Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Why Eckstein didn't decline in 2009 or Park Factors 101

Tuesday March 9, 2010

Why David Eckstein did not regress on offense in 2009
or Understanding Park Factors 101

Batting Average
David Eckstein 2001-2008

David Eckstein 2009

Park Factors for hitting in Petco for 2009

That means that playing in Petco will drain 19.5% off the home batting average of a player or about 9.75% overall over a league average ballpark.

.284 x 9.75% = 0.02769
.284 - .02769 = .25631

In other words, Eckstein actually outperformed his career averages while playing for the Padres last season.

In the time he played there, Angel Stadium of Anaheim ranged from an extreme hitters park to an extreme pitchers park. Overall it comes out to be about league average over the 4 years Eckstein was there. (2001 - 1.077, 2002 - 0.828, 2003 - 0.978, 2004 - 1.019)

Through the 2005 season the old Busch Stadium was a hitters paradise adding about 15% to a batters home batting average or about 7.5% overall.  In 2006 and 2007 the new Busch stadium was a league average ballpark.

Slugging Percentage
Petco has an even more devastating effect on a hitters power numbers with a .721 Park Factor for HR, .711 for 2B and .778 for triples.

Eckstein's slugging percentage dropped .027 from his career average while by the park factor numbers it should have dropped to about .317.

In other words, when adjusted for park factors, Eckstein outperformed his career power numbers in 2009.

Clutch Hitting
Add to the above improvements over his career numbers the fact that Eckstein had an awesome .340/.387/.448/.835 line in 248 PA with runners on base and a .311/.377/.412/.789 line with RISP for the Padres in 2009 and you have a very valuable member of the team.

Offensively, in 2009 Eckstein was a player who outperformed his career numbers when you adjust for park factors and provided clutch hitting at a high level.

Eckstein came into the 2009 season having turned down opportunities to earn more money because the Padres offered him a chance to play his natural position at 2B after a ML career at SS, a more demanding position.

Defensively the only thing people can even try to point to in 2009 is Eckstein's range, because he only committed 2 errors  which was the best in baseball by a long shot (Kaz Matsui was next best in the NL with 6 errors) and Eckstein was 2nd best in the NL at turning the double play (that while playing most of the season with a rookie at SS).

By comparison, Orlando Hudson, the Gold Glove winner in the NL had a -3.3 UZR, 8 errors and was below average at turning the DP.

I guess there is a reason that the Padres brass like him so much.


  1. The Pad Father3/11/2010 11:40 AM

    The Peeps on boards and the other blogs are not going to like your logic my friend. They are all of an opinion that Eckstein sucks.

    It don't matter if you are right or wrong, they are still going to bad mouth you. Be prepared. lol

  2. Eckstein's career OPS+ (which adjusts for league and ballpark) is 88. His 2009 OPS+ was 85.

    Eckstein's career wRC+ (which adjusts for league and ballpark) is 96. His 2009 wRC+ was 87.

  3. "That means that playing in Petco will drain 19.5% off the home batting average of a player or about 9.75%"

    How do you arrive at the 9.75% figure?

  4. You only play half of your games at home, so 1/2 of 19.5 = 9.75.