Monday, March 12, 2007

Stat Analysis Shows Fenway Won't Help J.D. Drew

Sports agent Scott Boras exacted a $70 million contract from the Red Sox for client J.D. Drew in part by pointing out that a number of Drew's flies that were caught on the Dodger Stadium warning track last year would have gone for homers at Fenway Park.

If that were true, it might mean Drew's homer total -- a relatively anemic 20 last season -- would approach 30 or more. But the theory has been disputed by some, notably Frank Bundy, writing for Bundy contends a statistical comparison of the two parks drawn from the Bill James Handbook shows that Fenway, not Dodger Stadium, is the more difficult park in which to reach the stands.

With a score of 100 being neutral, park factors from 2004-2006 show Fenway had a home run factor of 86, while Dodger Stadium came in at 110, meaning it was 14 percent harder to hit a homer in Fenway over the last three seasons than at a neutral ballpark, while it was 10 percent easier to hit a homer in Dodger Stadium.

Based on those findings, here's Bundy' 2007 projection for Drew: 395 at-bats, .287/.394/.476 with 12 homers and 74 RBI.