Monday, February 16, 2009

Rox Talk - Dingers by Age?

Last Week Update

Update from last week's post concerning preseason projections. On the website Vegas Watch you can check the latest from PECOTA. Nate Silver's system is one of the better ones and compared to last year came in the closest in predicting team's wins and losses. I found that his election coverage for the 2008 election was amazing (as a side note). Anyway as a side note to my side note to my thoughts last week, the 2009 NL West looks like this according to PECOTA:

Boy what the Rox wouldn't do for a lot less runs scored. 120 runs scored allowed is the difference between a great season and just another mediocre one. I really despise the D-backs.

Rox Home Runs

Due to the rebirth of the steroid crisis in baseball I was thinking of home runs. The articles I have read that tend to get away from the mass hysteria include this piece which seems to indicate that A-Rod (A-Roid?) seemed to do worse when on the juice to an article (can't find the source) that indicated that Bonds HR explosion late in his career actually could have been just sheer talent over any medical modification. Anyway with 103 names still in the bag I often wonder if any former Rox might be on that list? Would Rox fans care? Think back to 1997 when the Rox hit 239 dingers (compared to 160 last year)! I mean if steroids were most rampant in 2001 - 2003 then Rox dinger totals were 213, 152, and 198. Not great numbers... I then began to wonder if you did a chart charting MLB homers per age what would you find (the reason I was thinking this is that if you could find what MLB average was over an age spread that perhaps you could compare individuals to this trend and determine if anything was fishy)? Since I am lazy (or don't have time to run over 100 years worth of home run data...gee you'd think someone might have done that) I decided just to do the Rox from 1993 - 2008.
The circle data is total homeruns by age (age is the x-axis). From the graph you can see that almost 14% of the homeruns hit by Rox over their 16 year existence has been from 28 year olds. In the Bonds article I mentioned above one of the main points is that a fallacy in baseball is that player's peak in years 28/29. The above graph would seem to suggest that 28/29 year old certainly hit their fair share of homers. But wait minute, wouldn't the circle data above also suggest that maybe the Rox have had alot of 28/29 year old play for them and that is the reason for the totals? Well the square data above is the total homeruns divided by the number of age players in that category. So for the 28 year olds there have been 31 players that age that hit a homerun for the Rox and 34 twenty-nine year old players. So while 28/29 year olds do average 13/9 homeruns respectively per player what is interesting is that data does continue to rise after this age group. Of course the Rox have been blessed with some aging late bloomer classics with the likes of Galarraga, Walker, and some Bichette but in baseball the tendency is that as you age you tend to play less. Of course you could also look at it as you age and if you can handle the wear and tear that the experience you might gain also becomes an advantage. Perhaps Bonds should get more credit? Also is anyone really bothered by the fact that Holliday is 29 this year (averages would suggest he has a year left of greatness or could we peg him to be another ageless wonder)?

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