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Old 09-26-2018, 11:28 AM
Frater Perdurabo Frater Perdurabo is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Dallas, Texas
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Default Zack Collins and Implications of Minor League HR Park Factors

I've been thinking about Zack Collins mildly disappointing performance at Birmingham.

But then I recalled that Birmingham is said to be a stadium where it's more difficult to hit home runs. Sure enough, its 2016 (most recent that I could find) HR park factor was .877. By comparison, Charlotte's 2016 HR park factor was 1.388. While Charlotte is not the most HR friendly AAA ballpark, and Birmingham is not the most HR unfriendly ballpark, the difference of .511 is huge.

Without the benefit of advanced statistical modeling regression analysis or spray charts superimposed over scale stadium layouts, I simply started with Collins' 2018 statistics, specifically:

531 PA: 418 ABs, 101 walks, 3 HBP, 2 SH, 7 SF

98 hits: 58 singles, 24 doubles, 1 triple, 15 HR = .234 AVG.

.404 SLG, .382 OBP = .786 OPS

Here's my question: What if simply moving from Birmingham to Charlotte caused five of Collins' deep flyouts to become home runs, and three of his doubles to become home runs, with no change in his walk or strikeout rates?

Here's the results:

531 PA: 418 ABs, 101 walks, 3 HBP, 2 SH, 7 SF (same as before)

103 hits: 58 singles, 21 doubles, 1 triple, 23 HR = .246 AVG.
.466 SLG, .390 OBP = .856 OPS

Now, this is just a thought experiment. Clearly factors for which we cannot control - wind, injuries, pitches and pitchers, opposing fielder quality and positioning, lineup construction, Collins' own adjustments, etc. - make this nothing more than a hypothetical.

But it does raise another interesting question. How would we feel about Collins if his walk, strikeout, and flyball/groundball/line drive rates were exactly the same as they are now, but he was producing a .856 OPS?

And it raises yet another interesting question: When evaluating Sox power hitting prospects matriculating through the system, is it appropriate to be a bit more forgiving/patient toward the power hitter who doesn't hit as many HRs as we'd like in Birmingham?
The universe is the practical joke of the General at the expense of the Particular, quoth Frater Perdurabo, and laughed. The disciples nearest him wept, seeing the Universal Sorrow. Others laughed, seeing the Universal Joke. Others wept. Others laughed. Others wept because they couldn't see the Joke, and others laughed lest they should be thought not to see the Joke. But though FRATER laughed openly, he wept secretly; and really he neither laughed nor wept. Nor did he mean what he said.
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