Mets Rumors & News
This entry was posted on Friday, December 11th, 2009 at 12:28 pm and is filed under Baseball, jeffzachowski, Mets Rumors & News, |. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


I’ve come out of the woodwork for a brand new blog, because I’ve come across some interesting data, and I think it’d be just plain selfish of me not to share it with my Mets brethren.

While the media is busy debating whether or not the Mets less-than-aggressive move for Jason Bay is purely a PR ploy, of greater interest to me personally is the assertion that Mets brass might actually prefer Bay over free agent Matt Holliday.  It seems that the Mets are – gasp – using statistics to evaluate how each hitter might fair in their cavernous ballpark.  This, meanwhile, from a team that has apparently made upgrading the defense and signal-calling from the catchers position their number one offseason priority, despite, as ESPN’s Keith Law pointed out, the fact that statistical analysis largely debunks the notion that a pitcher’s battery mate impacts his ERA on any detectable level.  So imagine my surprise to hear various reports that the Mets have analyzed data on both players and have concluded that Bay’s swing will translate well to Citi Field where the Mets feel Bay could achieve success pulling the ball over the left field wall.  Conversely, the Mets fear that Holliday will lose a lot of home runs to Citi’s expansive gaps, most notably in right-center.

So, great, I’m thinking to myself, the Mets have finally woken up and realized that the rest of baseball has put a heavy emphasis on statistical analysis, why shouldn’t we?  Unfortunately, I just couldn’t leave it there.  As a baseball fan who clearly has too much time on his hands (or is itching to get canned from his job), I had to look at the numbers for myself.  After all, hit charts are readily available to anyone with internet access days.

What I found was not so encouraging.  While I couldn’t find a hit chart that tracked every ball that a batter put into play for the entire year (I suppose such a chart would get pretty busy), I was able to track how Bay and Holliday each faired in their home ballparks.  For Bay I pulled his hit charts from Fenway Park, and for Holliday I combined his charts from Busch Stadium and McAfee Coliseum.  I superimposed each over the dimensions at Citi Field, and voila! We have our data.

Scientific?  No.  These hit charts don’t include any data on loft or wind currents or anything of that nature.  Moreover, they exclude half of each player’s at-bats as they only chart how each faired at home.  Nevertheless, the graphic dismays me.  Maybe the Mets have more telling data that they’re evaluating.  Or maybe they’re just liars looking to pull the wool over our eyes.  Either way, this can’t make a Met fan happy.

Bottom line: Matt Holliday hits bombs.  Jason Bay, not so much.


There are currently 14 responses to “Bay Over Holliday? Not So Fast.”

Hot Stove New York uses Gravatars — short for Globally Recognized Avatars — for the pictures that show up next to comments.

  1. 1 On December 11th, 2009, Giorgi via MJ>Y said:

    Those red dots that go right across LF in a straight line about 10-20 feet in front of our wall represents where the Green Monster is. I am going to assume (and I am very confident I am correct) those dots are located there because those balls landed in the Monster seats or hit one of the billboards, etc. Therefore, while they appear to “come up short” on our field, based on their trajectory and velocity (which this chart tells us nothing about), they are very likely home runs.

    And that doesn’t take into account the wall-ball doubles that are home runs at Citifield (remember: the Monster giveth and the Monster taketh away).

  2. 2 On December 11th, 2009, Soko said:

    I prefer Holliday over Bay, but don’t you think The Green Monster kind of skews Bay’s pull distance.

  3. 3 On December 11th, 2009, Jeff Zachowski said:

    I wondered that myself. The monster certainly turns some line drive homers into doubles or singles even. That said, if the Mets keep talking about “loft,” then those lofty homers should be reflected on the hit chart – in theory.

  4. 4 On December 11th, 2009, Bora$$ said:


    Boras said that Holliday is not going anywhere till Bay is taken care of.

    If Boston is only team presenting Bay with an offer this would go on till Spring Training.

  5. 5 On December 11th, 2009, greggofboken said:

    Jeff: Have you visited hittrackeronline? It has the HR data for both players for both their home and away HR’s. You may find it very informative. There’s also a calculation indicating the number of ML parks each HR would have gone out in. I’d suggest a visit. You may re-draw some of your conclusions after looking.

  6. 6 On December 11th, 2009, gbaked said:

    if you look at the image, you can basically see the green monster on bays hits. There is a straight line the cuts right across left field.

  7. 7 On December 11th, 2009, Jeff Zachowski said:

    Thanks Greg – I knew there was a site like that but couldn’t think of the name. I’ll check it out tonight. Have you looked at their data yourself? Any conclusions?

  8. 8 On December 11th, 2009, amazin vladi said:

    Notice how if you count all the red dots by left field (most likely line drives stopped by the monster and I can tell because they all seem to end at the same trajectory)and add them to the red dots that are over the fence the score is alot closer then you would think. I have it at 15-15 with possibly Bay having more. This proves nothing.

  9. 9 On December 11th, 2009, greggofboken said:

    I did, cursorily. My own conclusions were that Holliday would have put between 16-20 out in CitiField but that Bay would have hit between 28-32. (The differential is based on the assumption that some of the “lost” homeruns for each would have been hit outside of CitiField.) See how it looks to you.

  10. 10 On December 11th, 2009, Jeff Zachowski said:

    Vladi – Two things. 1) No one says it proves anything. I said it was an unscientific exercise and I found the results discouraging. 2) The general consensus is that the monster gives more homers than it robs. If you’re assuming that every ball off the monster would have been a homer at Citi Field, you’re making a huge mistake. Also, don’t forget, the left field wall at Citi is no slouch. 12 feet at the foul pole and nearly 16 feet at its apex.

    I’ve checked out Hittrackeronline and I’m anxious to give their numbers a thorough looking over, but unfortunately I haven’t got the time right now. I will do it over the weekend and post an update.

    Thanks for reading.

  11. 11 On December 11th, 2009, Jeff Zachowski said:

    Gregg – Bay would have hit 28-32 balls out of Citi Field? That can’t be. Factor in his homers on the road and you’re talking about a 50 home run season.

  12. 12 On December 11th, 2009, greggofboken said:

    Jeff…Apologies for any confusion. I’m contending that Bay’s home runs as a Met (playing his home games in Citi) would have resulted in between 28-32 home runs total for the season rather than the 36 he had on the Sox. Holliday, I’m contending, would have ended up w/16-20 as a Met, rather than the 26 he put out. Both players would have lost some, but Holliday’s drop-off would have been greater it seems (minimum of 25% fewer).

  13. 13 On December 14th, 2009, Vin said:

    yeah i agree with that last comment but also i think this is superimposed wrong…look at all the balls down the right field line that are in foul territory…if those balls were foul they woundn’t be hits…i think the field needs to be pulled back and it will be more accurate…according to this bay would hit 6 hrs…i mean thats obviously skewed

  14. 14 On December 14th, 2009, Jeff Zachowski said:

    Vin – Apologies for the confusion. The chart is superimposed correctly. Those balls are foul outs. I chose to show all balls put in play because theoretically an out in one park could be a home run in another. I didn’t color code the hits/outs because I thought it’d be easier to compare/ contrast the two players if we stuck to two colors.

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