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Thread: Shooter: Target Field now a more homer-friendly home

  1. #1
    Owner All-Star John Bonnes's Avatar
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    Shooter: Target Field now a more homer-friendly home

    http://www.twincities.com/twins/ci_2...field-now-more

    The main story here is that the Twins don't have any plans to move the fences after this season, and I'm glad to hear that. But I found the conclusion a little flawed and I think it's because Shooters examination is a little flawed....

    The Minnesota Twins' Target Field has yielded an average of 2.09 home runs per game this season, ranking seventh in the 14-team American League, according to ESPN Stats and Information Group.
    Just figuring the average home runs hit, it could be that the Twins are just very good/bad at hitting home runs, or their pitching staff if very good/bad at giving them up. Instead, one usually compares the total home runs that both the Twins and their opponents have hit at home vs the road.

    If you look at it that way, Target Field is once again depressing home runs. Twins and their opponents have hit 115 home runs in Target Field but 127 on the road and they've played almost exactly the same number of games home and away.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Double-A BrentMpls's Avatar
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    Maybe he was thinking about the softball long haul bombers that are going to be there tonight

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    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Bad pitching staff + breakout offensive sluggers = increased home runs.

    Target Field didn't suddenly shrink last offseason. As you said, that's a flawed examination.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer minn55441's Avatar
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    I hope they don't move the fences, that is just another move they will come to regret. Just like removing the trees.
    Last edited by minn55441; 08-10-2012 at 04:35 PM.

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    Owner MVP Seth Stohs's Avatar
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    127-115 isn't much of a different (<10%)... I'm not going to look it up, but I'd venture to guess that the differential was bigger the first two years in Target Field?

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    Senior Member All-Star Thrylos's Avatar
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    You cannot make a scientifically valid argument about this kind of stuff... 2 different season are 2 different teams and even the same players play differently every season fo a variety of reasons. Not to mention different pitchers, different weather etc... Not neutral conditions so it is very hard to have a controlled set of variables to have a baseline... I don't know. Maybe something like batting practice could be close, but game conditions nope.
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    Senior Member All-Star Badsmerf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
    127-115 isn't much of a different (<10%)... I'm not going to look it up, but I'd venture to guess that the differential was bigger the first two years in Target Field?
    I remember them being much more drastic. The concrete has cured now, that is the reason.

  8. #8
    Owner MVP Seth Stohs's Avatar
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    These are just numbers, so take them for what they are:
    HR/Game at Target Field according to ESPN's Hit Tracker:
    2010 - 1.43
    2011 - 1.56
    2012 - 2.09

    So, clearly there are more homers... but, affects could be:

    1.) The Willingham Factor - 17 of his 29 are at home... As Parker said last offseason, his swing and pull-tendencies make him ideal for the ballpark.
    2.) The Plouffe Hot Streak - 12 of his 19 homers are at home...
    3.) The Kubel Canyon - just 12 of his 33 homers from 2010 and 2011 were at Target Field. He hated it and that's why he never considered coming back here. How many fly outs did he have to that RCF gap? Of course, Thome hit many out there. Tosoni hit at least two out there too.

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    Owner All-Star John Bonnes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
    127-115 isn't much of a different (<10%)... I'm not going to look it up, but I'd venture to guess that the differential was bigger the first two years in Target Field?
    Last year was similar: 126 at TF vs. 138 on the road. 2010 was drastic: 116 vs 181.

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    The Red Sox are expected to call up Danny Valencia from Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday.

    He'll take the roster spot of Will Middlebrooks, who reportedly broke his right wrist when he was hit by a pitch during Friday's game. Valencia, who was acquired from the Twins last Sunday, has a .260/.301/.393 batting line in the big leagues and should see semi-regular playing time at third base down the stretch. He's worth a look in AL-only leagues.
    Related: Will Middlebrooks

    Source: Peter Abraham on Twitter

  11. #11
    I really hope they don't move the fences in. I'd rather see them move them out further. Our pitching staff can use all of the advantages it can get!

  12. #12
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    I think it's a little flawed because the Twins have better RIGHT handed hitters this year. Are there results of HR totals hit to right field and center?

