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Thread: Home Runs at Target Field

  1. #1
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    Home Runs at Target Field

    If we look at the number of home runs hit at home by both teams and compare it to the number of home runs hit by both teams in road games, Target Field was above average in home runs this year. (click the charts to see them better).

    chart TF vs other parks.jpg

    Twins hitters hit 69 homers at TF and 62 on the road. Twins pitchers gave up 98 at home and 100 away. So 81 home games had 167 home runs and 81 road games had 162. That gives TF a +3% in 2012 and makes it 14th of the 30 major league fields in that comparison.

    In Target Field's inaugural season, 2010, that value was -36% (116 home, 181 road). 2011 saw an increase in home runs at TF and the deficit "improved" to only -9%. That makes a three year total of 481 home runs on the road versus 409 at home or -15%. Or, perhaps, a trend...

    chart TF trend.jpg

    Or perhaps not. This comparison of home vs away home runs fluctuates a lot. A good example of this would be Met Stadium in '65 and '66, -3% and 67.0%, respectively. Or 71-73 which saw 4%, 61% and 2% in three consecutive seasons.

    What about the dome? 1982-1988 saw five "positive" seasons. But by 1997, it was decidedly a "negative" stadium. All twelve seasons from 1997-2008 were "negative" (2003 was even at 0). In its final season,2009, the dome was positive, 11%, for the first time since 1996.

    Finally, if we compare the three Target Field seasons with the 28 seasons at the Dome, 2010 would have been the lowest. 2011 would have been the eighth lowest and 2012 would have been the 10th highest.

    chart TF vs Dome.jpg

    So is Target Field a home run "Death Valley?" Is it middle of the pack? Or is it too early to tell?

  2. #2
    Twins Moderator All-Star twinsnorth49's Avatar
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    Only a full season without Nick Blackburn will reveal the truth.

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    As your numbers for home runs for the stadium fluctuates perhaps all your numbers prove is the quality of the team in it. As you have a poor pitching staff with a few power hitters, your home park as a home run paradise would go up. If you have decent pitchers and a team of slap hitters, your park is less homer friendly.

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    Somebody want to explain the basics of park effect?

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    As the Twins attempt to change their philosophy by drafting (Power Pitchers and Hitters) - Will the Twins place on the scale/graph stay the same? or will they give up more HRs? or Hit more HRs? What are your thoughts based on farm system potential? Who will we become?
    (More HRs with the Sano; Arcia; Rosario; etc.; or Less HRs with the Gibson; Wimmers; Berrios; Hermsen; etc

  6. #6
    Unfortunately, your analysis doesn't correct for how much (or little) power the home team (who has half of the at-bats in the ballpark) has. You almost got there when discussing this last season and looked at how many HRs were by the Twins and how many were by the visiting team. You can't blame the ballpark because the folks who have half the opportunities to hit HRs, just don't hit many home runs.

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    Based on a couple of the comments, the point of my post might not be clear. I do not compare what the Twins hit versus the opponents. I compare what Twins and their opponents hit, combined, in each setting, home and away. If the Twins have low power, the numbers will be low for both home games and away games. Yes, the Twins have half the at-bats in home games. They also have half the at-bats in away games. It is the comparison between the two settings that are highlighted and tell the tale of the Park.

    That said, I thought it worth noting that the Twins, though still not hitting a lot of home runs, hit more at home (though pretty close) in 2012 than they did away from Target Field. The Twins' opponents have hit virtually the same number at TF and away the past two years.

    The wild discrepancy we saw in year one might have been an anomaly.

  8. #8
    Twins Moderator All-Star twinsnorth49's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fire Dan Gladden View Post
    Somebody want to explain the basics of park effect?
    No point, it doesn't take into account differences in pitching, which when talking about the Twins rotation throws every park effect metric under the bus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twinsnorth49 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fire Dan Gladden View Post
    Somebody want to explain the basics of park effect?
    No point, it doesn't take into account differences in pitching, which when talking about the Twins rotation throws every park effect metric under the bus.
    Regardless of how good or bad a staff is, they pitch half their games in the home stadium and half on the road. When they give up 98 home runs at home and 100 on the road, what do you conclude about the stadium? That it is hard to hit home runs there? Or that it is similar to the other stadiums (on average)? It doesn't matter if they give up 30 home and away or 130. If the numbers are similar, the park is neutral, if there is a gap, the park is biased.

