687 (.307/.392/.699) 0.983
Green S fast/power 5 .338/.506/.844 (.355/.504/.859) 0.982
Olerud, J slow/med 3 .401/.461/.862 (.397/.482/.879) 0.980

Note that the OBP calculation doesn't include sac flies, so it isn't precise. The final column lists is the ratio of home OPS to road OPS.

Sorting the 14 hitters according to type into 3 groups, the results were: Type 7/9 = 1.096 OPS ratio; Type 5 = 1.031 OPS ratio; Types 3/1 = 1.029 OPS ratio.

To the extent that such a small sample of players tells us anything, it is that quick line drive hitters are better suited to the Skydome than slow power hitters.
Which Blue Jays hitters like the home cooking? | 16 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
_bob mong - Monday, March 31 2003 @ 03:40 PM EST (#91935) #
Do you think that slow power hitters lose something when hitting at the Skydome or that quick line drive hitters gain something when hitting at the Skydome? Or both?
_Jonny German - Monday, March 31 2003 @ 03:43 PM EST (#91936) #
Nice study Robert, very interesting.

I'd like to see the SkyDome splits compared to turf / grass splits in general. Do the speedy line drive hitters get their advantage from more ground balls zipping through the infield and more gappers making it to the wall for extra bases? Also, I'm sure I've seen commentary on this at some point, but what about the roof effect? Is it significant and in what way?

It would be interesting to see the defensive version of this study: Does the SkyDome favour ground ball or fly ball pitchers, power or control? I'm pretty sure it's the ground ball guys, but I don't know of any numbers offhand.

As usual I'm more of a questions guy than a conclusions guy... Some ideas did occur to me in thinking about this though: With the ongoing rise of sabermetrics to the front offices of MLB, how long before teams start quantifying player speed like they do in football? (Maybe they already do, maybe the question is How long until this info is in available to statheads worldwide?) Having data on pure speed would take out some guess work - Did Eric Hinske steal 13 bases last year because he's fast, or because he's a smart baserunner? You'd lean towards 'smart baserunner' given that he didn't steal more and he was only caught once, but it's also unlikely that he was making his own calls on when to run and when not to.

Then there's bat speed... how about a radar gun type device to measure that?
robertdudek - Monday, March 31 2003 @ 05:19 PM EST (#91937) #
Skydome increases doubles and triples, mostly because the balls scoot through the gaps. The same is true of the Metrodome - the best doubles/triples park in the AL.

This would be the most logical reason behind the success of the fast line-drive hitters, but not necessarily the only one or even the right one.

I was going to start working on a similar study regarding Jays pitchers, but the home/road data seems to have disappeared from the website I used.

These are park factors that I have calculated for Skydome (note: they are not meant to apply to a batter or picther's statline).

2B/3B singles homers
1990 TOR 1.000 0.998 1.272
1991 TOR 1.169 1.050 1.354
1992 TOR 1.135 0.931 0.970
1993 TOR 1.238 0.951 1.388
1994 TOR 0.909 0.979 1.106
1995 TOR 1.064 0.935 1.146
1996 TOR 1.194 0.993 1.068
1997 TOR 0.998 0.967 0.803
1998 TOR 1.099 0.913 0.967
1999 TOR 1.147 0.971 0.886
2000 TOR 1.146 0.931 1.057
2001 TOR 1.159 0.989 0.957
2002 TOR 1.151 0.944 1.107

There is a clear pattern of singles being converted into doubles/triples; homeruns were up in '90 amd '91 but since then the Skydome has not been homer friendly.
_Harry Heatherin - Monday, March 31 2003 @ 07:58 PM EST (#91938) #

Ok, I'm a bad person ... but watching Jeter rolling around in the dirt by 3rd base is right up there with Kirk Gibson taking a fastball in the teeth all those years ago (I can still see it ... sigh!). I'm sitting in a hotel room in Sudbury watching this puppy and I can sleep well tonight.

"Where's your messiah now?!!!"
Craig B - Monday, March 31 2003 @ 08:08 PM EST (#91939) #
Yup, you're a bad person Harry. I hope they can pop it back in OK and he doesn't have to miss too much time. Beating the Yankees isn't nearly as much fun if you're not beating Jeter at the same time.
_M.P. Moffatt - Monday, March 31 2003 @ 08:41 PM EST (#91940) #
Guess who has Jeter in the Batters Box league. No.. really guess.


