Thursday, December 21, 2017

On "short" home runs

A reader given to emailing comments to me suggested (regarding Monday's post) that Brian Dozier might lead the league in "short" home runs.

Well, let's look at the data from Baseball Info Systems:

Dozier in 2017 had 22 flyball outs that traveled 330 to 349 feet, no homers of that distance.

Edwin Encarnacion had 20 flyball outs in that range -- and three homers.

Aaron Judge had just 11 outs in that range -- and two homers. Scooter Gennett, 10 and 3. Mookie Betts, 20 and 3. Carlos Santana (who, like Encarnacion, played for Cleveland), 18 and 2.

There are a LOT of players with more flyball outs in that range than Dozier. Whit Merrifield of Kansas City: 31 outs of 330 to 349 feet, no homers.

Obviously, the ballpark has a lot to do with that. Kansas City's yard is unforgiving of fly balls, Yankee Stadium the opposite. Pull a popup down either line in Boston, you got a chance. Something in Cleveland seems condusive to particularly short homers. I don't think Target Field has any particularly soft touches in that regard.

Dozier hit 33 homers in 2017, and 22 of them went at least 390 feet. Five were between 350 and 369, six between 370 and 389. Encarnacion (38 total) had 15 homers shorter than 390.

Mike Moustakas -- big home park -- also had 38 total. Nine of them were between 370 and 389. Only three were shorter than 370, but with about the same number of fly ball outs shorter than 370 than Encarnacion.

And here's an oddity that caught my eye: Gary Sanchez of the Yankees had a total of 37 flyball outs of 330 feet or more, and 33 homers. That's really strong percentage. He has a favorable park, but that's a lot of homers per flyball.

Anyway, if I had to crown somebody as the king of the cheap homer in 2017, it would be Edwin Encarnacion, not Brian Dozier.

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