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    Maybe all parks should be above average.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
    These are just numbers, so take them for what they are:
    HR/Game at Target Field according to ESPN's Hit Tracker:
    2010 - 1.43
    2011 - 1.56
    2012 - 2.09

    So, clearly there are more homers... but, affects could be:

    1.) The Willingham Factor - 17 of his 29 are at home... As Parker said last offseason, his swing and pull-tendencies make him ideal for the ballpark.
    2.) The Plouffe Hot Streak - 12 of his 19 homers are at home...
    3.) The Kubel Canyon - just 12 of his 33 homers from 2010 and 2011 were at Target Field. He hated it and that's why he never considered coming back here. How many fly outs did he have to that RCF gap? Of course, Thome hit many out there. Tosoni hit at least two out there too.
    I'd wager the warmer weather this year is playing a bigger role than anything. But that's just hypothesis.

  15. #15
    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    I'm not sure why anyone would want to see the fences moved in -- unless you just want to see more HR hit in general. But you can build a team that plays better to the home park (while not sacrificing road games) and it looks like the Twins are doing that. I didn't look at numbers for 2010 and 2011 but in 2012, the Twins have hit 49 HR on the road and 51 HR at home -- pretty even. But looking by player:

    Wilingham - 17 H and 12 A
    Plouffe - 12 H and 7 A
    Morneau - 4 H and 11 A
    Doumit - 4 H and 9 A
    Mauer - 3 H and 4 A
    Span - 2 H and 1 A
    Mastroianni - 1 H and 1 A
    Dozier - 3 H and 2 A
    Parmelee - 1 H and 1 A
    Butera - 1 H and 0 A
    Thomas - 1 H and 0 A
    Casilla - 0 H and 1 A
    Valencia - 2 H and 0 A

    So the big swings are that Willingham and Plouffe hit for HR significantly better at TF while Morneau and Doumit hit for HR significantly better on the road than at TF. That may not be all bad but if you want to see it changed, they could certainly try to replace Morneau with a power hitter whose game plays better at TF at some point.

    More significant is that if there have been 117 HR (including last night I think) hit at TF this year, the Twins have only hit 43.6% of them. Would moving the fences change that percentage or would we simply see a lot more HR hit by opponents? I guess you'd have to look at where all balls landed and how the fences would be moved.

    According to ESPN's park factors, TF ranks 11th in runs scored this year while ranking 19th in HR. Some parks are going to rank at the top and some at the bottom -- and obviously the home team's pitching staff has something to do with this. I just don't see any justification in these numbers for changing TF's configuration -- and it looks like fans are seeing plenty of runs scored at Target.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Double-A BrentMpls's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ALessKosherScott View Post
    I'd wager the warmer weather this year is playing a bigger role than anything. But that's just hypothesis.
    The magic squirrel hypothesis holds more water

  17. #17
    "Global Warming" .... that's the answer to everything, right?

    Seriously, though - - - it's the same ballpark. Unless MLB is juicing the baseballs - about which I've not heard a peep all year - the variation is statistical noise.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by JB_Iowa View Post
    According to ESPN's park factors, TF ranks 11th in runs scored this year while ranking 19th in HR. Some parks are going to rank at the top and some at the bottom -- and obviously the home team's pitching staff has something to do with this. I just don't see any justification in these numbers for changing TF's configuration -- and it looks like fans are seeing plenty of runs scored at Target.
    This year, yes. But in 2010, Target Field ranked 19th in runs scored and dead last in HR. In 2011, it was 21st in runs scored and 20th in HR.

    Here's the link to ESPN's park factors:

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/parkfactor

  19. #19
    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    On the question of moving the fences, it still looks to me like someone would have to do a detailed study of where the "close but no cigar" balls landed.

    In 2010, the Twins hit 44.8% of the HR hit at TF
    In 2011, the Twins hit 36.5% of the HR hit at TF
    Thus far in 2012, the Twins have hit 43. 5% of the HR hit at TF

    UNLESS a disproportionate number of the "close" balls are being hit by the Twins, why would you want to move in the fences? As long as the Twins are hitting less than 50% of the HR at TF, moving in the fences would only seem to favor opponents.

    Now, if a detailed study of this question proved that moving in the fences would actually move the Twins over 50% because more Twins-hit balls were falling close but not going out, that would make a major difference.

    But until the Twins hit more than 50% of the HR at TF, it would seem to me that it benefits the Twins if TF suppresses HR.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by BrentMpls View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ALessKosherScott View Post
    I'd wager the warmer weather this year is playing a bigger role than anything. But that's just hypothesis.
    The magic squirrel hypothesis holds more water
    I don't know about that. Arguing against the hypothesis means you're making one of two cases.

    1. It hasn't been hotter and more humid in 2012 than in 2011 or 2010.

    2. Einstein and the fathers of physics were wrong when they said the warmer and more humid the weather, the less air resistance there is.

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