Damon’s New Digs

At 35 years young, Johnny Damon is hitting for more power than he ever has before. While Damon has always been a player with a little pop, his game has long been about hitting for average and making things happen with his legs. His career isolated power is .151, this season he’s up to a robust .237. I think it’s safe to say that there is at least one Yankee that really enjoys his new digs.

185_OF_season__ha_blog_6_20090830

It should come as no great surprise that 17 of Damon’s 24 homers have come at the New Yankee Stadium, which in it’s inaugural season has proven to be quite the hitter’s park. With the help of the ever-resourceful site HitTracker, we can further examine Damon’s ‘power spike’.

Damon_Johnny_2009_scatter

Talk about a dead pull hitter. The average true distance of a major league homer is 399 feet and the calculated speed of the ball as it left the bat is 103.6 MPH. Damon’s average distance is 380 feet per homer and his speed off the bat is 101.7 MPH. Does that mean a lot of cheapies for Damon? Hit Tracker actually helps us classify homers further, putting all big flies in four self-explanatory different bins: “Just Enoughs”, “Plentys”, “No Doubts” and “Luckys”.

Using those classifications, Damon has had one lucky homer at the New Yankee Stadium, four homers that had just enough on them to leave the yard, eight homers that were out by plenty and four no-doubters. The average distance on the no-doubter and ‘plenty’ homers was 378 feet; not tape measure shots by any stretch, but they had plenty enough on them to give some Yankee fan sitting in some overpriced right field seats a souvenir.

The Yankees currently have nine players with double-digit homeruns, and it’s conceivable that they could have eight players with 20 homers or more this season, making them the first team do ever accomplish such a feat. While the Yankee lineup very, very good, when you look up down the lineup, it doesn’t quite strike you as Murderer’s Row. We’ve talked about the “Coors Effect” in years gone by. I don’t think the New Yankee Stadium is quite that extreme, but it’ll be interesting to see if the park continues to play this way over the next few seasons.

We hoped you liked reading Damon’s New Digs by Erik Manning!

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Erik Manning is the founder of Future Redbirds and covers the Cardinals for Heater Magazine. You can get more of his analysis and rantings in bite-sized bits by following him on twitter.

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Matt B.
Guest
Matt B.

Isn’t the bigger issue with the new YS the weather/wind flow effects as opposed to dimensions? The lengths of the HRs/fyballs are apparantly being aided at YS, turning the just enoughs to plentys and so on.

SM
Guest
SM

hittracker has wind and temp factors. Lucky tag accounts this.

Tom B
Guest
Tom B

it’s amazing how many people don’t read the research that’s already been done. the ball is flying LESS(about 2% iirc) than the old stadium, the only difference is the wall in right field is shorter and closer than the old stadium.

the lack of substance in this article is disappointing. ISO and yankee stadium? that’s all you came up with for damon’s power surge? how about his FB% is almost 10 points over his career average? how about his legs are healthy for the first time since 2006, the last time he hit 24 home runs? Give me something, but stop talking about the stadium like it’s the only answer.

Chris
Guest
Chris

Where has anyone compared carry at the New Yankee Stadium to the old stadium?

It’s very easy to compare distances, and that accounts for some of the increase in HR, but not all of it. It’s much harder to quantify the wind effects. Hittracker tries, but they can’t account for the swirling winds within a stadium.

Mike
Guest
Matt B.
Guest
Matt B.

It certainly has been friendly to lefty hitters…

Tom B
Guest
Tom B

why are they “too close”?

they don’t force the teams in fenway/phily/cinci to move their fences back… and the yanks are no where near that short all around.

Matt B.
Guest
Matt B.

If the fences are not that short (I don’t disagree) than why the sudden Coors Fields type HR numbers for lefties?

Tom B
Guest
Tom B

its shorter (vertically) and up to 9 feet closer in some spots(right center), that’s pretty significant for a team that already hits for power to right field. add on the number of hr’s we gave up early in the year, add teixeira’s lefty power, add healthy jeter’s oppo power and you get a supposed “home run haven”. plus you figure that once players know a field is playing “short” they start trying to purposely hit it that way. tell people next year that the monster is 5 feet shorter, and i guarantee that HR’s over the monster will be up, whether the wall is physically changed or not.