Checkpoint: Salt Lake

In neutral or pitcher-friendly PCL parks, Hank Conger’s AVG/OBP/SLG are .340/.431/.480 in 50 at-bats.


This is the second in a series of articles I’m writing to look at each Angels affiliate as they currently stand. This is just a “checkpoint” in time.

On May 25 we looked at the Cedar Rapids Kernels in the Low-A Midwest League. Now we’ll look at the Salt Lake Bees in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League.

I’ve been waiting to write about Salt Lake until they completed their recent road trip, which included four games at Omaha and four games at Iowa. This is critical because the Bees play most of their games in super-hitter friendly ballparks. Salt Lake, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Reno and Colorado Springs all distort what otherwise might be more a more realistic performance of a player’s talent. The Bees, of course, play half of their games in Salt Lake City, and Colorado Springs is in their division.

When I write my annual Top 10 Prospects reports, for Salt Lake players I always do a custom split. Instead of the traditional home/away split, I look at the five super-hitter friendly parks versus the rest of the PCL to get a more accurate measurement. So I wanted to wait until the Bees passed through Omaha and Des Moines.

When I apply this approach to certain Bees hitters, here’s how they stand so far in 2010:

Peter Bourjos (AVG/OBP/SLG)
OVERALL .250/.297/.375
HITTER-FRIENDLY .258/.276/.387 (93 AB)
NEUTRAL .237/.328/.356 (59 AB)

Hank Conger (AVG/OBP/SLG)
OVERALL .284/.368/.455
HITTER-FRIENDLY .250/.330/.440 (84 AB)
NEUTRAL .340/.431/.480 (50 AB)

Terry Evans (AVG/OBP/SLG)
OVERALL .265/.329/.394
HITTER-FRIENDLY .319/.360/.435 (69 AB)
NEUTRAL .206/.296/.349 (63 AB)

Mark Trumbo (AVG/OBP/SLG)
OVERALL .273/.312/.528
HITTER-FRIENDLY .307/.375/.554 (101 AB)
NEUTRAL .227/.237/.493 (75 AB)

It’s natural to expect the hitter-friendly park numbers to be higher than the neutral/pitcher-friendly parks by some margin, but when there’s an extreme difference it’s usually an indicator of something signficant.

In the above numbers, we note that Conger is actually doing much better in the neutral parks. Go figure.

Now let’s apply the same approach to certain Bees starting pitchers:

Daniel Davidson (ERA/SO:BB/WHIP)
OVERALL 5.20/29:15/1.47 (45.0 IP)
HITTER-FRIENDLY 5.76/15:8/1.48 (29.2 IP)
NEUTRAL 4.11/14:7/1.43 (15.1 IP)

Sean O’Sullivan (ERA/SO:BB/WHIP)
OVERALL 5.12/41:17/1.38 (58.0 IP)
HITTER-FRIENDLY 6.00/27:8/1.52 (33.0 IP)
NEUTRAL 3.96/14:9/1.20 (25.0 IP)

Trevor Reckling (ERA/SO:BB/WHIP)
OVERALL 6.11/37:34/1.90 (53.0 IP)
HITTER-FRIENDLY 6.67/17:20/2.09 (29.2 IP)
NEUTRAL 5.40/20:14/1.67 (23.1 IP)

Nothing particularly revealing in those numbers, other than demonstrating yet again how the super-hitter friendly parks distort offense numbers for Salt Lake pitchers.

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