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    Senior Member Big-Leaguer righty8383's Avatar
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    I totally get what you're saying Curt. I think the only spot in TF that is reallly difficult to homer is RC. It has a high wall and it is deep. The rest of the park seems pretty neutral to me.

  11. #11
    Twins Moderator MVP Riverbrian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by twinsnorth49 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fire Dan Gladden View Post
    Somebody want to explain the basics of park effect?
    No point, it doesn't take into account differences in pitching, which when talking about the Twins rotation throws every park effect metric under the bus.
    Regardless of how good or bad a staff is, they pitch half their games in the home stadium and half on the road. When they give up 98 home runs at home and 100 on the road, what do you conclude about the stadium? That it is hard to hit home runs there? Or that it is similar to the other stadiums (on average)? It doesn't matter if they give up 30 home and away or 130. If the numbers are similar, the park is neutral, if there is a gap, the park is biased.
    I'm feeling you Curt... You bring good stuff... Keep bringing it.

    Like you said... These numbers fluctuate from year to year. You have to ask the question... Why the fluctuation? I do have a little knowledge in the wonderful world of statistical margin of error. 167 dingers combined over 81 games is going to carry a fairly large margin of error. Fluctuation will suggest unreliable conclusion. Consistent numbers from year to year is what you need to bang the gavel down. If you run into examples of stadiums that show consistent decrease or increase each year. You can start to safely say that it is a Hitters Park or Pitchers Park.

    With Target Field... It's too early to say but your numbers suggest that it may not be the stadium we all assume it is.

    I think Ball Park effects has to be factored in somehow. I have no data but I do think the park favors Righthanded Hitters. In my mind... The Plaza in RF is a possibility for knocking some balls down. That's just an assumption of mine with no basis whatsoever.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverbrian View Post
    Like you said... These numbers fluctuate from year to year. You have to ask the question... Why the fluctuation? I do have a little knowledge in the wonderful world of statistical margin of error. 167 dingers combined over 81 games is going to carry a fairly large margin of error. Fluctuation will suggest unreliable conclusion. Consistent numbers from year to year is what you need to bang the gavel down. If you run into examples of stadiums that show consistent decrease or increase each year. You can start to safely say that it is a Hitters Park or Pitchers Park.

    With Target Field... It's too early to say but your numbers suggest that it may not be the stadium we all assume it is.
    Agreed. Even if the home park stays the same, its profile (or reputation) might change over time. Look at the Dome, for instance. After they put up the plexiglass fence extension for the 1983 season, its dimensions stayed the same. It was even environmentally controlled so heat/cold waves and wind pattern changes would not affect it. But, as noted earlier, it appeared to be a (slight) home run hitting park in the first seven years there. It was at that time that the (forgive me moderators) idiots Tony Kubek and Bob Costas christened the Dome with the moniker "HomerDome" on national TV.

    That profile changed and, as noted earlier, the Dome was definitely not a home run park as it had negative numbers every year for twelve seasons, 1997-2008. What changed? The other parks in the league did. Older parks were replaced with newer, usually cozier, parks which moved the bar. Or the older ones had their fences moved in. That will happen a bit next year when Seattle's park has its fences moved in.

    It is, imo, a bad trend. Someone builds a small stadium or moves their fences in and, the next year, some else does too, to "keep up with the Joneses." Each time that happens, the balance of the need for speed vs power changes. Eventually, teams will have nine Adam Dunns in their lineup. I will not be watching then as I can see that at the slow-pitch softball field down the street.

    Oh man, how did I get on this soapbox?

  13. #13
    this obviously proves the cement theory.

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