This article originated as a Paul Goldschmidt buy low article. Unfortunately the Gold Rush was on last week in San Francisco and Colorado as Pauly went 16 for 28 with 4 homers, 10 extra base hits and 11 RBI over the six game road trip, ruining any semblance of a buy low opportunity that remained. The moral of the story? Donkey needs to learn to write d*ck jokes quicker if he wants to publish any future buy low articles.

On the plus side, a new glossary term was coined during the process. Blue Balls: When you’re trying to buy low, but the player breaks out before you’re able to close the deal [credit: Walter McMichael]. As the Goldschmidt window slammed shut on my fantasy blue balls, the idea hit me to instead analyze a bit of the effects of the new Chase Field humidor through 10 weeks.

Fortunately, prior to the vicious window slam, my blue balls had already stored the following home/away statcast exit velocity data for the five Diamondbacks players who have been active with Arizona for large portions of the last three seasons (as of 6/6/18):

 

Goldschmidt Home AVG EV # of Home Batted Balls Road AVG EV # of Away Batted Balls
2016 92.3 mph 214 89.8 mph 223
2017 92.9 mph 201 90.1 mph 214
2018 89.8 mph 69 88.4 mph 70

 

Pollock Home AVG EV # of Home Batted Balls Road AVG EV # of Away Batted Balls
2016 87.8 mph 11 88.4 mph 22
2017 88.8 mph 181 86.7 mph 173
2018 91.7 mph 58 90.4 mph 56

 

Peralta Home AVG EV # of Home Batted Balls Road AVG EV # of Away Batted Balls
2016 89.2 mph 84 89.1 mph 46
2017 87.9 mph 217 88.1 mph 217
2018 93.8 mph 85 88.1 mph 72

 

Owings Home AVG EV # of Home Batted Balls Road AVG EV # of Away Batted Balls
2016 88.3 mph 163 86.1 mph 191
2017 87.4 mph 144 83.8 mph 137
2018 85.3 mph 59 86.4 mph 60

 

Lamb Home AVG EV # of Home Batted Balls Road AVG EV # of Away Batted Balls
2016 92.3 mph 185 90.3 mph 189
2017 88 mph 199 88.6 mph 190
2018 90.7 mph 27 90.4 mph 18

 

As you can see, Chris Owings is currently hitting with the gusto of a teenage girl freshly cut from the middle school softball team. But what other conclusions can we draw from the above tables? I’ve heard many intelligent baseball minds declaring the sweaty balls of Chase Field just don’t taste the same; these average exit velocity numbers don’t particularly support their viewpoint.

Home runs are down at Chase Field through two months, that’s a fact, but the number of variables at play is too many to count. Average exit velocities for players with a substantial track record at Chase seem like as good of an indicator of the true humidor effect as any. The story these average exit velocities tell thus far is one of a potentially still fertile park ready for summer fun.

Prior to the season, I saw speculation of average exit velocities decreasing by approximately two to four-mph with the implementation of the humidor. In 2018, four of these five DBack hitters have a greater average exit velocity at home than on the road. Three of these five hitters actually have an increased average exit velocity at home in 2018 compared to 2017!

Furthermore, per baseballsavant.com, the average exit velocity of all batted balls at Chase Field is up from an even 88.0 mph in 2017 [4,133 batted balls] to 88.2 mph so far in 2018 [1,661 batted balls]. Zach Grienke’s average exit velocity against has also increased at home this season to 88.8 mph [119 batted balls] from 86.3 mph in 2017 [297 batted balls] and 87.3 mph in 2016 [257 batted balls]. This isn’t exactly what you’d expect to see if Chase Field were suddenly a severe pitchers park due to some sloppy balls.

Now, I’m not saying the balls are the same; I haven’t touched or squeezed the balls myself. What I am saying is it’s still too early to confidently make any declarations regarding the overall effect of the new ball storage mechanism at Chase Field; most of these sample sizes are smaller than my post-window blue balls.

I personally believe there’s a good chance the humidor effect is much much less than the mainstream baseball media would have you believe. If you agree, consider putting a buy low bid in on Jake Lamb, or even the effeminate Chris Owings in deep leagues; their owners just might be able to lend you a hand with those blue balls.

