Tuesday, November 8, 2011

On home runs and history

Well the offseason has left me very little material so far other than a couple of worthless press conferences.

So a couple of days ago I was killing some time before the Iowa and Green Bay football games this past weekend by playing my favorite time waster sporcle.

I got to a couple home run quizzes

which led me to this one

***stop now and play them first***

or don't I'm not your mother

Ok, welcome back.  Assuming you took the quizzes you probably noticed some peculiar names.  Brady Anderson, Adrian Beltre, Javy Lopez, Luis Gonzalez.

The original title of this post was "steroids"

After spending the weekend pouring through means and standard deviations (what, did you do something more fun this weekend??) I'm retracting the title.

Yeah steroids likely have an influence here but let's look at the numbers:

First note, if you're still with me congratulations you're either really interested in baseball stats or stoned out of your mind....either way, welcome!!  I will be working with standard deviations here.  The important numbers are +/-2 we won't come across any significant -2 but we'll hit some significant +2.  95.4% of these numbers should fall between -2 and 2.

Where did they not??

Luis Gonzalez +2.8793

 Highest number I found.  57 HR's in 2001.  26 more than his 2nd highest total.

Brady Anderson +2.6942

50 HR in 1996, 2nd best was 24

Adrian Beltre +2.4098

despite his comeback in 2010/11 his 48 HR's in 2004 is still an outlier. 
-1.5346 in 2009, 8 HR's in 449 AB's

remember Javy Lopez?? +2.1399

He played catcher right??  43 HR's in 2003
-2.3137 in 1992 is 0 HR's in 16 AB's, not really significant

Ok so how do these "career seasons" compare to some other notable careers??

8 out of his first 9 years are below zero before his 66 HR season in 1998 started his historic run of 66-63-50-64-49.

His numbers were sustained long enough to not make a 66 HR season statistically improbable at +1.2217 and wasn't even his highest number, that belongs to a +1.5231 in 2001 with 64 HR's in 577 AB's.

Mark McGwire also was below zero for 8 of his first 9 seasons before finally "breaking through" in 1995 going 39-52-58-70-65 from 95-99.  Again the length of his production makes his 70 HR season not so high but it is his highest number at +1.4416.

ARod was below zero his first 5 seasons even with 42 HR's in 1998 (686 AB's) but 42 HR's the next year (502 AB's) put him above zero for 8 of the next 10 seasons peaking at +1.1211 with 54 HR's in 2007.  0 HR's in 54 AB's in 1994 when you have his resume equals the lowest number we're probably going to find -2.9757.

Barry Bonds.  Well ok then.
negative 10 out of his first 13 seasons then all of a sudden positive 8 out of his last 9 seasons, 5 in a row over +1.0000 and a +2.4558 in 2001 with 73 HR's, 24 more than his 2nd best 49 in 2000.

David Ortiz' 54 HR's in 2006 earns him a +1.4582, his 0/20 in 1999 gets a -2.4667 (.000/.200/.000 is not a good slash line).

Hack Wilson had 244 career HR's.  56 of them came in 1930 for a +1.8106.

Hank Greenberg had 58 HR's in 1938, good for +1.4383.

Mantle had 2 ridiculous seasons, 52 HR's in 1956 was a +1.5710 and his 54 HR's in 1961 earned him a +1.9461

What about the current pacesetter:

Very surprising.  As consistent as Pujols has been over his career he jumps around a bit here.  His 49 HR's in 2006 puts him at +1.9963 and he followed it up in 2007 with 32 HR's and a -1.3124.  What can you say when the worst year of your career is 32 HR's.

How about the rest of the top 10 sluggers:

Aaron has the consistency that Pujols is on track for but his +2.0931 is even higher than Pujols' highest number.  40 HR's in 392 AB's

I thought this would be higher on the + side.  I guess the Babe's low end inflated the standard deviation so even though he hit 60 HR's in 1927 it was only good for +0.8148 not even his highest number.  That would be +1.0350 in 1920 (also better than 1921 with 59 HR's)

Ruth's first six seasons:
  • -2.6550
  • -1.2973
  • -1.9662
  • -2.1473
  • -1.5714
  • -0.5587

Willie Mays peaked at +1.7369 with 52 HR's in 1965.  It was straight downhill for him after that.  His +0.3402 in 1966 would be his last season above zero as his next seven seasons would all be below the mean with a -1.7056 in his final season in 1973.

Ken Griffey Jr's highest number was +1.1956 in 1994 with 40 HR's in 433 AB's, barely topping two 56 HR seasons in 1997 and 1998.  Zero HR's in his final season in 2010 gets him a -2.7350.

OK that's it for the graphs, let's have some charts!!

Who among these players had a HR/AB above 0.100 for a single season??

Roger Maris19610.103389831
Sammy Sosa20010.110918544
Sammy Sosa19990.1008
Sammy Sosa19980.102643857
Mark McGwire20000.13559322
Mark McGwire19990.124760077
Mark McGwire19980.137524558
Mark McGwire19970.107407407
Mark McGwire19960.122931442
Mark McGwire19950.123028391
Mark McGwire19930.107142857
Barry Bonds20050.119047619
Barry Bonds20040.120643432
Barry Bonds20030.115384615
Barry Bonds20020.114143921
Barry Bonds20010.153361345
Barry Bonds20000.102083333
Hank Aaron19730.102040816
Babe Ruth19200.118161926
Babe Ruth19210.109259259
Babe Ruth19280.100746269
Babe Ruth19290.111111111
Hank Greenberg19380.104316547
Mickey Mantle19610.105058366

Top 10 seasons in positive SD's away from the mean

Luis Gonzalez20012.879254389
Brady Anderson19962.694170708
Barry Bonds20012.455766922
Adrian Beltre20042.409807691
Javy Lopez20032.139915219
Hank Aaron19732.093067152
Roger Maris19612.017428076
Albert Pujols20061.996327973
Mickey Mantle19611.946076041
Hack Wilson19301.810564858

See all the fun filled raw numbers here

Let me know if I missed someone




yeah I'm just opening myself up to stalkers I know

*crosses fingers*

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