2016 Park Factors, Plus Three-Year Averages!

If you’re going to spend time reading/perusing one post from this year, this is the one. This information is the most labor-intensive of anything ATVL does throughout the entire year. SO if you’re going to comment, this is the post!

Welcome to Park Factors.

First of all, what are Park Factors? The easy explanation is that Park Factors compare what happens in each park to what happens in other parks. So the Strasburg Express hitters’ statistics, and their opponent’s statistics, for example, at home are compared to what they did on the road. Eventually, after very much calculating, the outcome shows us which Valley League parks, for example, have more runs scored, or home runs hit, than the other parks. A final number of 100 means a neutral park. Numbers higher than 100, like 132, for example, means that 32% more of that stat happened at this park over the given time period. Numbers less, like a 68, means that 32% less of that stat occurred. Does any of this make sense? To see more of an explanation, click here to read Fangraph’s “Beginner’s Guide” to park factors.

This is fraught with problems, of course. One problem is that the larger the sample, the more accurate the number. The Valley League plays 40-couple games each year, not counting the playoffs, which means that the sample is only 20 games or so, which means our findings can fluctuate wildly. Ultimately, the Valley League’s sample is only 25% of the major league’s yearly sample. The three-year average is a little better, but three years of the Valley League is still smaller than one year of the major leagues.

So what I have for you today, Brilliant Reader, is not only the Valley League Park Factors for 2016, but the three-year average as well. Like mentioned above, this is an insane amount of work- each and every game played has to be entered in a log, and then everything totaled at the end. See the bottom of this post for a picture of what my research looks like.

Here’s what the league looked like in 2016, in regards to runs, singles, doubles, triples, and home runs:

2016 Runs Singles Doubles Triples Home Runs
Charlottesville 84.81 107.79 89.69 32.31 57.43
Covington 98.19 92.83 121.36 103.38 115.78
Front Royal 97.40 96.03 77.84 60.42 90.62
Harrisonburg 112.32 104.59 96.08 223.65 142.32
New Market 103.98 108.58 114.32 72.14 60.46
Purcellville 73.16 94.37 76.98 68.42 52.97
Staunton 129.50 95.52 146.91 66.61 214.10
Strasburg 97.34 77.51 115.25 80.67 187.28
Waynesboro 84.97 109.27 72.30 195.50 49.65
Winchester 109.49 113.69 125.62 94.98 104.48
Woodstock 121.11 105.47 92.93 130.24 137.95

Some fascinating stuff in here. Charlottesville was below average in each category but singles. C-Ville Weekly Ballpark suppressed home runs by almost 43%. Purcellville’s and Waynesboro’s parks suppressed home runs to a greater extent than Charlottesville. And then look at Harrisonburg, Strasburg, and Staunton’s home run number! There were 114% more home runs hit at Gypsy Hill Park!

Kate Collins in Waynesboro suppresses doubles, but the triple number is huge. Oddly, Rebels Park allows 4% more runs, but not by home runs; home runs are down almost 40%.

And here’s the three-year averages for each team. *NOTE* Charlottesville’s averages are over two years, since that’s how long the team has been in the Valley, and Purcellville has only one year of data, so see above for the Cannons’ totals.

 3 Year Avg. Runs Singles Doubles Triples Home Runs
Charlottesville 83.70 100.48 90.16 32.01 44.13
Covington 98.80 99.21 109.47 140.42 153.60
Front Royal 83.06 88.03 96.42 47.81 82.15
Harrisonburg 97.94 103.23 97.35 154.50 92.91
New Market 98.66 100.46 99.11 130.07 69.00
Staunton 117.93 106.97 125.51 39.26 174.36
Strasburg 99.90 89.03 103.00 73.77 232.17
Waynesboro 95.21 110.38 75.45 130.75 68.55
Winchester 122.95 103.38 132.49 158.39 172.57
Woodstock 97.79 101.08 91.85 134.28 71.83

Just look at the home runs at First Bank Park in Strasburg! Winchester and Staunton see more runs, while all the other teams see less (although many are very close to average). The toughest place to score runs, according to these averages? Bing Crosby Stadium, Front Royal! That is not what ATVL would have expected.

Ok, Brilliant Reader, now it’s your turn: what are your thoughts?

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2 thoughts on “2016 Park Factors, Plus Three-Year Averages!

  1. John – Outstanding info. Thanks for gathering and crunching all those numbers. Of course, players’ performance also factors in, especially at their home park) but would be way more complicated to process and display. For instance, a team that had a staff with an ERA of 3.50 or so in a season would certainly suppress runs scored. And, a squad with two or three high-power sluggers would increase the long ball numbers. That said, the three-year averages are very useful. Observation – the Exxpress (along with Strasburg High School) should be “encouraged” to move back those outfield fences at First Bank Park. (Friendly perspective of a New Market Rebels dude.)

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