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  1. Good post, RJ. One of my least favorite analysis of baseball is people who misuse splits. “This guy sucked on the road, therefore we shouldn’t want him on our team!” It’s lazy, and misguided.

    Comment by Chris — February 8, 2010 @ 8:29 am

  2. I actually just wrote something similar to this about Adrian Beltre right here

    Safeco absolutely killed him.

    Comment by Joe R — February 8, 2010 @ 9:02 am

  3. Another fun split – last year Griffey was the opposite of Beltre. He hit like an all star at Safeco, and was absolutely putrid on the road. I know Safeco is somewhat favorable for lefties, but it doesn’t come close to accounting for that split. Smaller sample sizes do play a part, though.

    Comment by Chris W — February 8, 2010 @ 11:54 am

  4. I’m just dwelling back on home/road splits for the league. A good 3.5% increase in AVG, 4.3% increase in OBP, and a 5.9% increase in slugging?

    So if I want to, I can argue Beltre goes .286/.340/.500? That would be beyond fantastic given his glove.

    Comment by Joe R — February 8, 2010 @ 12:12 pm

  5. Joe R, don’t forget that he put up a 334/388/629 year in 2004 and was the MVP runner up in his last season before being subjected to death by Safeco.

    Comment by Alex B. — February 8, 2010 @ 8:05 pm

  6. That would make a 286/340/500 season seem to be perfectly reasonable if not downright conservative.

    Comment by Alex B. — February 8, 2010 @ 8:06 pm

  7. I think it’s safe to assume he’ll never do that again, though.

    Given that there’s a good chance he’ll gain a marginal win for Boston above average w/ nothing but his glove, being an average hitter would do the trick for me. An .840 OPS is like 15 runs above average with the bat, and Beltre would be a legit all star.

    And the beauty about Beltre is, his value is outside of walking, so I can actually argue his merit without WEEI/Sports Hub Mouthbreathers accusing me of Theothink.

    Comment by Joe R — February 9, 2010 @ 9:21 am

  8. While I agree that using home/road splits is not a perfect solution, I think absent more advanced levels of analysis (for example, adjusting each of the hitter’s performance in a park plus equalizing the weights), this is a perfectly legitimate way of pointing out the negatives of a hitter.

    Else, why use any data at all for comparisons, given your objection to the flaws of using the road split? Any offensive data you use today are flawed in some way, the same as you note for home/road splits. L/R frequency. Type of pitchers faced. Caliber of pitchers faced. Day/Night. Grass/Artificial. Even the type of road faced by a hitter (for example, Holliday is penalized by playing more games in LA and SD than most other players, admittedly, same for AZ and SF). If this is such a big problem with using road splits, then why not make the case that we should not use any statistical data at all? All are flawed to some extent. (Say, this would make a good study for those with massive databases to play with, hint hint, correlating future hitting on the road with current hitting on the road and with current hitting overall and seeing which correlates better).

    One relatively easy way to incorporate home stats along with road stats, per your objection, for a better comparative stat is to prorate his home stats to the average, say, PA he has had at all the other parks and then add to his road stats. Any on-line service can do this easily and include it with their statlines for all their splits. Then there goes the argument that his home stats are not included and thus inflated. I would do this myself except it takes a lot of work to do, just to stop this line of objection.

    And people think that this inflation for other hitters are significant, but take, for example, Chase Utley.

    For his career, road batting line is .285/.374/.495/.869
    For his career, Colorada batting line is ..333/.365/.667/1.031
    For his career, w/o Colorado his line is .283/..375/.486/.861
    (note, road equals all his bb-ref parks data except for Citizen and Veterans, which does not equal the road stats there; then I removed Coors for the second line. For some reason their road does not add up to my summation of parks other than home.).

    Not much of a difference to Utley’s line.

    As you can see, Colorado missing from the majority of players will not make that big a difference because the vast majority of them do not play much in Colorado, plus, more importantly, Holliday will not be playing that many games in Colorado while with the Cardinals. (I would have used Pujols for a better comparator, but he actually has hit worse in Coors than his career overall and career road numbers).

    I use this method to explain why the Giants (or even any other team) should not want to get Hank Blalock, and many used the argument that his stats in Arlington counts, so it should be included for comparative purposes, but nobody has had an answer to my most pertinent point: he won’t be playing much in Arlington if he’s with the Giants.(and they aren’t at all this year). And Holliday won’t be playing much in Coors, I don’t know the Card’s schedule, but Pujols in his 10 year career has amassed 6,082 PA and has had only 132 PA in Coors, or roughly 2% of his PA.

    Or perhaps FanGraphs can have, say, CHONE run his projection system on actual data, since you like that (I like it too), and provide those for comparison purposes as an option in your data tables.

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