_dp - Monday, March 31 2003 @ 08:58 PM EST (#91941) #
Gawd, what a horrible game. Roy was heading for doom with Soriano. I saw that coming after he kept fouling off pitches. The sinker is pretty ineffective against Soriano, and once he started getting the timing on the curve down, I knew it was over...

One of the only Jays games I get to watch this year- I cut class to see it- and its ugly.
Craig B - Monday, March 31 2003 @ 09:03 PM EST (#91942) #
That was the pitch from hell. Around 75, almost no break, waist high.

Halladay had *no* location at all. Far from hitting the glove, he wasn't within two feet a lot of the time. And Clemens looks fantastic so far, the splitter is tumbling and his velocity is good. He looks like Roger.
_dp - Monday, March 31 2003 @ 09:12 PM EST (#91943) #
anyone else think Wells #3 is a mistake? his OB% was horrid last year, which means less runners on for Delgado and greater chance an inning ends with Delgado on deck. this doesn't seem like something a statistically oriented team does.
_Jim - Monday, March 31 2003 @ 09:34 PM EST (#91944) #
Well, this isn't exactly the start I envisioned, but overall I'd rather get pasted than pooch a 3-run lead in the ninth. Guess that Piniella fiella's a genius after all.

I'm beginning to appreciate the logic behind carrying 3 catchers now. Your target tomorrow Mr. Huckaby is one Jason Giambi.

Oh, well 161-1 isn't bad.
_Sean - Monday, March 31 2003 @ 10:43 PM EST (#91945) #
I didn't like the looks of Halladay's off-speed pitches all night.

Clemens was great. That pitch in the back to Phelps was rather disgusting, I thought. A classless move by a Hall of Famer IMHO.
_M.P. Moffatt - Monday, March 31 2003 @ 10:59 PM EST (#91946) #
Completely OT, but does anyone know where I can get team payroll data from 1993-2002. It's for an article I might write for


robertdudek - Monday, March 31 2003 @ 11:19 PM EST (#91947) #
Doug Pappas' site has what you are looking for.
Craig B - Monday, March 31 2003 @ 11:53 PM EST (#91948) #
A classless move by a Hall of Famer IMHO.

I think a lot of people would say The Rocket is all about classlessness. Classlessness, and being maybe the best damn pitcher in history. He doesn't seem to do much else.
Coach - Tuesday, April 01 2003 @ 10:31 AM EST (#91949) #
what about the roof effect?

Just one observer's opinion, unsubstantiated as usual, but SkyDome averages out as a relatively neutral park because it's very hitter-friendly with the lid on, and on those warm, humid days when it's open, it's a pitcher's ally. The singles that become doubles and triples are probably consistent; I'm referring to the difference between a warning-track fly ball and a homer.

Speed, which can be (and is) timed in spring training, is just one component of good baserunning. The most important aspect is directly under the cap. I respect Jonny's desire to quantify as much about the game as possible, but I don't need a stopwatch to recognize that some unlikely guys -- like Brad Fullmer -- are far better on the basepaths than in the 40- or 60-yard dash.

Same with bat speed: a radar gun, no matter how precise, isn't equipped to measure acceleration of the bat head through the hitting zone, which equals "pop" -- some guys get it started 1/100th of a second quicker than others, but it doesn't keep accelerating until impact. I suppose breaking down high-speed film frame-by-frame might give you some answers, but I'm certain it would prove that Bonds's bat (or Phelps') keeps moving faster right up until the point of contact, while lesser humans reach maximum velocity midway through their swing. That explains why good hitters want to connect about a foot in front of the plate -- another millisecond or two of acceleration makes a difference.

Robert: on your scale, is Ken Huckaby a -1, or a -3?
_Gwyn - Tuesday, April 01 2003 @ 03:00 PM EST (#91950) #
On the subject of Doug Pappas he has just put a blog on his site
Which Blue Jays hitters like the home cooking? | 16 comments | Create New Account
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