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Home-Field Advantage?

How much of an advantage is hitting at Coors Field?

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

I never fully believed home-field advantage played a crucial role in baseball. Then….behold, I look at the 2014 split statistics of many of the Colorado Rockies players. Now, we all know that Coors Field has been long considered the most hitter-friendly park in the game, but does playing in Coors Field truly alter player statistics? If so, how much of an advantage does playing in Colorado give hitters? What type of hitters are they truly? Well, numbers never lie.

HOME

Player

AVG

OBP

SLG

ISO

wRAA

wOBA

wRC+

AB

HR

Tulowitzki

.417

.497

.748

.331

32.2

.530

214

163

14

Gonzalez

.336

.376

.569

.233

9.3

.407

130

116

5

Dickerson

.363

.415

.684

.321

31.1

.467

171

234

15

Blackmon

.331

.391

.524

.193

23.3

.397

123

311

13

Arenado

.303

.344

.584

.281

17.0

.399

124

231

16

Rosario

.343

.387

.540

.197

14.3

.396

122

198

7

LeMahieu

.316

.373

.407

.091

6.4

.340

84

253

2

Morneau

.327

.363

.515

.165

15.5

.380

111

266

11

Stubbs

.356

.388

.611

.255

20.8

.431

146

208

12

AWAY

Player

AVG

OBP

SLG

ISO

wRAA

wOBA

wRC+

AB

HR

Tulowitzki

.257

.364

.447

.191

6.3

.354

126

152

7

Gonzalez

.160

.224

.319

.160

-8.1

.242

49

144

6

Dickerson

.252

.305

.431

.178

1.5

.319

102

202

9

Blackmon

.241

.269

.348

.106

-8.5

.273

71

282

6

Arenado

.269

.310

.403

.134

0.7

.314

99

201

2

Rosario

.185

.212

.321

.136

-11.1

.235

44

184

6

LeMahieu

.216

.250

.286

.071

-13.9

.240

48

241

3

Morneau

.309

.364

.475

.165

11.0

.365

133

236

6

Stubbs

.211

.283

.333

.122

-5.2

.276

72

180

3



As you can see, the power numbers across the board are much lower on the road for every Rockies starter who had significant playing time last season. In an offseason where the Rockies are reportedly willing to part ways with Tulowitzki and Gonzalez for the right price, what exactly is the right price? Are these two simply products of their environment, or are they the real deal?

Let’s take a look at Tulowitzki and Gonzalez’s numbers for the past few seasons to get a better picture if they really are elite level hitters, or if Coors Field heavily skews their stats. I’ll show only the seasons in which Tulowitzki and Gonzalez played a reasonable amount of games.

HOME

Player

Season

AVG

OBP

SLG

ISO

wRAA

wOBA

wRC+

AB

HR

Tulowitzki

2014

.417

.497

.748

.331

32.2

.530

214

163

14

2013

.342

.427

.582

.240

24.1

.431

146

225

14

2011

.310

.381

.567

.256

21.5

.402

127

277

17

2010

.339

.403

.631

.292

25.4

.442

151

236

15

2009

.326

.403

.597

.271

24.4

.421

140

273

17

Gonzalez

2014

.336

.376

.469

.233

9.3

.407

130

116

5

2013

.273

.354

.576

.303

14.0

.393

120

198

12

2012

.368

.437

.609

.241

30.6

.442

149

266

13

2011

.331

.402

.597

.266

25.1

.423

142

263

16

2010

.380

.425

.737

.357

43.5

.485

179

300

26




AWAY

Player

Season

AVG

OBP

SLG

ISO

wRAA

wOBA

wRC+

AB

HR

Tulowitzki

2014

.257

.364

.447

.191

6.3

.354

126

152

7

2013

.281

.352

.498

.217

10.7

.368

135

221

11

2011

.292

.362

.519

.227

13.5

.375

138

260

13

2010

.291

.358

.504

.214

10.6

.371

129

234

12

2009

.267

.352

.507

.241

10.0

.368

124

270

15

Gonzalez

2014

.160

.224

.319

.160

-8.1

.242

49

144

6

2013

.332

.381

.606

.275

18.2

.424

174

193

14

2012

.234

.301

.405

.171

-3.5

.299

85

252

9

2011

.252

.317

.440

.188

2.4

.329

106

218

10

2010

.289

.322

.453

.164

3.5

.335

105

287

8

Both players’ numbers are substantially better at home than on the road. While Tulowitzki’s numbers are much better at home, his numbers on the road are still very good. He has a wRC+ of 124 or greater in each of these seasons, both on the road and at home. Tulowitzki would still be a valuable contributor to any lineup, it just helps that he’s been playing in Colorado which has boosted his stats. Any team willing to trade for Tulowitzki, should feel comfortable giving up a significant package for him.

Gonzalez on the other hand, is a different story. 2013 was his best year on the road since going to the Rockies, but other than that, his numbers on the road are average at best. In the last five seasons, he’s only had one season where he put up similar numbers on the road as he did at home. The Rockies have a plethora of outfielders who put up numbers very similar to Cargo’s numbers at home. If Charlie Blackmon, Corey Dickerson, and Drew Stubbs are only going to hit well at home and not on the road, it makes Cargo even more dispensable for the Rockies. His split stats are very detrimental to his value. Teams should strongly consider his struggles outside of Colorado before making a move for Cargo.


All data courtesy of FanGraphs.