Monday, September 7, 2009

Is Prince Fielder Good At Hitting "Late" HRs?

David Pinto of "Baseball Musings" said "Fielder doesn’t hit many homers late, as only 10 of his 37 have come from the 7th inning on." See Special Day for Fielder. Here are the comments I left on that.

I am not sure I agree with what you are saying about Fielder not hitting many late HRs. 10 is 27% of 37 and the last 3 innings are 33% of the game. So it seems like he is pretty close to the proportion we might expect.

I went over to Baseball Reference and found that this year his HR%'s by the groups of 3 innings were

7.1 (1-3)
8.3 (4-6)
6.3 (7-9)

So it looks like he does not do so well from innings 7-9. But he also has 1 extra inning HR. So his % from the 7th inning on is 6.8%, very close to what he does early.

In his career, here are the %'s for the groups of 3 innings


So he looks like he does okay late. One year may not be enough data for a conclusion. If we do 7th inning on, including extra innings, then his career % is 6.96.

Also recall that he may be facing good closers in these situations. It might be normal for all players to see their HR% fall when it is late. In fact, this year, the overall MLB HR% is 3.09. From the 7th inning on it is 2.78% (data from ESPN). So give Mr. Fielder a break. Just because he's a vegetarian...

I should have said above that 9 of his 36 non-extra inning HRs were hit in innings 7-9, for 25%. But in his career, he has 148 non-extra inning HRs and 48 of those were hit in innings 7-9. That is 32.4%. Pretty darn close to the expected rate of 33% (and of course he may not always bat in the last of the 9th at home)


Jesus Rolleyes said...

Innings 7-9 are not 33 percent of innings, since about one quarter of the time, the home team does not bat in the ninth.

Cyril Morong said...

Perhaps you missed where I said "and of course he may not always bat in the last of the 9th at home)"

Cyril Morong said...

So if "about one quarter of the time, the home team does not bat in the ninth" then that means that they bat in the 9th 75% of the time. So the home team's game is 8.75 innings and the last 3 innings are really 2.75 innings. Then 2.75/8.75 = .314. That is still pretty close to 33%.

Now that is only half the games, so for a given player, it would be half way between .314 and .333, since they play half their games on the road. Even closer (although some of the last of the 9th innings don't go a full 3 outs so then we get moved back to .314). Either way, 33% is not that bad an estimate.