Michael/Male/26-30. Lives in United States/Pennsylvania/Wexford/Christopher Wren, speaks English. Spends 20% of daytime online. Uses a Fast (128k-512k) connection. And likes baseball /politics.
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Saturday, June 19, 2004

Was Twain Right?  

I was intrigued when I saw the dramatic differences in Burrell’s stats from when he played at home to when he played on the road: admittedly, it is based on just 1/3 of the season, but the Phils played four games at Coors Field and Burrell has hit one home run on the road (in 133 PA’s) and ten at home (in 116 PA’s). The stats are a pretty dramatic cleavage.

Burrell: (home / road / home advantage)
GPA: .338 / .275: +.063
ISO: .351 / .091: +.260
Secondary Avg: .553 / .273: +.280
RC27: 8.49 / 6.05: +2.44

Anyway, I was curious if any of the other Phils looked the same statistically, looked up their numbers and this is what I found:

(home / road / home advantage)

GPA: .347 / .363: -.016
ISO: .447 / .316: +.127
Secondary Avg: .534 / .504: +.030
RC27: 9.12 / 10.21: -1.09

GPA: .326 / .348: -.022
ISO: .292 / .270: +.022
Secondary Avg: .604 / .525: +.079
RC27: 8.72 / 10.39: -1.67

GPA: .287 / .263: +.024
ISO: .222 / .117: +.105
Secondary Avg: .356 / .234: +.131
RC27: 6.10 / 5.10: +1.00

GPA: .257/ .226: +.031
ISO: .168 / .052: +.116
Secondary Avg: .267 / .178: +.089
RC27: 5.34 / 3.70: +1.64

(I chose to compare Burrell with other power hitters in the Phils lineup like Abreu, Thome and Bell. I excluded Lieberthal because his numbers too dramatically proved my point: Lieberthal’s road ISO is higher than his Citizen’s ISO: .141 home; .196 road. I included Rollins because he is leading the Phils in PA’s, so his numbers are the widest sample of all of the Phils.)

Home Advantage:

Burrell: +.063
Rollins: +.031
Bell: +.024
Thome: -.016
Abreu: -.022

Burrell: +.260
Thome: +.127
Rollins: +.115
Bell: +.105
Abreu: +.022

Secondary Avg:
Burrell: +.280
Bell: +.131
Rollins: +.089
Abreu: +.079
Thome: +.030

Burrell: +2.44
Rollins: +1.64
Bell: +1.00
Thome: -1.09
Abreu: -1.67

Clearly Burrell has reaped the largest benefit from Citizens than any other player in the Phils lineup. Burrell is getting on base, scoring runs and bashing home runs at a substantially bigger pace at home than on the road. Little question about that.

In the interests of full-disclosure I will note one bit of evidence that undercuts my arguments. As dramatic as the fact that Burrell has hit just one home run in 110 road at-bats, is the fact that David Bell has (narrowly) been worse, hitting just one in 111 road at-bats. (Bell has hit five home runs in 87 at-bats, much worse than Burrell’s ten in 94.)

[For those unfamiliar with the stats: Gross Productive Average (GPA) is a stat measuring your contribution to your team’s offense based on your ability to get on base and hit for power: 1.8 * .OBP + .SLG / 4 = GPA; Isolated Power (ISO) is a stat to measure how many extra-base hits you make by subtracting singles from your slugging average: .SLG - .BA = .ISO; Secondary Average is a stat I found at ESPN that measures how a player gains their bases: TB – H + BB + SB – CS / AB = Secondary Average; Runs Created per 27 Outs is a stat created by ESPN to measure how a hypothetical team made up of the same nine players would fare. ESPN’s Runs Created Formula is pretty complex.]

TB = Total Bases
CS = Caught Stealing

I’m reminded, writing this of Mark Twain’s aphorism that there are three types of lies: 1) Lies; 2) Damn Lies; and 3) Statistics. These numbers could be meaningless: too small a cross-section to look at, the product of a series against a high-scoring team at home, etc., but I suspect they aren’t. Burrell has clearly benefited from the comfort of Citizens “jet-stream”. Unlike Thome and Abreu, he is clearly a superior player at home than away. Bell has a slight Citizens factor too, but Burrell seems to clearly be a guy who likes to hit in the friendly confines of Citizens Bank Ballpark.

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