Over at Viva El Birdos Dan Moore talked about the Cardinal’s offense not relying on the home run nearly as much as it had in the past. I found the subject interesting and thought I’d dig into it in my own way. A chart style I’ve used in the past is to see how a particular player’s wOBA was broken out by its components (i.e. how much of the wOBA came from BB, HR, etc.). For this particular post we’ll start by shifting that chart style over to the team level. The wOBAs represented ignore SB/CS and HBP.
Along the y-axis we have composite wOBA with the various sections of the stacked bars representing the various outcomes. From this chart it appears that yes, the Cards aren’t getting a ton of value out of the HR (although they’ve hit some since Dan penned his article) relative to their peers. Maybe the following chart shows it a little easier
This chart breaks the data out by percentage, so an attempt to put teams on a common baseline for comparison. From here it is a little clearer that the HR (purple) contributes slightly less to the cardinals value than to other teams (and hey, how bout those Marlins?). Taking the same two charts and putting it on the individual Cardinal player level and we come up with
Hello Carlos Beltran. That’s a lot of value from the home run, and pretty minuscule value from the double and walk. Other than Carlos there isn’t a whole lot that’s jumping out at me as unexpected.