A little fun with numbers during this lull in the Hot Stove action. Greg Ryabrcyk runs HitTrackerOnline.com and is obsessed with homeruns. As a result, he has developed various tools to determine how far homers actually fly, how atmospherics affect homeruns and who benefits from good or bad atmospheric conditions. I ran some reports on the Orioles to see if there was anything interesting (and I really have nothing better to do).
Now a look at the top homerun distances, standardized. Greg standardizes all homeruns as if they were hit on a clear 70 degree day and fell unobstructed to field level.
Hitter Date Std Dist
Tejada 4/2/07 428
Tejada 8/21/07 425
Millar 5/16/07 425
Hernandez 9/29/07 421
Markakis 5/14/07 415
Not too surprising that Tejada has the top two blasts on this list, he still possessed the best raw power on the team even if he doesn't display it on a regular basis. I never realized this before looking at these homerun numbers but Tejada hit 10 of his 18 homers in the month of August. I'm not sure how that escaped me before and I can't think of any player who has hit 10 homers in a month that didn't hit 20 total.
Next, a look at the top homeruns measured by speed off the bat (SOB) in mph.
Hitter Date SOB
Tejada 4/2/07 113.8
Markakis 8/28/07 113.6
Markakis 9/24/07 113.5
Millar 5/16/07 113.3
Mora 4/7/07 113.2
You can see how the ball just jumps off the bat for Nick Markakis and this comes as no surprise. The Hit Tracker also give an elevation angle on each homer and Nick's homers tend to be hit at an angle less than 35 degrees where most homers for a typical slugger get lofted out at an angle of 35-45 degrees. This shows Markakis' line drive power and also explains why he hits 43 doubles in addition to the 23 homers.
Here's the "No Doubt" homers which Hit Tracker defines as ball that clear the fence by 20 vertical feet and land 50 feet past the fence.
Frustrating numbers here as you can see the power Huff possesses but is very inconsistent with. Same with Gibbons who only hit 7 HR in 2007 but 3 were killer shots.
On the flip side, here's the "Just Enough" homers. These clear the wall by less than 10 feet and barely leave the park.
Markakis is not a real shock here due to the line drive nature of his power. Ditto for Roberts.
"Lucky Homers" are balls that would not have left the park on a calm, 70 degree day.
As we have seen the declining power of Mora over the past three seasons, it is interesting that nearly a third of his homers last year were the result of favorable weather conditions. What happens if he's not so lucky next year?
Next time we'll take a look at how the O's pitchers fared in terms of the longball.