As sort of a complement to Greg Rybarczyk’s work at Hit Tracker Online, writer Chris St. John — whose prospect analysis at Beyond the Box Score, incidentally, is also great and will suffice — created, a couple years ago, a metric called Home Run Damage, a tool by means of which St. John is able to identify objectively the most awe-inspiring home runs of any season.
With regard to his methodology, St. John writes:
Basically, home run damage compares the speed and distance of a home run to the average for all home runs, using z-scores. Only 14% of all home runs have a Damage above 2. Fewer than 2% have a Damage above 4. The truly elite home runs (24 out of the over 34,000 hit) are above 6. The reverse is true for negative Damage. Home runs with negative damage are simply below average.
This season’s winner by Home Run Damage is Mark Trumbo, whose four-base hit off Oakland’s Dan Straily on April 29th would have been described by Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley as “the comrade of the west wind’s wanderings over heaven,” had he — Shelley, not Straily — had he not drowned about 200 years ago.
For more on Home Run Damage and the leaders according to same, click here.
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