View Full Version : Are the Reds "homer-dependent?"

08-29-2011, 04:53 PM
Saw this link from St. Louis, talking about whether the Cards are "too homer dependent." Thought it was an interesting study, for any baseball fan.

But it's even more interesting for a Reds fan. Any guess as to where the Reds fall on the list of homer-dependency (that is to say, what percentage of runs are scored as a result of the longball)?

Certainly the ballpark factors play into this, as much as the kinds of hitters a team has. But check it out. Discuss. That's what we do to fill the time during late August non-contending years.



08-29-2011, 05:41 PM
I'm going to go with:

Every good offensive team is dependent on the HR. Looking at team scoring, Home runs correlate pretty well with runs scored. The only outlier in the NL top 10 in scoring is the Mets (12th in HR and 5th in RS), and they play in one of the toughest HR parks in the majors. In the AL this year, the top 4 in RS are in exactly the same order in HR.

08-29-2011, 06:44 PM
It's important not to confuse the ability to hit homers with an inability to play "small ball". Offense really isn't that complicated; there's no need to create complication. Job #1 is getting on base. Job #2 is advancing baserunners, including yourself. Job #3 is... there is no job #3. Everything else is just details.

The Cards and Yankees score a lot of runs because they lead (or nearly lead) their leagues in OBP and SLG. Focusing on HRs doesn't really add any useful information to the conversation. It simply shows that you can score a lot of runs without leading the league in HRs if hit a lot of singles and doubles and take a lot walks.

But what about the 1985 Cardinals you ask? They led the league in OBP and were above average in SLG. While they had the 2nd fewest HR, they led the league in 3B and were 4th in 2B. They weren't exactly bereft of "power".

Clearly it's a problem if hitters are trying extra hard to hit homers and in doing so are making extra outs. I know that was one of LaRussa's big complaints about Rasmus. And we've all seen Brandon Phillips get homer happy -- and how successful he can be when he's not.