Comments on: POLL: Todd Helton and the Hall of Fame This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 By: DavidS Thu, 19 May 2011 20:43:05 +0000 @72

I think your argument against just using road numbers would be strengthened by mentioning that while Coors Field inflates home numbers it also deflates road numbers. It has been well-documented that the homefield advantage in all Denver sports is routinely large because of the mile-high conditions. This would indicate that Helton's true talent is even better than simply doubling his road numbers and adding the standard amount to account for the homefield advantage enjoyed by the typical player.

@71 - throwing in HoF support for Jack Morris is always a good way to create a stir on this board. I won't bite... this time. 🙂

By: Michael E Sullivan Thu, 19 May 2011 18:45:14 +0000 Of course Helton's edge is gigantic -- he has played his whole career in the most batter friendly parks ever. That's why all the advanced numbers account for this when comparing him to other batters. His career OPS is only 73 points shy of Barry Bonds' (.978 vs. 1.051), but his OPS+ is 137 to Bonds 181. That's your Coors effect right there -- accounted for as soon as you start looking at park adjusted stats, which include WAR.

And yes, it is absolutely abominable foolishness to compare his road numbers to everybody else's averages and treat that as if you are actually doing something useful.

I didn't do such a search myself, but every single sport that i have seen researched shows 90%+ of players and teams performing better at home than on the road, that's why home teams win 54-60% of games (depending on sport).

It may be that a decent fraction of players perform just as well or better on the road, but it won't be anywhere near 50%. I stand by calling the use of unadjusted road-only numbers "abominable foolishness". It is as foolish as looking at raw numbers not adjusted for era or park. Extra Extra Real all About it: Dante Bichette 1995 as good as Maris 1961!

The whole point of calculating OPS+ and WAR is that they account for park effects much, much more accurately than anybody's eye test can realistically do. If he got more out of Coors than other players who played there, that is a skill. A skill that helped his team win. Throwing away half of his at bats just because the field is an outlier is something you consider only when you don't have any decent way to correct for the field -- but we do!

And even if we didn't, a non-fool would never do that without trying to make some correction for the fact that the stats you end up with are all road stats.

Which is harder -- eyeball adjusting for 1/2 your games in coors, or eyeball adjusting for only looking at road games? I don't see a big advantage either way. But we have stats on what Coors does for hitters that are easily available on this site, so we don't need to eyeball test that, unless we are so married to the stats used 50-100 years ago that we don't trust any stoopid advanced stats.

By: James Campbell Thu, 19 May 2011 18:35:37 +0000 Oh and sorry...I think Helton is a HOFer, with certain criteria especially since he has bounced back for a bit and may last a few more years.

His double and walk totals is what puts him over the top IMHO.

I also like McGriff, Larkin, Morris (most wins in the 80's) and Frank Thomas

By: James Campbell Thu, 19 May 2011 18:32:48 +0000 Another thing about Chuck Klein is that his cheap owner raised a wall in RF to cut down his HRs (thus any raise in his salry) and when THAT didn't work, he put up 10 feet of netting.

Helton did not have an owner after I think it is an unfair comparison. Klein was a great player who was injured as a Cub so many assume Baker Bowl made him...which is not the case

By: John Autin Thu, 19 May 2011 04:14:33 +0000 @62, Michael E. Sullivan -- "Abominable foolishness," eh?

I take it, then, that your statement that "With very rare exceptions, *everybody* plays better at home" is supported by some hard evidence that goes far beyond the modest +.042 OPS differential (+.013 in BA) that was enjoyed by 2010 MLB batters at home?

Because, as you know, Helton's OPS differential is five times that size; his BA differential is 50 points more than that. To compare Helton's home edge to that of "everybody" would be making a molehill out of a mountain.

By: Jeff Wise Wed, 18 May 2011 21:26:13 +0000 I played against Helton in high school and he was the real deal. You knew he was going to be a great MLB player.

I know some folks here won't agree with me at all but I say if you even consider Helton as a HOF member you might as well vote in Edgar Martinez this next year.

By: Michael E Sullivan Wed, 18 May 2011 20:21:44 +0000 sorry, why is it I never hear anti-saber guys like chuck saying that is perhaps what I meant there.

By: Johnny Twisto Wed, 18 May 2011 19:24:04 +0000 People say that all the time.

By: Michael E Sullivan Wed, 18 May 2011 18:05:00 +0000 Chuck,

I'd be interested to know who you think belongs of players who had big chunks of their peak fall into the 1997-2007 era of very high offense and steroid suspicion.

So that will include some players who've retired, and some others who are still playing but unlikely to put up any more big years (like Helton)

Who is in, who is out? All the power hitters out because they were probably using steroids? All the guys who tested positive, or admitted it? All the guys who anybody has ever accused of it or whispered about? all of them period?

What about pitchers and non-power hitters? Some of these guys used steroids too.

Do we really leave out nearly all the great power hitters of the 90s/2000s because we suspect steroid use for most of them?

"Putting up great numbers in an offensive era, in an offensive environment doesn't make you a great player. "

Why is it that you never hear people saying that about the guys who put up great numbers in the 1920s/30s, even though it was nearly as big an offensive era as the 90s/00s?

By: Chuck Wed, 18 May 2011 17:11:58 +0000 A resounding no.

Most here have posted solid reasons why not; Coors factor, home/road splits/peak vs. performance, etc and they are all dead on.

There are steriod allegations to Helton as well, and if you question them, just look at Jeff Bagwell's vote totals from last year.

Suspicion is good enough to keep someone out of the HOF.

Putting up great numbers in an offensive era, in an offensive environment doesn't make you a great player.

It just makes you a beneficiary.