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This site utilizes the MLB analytics platform powered by TruMedia Networks


A Better Home Park

It appears the San Diego Padres are about to trade Adrian Gonzalez to the Boston Red Sox.  Gonzalez posts great offensive numbers despite playing in a home park at hurts his home run power.  The difference is obvious in the following charts showing his home runs over the last three seasons:

Adrian Gonzalez, home runs at home, 2008-2010.In addition to the distance of his home runs, note the two distinct power zone in the strike zone.

Adrian Gonzalez, home runs away, 2008-2010.Not only do his home runs fall closer away from PETCO, but his power doesn't disappear in the middle of the strike zone.

What really should be getting Red Sox fans excited, however, is Gonzalez's power the other way.  All those dots in leftfield means he's going to be pounding the Green Monster and depositing balls in the seats above it.  Not all of those balls in play in that direction will be home runs, but the ones falling short are much less likely to be outs.


Million Dollar Cutters

With Mariano Rivera expected to re-sign with the Yankees rather easily - unlike a certain Yankee teammate - the man with the most devastating cut fastball in baseball history will soon be back to making a whole lot of money.

Rivera, as expected, finished with the best cutter among relievers in terms of pitch runs above average, according to Fangraphs. Let's take a graphical look at Rivera's cutter, as well as the cutters of the three next-best relievers from 2010 (minimum 50 IP): Mike Adams, D.J. Carrasco and Craig Breslow.


Slash Stats: .188/.228/.257


Slash Stats: .148/.194/.170


Slash Stats: .188/.266/.319


Slash Stats: .186/.213/.322


Click the thumbnail to see a comparison quilt of all four pitchers.


Bourn on the Edge

Michael Bourn shows an unusual distribution of hot spots in the strike zone for hits.

Michael Bourn, batting average on balls in play, 2008-2010

Unless the ball is thrown right down the middle of the plate, he doesn't hit well on balls in the zone.  Move to the edges, however, and the display lights up.  Part of this, I believe, comes from Bourn's high number of infield hits.  An infield hit is almost never hit well.  If the ball is smacked, it either reaches an infielder quickly or goes through to the outfield.  An infield hit has to be hit slow enough that a fielder can't reach it in time to throw out a speedy runner.  A hit like that is more likey when the batter can't get good wood on the ball, and that can happen on the edges of the strike zone.  If Bourn loses a step, expect that advantage to disappear.