Sep 21, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals first basemen Eric Hosmer (35) celebrates with teammate Billy Butler (16) after hitting a solo home run against the Texas Rangers during the ninth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Texas beat Kansas City 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Home Runs At The K


A lot has been made of Kauffman Stadium and its home run sapping abilities.  The biggest deal was last year’s hitting coach, Jack Maloof, being fired after blaming problems hitting homers on the home field, and Eric Hosmer talked about it with Soren Petro on the radio Wednesday.  Why don’t we look at just how good The K is at keeping the ball in the yard.

Using baseball-reference game team game logs I went and pulled 2013 home data for the Royal pitchers.  They gave up home runs on 2.47% of ABs at home last year and on the road they gave up homers at a 3.22% rate.  The pitching staff seemed to benefit quite a lot from the dimensions of Kauffman.

To see how the teams that faced the Royals in Kansas City typically fared, I calculated a weighted average composite HR rate for them (Detroit played 9 games in KC so they get a weight of 9/81 or 11.11% of the average) and found it was 2.96%.  That means that all of the teams combined had their rate drop about half a percent from their typical home run production.  In other words, it is not just the Royals who can’t hit it out in KC.  Just for reference all of baseball last year hit homers at a 2.81% clip just slightly below what the Royals faced at home.

At this point you might be feeling a little bad for Jack Maloof being canned after his comments last year, hold on just a bit.  The Royals are probably not hitting a lot of home runs at home because of the field, but they don’t really hit out on the road either.

Last year the Royals hit 112 home runs at a rate of 2.02% of ABs.  At home they hit basically the same at 2.05%, so they were actually worse at hitting home runs on the road by a tiny margin.  You could chalk it up to being comfortable with home cooking, but if that’s the case they need to get much better at home and hope it carries over to the road too.

So there you have it, Kauffman is hard on road teams who have their home run rate drop by almost 17% of their average when they come to KC.  It is a tough homer park.  Eric Hosmer said something along the lines of there is no where in The K to get a cheap home run.

 

Tags: Baseball Kansas City Royals MLB

  • jimfetterolf

    Construct a team for the home field. Royals have always been built for speed and line drives, which is why their homer record is 36. Put Billy in Camden Yards and he gets an uppercut and hits 40 or 45.

    As for Maloof, he was fired because Royals weren’t willing to fire a couple of bull-headed young millionaires. I imagine the first thing Brett told Moose and Hoz was “Sons, you done got your last hitting coach fired.”

    • Redblack564

      Him I agree about constructing the team to fit the profile of the park. Gap hitters with speed. As for Maloof I don’t think anyone was buying what he was selling other than Gordon . I was always taught to use middle if the field gap to gap, you hit for a better avg. that way

      • jimfetterolf

        Seitzer was fired for teaching that. Or maybe he was fired because a couple of the kids ignored him? Brett taught the same as Seitzer who taught the same as Lau. Pedro is teaching the same thing, what could be called “The Royals Way”, although it is much like Ted Williams.

  • unclejesse40

    My goodness, so what you are saying here is that Aoki hitting lead off could have a ton of rbi’s if Dyson is getting on base at the bottom of the order? Wow, so that could be fun to watch, seeing Dyson run from 1st to home on a Aoki double. I am so ready for baseball.