|Opposite Field Power|
Written by Bjoern Hartig (Contact & Archive) on April 14, 2009
Jeremy Greenhouse of the Baseball analysts want to find out if Ryan Howard is the best field power hitter of all time.
I had a feeling Jim Thome hit a very high percentage of homers to the opposite field. He and Ryan Howard are linked in more ways than one. I have to give credit to Rich Lederer for guessing that Mike Piazza would be among the tops in percentage of homers to the opposite field. But just wait until we get to my man Howard. Sheffield, not surprisingly, pulled twenty times as many homers as he hit the other way.
So Ryan Howard is clearly up there. When I made my claim about Howard, it was after seeing that he was the only player in the last four years to have recorded greater than 15 homers in a season to his weak side. I was looking at Baseball Info Solutions data then, which has Howard’s 177 career homers distributed as 37.29% to left, 32.20% to center, and 30.51% to right. So the center field zone I’m using is a bit smaller than that of BIS. I think we can say pretty definitively that he’s a great opposite-field home run hitter, but Clemente seems to be in a class by himself when it comes to opposite%.
Great stuff there, don't forget to go over and check out all the tables at the very least.