This is not a good study (if you will even call it that). I debated whether or not to even post it, but I decided that since most of my stuff is crap anyway, I may as well go ahead. Anyway, the theory goes something like this: The large outfield in Petco is a major reason why Greene struggles more at home than expected (or, perhaps, it isn’t). Either way, I figured we should forget about Petco and look at how he does at road parks of various sizes (like Phantom suggests). The question then arises: how do we estimate the size of an outfield? MGL used the scales on this site and a computer tracing program to do just that. I’ll do what he did and classify outfields with 106,000 square feet or under as small, and ones with 116,000 or over as large.
For large parks (that, in his career, Greene’s played in) we get Arizona, Colorado, Detroit, and Washington. That’s a total of a whopping 328 PA’s. In small parks (Chicago — NL, Cincinnati, Florida, Houston, Boston, Philly), Greene has racked up a measly 292 PA’s. How has he hit in each?
Small parks: .223/.277/.318
Large parks: .330/.393/.625
Before you start listing the problems, here they are:
- The sample size is ridiculously small — somewhere around half a season in both cases. The variation could just be all, or mostly, randomness.
- Parks have changed. MGL’s calculations were for parks in 2007. Greene’s career numbers are used here.
- Obviously, a large outfield does not equal a pitcher’s park. Colorado and Arizona are two of the best hitters parks in the NL, and they’re also the largest. There are numerous other important factors like weather and air density.
- It could be other factors like pitchers/defenses faced causing much of the disparity (if it isn’t simply random variation).
I’m sure there are many more … again, please don’t take this one seriously at all (not that you will). Anyway, the point is (I think) that a large outfield does not mean Greene will struggle in that park. It is obviously more than that. When Greene hits the ball in the air, his subsequent success is probably determined by multiple factors, including outfield size, weather, air density, and so on.
Petco, by the way, is the 4th largest outfield that he’s played in. Of course, he hits just .230/.292/.377 there. What’s the main difference between Colorado/Arizona and San Diego’s parks: altitude and weather conditions.
Further (er, better) research is clearly needed.