I discovered the most awesome baseball data website ever (besides Fangraphs), and I wanted to share with you.
Hit Tracker is a website that tracks every single home run hit in the majors. With every home run, it gives an analysis of the ball’s path, from hitter to fan. The main categories of stats to look for on a player’s profile of home runs are True Distance, Speed of the Ball off the bat, the angle of elevation and wind/temperature conditions in the ballpark. All these statistics will give you a rough estimate as to whether the player was lucky to have it land out of the park or not. Another added bonus to the site is that they categorize each home run into: “Lucky”, “Just Enough” or “No Doubts”. This allows you to gauge a hitter’s power beyond just the amount of home runs he has, or by a slugging percentage.
The variation in true distance is drastic, yet the same outcome occurs. Jimmy Rollins can get lucky by hitting a ball 380 feet out in Yankee Stadium that goes out, while Mark Reynolds can hit one 480 feet for a ‘no doubt’ trajectory, yet the return is the same. Seems a little unfair, no? Wouldn’t it be cool for a player to scout wind/temperature stats and know which field and at what vertical elevation to get it pass the fence? For football, kickers scout wind and trajectories of balls all the time, wouldn’t it be cool for hitters to do the same? I guess it’s different though, since the hitter doesn’t have full control of what the pitcher serves up.
Check it out sometime. They also have links to watch the home run clips.