 

 

You can find Donkey Teeth on Twitter @DonkeyTeeth87.

  1. jiggy nits says:
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    love the article.. speaking about diamondbacks – any thoughts on ketel martes recent success?

    also, im thinking about sending a lot of talent to beef up on power 5×5 NL only ROTO OBP

    i would be sending jose peraza, joe panik and soroka for schwarber and franchy cordero

    you like?

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      @jiggy nits: I’m personally not a huge believer in Ketel. He does seem locked in right now so I’d be owing him, just don’t have a ton of faith that it continues.

      I definitely like the Schwarber side in OBP, especially if you can find other MI options and you aren’t desperate for pitching…NL only can make it tough.

  2. Stumanji! says:
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    If the Buy Low window is still open a crack in a 10 team keeper league…would you deal Hoskins $3 for Goldy $34? Keeper price goes up by 20% year to year so I could basically keep Rhys forever while Goldy would be good for the next year or two (max) before he became too expensive to keep.

    • jiggy nits says:
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      @Stumanji!: would this put you in a win-now position?

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      @Stumanji!: I think Goldy would really have to be putting your team over the top for this year to do that deal. That’s so much keeper value to give up.

      Maybe see if you can get something else thrown in?

  3. Stumanji! says:
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    @jiggy nits: Yes and No. I’m already pretty comfortably in first place, and I got there with three of my expected big hitters either injured or struggling (Wil Myers, Daniel Murphy, Rhys) and my team is solid across the board. So I’m in a good position to win now anyway, and I’d be making this move to further strengthen my team. I’m not sure Goldy is THAT big of an upgrade over Rhys to make the deal though. Maybe I’m just a Goldy fanboy since he helped win me the ‘chip 2 of the last 3 years (Note: I traded Goldy $34/Ohtani $11 for Harper $24 back in April, but other owner had originally really wanted Rhys $3, and he has since dropped out of the playoff hunt).

    • jiggy nits says:
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      @Stumanji!: it sounds like holding is the best option… if you were in 2nd or 3rd and were desperate for the production i would do it but i dont know that it is enough of an upgrade to justify from your current place in the standings.

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      @Stumanji!: Agree with jiggy, although not sure if I’d even be able to pull the trigger in 2nd or 3rd

  4. jiggy nits says:
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    so i did the schwarber trade now I have another interesting one

    5×5 NL only

    my kyle barraclough and clay buchholz for his quintana. i am in 3rd place in saves and im currently rostering vizcaino, seranthony d, archie bradley and hader. i think i have to do this deal. please confirm

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      @jiggy nits: Yep I’m with you, do it

  5. Yarn Barsten says:
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    Do you know if the humidor has any effect on how far a baseball travels. I ask, because I wonder if you could hit a humidor ball harder, but have it slow down quicker after contact?

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      @Yarn Barsten: My physics is pretty rusty. Truthfully, my physics was never really rustless.

      This is the article I referenced when discussing the 2-4mph expected exit velocity decrease: https://www.fangraphs.com/tht/a-humidor-at-chase-field-whats-up-with-that/

      That article was written by a physicist and his decreased home run theory seems solely based on decreased exit velocity’s impact on distance, nothing to do with the ball itself slowing down post-impact or flying differently. I 100% admit I could be missing something here, these are just my ramblings mixed with lots of blue ball jokes.

      Glad you guys are thinking for yourselves though…that’s really the whole point.

      • Yarn Barsten says:
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        @Donkey Teeth: Hey…thanks for the response! It certainly seems like exit velocity is a true test based on the referenced article’s source. I guess I was surprised to see the EV numbers comparison work out the way it did. Anyway, nice work on the article. It’ll be interesting to see how the numbers end up ROS.

  6. Thurgood Congo says:
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    Schoop or Lamb ROS?

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      @Thurgood Congo: I’ll take Lamb but its close. Expecting both to get hot over the summer…

  7. Donkey Teeth

    Donkey Teeth says:
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    I’ll take Lamb but its close. Expecting both to get hot over the summer…

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