Thursday, May 8, 2008

Big Homer Index Revisited is slowly putting together a whole bunch of WPA data for decades past. When it is done, it would be interesting to compare my made-up stats with who actually did hit the most big homers in Oriole history.

What's the Big Homer Index (BHI)? Look here. And remember, it's grounded in reality but all in fun.

Chris Hoiles - 151 Career Home Runs

Chris Hoiles was a natural for this "study" because he always had the reputation of hitting the homer when nobody was on base or when it didn't much matter, at least the first half of his career.

BHI shows that Hoiles did hit a lot of solo shots (89 out of 151 career homers were solo). He also hit a bunch of homeruns when the game was already decided (21 homers with the Orioles up by 4 runs, 29 when they were up by at least three) but that's not the whole story. A full 25% of Chris' career homers put the team ahead and another 11% tied the game. Add three walk-off home runs during his career and Hoiles fares very well on the index.

BHI - 240

Brady Anderson - 210 Career Home Runs

Brady has a natural disadvantage in BHI because he was a leadoff hitter. Anderson hit a ton of solo shots (148) but only led off the game with a homer 23 times so I'm not sure things are skewed against him quite as bad as you might think.

In addition to the high number of solo shots, he hit 23% of his home runs with the team either up or down by four or more runs.

What saves Brady's BHI is the 72 homers (34%) he hit to give the team the league and the lone game ending homer he hit against the Twins on April 13th, 1996.

Overall, not too shabby for a leadoff hitter.

BHI - 138

Brooks Robinson - 268 Career Home Runs

Brooks Robinson is the standard bearer for BHI prowess, at least up to this point. Brooks hit 8 walk-off homers, double the number of Cal Ripken despite trailing Cal by nearly 200 career home runs. Only 40 of his home runs came with the Orioles up or down by 4 or more runs and 46% of his homers either tied the game up or gave the team the lead. This doesn't even count the postseason!

I can't imagine anybody topping Brook's BHI. He certainly took pitchers deep when it mattered the most.

BHI - 495

BHI Leaders - Oriole Career
Brooks Robinson - 495
Chris Hoiles - 240
Cal Ripken - 197
Brady Anderson - 138
Jay Gibbons - 42

More to come...

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