Monday, May 23, 2005
Sox's Power Performance
Well, this started as a reply to this post at Soxtalk.com, but it got long and I figured it was worth a blog post, seeing that I haven't posted in almost three weeks (ugh). Anyway, the poster's thought was that the Sox's power "outage" was just a myth, given that the Sox were tied for 6th in the major leagues with 50 home runs. I'm not sure it isn't a myth.
The Sox, with 50 home runs in 44 games are on a 182 home run pace - that's 60 fewer home runs than last year. That is a huge drop off (about 25%) from the 242 home runs in 2004.
But, if you haven't noticed, home runs are down all over the league. Last year, AL teams hit 1.15 home runs per game, and the Sox hit 1.49 home runs per game. This year, AL teams have hit .99 home runs per game, while the Sox have hit 1.14 home runs per game. So, instead of hitting 30% more homers than average, the Sox have hit 15% more home runs than average. That's a decline, but much less than the 25% decline in absolute terms.
It's unclear whether the Sox will hit more home runs in the remaining 118 games. Here are the career home runs rates per 100 AB of the Sox starters compared to this year:
* based on performance in Japan.
As you can tell, Rowand and Crede are decently behind their career home run rates, but Konerko, Dye and Pierzynski (due mostly to the latter two's recent home run streaks) are all well above their career rates. Based on this, unless Frank Thomas comes back and puts up some big home run numbers, I think it's fair to say that this Sox team is hitting as many or more home runs through this point as one would expect.