Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Vinny Castilla, Come On Down!

You're the next Washington Post/Times designated Nat-O-The-Day!

The Post writes one of the most informed, stats-conscious articles I've read.
Castilla is the proof of that theory, for his numbers at Coors are starkly better than in all the other parks in which he has played. Though he is quick to point out that he slugged 21 of his 35 homers on the road last year, over the course of his career Castilla has hit .334 with a home run every 14.3 at-bats at Coors, and just .256 with a homer every 24.4 at-bats everywhere else. Last year, even with all the homers on the road, his slugging percentage and batting average in Denver (.575 and .321, respectively) were drastically higher than either on the road (.493 and .218).

Sometimes numbers are meaningless (see: Boswell, Tom) and sometimes they're telling. This is an excellent use of appropriate numbers to help describe what's really going on.

I won't rehash what I've said before about Vinny. Instead I'll link back to something you may have missed before: Sabernomics's contention that Vinny is so overrated, he's actually underrated.


  • Just as an FYI, for last year Coors Field increased singles by 13% for LHB and 14% for RHB.

    For Homeruns, it was 42% and 9%

    Probably because of its large size, triples were up 163% for RHB!

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 2/23/2005 9:43 AM  

  • I still disagree with that Sabernomics post, particularly with the idea that Vinny "was better than his Away stats indicate." He had OBPs of 268 and 310 in '02 and '03, and 281 on the road last year. His SLG was 348 (yikes!) and 461, with 493 last year. Hell, I think he's probably worse than his road stats would indicate - those 21 road homers were an obvious fluke.

    By Blogger Ryan, at 2/23/2005 10:46 AM  

  • Yeah, I'm not sure I completely believe his arguments either, but I'm willing to entertain them.

    I'd agree that the 21 HRs on the road is just a fluke, but looking at his overall stats, his 2000 and 2002 years jump out as flukes in a negative way.

    If you look at his OPS+, which is adjusted for park, he's hovered around average as a hitter every year. When you combine that with what all stats indicate is excellent Sub-Rolenian defense, he's not a completely useless player.

    But, when he's hitting .206 in May, I reserve the right to change my mind! :)

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 2/23/2005 10:55 AM  

  • He's had a resurgence the last two years, but he was pretty terrible before that. He only played half a season in 2000, but he was awful in 1999, decent in 2001, and hit like a bad shorstop in 2002 (61 OPS+!). It's not out of the question that he'll provide average offense in his late 30s, but I wouldn't bet on it. I really don't get the second year of that contract.

    By Blogger Ryan, at 2/23/2005 11:16 AM  

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